Information is a valuable resource in all types of libraries, but the ICT tools that are important to create, collect, consolidate and communicate information are not yet used in majority of libraries. Information can be represented as a vertical and non-interactive structure through which people communicate or rather inform data, information or ideas to a larger number of receivers where the receivers remain passive in this one-way approach, where as communication is a two-way process in which receiver is also a transmitter or giver and is thus a horizontal process characterized by interaction, which includes exchange of ideas, information, point of view, and experiences between persons and groups. Though information has priority over communication, it is the technology that makes communication both interactive and astir (Savio, 1990). The rapid developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have given a solid foundation for revolutionary changes in the information handling capabilities of academic libraries and information centers all over the world. ICT includes acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information by means of computers and communicating systems. In a dynamic and interactive academic learning environment, Information and Communication Technology also includes repro-micrographic technology, database creation and use, in addition to computer technology, digital technology, multimedia technology, network technology, telecommunication technology, barcode technology, web technology, etc.
One of the most relevant outcomes of ICT is the introduction of advanced communication network or the Internet, which has necessitated a major shift in the role of academic libraries from ownership model to access model, from print to electronic media, from libraries as archives to libraries as access points, and from information collection to information analysis and repackaging (Goswami, 2009). The change from print to digital information has a high impact on libraries, information centers and other institutions directly involved in processing information. The ability of computers to perform high volume error-free repetitive tasks at speeds much faster 78 than human beings, along with the emerging developments in the area of computing; telecommunications, networking and resource sharing, has made access to information anytime, anywhere possible (David, 2001). Now Librarian in an academic environment has the role of mediator between the vast network of resources and its users, and library, an access point providing access to different types of information resources.
1.1 Communication Technology
The progresses in communication technology and media have helped to increase access to educational resources and thereby enhance the quality of education. The use of interactive communication media has facilitated expansion of opportunities for higher education. To meet the increase in demands to access, locate and transform large amounts of data, libraries are struggling to make the best use of available telecommunications technology. A communication network provides interconnection of several computers wherein a user can communicate with any computer as local user. The system will have facilities to create, transmit and print a message or document electronically (Kawatra, 2000).
1.2 Information Technology in LIS
Information Technology is the combination of microelectronics-based computer technology and modern communication technology for the collection, organization, analysis and dissemination of information in all forms such as sound, text, graphics, animation and video. IT has already become the symbol of development and it is influencing all spheres of human development.
All the techniques and tools, human beings have so far development, for making information transfer efficient, flexible and transparent can be brought under the purview of IT. Languages, writing media, recording techniques, etc., made information transfer more simple and consistent. The inventions of paper, printing, electrostatic copying machine and the digital storage technique are considered milestones in the direction of making communication process more transparent and flexible.
The application of information technology in library services and the resultant changes in information activities from conventional practices to the advanced methods can be summarized in the following table:
1.3 Development in Information Activities (Source: Kumar, 2003)
Word Processing, Text Editing Voice Recognition etc
Manuscript, Paper, Print Media
Electronic Publishing, Magnetic tape, Video Text, Tele-Text, CDROM
Cataloging, Classification, Indexing
Electronic Data Processing, Artificial Intelligence/Expert Systems etc
DBMS, information Retrieval Online/ Offline etc
Disseminate , Communicate
Lists, Bibliographies, Abstracts, Hard Copies
E- Mail, Electronic Document Delivery, Teleconferencing, Tele Facsimile etc
Magnetic Erasers, Optical Erasers, Reuse the Medium
Developments in the ICT have made profound changes in each and every field. These developments are also known as computer/information/communication/Internet/ multimedia revolution, binary age, information age, information society, information superhighway, and digital age. The changes are evident all over the world, and its effects being felt in every walk of life and in every field of knowledge. The field of library and information science (LIS) is also not an exception to this phenomenon.
