Understanding The Role And Scope Of Librarians  - Eastern Mirror
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Understanding the role and scope of librarians 

By Moakala T Aier Updated: May 07, 2024 11:30 pm
Mantok Konyak

DIMAPUR — Libraries in educational institutions offer much more than just borrowing books for assignments and exams; they provide access to e-books, e-newspapers, journals, and a wealth of other resources.

Within this information landscape, librarians play a crucial role in facilitating a smooth and enriching experience for students.

Mantok Konyak, a librarian at Sao Chang College with a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLISc), is passionate about this often-unexplored field in Nagaland and the vital role libraries play in connecting people with valuable resources.

In an interview with Eastern Mirror, the 30-year-old sheds light on the significance of both the subject and the profession.

What are the eligibility criteria for pursuing a course in Library and Information Science?

Library and information science is a versatile field open to students from diverse academic backgrounds. The eligibility criteria for Library and Information Science (LIS) courses can vary depending on the institution and the level of the programme (undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral).

For a diploma course, students can pursue after 10+2 while for a BLibSc course, students can take the course after completing their graduation in any discipline.

And for an MILibSc course, candidates need to have completed their Bachelor in Library Science (BLibSc) in order to get admission.

What steps can individuals follow to pursue a career as a librarian?

Enroll in the course: First they have to enroll in the course, as librarianship is an emerging professional course.

I would suggest students begin their journey with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as information science or LIS.

This lays the groundwork for further specialised studies and hands-on experience.

Enhance skills and expertise: Once formal education is complete, look for opportunities to develop practical skills. Search for internships at renowned libraries that can aid professional development and help acquire skills.

Apply for jobs: Then, they have to appear for exams for the posts available for Library Science students. While finding a suitable job also consider accepting part-time or contractual positions that can start a professional journey.

Students of Sao Chang College broswe through books at the college library 1

What are the different types of librarians and their roles?

This is a very complex question as the post of librarianship differs from organisation to organisation. However, we will discuss college and university librarians.

Librarian itself is the top post in the field. There are assistant librarians who are assigned different roles/posts such as acquisition, technical, periodicals, reference, etc.

These sections are under the charge of the assistant librarians.

Can you provide an overview of what the course entails?

LIS courses typically cover a wide range of topics including cataloguing and classification, information organisation and retrieval, reference services, library management, information and communication technologies (ICT), system analysis and design, library software, and research methods.

Students also learn about the history of libraries, ethical considerations in information management, and emerging trends in the field.

These courses provide a comprehensive understanding of how information is organised, accessed, and utilised in various settings, preparing students for careers in libraries, archives, museums, and other information related professions.

Students of GMS Chendang visits Sao Chang College library as part of their study tour

Could you recommend some institutes in India?

Most universities offer these courses. In the Northeast, there are North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Guwahati University, Mizoram University, Manipur University, ICFAI, etc.

Some popular universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University (DU) can also be considered.

Are there any internship programmes available in this field to gain hands-on experience?

Yes, some universities provide internship programmes for their newly graduated students. NITs, National Library, and other organisations also offer internship programmes in their respective institutes with good stipend.

What are the career prospects and potential job opportunities in both the private and government sector?

Firstly, the demand for LIS professionals is expected to grow as the volume of information and the need for effective information management continue to rise across various sectors.

Secondly, LIS professionals can find employment in a wide range of settings, including public libraries, academic institutions, government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organisations.

Thirdly, with the growth of digital technologies, new LIS specialisations, such as data librarians, digital archivists, and user experience designers, are emerging to cater to evolving information needs.

Posts for librarian, assistant librarian, deputy librarian and library assistant for government colleges and for departments that maintain their respective libraries like Art and Culture are advertised by the NPSC, CESE and CTSE, from time to time.

Central schools like Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) also advertise posts for librarians almost every year.

Universities and courts also advertise posts for various job positions to man their libraries.


What are the practical tasks and duties that one can expect to perform as a librarian in their day-to-day work?

Typical duties of a librarian in day to day work may include classification and cataloguing, keeping track of all library materials, reference services, and guiding patrons in their information seeking endeavours.

There can be other duties like developing and implementing library programmes, ordering books, journals and other reading resources, managing library budgets, etc.

How has the role of librarians evolved with the advent of digital resources and the internet?

With the evolutionary changes from print to digital, librarians are also adapting. Old books and rare books are digitised and stored in a platform where the users can access the same (or only the members can access), which is called digital preservation.

Some libraries have their own website, where librarians have to compile and store many e-contents. In order to meet the needs of the users, these contents must be updated regularly.

Moreover, some content creators put their e-learning contents free of cost, which are termed as Open Educational Resources (OERs).

These contents can also be compiled by the librarian on their website in order to access them easily. In fact, the advent of digital resources and the internet help the librarians to work more efficiently.

Librarians, though not physically present to meet the users, can send/refer to various useful websites (Reference Librarian), e-books, etc. at the request of the users.

What advice would you give to students interested in pursuing a career as a librarian?

If you are interested in becoming a librarian, my advice would be to start gaining experience in libraries by visiting your college library, seeking advice from your college librarian or even through volunteer work during free periods at your college library.

Additionally, pursue a course in LIS to gain the necessary knowledge and skills. It is also important to stay updated to new trends in the subject.


Success is 

The feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment that comes from achieving my goals.

Favourite area in the library

My table – because I can concentrate, feel more comfortable, productive and immerse myself. 

Most random thing in your bag

Probably my laptop.

By Moakala T Aier Updated: May 07, 2024 11:30:40 pm
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