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Presidential Address of One Day State Level Workshop on Role of College Librarians' of Assam in Changing Environment Jointly Organized by ACLA and S.B. Deorah College on July 15, 2018

Prof Narendra Lahkar
July 15, 2018
Professional Colleagues, the College Librarians of Assam Colleges, esteemed academicians and others present,

It is a joyous moment for us to celebrate. Our very pertinent long standing demands are fulfilled. We are indebted to the authorities for understanding our genuine demands and for their acceptance. It is the recognition we have received in the society because our just demands are agreed and accepted. We express our acknowledgement to the Department of Education, Govt of Assam and the concerned individuals who have extended their cooperation in this regards. The efforts of our General Secretary, Dr Prasanta Kumar Deka and his dedication need to be mentioned here. It is Dr Deka and his young professional colleagues who were regularly monitoring the movements till their successful end.

I am just remembering the ACLA conference at Jorhat in 1978, when most of you present here were not born. I had just joined as a College Librarian in the Rangia College. Even the provision of extending UGC Pay structure were not accepted at that time to the college librarians and the ACLA had to fight tooth and nail for convincing the Govt. I have seen, how they are trying to convince the concerned authorities for accepting their genuine demands. Still I remember, how much efforts have been given by Sri Birendra Kumar Srama, the then General Secretary of ACLA along with his team including Late Mahendra Nath Sarma, Sri Dilip Kumar Sarma, and many others (I am sorry for my inability to remember the other names). With the able guidance of Late Ajit Kumar Sarma, the then president of ACLA and Prof Alaka Burahogohain, the President of ACLA next to late Sarma, ACLA was successful and the college librarians of Assam were also taken under the UGC Pay structure in a later date and we are enjoying the privilege as of now.

After this very significant development for the college librarians of Assam long back, this time one more development takes place: College Librarians are now the ex officio member of the Governing Body of respective colleges. Not only one, at the same time, the college librarians of Assam are recognized as the non vacational academic staff; so also the party to all decisions for the construction and development of the college library. Really, these decisions are the historic ones not only for the college librarians but for the Library and Information Science profession. These are other feathers added to the profession in the societal recognition both academic and administrative. While congratulating us for this achievement, one LIS expert of international repute, Prof N Laxman Rao wrote in his massage "the ACLA and also the College Librarians of Assam deserve congratulations and other states of the country should follow their working plan for achieving such a height".

The two sides of a coin: recognition and responsibility. We have got recognition of our work, now we are to shoulder our responsibilities in proper perspectives. To make aware and prepare ourselves in the new environment, the Executive Body, ACLA feels for orienting our professional colleagues by way of an workshop and the present workshop is the result of the decision taken in the EC meeting of ACLA recently. We are very much thankful to the authorities of the SB Deorah College, especially the Principal Dr Dharmendra Nath and the Librarian Dr Dhrubajit Das for joining us in jointly organizing this professional event and accepting our request by Dr Nath for delivering the Keynote speech on the occasion. I am thankful to Prof P J Das also for his consent to address the gathering on the new role of the college librarians.

While discussing on the responsibilities to be shouldered by the college librarians in the new environment, we can go on discussing the issue with no limit. We are now to become more responsible and responsive; more proactive and dedicated professionals. I do not mean that we were not so earlier, but in view of the new recognition bestowed on us, we need to be more careful in dealing with the situation. We may consider at individual level, on the role model who can suggest, guide and lead us towards attaining our objectives in positive way. A strong, dedication towards professionalism, unbiased attitude to any situation even if it is more complex, developing knowledge by inculcating reading attitude, a seasoned and orderly behaviour will bring to us laurels as a LIS professional. I am confident, our team of college librarians will able to meet the present situation with more vigour and sincerity. Long live ACLA.

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