In the changing environment, every library grows in terms of reading material, equipment, space, staff, readers, etc. The library and information scenario is changing at a dynamic pace; there is a paradigm shift from print media to web media; from ownership of documents to access to information; intermediary to end-user model of services; and from location of specific libraries to digital/virtual/hybrid libraries. Similarly, there is a change in the needs and interests of the readers. Hence, the role of library and information professionals has also changed dramatically. To meet the current requirements, library professionals must be able to perform various tasks coping up with the changes in technological environment.
2. Review of Literature
Review of the literature shows a few studies on skills of the library professionals published in India and other countries.
Seena and Pillai (2014) the study was conducted to investigate the awareness, skill and attitude towards Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) among library professionals in Kerala University Library. The study based on a questionnaire survey of library professionals employed in the central and department libraries of the University of Kerala.
Kumar (2013) the study results showed that, with regard to operating systems, librarian possess awareness on windows with Weighted Arithmetic Mean (WAM) of (20.4%) and Unix (8.4%) and for software packages they possess awareness as 20.53% for MS-Word followed by MS-Excel (19.53%). Author concluded with suggestion that the educational universities offering courses in LIS need to change their syllabus focusing more on ICT’s and providing practical classes to gain expertise in ICT skills.
Kattimani and Naik (2013) in a study looked at the librarianship, ICT skills, and constraints to acquire ICT skill of library professionals working in the Engineering College libraries in Karnataka state. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data results showed that deputy librarian and librarian category showed relatively high skills in ICT related tasks compared to assistant librarian, library assistant and others.
Mathew and Baby (2012) in their study of technological skills for academic librarians among university libraries in Kerala, observed that ICT based services are being provided by a small group of trained library professionals or computer professionals and majority of the qualified library professionals don’t get an opportunity to be familiar with ICT services or they are mostly unaware of the facilities in their own institution.
Thanuskodi (2011) studied ICT literacy among the Engineering College Library professionals in Tamil Nadu and found that 95.12 percent of professionals have knowledge in computer fundamentals, 81.07 percent in Internet, 42.68 percent in multimedia and only a very few professionals 29.26 percent have knowledge in computer programming.
Mohamed Haneefa and Shukoor (2010) report the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy among the library professionals of Calicut University. The study includes only the library professionals in the central library and departmental libraries of Calicut University. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The study reveals that the Professional Assistants are more ICT proficient in ICT skills than the junior librarians and Assistant librarians. The use of ICT based resources and services, library automation software, and general purpose application software is high among the junior professionals than the senior library staff. The use of digital library and institutional repository software is very low among the library professionals. Majority of the professionals had confidence in routine ICT and Internet tasks, and need training or orientation in library automation, digital library and institutional repository software.
Choudhury and Sethi (2009) study the information literacy skills of library professionals working in three major Universities of Orissa. Survey using structured questionnaire and interviews points to the fact that most of the library professionals are computer literate, having undergone computer courses like PGDCA, DCA and other short-term courses. They are also aware of the use of E-resources, evaluation of web resources, IPR, web OPAC, search engines etc.
Vijayakumar (2007) evaluates manpower utilization in the university libraries of Kerala, through a survey of university libraries and library professionals in five universities with well equipped university library system. He makes a detailed study of the various university libraries in Kerala with details regarding central library and various departmental libraries with the help of data sheets and questionnaire for library staff.
Nath, Bahl and Kumar (2007) reports a survey of librarians of Chandigarh city to assess the ways in which librarians use ICT‟s , their level of knowledge and skills, problems faced in the use of ICT‟s and their training needs. The study also investigates the extent of adoption of ICT in Chandigarh city libraries as modern tools of providing library service to users. A questionnaire was used to survey the ICT skills and knowledge of librarians with nine sections on respondent’s background, file management, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, E-mail and Internet. Survey of 21 academic and public libraries reveal a low level of ICT knowledge among librarians and a general lack of formal training among the academic librarians. The study recommends library education with a balanced curriculum including both traditional as well as ICT knowledge and skills.
