New Delhi, 21 Jan. 05: Delivering the Keynote Address on “Library Services for Members” on the Third Session of the 8th Biennial Conference of Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific (APLAP), Secretary of APLAP, Ms. Roslynn Membrey said that the information managers/service providers, must adapt to the newer technology, new sources of information to meet the changing demands of the MPs.  Exchange of parliamentary publications among the developing nations/smaller countries is crucial for a better understanding of the parliamentary and other developments around the world, she added.


            Emphasizing the need for training of parliamentary library staffs, she stated that it will go a long way in fine tuning the skills of the library staffs so as to continually change, adapt and modify their work to provide the MPs with the best available information at the right time. 


            Mr. Momkhlem Khlemchan of Cambodia also presented a country paper in this session.


            During the Fourth Session, Shri N.K. Sapra, Joint Secretary, Lok Sabha delivered the Keynote Address on, “Bringing Parliament Nearer to the People: Communicating Parliament”.   He said that the Parliamentary System ensures the best possible participatory democratic system and active interaction between the people and their representatives.  The efficient and effective functioning of the Parliament is an important requirement for achieving the goals of democratic governance, he added.


            Speaking on the role of Media, he said that Media could act as a vital link between the people and their political leadership and can bridge the gap between the two.  The Media can effectively discharge their duties only if they enjoy freedom and incidentally the media fraternity enjoys immense freedom in India.


He also highlighted the role and functions of the Press & Public Relations Wing, the Audio-Visual Unit, Parliamentary Museum & Archives, the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies & Training and other sections of the Secretariat in effectively communicating and bringing Parliament nearer to the people of India. 


In conclusion, Shri Sapra stated that technical advancements do play a great role in any communication activity.  But the role and attitude of the top leadership always plays a bigger and greater role.  He highlighted the clear perception, right attitude and perfect initiative of Shri Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker, Lok Sabha for bringing in the desired transparency in the functioning of the Parliament.


Dr. Karl-Min Ku, Vice-President of APLAP, delivering the Keynote Address at the Fifth Session on “Information Technology in Parliamentary Library and Information Services” emphasized the relevance of understanding and application of Information Technology(IT)/Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in knowledge management.  He said that the IT/ICT system could provide a variety of information services to match the functional goals of the parliamentarians.  In this context, he mentioned about automation/digitalization of library to suit the changing needs of the parliamentarians.


Ms. Roslynn Membrey of Australia and Dr. Ravinder Kumar Chadha of India also presented country papers in this session.


            Earlier during the Second Session of the Conference on 19 January, Ms. Katherine Close of New Zealand had delivered a Keynote Address on “Research and Reference Services of Members”, where she highlighted the new dimensions of Research Services in an Era of Information Explosion with special emphasis on making library services in Parliament more useful for the Members of Parliament.  In this context, she stressed on In-house Training and Refresher Programmes for the Parliamentary librarians.


Participating in that session, Ms. Rasieli Bau of Fiji, Mr. Keiji Tsuchiya of Japan, Ms. Azeemunnisa Khan of Malaysia, Dr. Ahmet Yildiz of Turkey and Mr. Dao Van Thach of Vietnam presented their country papers.