Monday, May 30, 2011

New edition of Who’s Who in Library and Information Science in Pakistan arrives

Jumbo Editorial Team

The fourth edition of Who’s Who in Library and Information Science in Pakistan has been published recently by the Karachi-based Library Promotion Bureau, who had brought out its earlier editions in 1969, 1987 and 2004.

The book has been compiled by Dr Ghaniul Akram Sabzwari, the founder of Library Promotion Bureau, and one of the towering figures in the field of Library and Information Science in Pakistan with Abdul Samad Ansari, another veteran in the profession, being a co-compiler.

The fourth edition of Who’s Who in Library and Information Science in Pakistan has been made available in both paperback as well as hardbound editions, priced Rs 300 and Rs 350 respectively.

The book is not only available from the Head Office of Library Promotion Bureau, housed in Block 9 of Federal-B-Area in Karachi but it can also be acquired from the sales office of the bureau located in Texas, USA, and Ontario, Canada, with the international prices being US$15 for paperback and US$20 for hardbound.

It goes to the credit of the compilers to have acquired the brief profiles of as many as 345 individuals belonging to the profession Library and Information Science.

“After great strenuous efforts we have been able to acquire bio-data of 345 persons. The sad part of the story is that our senior librarians and LIS faculty members were quite indifferent to our constant reminders and requests. We picked up bio-data of 702 professionals, who did not respond, from our previous second and third editions,” the compilers wrote in the introduction to the book.

They have acknowledged the support of Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, Dr Rais Ahmed Samdani, Prof M Wasil Usmani, Prof Ramooz Khan, Prof Dr Rubina Butt, Prof Frazana Shafiq, Munir-ul-Haq Shahid, Amna Khatoon and Naheed Pervez, expressing their gratitude for being a helping hand in the project.

Who’s Who in Library and Information Science in Pakistan is an invaluable contribution to the profession and it’s a kind of reference book that should be a part of every library in the country.

Javed Jabbar’s new book helps rediscover Pakistan

Jumbo Editorial Team

Javed Jabbar’s popular book titled ‘Pakistan-Unique Origins: Unique Destiny?’ has been hailed as a masterpiece on the subject. It has been published by the National Book Foundation.

The former Senator and an ex-Federal Minister had more than a dozen books to his credit before he spared time to come up with his first full length book which was launched at the National Library Auditorium in Islamabad recently.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, who presided over the function, reckoned that a steady and unwavering commitment to a representative, free and fair political process alone guarantees accountability, transparency and stability in Pakistan.

“In my own opinion the most significant dimension of the book is its strong emphasis on the need to sustain and strengthen a civil, elected, democratic system in Pakistan without interruption and diversion,” he asserted.

“The book is of immediate relevance to all Pakistanis living in the country and abroad and it makes us realize afresh how precious and dear is this beloved country of ours. It provides information to Pakistanis about the extraordinary factors which shaped the nation’s birth and the difficult conditions through which it has survived and grown over the past six decades. The most vital audience for this book is the young generation of Pakistan,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

“This book will help dispel doubts and despair. It will generate a new energy and self-confidence amongst citizens in general and youth in particular,” he hoped.

“This book underlines the urgent need for collective action, for a spirit of shared values and for meaningful co-operation,” the Prime Minister thought.

Javed Jabbar, in his address, expressed surprise at the punctuality of guests in his book launch since he had cited lack of respect for time as one of Pakistan’s major national weaknesses.

In his introductory remarks, Mazharul Islam, a noted writer and Managing Director, National Book Foundation, spoke of the importance of book culture and urged the Prime Minister to take steps for the promotion of reading culture.

Zubeida Mustafa’s thought-provoking Tyranny of Language in Education launched

Jumbo Editorial Team

There was a sizeable gathering at the backyard of the Karachi Press Club on the evening of May 28 when quite a few eminent personalities of the metropolis brainstormed over the critical issue of language to be used in education.

The occasion was a seminar on ‘The Language in Education: What it should be’ which was followed by the launch of ‘Tyranny of Language in Education: The Problem and its Solution’ a book authored by Zubeida Mustafa.

The book, published by Ushba Publishing International, is an in-depth and well-researched analysis of problems encountered in the promotion of education in the country, with specific reference to language.

In the book Zubeida Mustafa has made an attempt to look at the issue from a young child’s perspective. She has come up with suggestions based on biological, social, historical, political and, above all, pragmatic imperatives that could give a boost to education in Pakistan. She sheds light on the roles to be assigned to the mother tongue, the national language and English, the international language of the day.

While all the worthy speakers came up with valid points when sharing their thoughts at the stage but the ceremony came alive only when the floor was opened for questions, allowing participants to express their views on the subject albeit briefly.

The list of speakers included Dr Aquila Ismail, a Professor of the NED University of Engineering & Technology, Dr Jaffar Ahmed, Director of Karachi University’s Pakistan Study Centre, Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, a bureaucrat, Kishwar Hameed, an educationist, Ghazi Salahuddin, a journalist, and Shahbano Alvi, Managing Director, Ushba Publishing.

Zubeida Mustafa is a Karachi-based journalist, having worked with DAWN, one of the leading English dailies of the country, as Assistant Editor from 1975 till her retirement in 2009. She wrote editorials and articles on the social sector after extensive research on education, health, women, children and population. Earlier she had been associated with the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs as a Research Officer from 1962 to 1969.

