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JU master’s course for digital librarians

Jadavpur University (JU) will start a two-year postgraduate degree course in digital library science this year.

The full-time course — the first in the country — will look to produce professionals who can run digital libraries. Graduates in library science will be eligible to study the course.

The court, one of the two highest policy-making bodies of the university, has approved the proposal to launch the course. The University Grants Commission, too, has given its nod to the course.

“Digital libraries are becoming very popular as they allow the user to access information easily compared with traditional libraries,” said Parthapratim Biswas, a member of the university’s court.

Several educational institutions and some organisations are starting digital libraries despite shortage of manpower to run them.

JU has had a digital library for nearly seven years. The Anandkrishnan committee of the Centre, which had visited the university two years ago to examine its potential for upgrade, had praised the way the digital library was being run. The university had subsequently started a short-term postgraduate diploma course on digital libraries.

“The committee had advised us to ensure that students benefit from our proficiency in digital library management,” said a university official.

“One needs specialised knowledge to oversee digital libraries. The course will focus exclusively on topics related to digitised libraries,” added the official.

The undergraduate and postgraduate courses on library science do not deal with digital library management.

Compared with traditional libraries, digital libraries require little space. The cost of maintaining a digital library is also lower. However, stable information technology infrastructure and trained manpower are a must for digital libraries.

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