I am very glad to share with you that I have been awarded the Prestigious Commonwealth Professional Fellowship Award by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, United Kingdom, for the year 2013. The duration of the fellowship is for 3 months from 15th January to 15th April, 2013.
I had been nominated for this award by University of East London(UEL), Library and Learning Services, London, UK. I will be working on the theme ‘Advances in Digital Library technologies, Web 2.0, and Library Quality Enhancement Techniques’ and ‘Global Partnership for Library Development: Empowering Libraries for Lifelong Learning Skills’ under the valuable guidance of Ms. Gurdish Sandhu, Associate Director, Library and Learning Services, University of East London, Dockland Campus, United Kingdom.
The Library is a social and emotionally engaging resource centre for learning and libraries have a key role to play in underpinning learning in its broadest sense. The information they supply promotes a wider understanding of the world, offers individuals of all ages the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills and gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy a rich and varied cultural life. At their best they are a focal point for the local community, improving self-confidence and stimulating learning at all levels.
The information literacy/digital literacy programmes have been considered so essential in the developing countries as a part of their general education, as a part of an individual’s lifelong learning process, on the beneficial use of services offered resulting from the adoption of information technology in libraries or in their education.
Due to social and technological developments, traditional teaching methods have been changing and resulting in the creation of e‐learning/virtual learning environment. These changes require new challenging roles and skills not only for students, teachers, researchers, but also for library professionals. Undoubtedly participating in the fellowship programme will help me to enhance my skills and play a leading role in exploring, implementing and supporting application of information technology in library science.
UK libraries have been at the forefront in using enhancement techniques such as Benchmarking, LibQUAL+ survey instrument for improving library service quality. The fellowship programme will help me to study such best practices in the library and will help me to initiate and promote similar best practices in India. It will strengthen and improve the quality of our services and further it will open an institutional dialog, exchange of manpower between UK and India.
The programme will offer to learn new approaches to ICT literacy like use of digital technologies, communication/ networking tools, and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy. The programme will also help for bridging the information gaps through interaction and dialogue, building new alliances, inter-personal networks, and cross-sectoral links between different Commonwealth Professionals.
It will give me confidence in my endeavour to improve the quality of professional services, leadership and status of library professionals in India. It will enrich my experience to become a competent and capable NextGen librarian.