Why we do not have a ‘Culture of Documentation’ in India ?

A couple of observations.
We do not have a culture of documentation in India. Although we are librarians and our primary responsibility is to document – we do not! We limit ourselves to documenting work related material only at work place. We do not take the social responsibility and venture to document – social topics relevant to libraries.
If we want to access material or source it, often we are unable to. When we check any journals, academic websites, government websites – we are unable to get articles specific to India, statistics and status of any given topic.
For example: When I want to check on “Disasters in Libraries in India” came across many articles on Disaster in Libraries from Indian authors – but these authors have given examples or cited disasters from other countries (mostly USA – probably because they document and have posted information online for all to access easily). I have come across only 4 articles and 1 thesis on Shodganga that is related to Disasters in Libraries in India with examples of disasters from India..
I had written one article “Disaster Management in University Libraries in India: A Case Study of Osmania University Main Library from Telangana State” for IASLIC Conference held at Gujarat in 2015. Another important source of information is newspapers. I could only check articles from newspapers that were posted online. But I could not access many other articles that were not posted online as I did not have any known connections (librarians) at media libraries. I did request a couple of media librarians after Googling their email id and left messages to them on LinkedIn and Facebook – there was no response. It is not a blame game here. I am only highlighting that there was no response. There may be myriad reasons for their non response like their emails may have changed or they may have been busy at their workplace and could not respond. But an email stating the same would have been highly appreciated. There is one recent group on Facebook on Disasters in Libraries https://www.facebook.com/groups/DisastersINLibraries
Another example: There are so many seminars/conferences/workshops being conducted all over India. No LIS Association/LIS Department is documenting. UGC only may document those seminars/conferences/workshops they fund. But this information is not displayed anywhere on the website. What about the rest? There is practically no authentic exhaustive repository or website/blog listing out all the proceedings published in seminars/conferences conducted in India. There is one good initiative is Indian Conference-Abstracting Database (ICon-AD) but even that does not have exhaustive listing.
Yet another example: If articles in newspapers like recent ones written by Mr K Sudhakar Goud and J Deepthi Nandan Reddy are not properly archived for posterity, they would be lost to time and information overload.
There should be some kind of website, blog, online newsletter to archive all articles related to libraries in Telangana. Someone should take it up…maybe ILA, IASLIC on national level…and TSLA and ALSD on State level! I cant as my interests lie elsewhere like Social Media, Scholarly Communication, Plagiarism, Open Access etc. But I am always open to participating and helping with my limited skills and capacity.
Dr Achala Munigal

One Response to “Why we do not have a ‘Culture of Documentation’ in India ?”

  1. Madhava Rao Says:

    Required support from DRTC to archive the conference / seminar / workshop reports institutional wise in Librarians Digital Library. I suggest they should provide access to create collections and upload proceedings / papers. and train to at least to one person per an institution in India.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: