Use and User Perception of Electronic Resources in Iiit Libraries in India : a Case Study

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The digital revolution driven by information communication technologies has transformed academic libraries. It has an impact on every sphere of academic library activity, e.g., the form of the library, collection development strategies, library buildings and consortia1. Computers and networked electronic resources have become an integral part of the academic library during the past decade. This has been underscored by the phenomenon of knowledge or information common in academic libraries, which refers to a specific environment in the library where a designated number of PC workstations are networked to databases and other e- resources are made available to students2. Library users are no longer obliged to visit the library to meet all their information needs. They may search the library’s online catalogue; use a subject guide or database to access a citation from the internet or access a full text article from web-based journals; they may browse an electronic journal; fill out an interlibrary lending form; e-mail reference question via the ask-a-librarian service or borrow an e-book – all by remote access3. IIIT is the generic name for several Institutes of Information Technology in India, each a mini university in itself. Many of these institutions have been subsequently renamed to identify their affiliations and goals. The IIITs were conceived to be forerunners in the information technology education sector, at a time when India was going through a phase of unprecedented boom in the software industry (Years 1998 - 2000). The course curriculum at these institutes is at par with similar offerings at the Computer Science departments of Indian Institutes of Technology. As per the 11 th five year plan in the Budget 2011, Twenty Three (23) more IIIT's under the Public-Private Model, are to be launched soon for every major state of India. Nasscom recently submitted a detailed project report to the Govt. of India on the establishment of new IIITs. If these are accepted, it could be quite a contrast to the functioning of existing higher learning institutes. The Nasscom report has identified a major role for private organisations in terms of finance, faculty and resources. Pvt players may play key roles in new institutes Each of the IIITs has been proposed to be set up as a fully autonomous institution, through the PPP model. The partners setting up IIITs will be the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the governments of respective states where each IIIT will be established and industry members. The report is learnt to have suggested that private organisations should play an equal or slightly greater role in bringing investment for the new IIITs. The locations of IIITs have been arrived at on the basis of how well connected they are in terms of transport and facilities and their prominence to industrial hubs. Considering the dire faculty crunch in the country, Nasscom has made it clear that faculty members must be given salaries prevalent in the market. It has been suggested that each IIIT must have the autonomy to decide its own salary structure to compete with private educational institutes. Collaborating private organisations would be requested to send their experienced employees as visiting faculty members. A higher number of visiting faculty and faculty-exchange programmes with universities in India and abroad have been suggested. Private organisations are expected to collaborate with the IIITs for knowledge manpower, giving projects to students and for curriculum guidance. The associated company would look into the role of private organisations and enabling optimum rate of returns for them.The development of the PhD programme, according to one of the suggestions, is vital to the growth of IIITs as these doctoral students could be groomed for teaching positions in IIITs, creating a strong pool of candidates for top...
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