International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Academic Librarians Discuss Cloud Computing at an International Conference

Academic Librarians Discuss Cloud Computing at an International Conference, by Dr. Ravindra Sharma (Also in: American Libraries Direct, March 6,2013)
Cloud computing is an emerging area in the profession of Library and Information Science but India took the lead to host the Second International Conference on Academic Libraries with the theme “Academic Library Services Through Cloud Computing: Moving Libraries to the Web.” This conference was held on the beautiful campus of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIP) in New Delhi from February 12-15, 2013, and attracted academic librarians from many countries including Australia, England, France, India, Mauritius, Switzerland, and the United States.

Marshall Breeding an authority on cloud computing and a well-known author/speaker was the plenary speaker on the opening day and he spoke on the “Cloud Based Technologies Enable Large Scale Collaboration for Academic Libraries.” During his talk he mentioned many new and important developments in the field of library automation and the need to keep-up with the developments for the benefit of all users because cloud computing libraries will be relieved from maintaining hardware and software. It will also lead to collaboration among libraries. In his view “Globally shared data and metadata models have the potential to achieve new levels of operational efficiencies.” He added that the predictions are that within five years, all library collections, systems, and services will be driven into the cloud.

... The highlight of the conference was an excellent plenary talk by Dr. N. Vijayaditya, retired Director General of the National Informatics Center, and a fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India. His topic was “Cloud Computing Indian Initiatives.” He discussed information technology and challenges and said that cloud computing was introduced in 1996 with the introduction of Hotmail, Amazon Web Service in 2006, Gmail, and Microsoft Azure in 2007. He explained various models and services of cloud computing and discussed how technology has changed the landscape of Information Technology. It has resulted in “more access, faster access with economical resources.” He mentioned that according to Forbes survey “Cloud computing market will reach $241 billion by 2020 and cloud based services will grow from $12.1 billion to $35.6 billion in 2015.” India is adopting fast to the cloud computing but he warned that the privacy, security, legal jurisdiction and other concerns of cloud computing must be addressed for academic and other types of libraries. Dr. Vijayaditya’s forceful speech made a deep impact on the packed audience and they gave him a loud and long applause.

Over one hundred librarians, library educators, IT professionals, and other prominent leaders from all over the world presented papers and talks in various sessions in this well organized conference. It included a pre-conference tutorial on cloud computing, poster session, panel discussions, presentation of papers, two excellent cultural programs of Indian dances, and sitar recital. Many aspects of cloud computing were discussed by various presenters including Cloud Computing Solutions for Moving Library Service to the Web, Cloud Computing Approaches to Globalizing Academic Libraries, Factors Influencing Cloud Computing Solutions, and Education, Training, and Research on Cloud Computing in Library Sector. The conference emphasized the new roles academic librarians must play in the changing environment of technology and adopt new management style to prepare academic libraries for the next generation of students, faculty, scholars, and other users in the twenty-first century.

R. N. Sharma, Ph.D. is Dean of Library at Monmouth University, New Jersey. He was Chair of the International Relations Committee of the Association of College Research Libraries (ACRL) and Chair of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section (AAMES) Section of the ACRL.

Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section, ACRL SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ACADEMIC LIBRARIES, Feb. 12-15, 2013
Here is a report on the conference written by Dr. R.N. Sharma. For a copy of the report with photos please click here.


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