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What can I do?

May 31, 2016

Every now and then a Library professional raises his/her voice …only to be quietened by time and in absence of support!

Yes we have lots of Armchair activists…but no ‘REAL’ activist to make the world sit up and notice our presence. Yes, right now even we (IndiaLibraries) are  armchair activists….but with a moto…to arm the librarians in India with information …to ignite their curiosity and question the state they are in and by doing so unifying them. All associations have a President or Head but in IndiaLibraries – all its members and followers are important and there is no Head/President for it. So there is no election and hence no POWERPLAY!

USUAL SCENARIO: Voices are raised….messages are forwarded by the dozed on whatsapp in a second….tweeted and retweeted….likes are churned out on Facebook….fingers are pointed…..veiled references are made…..protests are raised…..and after that follows …..huge deafening silence!

Library professionals go back to – doing what they usually do – work in libraries and accept things the way they are!

So where will all this end? With our profession becoming obsolete with IT professionals and MBAs snatching our jobs! With Libraries being closed down and replaced with Internet/Google/iPads.


What we can do is….

Fight for status of Library Professional

  • Uniform Salary Structures and Designations depending upon qualifications and experience
  • Show importance of Library Professionals – by proving that  a library is the foundation for all existing professions. That it is a noble profession like teaching and practicing medicine! Library is the backbone of every academic institution. Libraries of School, College, University as well as Public Libraries, Special Libraries, and Research libraries all require librarians to maintain their collections. A librarian is the only person who can help the researcher or person requiring information sift grain from the chaff. Every institution of name needs a person to organise the institutional repository and library. One needs to work out in the gym to build the body and work out/read in a library to build their brains!


It is right of every library professional to demand to know from the various library associations they are member of as to

  • What was the library association contribution to betterment  of the profession? If there was a single association or two associations the members would have a choice from them. But we have so many library associations in India at the local, state and national level that it is imposition and expensive on library professionals. One professional  jokingly commented that she needs to apply a loan should she want to register on all LIS associations from all corners of  India. As registering for only one national association and one local/state association does not suffice. Nobody questions and asks for agenda of the team standing for elections in any library association nor will anyone demand to know the contributions of the outgoing team!  There are “choosen few” library professionals who are identified by few “other” professionals and an eyewash ballot is conducted; after which the rest of “unchoosen” ones are sent letters that their application reached late or there was some lacuna in their application and the “choosen” are elected unanimously. There is general acceptance that nothing will change and that “most” association at all levels conduct elections in the same way  and this is common knowledge amongst “all” LIS professionals. Another interesting aspect is that there is no curiosity nor any question asked as to why almost all associations choose similar themes for Seminars/Conferences/Workshops and call the same ‘popular’ resource persons who in-turn never disappoints the participants by ensuring that the same presentation (ppt) that was used 5 years back is repeated sometimes without even changing the date it was created! The participants out of respect for the professional do not protest but will be sure to discuss the same during tea/lunch time in muted voices least someone carry their comments and invite wrath of the resource person on them. And the resource person is in utopia of his/her making thinking he/she gave a wonderful presentation when in reality almost 50% of participants had already heard the same resource persons lecture on the same topic at various venues all over India.

There are many questions that the LIS professional wants to ask….

  • Why all Assistant Librarians are not called Asst Professor (LIS) in all states?
  • Why library professionals cannot apply for Minor and Major projects under UGC? Only LIS faculty are eligible to apply!
  • Why library professionals cannot take guideship for PhD ? Why only faculty are eligible to guide?
  • Why Librarians Day (celebrated 9-12 August every year) is not a approved duty leave for LIS professionals all over the country?


What we need to do is …..

  1. UNIFY
  2. Accept that LIS working professionals in libraries are equal to LIS teaching professionals.
  3. Raise voice and garner support
  4. Demand for all Associations to be joined under a single umbrella.
  5. Do not join below a ‘certain’ salary scale/designation. Boycott all those job interviews which downgraded the salary scale and designation by going to the interview but not attending it!
  6. Demand that there will be no Incharge Librarians
  7. Petition the authorities on local, state and national level


We are hoping to draw attention to the plight of the library professionals in India and not point fingers at any person/organization/association via our blog posting! IndiaLibraries is also trying to insinuate and not take names directly as is the “current culture” adopted by all LIS professionals and not take names by leaving the guessing/knowing to the readers!

We are hoping that this blog post will generate lots of discussion and lead to the change we seek!

This blog post was written after  Anil Singhji

had posted an open letter

Do not make any changes to the existing article.

Copyright: IndiaLibraries

All Rights Reserved.

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