Sagolsem, Purnima Devi and Vikas (2007) report a survey conducted among the library professional staff working in public libraries and NGO libraries of Manipur. The main objectives of the study was to find the status of digital environment in Manipur public libraries, to evaluate the need of manpower training for IT application, attitude of staff towards IT application, their career opportunities and problems in IT application. A questionnaire was used for the survey among 50 library staff in the public libraries of Manipur. The study reveals that public libraries lack sufficient professional staff with required knowledge of IT. Though most of them had a favorable attitude towards IT application majority were not satisfied with their opportunities to enhance qualifications. The problems in IT application include lack of qualified professionals, high cost of IT infrastructure and insufficient computer facilities. The study recommends the importance of continuing education program to upgrade professional competencies and suggests that the government should provide more grants for library development in the state.
Kavulya, (2007) identifies priority areas of training and critical IT skills required by LIS professionals in relation to current job market and performance requirements.
Jange and Samy (2006) evaluate the use of the Internet as an information source by libraries of National Institutes of Technology in India. Using the questionnaire method data is collected from seventeen National Institutes of Technology spread across the country. Some of the main objectives of the study are to understand the perceptions of Internet technology by library professionals, to identify the purpose of using Internet by library, and to explore the use of Internet services and its impact on library activities and services.
Cholin (2005) provides an overview of information technology implementation in different university libraries in India that provides effective access to resources available within universities and elsewhere. This study was an attempt to understand the use of information technology in university libraries by studying the status of information technology applications in Indian university libraries at various levels.
Jeevan and Saji (2004) present the results of a survey conducted among the premier libraries in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala to assess the information technology adoption in these libraries. A survey using questionnaire and interview was used for getting information about the different IT components useful for better library organization and comprehensive as well as swift information services.
Nyamboga (2004) details the results of a study of training opportunities for library and information professionals in India and how a selection of Indian university libraries are providing information skills and information literacy programs for their users. The author stresses the need for training students, researchers and staff to make appropriate use of resources made available in libraries. Library and information professionals need continuing professional development courses as new ways of providing information resources are developed. The study reveals that librarians conducted library orientation programs (including information on specific aspects such as computer laboratory facilities within the library, library automation and networking activities), although sometimes systems librarians or information technologists undertook this task.
Temjen and Saraf (2003) studies the attitudes of academic and research library professionals towards information technology and its relationship with library and information science courses in India. The study identifies the attitudes of library professionals working in the seven states of North eastern part of India, based on already developed and tested scales of attitudes towards computer and information technology.
Vijayakumar and Vijayakumar (2003) discuss the changing nature of academic libraries and librarianship. Authors stress the need of librarians to be involved in teaching and education through information management and information access, building collections and making them accessible, creating electronic libraries, cooperation and resource sharing, support for research and reference, etc. They also point out that future academic librarian should be skilled in communication/training, IT, management, and subject knowledge/profiling.
Joint (2003) attempts to flesh out the heterogeneous skills required by LIS professionals by relating them to past and present practice, and sketches possible paths along which digital library training might evolve.
Al- Ansari (2002) report a questionnaire survey on the current continuing professional development practices and perceptions of academic library employers about skills that need to be developed in their staff in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It was found that systematic staff development program is generally lacking. Current continuing professional development activities focus on immediate institutional needs. Information and Communication Technology skills preferred relate to automated systems, electronic resources, networking, and multimedia application.
Ramaiah and Moorthy (2002) describe the need and impact of continuing education programs (CEP) for library and information science (LIS) professionals in India, particularly for college librarians. Authors stress the importance of CEP due to the emergence of new technologies, Internet, Management techniques, Communications, multimedia and networking. The subjects of the questionnaire based survey were the participants of a CEP at Dr BAM University, Aurangabad. Majority of the participants attended the course to improve basic knowledge/skills and improve library services. The survey also shows that most of the participants prefer CEP courses on library automation and IT applications.
