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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oline Education


DU library system: In line with online


OVER the last few years Delhi University has been making efforts in building a vast pool of online educational resources under the Delhi University Library System (DULS). In the coming years too, the university is planning to improve its online facilities by the way of introducing library tutorials for students and teachers and making electronic version of library books available to its students. 


  Elaborating on the university's plans, S Majumdar, university librarian and head DULS, said, "DULS had started a pilot project to digitise 3000 out of copyright books in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). Those books are already available on the CDAC's website now. Recognising this effort government has sanctioned us a huge grant to digitise 1000 more out of copyright books available in the central library. These books will be available on the library's website" 


   Not only this, the university will also create a tutorial for beginners that will help students in getting basic information on the internet, various topics and also ways to evaluate the utility of the information available online. "Besides, students will be able to play an Info Game that will help them find out their internet knowledge. It will be a real learning experience for various kind of information sources, particularly the online information sources. It will help students know how to do research faster and better. The game has been developed on the lines of an info game available on Austin Community College's website. For trial basis the game of Austin Community College (ACC) is up and running on the university's website with prior permission of ACC," Majumdar added. 


   The learning tool for teachers, which the university is planning to launch in coming years, will be slightly advanced than the one for beginners. "It will enable teachers to search for various topics efficiently. Also it will help them preserve their online resources for posterity. There will be a facility of folders available to them where they can dump their searched matter," he said. 


   At the time when vast pool of information is available online, DULS has been making efforts to collate all this data and make it available to students and teachers. "The university has spent 2.2 crores on subscription of electronic resources. At present DULS' has access to 30 databases of the world under which students can access around 3000 journals. At present the DULS has total of 25,000 online resources in the form of monographs, conference, proceedings and audio-visual material," he added. 


   This online material is available under subscribed resources and resources available under public domain. "It is unfortunate that our students are still unaware of the resources they can avail of. It is the only university in India to have such a large number of online resources that can compete with any international university. For the resources available in the public domain they can have access from any part of the world. Students can avail of subscribed e-recourses through the university's computer network. All the colleges under the university have been connected to this network," Majumdar said further. "Along with the journals we have collated the vast data available on the internet on various subjects and put them in a capsule form so that students do not need to make much effort to find relevant material," he added. 


   The online data available on the library's website and on the internet is so much that there is a need to educate users about its usage. For this, 


   DULS has been running information literacy and competency programme in various colleges for postgraduate students, researchers and college professors. "We have already conducted 10 programmes of such kind and in the coming 


  year we plan to conduct more. The programme makes participants efficient in online search on the internet in general and on university's website in particular," Majumdar said. Since it was difficult to conduct a programme for undergraduate students due to a large number, the current programme has taken care to inform teachers about it who can guide their students.




Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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