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Why are Working Library Professionals not treated on par with Teaching Library Professionals!

September 20, 2016

Apurba Jyoti Majumder has posted a message on Facebook whose screen shot is given below

Working Library Professionals have always sensed an invisible gulf dividing them from Teaching Library Professionals!

 There are various reasons for this

  1. ‘Most’ Teaching Professionals want to retain their exclusive domain of teaching, doing major and minor research projects and Guideship as they perceive
    • that they will loose exclusivity and status that goes with it!
    • that they do not want to share the various perks of being on interview boards etc.
    • that profession will be diluted if Working Professionals are also given this right!
  2. ‘Few’ Working Professionals also do not want this additional burden of teaching, doing projects and Guideship as they are already burdened with extra work due to lack of staff!
  3. Let’s be honest – few don’t care either ways! They just want to work as automatons – do regular drudgery and get salary at end of the month.
  4. UGC has demarcated between Working and Teaching Professionals! As per UGC rules only the Teaching Professionals have the privilege of teaching, doing major and minor research projects and Guideship. The Working Professionals are termed “Non-Teaching Staff”!

This attitude and rules are hampering Working Library Professionals – ‘some’ of who are very proactive, dynamic and interested in teaching, doing major and minor research projects as well as Guideship!

Research Projects are undertaken to increase the knowledge corpus. So why cant any ‘interested’ individual be it in Teaching or Working – demonstrate his/her research abilities with publishing research papers in the subject/topic and submit for minor and major projects?

The Teaching Professionals are already burdened with teaching, setting papers, correcting and grading them!

And if one notices, the number of Teaching and Working Professionals has drastically come down as government is not recruiting. So why cant the UGC change their rules as per the current scenario? And permit Working Professionals to teach, do projects and Guideship?

Many students are now qualifying for the PhD Entrance or NET which is a preferred qualification for getting admission into PhD and few Working Professionals who need to climb up the ladder are desirous of getting a doctorate; But all are kept in waiting as there are limited number of Guides for PhD in Universities.

Again, please note – there are few universities who are giving Guideship to working librarians, So why not the others?

Surprisingly ‘few’ Universities in India have given the Designation and UGC Pay scale to Working Professionals similar to Teaching Professionals! Working Professionals even have to fill in their CAS with API Score but they cannot teach, do projects or Guide PhD scholars!

Working Professionals are designated as Teaching Professionals but not with all perks!

  • Assistant Librarians are designated as Assistant Professors (LIS)
  • Deputy Librarians as Associate Professors (LIS)
  • Librarians as Professors (LIS)

It is to be noted here that Librarians also need NET as it is a preferred qualification for Working Professionals!

A question to ponder: Why is there no standardization throughout the country with regards to Status – Salary and Designation of the library professional?

We demand Standardisation in

  1. Not getting clubbed under Non-Vacation Staff/Administrative Staff
  2. Designation as Asst. Prof./Associate Prof./Prof. (LIS)
  3. Salary as per UGC rules accorded to Teaching Professionals
  4. Teaching
  5. Minor and Major Research Projects
  6. Guideship

Why is it that even after ‘few’ working library professionals getting the Salary and Designation still are not eligible to teach, apply for minor and major research projects and PhD Guideship?

It is to be observed here that ‘Few Oversmart Managements’  – who do not run courses in LIS have started calling their Libraries as Departments of LIS and designating their librarians as Assistant Professors and procured Projects! Is this the right way to go around UGC rules then?

Another question to ponder: Every LIS person irrespective of choice of teaching or working has to undergo the same course – Library and Information Science Course.  Then why this differentiation in treatment? All have learnt the same subjects and well versed in Research Methodology. Then why is only Teaching eligible and not Working Professionals?

Rules are more relaxed for entry level – Asst. Prof (LIS) and Asst. Librarian who need to only clear NET to be eligible as it is not mandatory to have a PhD for teaching and working at the entry level but a preferred qualification. Although to become a Professor/Librarian – a PhD is mandatory as per rules!

All Working Professionals and Teaching Professionals work output now-a-days is very similar as listed below except Working Professionals are supposed to have Library/Staff/Patron/Collection Management Skills and Hands on Knowledge of various Softwares used in Library Management; Teaching Professionals need to do teaching, setting papers, correcting and grading them!

  • ‘Few’ Teaching Professionals are managing Library Incharges
  • ‘Few’ Librarians are also Teaching/setting papers/correcting few papers due to lack of staff in various regular and distance education LIS courses
  • ‘Few’ Working Professionals are already teaching and conducting classes and sessions in their libraries on User Orientation Programs, Literature Review etc
  • ‘Most’ Working Professionals and ‘Most’ Teaching Professionals are conducting Local/State/National/International conferences
  • Working and Teaching Professionals attending National/International Conferences and presenting papers
  • Working and Teaching Professionals are writing books, articles in journals and editing books
  • Working Professionals are members of Board of Studies at various Universities
  • Working and Teaching Professionals are on various interview boards
  • ‘Few’ Working Professionals are doing projects under guise of Asst. Prof. (LIS) as designated by their Managements

So why cant everything be standardised and formalised so that there need not be a ‘need’ for libraries being designated as Department of LIS especially when it is not running a LIS course!

Yet another question to ponder: As there is NET qualifying exam for lecturership, why cant there be a qualifying exam for Guideship?

And come to think of it – a qualifying exam for Guideship is Need of the Hour – With quality of research going down, rampant plagiarism, no proper style sheet being followed. If the guide himself/herself is well versed with research methodology then the quality of research output automatically goes up!

Instead of encouraging Working Professionals, the UGC is hampering them with their rules!

 

So why this sticking by rule book – at the cost of development of the Professional in particular and Nation in general?

Last question to ponder: Is granting permission to Working Professionals to do teaching, do projects and Guideship harming the interests of any group or impacting the Nation negatively?

Lets all post on various social media – Twitter, Facebook etc on one day – the whole day

Kindly include @ RashtrapatiBhvn @ PMOIndia @ NarendraModi @ PrakashJavadekar  @IndiaLibraries and various handles of your respective universities while you post on Twitter.

Lets Trend every day at various times and the whole day every year in August (Librarians Day) and in November (Library Week) till we are heard! Please post and repost!

Using various hastags (#) listed below to bring attention to our plight!

  • I support #LibrariansForTeachingProjectsGuideship
  • Working Library and Information Science (LIS) Professionals #RightToTeachDoProjectsGuideScholars
  • #IndiaLibraries
  • #DemandStatusWorkingLISProfessionalsEqualToTeachingProfessionals
  • #LibrariansDemandEqualStatusofTeachingStaff

Requesting all those who are reading this post – email us at IndiaLibraries@gmail.com to submit letters or government orders from various states or university letters of various universities in India which give an exemption to Working Librarians to do the following, so that we can help all others who need these letters to base their requests!

  • Designation
  • Projects
  • Guideship

 

Kindly post your feedback at IndiaLibraries@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. I ponder, a supreme court librarian never demands equal status as given to a supreme court judge whereas both have equal qualification (Law graduate) as the article strongly asserts. Similar claims have never been made by librarians in RBI demanding status as bankers, librarians india parliament as secretary and so on.

    Teaching and practice involves different job profiles.
    It seems academic librarians due to their close proximity with teaching staff always demand such status whereas they have parity in terms of salary.

    Like

    • Unable to deduce if you are supporting or against Working Library Professionals demanding status of Teaching Library Professionals!

      Like

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