Singh and Garg (2002) evaluate the biomedical information centres and libraries (ICLs) in India. The main objectives of the study are to assess the state of the art infrastructure available in biomedical ICLs, to determine the impact of computers on biomedical librarianship, use of computers by ICLs users and information professionals and to identify the impact of computers on career development in ICL services.
Kannappanavar and Vijayakumar (2001) survey the use of hardware and software facilities in University of Agricultural science libraries in Karnataka. The aim of the study was to evaluate the access of networks, information services and barriers in information technology applications.
Ramesh Babu and Parameswaran (1999) evaluate the automation of public library and information services in and around Chennai and the attitudes of library professionals towards the application of information technology. A survey among 50 staff members in the public libraries of Chennai using questionnaires shows their keen interest in professional development to keep pace with the trends of electronic information era. Results show that IT applications improve communication facilities and helps in enhancing technical knowledge, providing better services, improving library status, change information handling methods and reduce workload.
Alemna (1998) identifies the education and training needs of future librarians in Ghana based on the assumption that librarians and information scientists are to assume new responsibilities due to the developments in information technology. This also means that both short- and long-term training programes must be developed based on assessed needed skills – actual and potential. He observes that any changes in the curriculum of the Library School in future must also consider the need to keep a proper balance between theory and practice. Consideration must be given to the amount of time that should be devoted to practical work and when and how practical fieldwork would be organized, supervised, quality controlled and evaluated. The author points out the areas such as Personnel and Financial Management, Marketing of information Services, information technology and Communication Networks, Management and Maintenance of Computers, Bookbinding, Conservation and Restoration, Records Management, Inter lending and Document Supply, User Education that are to be included in the future training of library professionals .
Srivastava (1997) reports results of a questionnaire survey conducted in 22 R &D institutions in India to determine the extent of usage of IT components by library professionals and the coverage of IT in their graduate and post graduate library science programs. IT components form an integral part of library operations and services. DOS/UNIX databases, library applications software, CDROM databases, word processing, bar coding, multimedia etc are important to library professional. The study reveals that library and information science courses must expose students and practicing library professional to various components of IT, regularly redesigning the syllabus of LIS course to include the advancements in technology.
Barden (1997) describes the skills required by the information worker of the future. He refers to librarians as information workers and suggests that information workers have to develop technology skills and network management .They must be customer focused, need to have a sophisticated knowledge of media management, storage, retrieval, and they will be required to be acutely aware of the financial and business implications of their activities. The author also suggests a manifesto for training and development for information workers, which will see them as being major contributors to, and shapers of the 21st century.
Rehman, Majid and Baker (1997) interviewed 60 top and middle-level managers of academic libraries in Malaysia to validate a list of competencies (knowledge and skills) required by entry level academic librarians. They identified sets of foundation and operational competences namely: knowledge of collection, automation, information technology, database design and management. The competences to work with different information systems and resource sharing consortia were perceived to be a need for future years.
Vespry and Kitiyadisai (1992) survey the application of information technology (IT) among academic libraries in Thailand .The survey shows that librarians are generally aware of the role of IT in libraries and keen to automate their library services. It also shows that the speed of IT implementation in academic libraries depend to a large extent on administrator’s support.
Jani, Parekh and Sen (1991) report a survey undertaken to discover the individual perceptions of librarians towards professional development. The objectives were to identify the factors that are instrumental in facilitating or inhibiting professional advancement to identify areas, agencies and strategies suited for additional knowledge and skills input that will lead to professional development. The study reveals that librarians gave more importance to self education and reading for professional development. Reference and information work was the area often cited which required additional knowledge skills.
Singh (1988) reports the results of a survey conducted to study the career advancement of academic library professionals in New Delhi. The study intends to find out the factors leading to the advancement in library profession, to establish possible relations between some characters of professionals and their advancement in career. One of the major findings of the study was that majority of the library professionals avail leave for pursuing B.Lib.sc and M.Lib.sc courses. Professional and academic qualifications, participation in conferences, seminars and workshops were found to be associated with promotion. The suggestions include improving career prospects by developing skills required for the profession and publishing papers in library science.
Data includes details of documentary sources, budget allocation, infrastructure and manpower of all libraries. From the analysis of the qualifications and skills of library professionals it is seen that 83% of professional staff had higher qualifications than the entry level requirement. He states that library professionals must acquire more management skills in addition to computer skills and recommends restructuring the manpower in university libraries in the light of induction of new technologies.
3. Statement of the Research Problem
In view of the subject discussed above, the present study is planned to assess the Information and Communication Technology applications in the Engineering college libraries in Rajasthan and evaluation and assessment of the knowledge and skills of the library professionals working in these colleges. Hence, the present research problem stated as “Evaluation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills among Library Professionals in the Engineering College Libraries of Rajasthan: A Study”.
4. Objectives of the Study
The main aim of the present study is to evaluate the ICT skills among library professionals in the Engineering college libraries in Rajasthan.
The objectives of the present study are as follows
1 To assess the extent of different types of ICT skills possessed by the library professionals;
2 To study the adequacy of ICT infrastructure facilities available in the Engineering college libraries;
3 To identify the constraints in acquiring Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills by library professionals in the Engineering college libraries;
4 To evaluate the professional development activities of Library professionals in the Engineering Colleges;
5 To evaluate the attitude of library professionals towards the application of ICT in Engineering college libraries;
6 To study the problems faced by library professionals in the effective use of ICT applications.
5. Scope of the Study
Due to the advancement in the Information and Communication Technology and its applications, there is a vast development and transformation in the structure and functions of the libraries. In this respect, there is an „organizational change‟ as the printed documents are converted into digital information sources and print based services such as circulation services in the libraries transformed as electronic information delivery service. Hence, along with the change in structure, functions and infrastructure in the libraries, the library professionals must change. In this context, these professionals must develop the ICT skills from time to time, as these skills are changing continuously. For this purpose, there is a need to know about the ICT skills possessed by the library professionals working in all the Engineering College libraries of Rajasthan. Therefore, the present study is aimed to be a useful and important as a research study in the Evaluation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills among Library Professionals in the Engineering College Libraries of Rajasthan.
As discussed earlier, there are 46 Engineering colleges out of 51 have been covered under the study from Jaipur district in Rajasthan state. This study will be limited to libraries of Engineering colleges, well established till year 2010, affiliated to Rajasthan Technical University (RTU), Kota, Approved by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) New Delhi, is an apex body at the centre, which controls all these Engineering colleges.
• The study did not compare the ICT skills among the male and female librarians.
• The study did not attempt to compare the ICT skills of the library professionals by the nature of management.
6.1 List of Selected Colleges
Sr College Name Estab Year Web Address
1 Maharishi Arvind Institute of Engineering & Technology 1999 http://www.maietjaipur.org
2 Arya College of Engineering & Information Technology 2000 http://www.aryacollege.in
3 Jaipur Engineering College 2000 http://www.jeckukas.org.in
4 Jaipur Engineering College & Research Centre 2000 http://www.jecrcfoundation.com
5 Poornima College of Engineering 2000 http://www.poornima.org
6 Rajasthan Institute of Engineering & Technology 2000 http://www.rietjaipur.com
7 Shankara Institute of Technology 2000 http://www.shankaratechnology.org
8 Sri Balaji College of Engineering & Technology 2000 http://www.sbss.in
9 Stani Memorial College of Engineering & Technology 2000 http://www.smcet.in
