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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Digital content fast replacing books(TOI)

Digital content fast replacing books(TOI)

KOZHIKODE: Digital content is fast replacing printed books in libraries of higher educational institutions in the country, according to experts attending a five-day international workshop on digital libraries. The workshop began at the Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode (IIM-K) on Monday. 

"Digital content in libraries at premier educational institutions has already grown to an unprecedented 70-80% as against printed books. Many journals are now available only in digital format," said M G Sreekumar, head, Centre for Development of Digital Libraries (CDDL) at IIM-K and Unesco coordinator of Greenstone Support for South Asia. 

He said there had been a paradigm shift in the way information resources were being handled by libraries following the massive influx of digital content. 

"Traditionally, libraries owned books and journals they bought or subscribed to, allowing them to make best use of the resources. But digital publishing has changed those concepts. Libraries now only get the licence to use electronic information, and even this is issued for a prescribed period," he said. The digital libraries have now become the crucial component of global information infrastructure and offer new levels of access to broader audiences. 

Inaugurating the workshop, Debashis Chatterjee, director of IIM-K, said the knowledge professionals of today should acquire the capacity and capability to foresee the future course of information and knowledge landscape in line with the new emerging world order. 

The workshop focused on Greenstone Digital Library Software, an open source software system for developing digital libraries promoted by the University Of Waikato, New Zealand and sponsored by Unesco. 

Participants will be instructed on how to design digital collections of different publications in a variety of file formats. They will also receive the Greenstone Digital Library Software.

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