Himalayan Libraries Online

27 Aug 2010



If everything begins with an idea and knowledge is the foundation of all progress, libraries will continue to play an important role in development, especially in the age of knowledge and knowledge-based societies. Dramatic changes in digital technologies, in fact, have had transformative implication for the libraries of the future and the way we manage and order knowledge and information.

Sixteen senior librarians from six Himalayan countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan) that are members of the Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) met in Kathmandu, Nepal from 26-27 August 2010 to map a plan of action that would better link the Himalayan university libraries and their respective library collections. The benefits are many and include, among others, that research done in the region will be more accessible and visible to the world at large and can be used to better serve the people and development initiatives. Libraries linked will provide greater access to regional knowledge including grey literature and PhD dissertations, and easier access within and outside the region to regional research. This trend is in keeping with the trend of libraries all over the world towards greater network access in a seamless world made possible by digital technology.

ICIMOD convened the Himalayan University Consortium librarians meeting with support from Elsevier Foundation. Following inauguration of the workshop by Acting Director General Madhav Karki, and keynote speeches from the chief librarians of Beijing University, Dr Ming Zhang, and Rajesh Kumar from TERI, Delhi, librarians from representative Himalayan University Consortium members each presented the state of library development in their respective institutions.

Dr Karki underscored the crucial and strategic importance of academic collaboration across the Himalayas to scale up development efforts and realise long-term effects across the Himalayas. During the Himalayan University Consortium’s third meeting hosted by the Indian consortium members in Dehradun, HUC proposed to map the knowledge of Himalayan universities and look into options of connecting their libraries, taking into account, limitations put forward by copyright protection. This meeting was in response to this call. Gaining from the exchange of experiences and knowledge on digital library concepts, the participants drew a Plan of Action on the second day towards better linked HUC libraries.

For further information contact:

Mr Daan Boom
Programme Manager
Integrated Knowledge Management (IKM)
email: dboom@icimod.org

Ms Nira Gurung
Communications Officer
email: info@icimod.org, ngurung@icimod.org