10 Swami Keshvanand Institute of Technology, Management, & Gramothan, 2000 http://www.skit.ac.in
11 Global Institute of Technology 2002 http://www.gitjaipur.com
12 Kautilya Institute of Technolgy & Engineering 2002 http://www.kautilya.net
13 Rajasthan College of Engineering for Women 2002 http://www.rcew.ac.in
14 Baldev Ram Mirdha Institute Of Technology, (Main Campus) 2003 http://www.bmitjaipur.org
15 Regional College for Education, Research & Technology 2003 http://www.regional-college.com
16 Yagyavalkya Institute of Technology 2003 http://www.yitjpr.com
17 Apex Institute of Engineering & Technology 2004 http://www.apexcollege.in
18 Jagannath Gupta Institute of Engineering & Technology 2004 http://www.jnit.org
19 Arya Institute of Engineering & Technology 2005 http://www.aryainstitutejpr.com
20 Compucom Institute of Technology & Management 2005 http://www.ciitm.org
21 Arya College of Engineering & Research Centre 2007 http://www.acerc.org
22 Baldev Ram Mirdha Institute Of Technology (East Campus) 2007 http://www.bmitjaipur.org
23 JECRC UDML College of Engineering 2007 http://www.jecrcudml.edu.in
24 Poornima Institute of Engineering & Technology 2007 http://www.poornima.org
25 International Institute of Management, Engineering, & Technology 2008 http://www.iimet.org
26 Rajdhani Institute of Technology and Management 2008 http://www.rajdhanijaipur.org
27 Vivekanand Institute of Technology 2008 http://www.vitj.ac.in
28 Vivekanand Institute of Technology (East) 2008 http://www.vitej.ac.in
29 Jaipur Institute of Engineering & Technology 2009 http://www.jietkukas.org.in
30 Jaipur Institute of Engineering & Technology 2009 http://www.jietkukas.org.in
31 Maharishi Arvind College of Engineering & Research Centre 2009 http://www.macerc.org
32 Poornima Group of Institutions – Faculty of Engineering & Faculty of Management 2009 http://www.poornima.org
33 Shree Bhawani Niketan Institute of Technology & Management 2009 http://www.sbnitm.org
34 Anand International College of Engineering 2010 http://www.anandice.ac.in
35 Apex Group of Institutions 2010 http://www.apexjaipur.org
36 Biff & Bright College of Engineering & Technology 2010 http://www.bbcetindia.org
37 Biyani International Institute of Engineering & Technology for Girls 2010 http://www.biiet.org
38 Deepshikha Kala Sansthan Group of Institutions 2010 http://www.depshikhagroup.org
39 Dr. Radhakrishnan Institute of Technology 2010 http://www.dritjaipur.org
40 Global College of Technology 2010 http://www.gctjaipur.com
41 Jaipur Institute of Engineering & Management 2010 http://www.jiemjaipur.org
42 Jaipur Institute of Technology – Group of Institutions 2010 http://www.jitjaipur.com
43 Maharani Girls Engineering College 2010 http://www.mgijaipur.org
44 Mahatma Gandhi Engineering College 2010 http://www.mgecjaipur.com
45 Pinkcity Engineering College & Research Centre 2010 http://www.pecrc.in
46 Sine International Institute of Technology 2010 http://www.siitjaipur.org
The collection of primary data is an important step in every research study. The research scholar would be collected the primary data through questionnaires. To “Evaluation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills among Library Professionals in the Engineering College Libraries of Rajasthan: A Study”.
Data interpretation will be based on statistical technique suggested by the statistician after the collection of primary and secondary data.
8. Significance of The Study
The study will be helpful for the library professionals in the Engineering college libraries and will provide a platform to develop their ICT skills. It will also help in analyzing the thrust areas in LIS profession, in which ICT have had made major impact. It will be helpful for the management to use the financial resources efficiently in the development of libraries in Engineering colleges to fulfill the aim of the parent institutions and it will also provide the guideline to the management . Therefore, the present study is aimed to be a useful and important as a research study in the evaluation of the ICT skills of library professionals in the Engineering colleges of Rajasthan.
9. Month Wise Plan of Research Work
Sr. No Research Work Months
1 Review of Literature 1-20
2 Preparation of Questioners 1-3
3 Posting or Mailing of Questioners 3-4
4 Reminder for Filled Questioners 5-8
5 Data Collect 5-12
6 Library Visit for Data Collection 13-16
7 Compilation of Work 15-21
8 Submission of Research Work 20-24
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