INFORMATION IS VITAL FOR STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC
VALUES – G.C.MALHOTRA
New Delhi, 19 Jan. 05: Delivering the Keynote Address on “Changing Dimension of Parliamentary Library and Information Services in the Third Millennium” of the second day of the 8th biennial conference of Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and Pacific (APLAP), Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, Shri G.C. Malhotra stressed on the role of information in strengthening democratic values. He said that as democracy has been the accepted form of governance, the resultant freedom of thought and expression, expansion of educational facilities and increase in the production of recorded knowledge, has led to a rapid growth of libraries and information centers the world over.
Dwelling upon the evolution of library and information management, Shri Malhotra said that the process of information management has come a long way from paperless to print and again to paperless. Modern societies are becoming more and more information conscious and well-equipped and therefore user-friendly libraries have become the essential ingredients of the civilized world.
He further added that with significant change in the educational background of the member of Parliaments, increased information literacy, and greater exposure to the outside world, the volume of work before each Parliament is increasing day by day and so the expectations of the members to acquire authentic, objective, balanced and non-partisan information at a short notice. It is imperative for the personnel of libraries to pay undivided attention to the need of members of Parliament and meet their demands efficiently.
Referring to the explosion of information in the age of technology, he emphasized the need for automation of parliamentary libraries. Shri Malhotra said that computers on user-friendly parameters are extensively used in our library for housekeeping functions like acquisition, cataloguing, circulation control, information storage, retrieval, content analysis, dissemination, etc. Computer facilities are being provided to each and every member of our Parliament at his/her residence or work place. Today, Indian parliamentary library is advancing towards a fully automated parliamentary library to attain the desired speed and accuracy in serving our parliamentarians who are always hard-pressed for time.
On sharing Information Resources and Information Management Techniques, he said there was an imperative need to develop a new cooperative format for bringing all the parliamentary libraries in a global network specially among the Asia-Pacific countries where all our resources will be at the disposal of one another and it will enable to share and consult expertise and experience cutting across the barriers of time and distance.
Other sessions of the Conference include (i) Research and Reference Services for members; (ii) Library Services for members; (iii) Bringing Parliament nearer to the People-Communicating Parliament; (iv) IT in Parliamentary Library and Information; and (v) Changing Dimension of Parliamentary Library and Information Services in India.
About 40 Delegates and 30 observers from 16 member countries of APLAP and various state legislative bodies of the country are taking part in the conference.