Cambridge University Press forms new Library Advisory Board in India

New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, the leading academic publisher and department of the University of Cambridge, has set up a new Library Advisory Board for South Asia.
The South Asia Library Advisory Board (SALAB) includes academic librarian representatives from across India and aims to gather insights into needs and challenges faced by academic libraries. The Library Advisory Board will also help the Press understand researcher needs and the changing role of librarians, as well as providing a vital source of feedback on new platforms, products and initiatives.
The first face-to-face meeting of the SALAB and staff from the Press was held in October in Delhi and offered an opportunity for a valuable and open dialogue. Some of the important issues that were addressed by the panel include the role played by libraries in enhancing research output and thereby the institutional ranking under the National Institutional Ranking Framework, emergence of open access resources and institutional repositories, the latest trends and challenges faced by librarians and the role of social media in libraries.
Stressing the importance of setting up a South Asia Library Advisory Board in India, Mr Ratnesh Jha, Managing Director, Cambridge University Press, South Asia said: ‘The academic world is experiencing a major change in technology and research methodology and the role of librarians in India is also transforming to keep up with this digital change. It is important to keep a close watch on how the traditional library roles are undergoing change in India. The Library Advisory Board will help us provide an ongoing, in-depth dialogue with key librarians in South Asia and help shape our strategy in line with changes in the industry.’
Mr Ajay Singh, Business Head, Academic, Cambridge University Press, South Asia said: ‘While the first global Library Advisory Board was set up in 2004, it is time that this practice is brought to India to create a great learning experience. In today’s fast-paced scenario, it becomes critical to keep academia engaged and at the same time collect feedback on a regular basis around trends in higher education. For any institution, its library plays a pivotal role in disseminating information and hence the role of a librarian becomes even more important.’
With 822 universities, India has the world’s largest higher education system and ranks 3rd in terms of student enrolment in higher education. In recent years, India’s education sector has experienced significant change, such as growth in foreign universities, emergence of e-learning platforms and changing course patterns.