UNESCO-supported training on future libraries concluded in New Delhi
A training workshop on Greenstone Digital Library Software entitled Future Libraries: Advanced GSDL and RFID took place from 14 to 16 January 2009 at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. In was jointly organized by UNESCO, the New Delhi Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Department of Information Technology (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India), the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Greenstone Support for South Asia.
The workshop provided hands-on basic and advanced training to information professionals who were interested in building digital libraries and in implementing automated library management systems. The main objectives of this 3-day event were the following:
- to provide knowledge on digital libraries and automated library management technologies;
- to empower information professionals in building efficient digital libraries using basic and advanced features of Greenstone software;
- to impart practical knowledge on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies/applications used in modern libraries; and
- to offer hands-on experience on advanced features of Greenstone software.
In his inaugural address, Mr N. Ravi Shanker, Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology, highlighted the importance of building digital libraries for long term preservation of documentary heritage collections across the Indian subcontinent. He introduced different digital library initiatives supported by Government of India that help preserve important documentary heritage and rare collections, and make them accessible to everybody.
Ms Iskra Panevska, UNESCO's Adviser for Communication and Information in Asia, highlighted the support in capacity building of information professionals that UNESCO continuously provides to its Member States. She demonstrated how Greenstone software helps document and disseminate scholarly literature in a networked digital world. According to her, Greenstone has become one of the most popular digital archiving software used in libraries across the developing countries.
This advanced training was imparted by Dr M.G. Sreekumar, coordinator of the Greenstone Support for South Asia and Librarian of the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK).
Over thirty participants from public and rural libraries, NGOs, academic institutions, and research organizations participated in the workshop. UNESCO provided financial support to five librarians, which enabled them to attend the training.
All participants received the latest version of Greenstone Digital Library Software, Greenstone tutorial exercises and all instructional materials on a CD-ROM. They are now expected to be well-versed and confident in developing digital knowledge repositories using the Greenstone software in their respective institutions.