Our Bureau

Hyderabad, June 2

VIRTUAL libraries are not a distant dream any longer if the plan to automate them and digitise data is anything to go by. The University Grants Commission has embarked on an ambitious programme just to achieve this while networking various universities to provide access to information and books across the country.

The Chairman of the State Council of Higher Education, Mr K.C. Reddy, inaugurated a training programme designed for librarians towards this drive.

As a part of this initiative, a five-day intensive training programme has been initiated by a team of scientists from Information Library Network (INFLIBNET) for librarians from 50 Government colleges.

As a part of this initiative, a programme to facilitate automation of libraries in Government colleges and enhance access to e-publications through the UGC's INFLIBNET got off to a start at the Government City College here on Thursday. With this, Andhra Pradesh has become the first southern State to achieve this.

The INFLIBNET centre based in Ahmedabad, has developed a software package that helps in computerising the functioning of libraries before they are networked with each other.

The software for university libraries (SOUL) has been developed by the INFLIBNET that is provided to librarians, who in turn would install it in their respective colleges.

This was conceptualised to help more users benefit as various journals had become expensive and budgets of college libraries sinking by the day.

The Director of Collegiate Education, Mr K. Lakshminarayana, said 50 Government colleges would be networked in the phase one, while 50 more would be covered in the second phase. By 2006-2007, remaining 78 Government colleges would be covered as a part of the third phase.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 3, 2005)
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