Librarians in Asia should lead the Information revolution

I have just three points to make

Librarians are the real “custodians” of the Information Age; it is an irony that IT Professionals have “usurped” the title; and, Library professionals are NOT complaining. Clearly the decades from 60’s to 80’s were the “carrier” era, dominated by hardware companies IBM, DEC and Intel; by 90’s “content” started to dominate and the companies in the limelight were Microsoft, Oracle and SAP; by 2000 the “content” has taken the center-stage with Yahoo and Google dominating. “Content is the king” and the Information professionals are the king makers!

Second, the cost of hardware has come down; Librarians were never given adequate resources to buy hardware till 2000; also, the content creation software, hosting space and connectivity costs have plummeted; it is time Library professionals create “great content” that users will want; “go build them” is my advice

Lastly, while in USA and Europe we find IT professionals and Library professionals TOGETHER creating local digital libraries (as witnessed in DL Conferences in Americas and Europe) it is still NOT happening ENOUGH in Asia; with participants from India, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, it is time this anomaly is corrected

(Valedictory address on June 3, 2005 in the UNESCO Training Program in Information Management held at IIIT-B)

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