“Language is closely linked with a person’s socialisation. It is something that develops in a community. The culture, political thought and sociological dimension of people living in a group have a direct bearing on the language they speak,” she observed

“That is why language is never regarded as something neutral and the medium of instruction used in school has far-reaching implications for the people. It can facilitate their social, cultural and intellectual development or it can hurt their capacity to learn. Unfortunately, factors other than these obvious ones have determined the language to be used to teach a young child in Pakistan,” Zubeida Mustafa added.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Punjab University Book Fair attracts large turnout

Jumbo Editorial Team

Thousands of people attended the Punjab University Book Fair 2011 held recently at their new campus in Lahore with quite a few dignitaries gracing the occasion on the third and final day.

Noted politicians Jahangir Badr, Tanvir Ashraf Kaira and Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, alongwith the famous poet Amjad Islam Amjad and columnist Dr Ajmal Niazi visited the Book Fair. Kaukab Nadeem Warraich, Syed Noor and Raja Munawar were also prominent among those in attendance during the three-day event.

A large number of research scholars, faculty members and students from the various educational institutions visited the Book Fair and availed the chance of purchasing books of their interest at a discounted price. As many as 15,000 books were estimated to have sold on the first day while there were reports of the sale 18,000 books on the following day.

The Punjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, appreciated the efforts of administrative officials, faculty members and students for having made the book fair a success. He remarked that the purpose of organizing book fair was to promote book reading culture in the society and ensure the provision of books on unbelievable discounted rates to book-lovers at one place.

He said that knowledge was the real source of power and the educated nations were enjoying power and respect among the comity of nations while backwardness was the destiny of illiterate nations. He stressed the need to allocate at least four percent of the GDP for education for a respectable survival among the advanced countries.

Amjad Islam Amjad expressed great delight, adding that research culture must be promoted and those nations who did not focus on research were now far behind. He reminded that the heritage was also found in the shape of books.

Dr Ajmal Niazi observed that creation was based on two things; first teacher and second book. He said the book knew who was reading it. He said that such positive activities must continue to keep the book culture alive.

Jahangir Badr conceded that positive activities like this book fair were the dire need of the society and the Punjab University administration deserved appreciation on providing books on discounted prices for the promotion of reading in the society.

Book Expo America highlights E-Business

Jumbo Editorial Team

As usual the new edition of Book Expo America attracted tens of thousands of authors, publishers and booksellers at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The annual trade show witnessed the same level of enthusiasm that has remained associated with it.

For three hectic days the visitors wandered the exhibition halls, mingling, promoting books, listening to speakers and discussing the state of the industry. They had a lot to share. The focal point of discussion was the growing popularity of E-books who are fast surpassing print sales for some new releases.

Amazon announced that they had hired one of the industry’s best-known veterans, the publisher turned agent Laurence J. Kirshbaum, to head a new imprint for Amazon that will publish general-interest titles.

They had earlier announced having acquired a book by the thriller writer Barry Eisler, who had hinted about abandoning a six-figure contract with his publisher out of dissatisfaction with the traditional book industry.

“There’s a tendency to think that the other guy’s piece of the pie is so much easier, and you can just jump in and do it. It’s good for Amazon to go into publishing. Maybe they’ll develop some respect for how hard it is. Come on in, try it. Go ahead. It’s not so easy,” Susan Petersen Kennedy, President of Penguin Group USA, was reported to have reacted to the deal.

Catching the imagination of the attendees were the panel discussions like “Twitter Fundamentals for Book Professionals” and “How eBooks Will Save the Book: Putting Storytelling and Creation at the Center of Publishing.”

Some anxiety over digital publishing was tempered by the fact that while e-book sales are huge in fiction, especially genre fiction like romance, mysteries and thrillers, they have barely registered in children’s books, reference books and a lot of nonfiction categories. And, publishers said, the spread of e-books could make the whole publishing pie bigger.

The battle over e-reader customers continued with dueling announcements by two of the industry’s biggest retailers. Barnes & Noble held a splashy news conference to unveil its latest e-reader, a black-and-white touch-screen version of the Nook. Not to be outdone, Amazon elbowed in with its own statement later that day that it has a new e-reader, a $164 Kindle with 3G.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shweta Kumar’s Coming Up On The Show makes waves

Jumbo Editorial Team

Shweta Ganesh Kumar’s first fiction novel, ‘Coming Up On The Show… The Travails of a news trainee’ is now in bookstores and it has already sold more than 10'000 copies in the two months since its release.

The book that is a behind the scenes, tongue in cheek look at the broadcast industry in India has been brought out by Srishti Publishers. It traces the journey of an aspiring journalist, who finally has to remove the rose-coloured glasses from her eyes and see the grime behind the glamour of the T.V industry. Her dreams turn out harder to achieve than envisaged, but the journey itself is a roller-coaster experience.

National Award winning film director Ranjith released the book at the Calicut Press Club. The event was broadcast by Manorama News besides being covered by all the major publications in the state.

Targeted mainly at the age group from 18 onwards, this is a book, which offers a glimpse of the real world complexities and adventures that are seldom imagined by the average journalism student. And that sometimes, one’s own life turns out to be stranger than the reality shows that one sees on television.

This book is the first in a series of books titled “Coming Up On The Show” tracing the journey of Satyabhama Menon as she traverses the vast and unknown world of the Indian media.

Shweta Ganesh Kumar is a writer and a freelance travel journalist based in the Philippines. She started off as a correspondent for CNN-IBN, CNN's Indian sister channel and went on to work as a Communications officer for Greenpeace India.

After moving to the Philippines in 2009, she discovered that she and her husband suffer from terminal wanderlust, the result of which are a number of articles that were published in the New Indian Express and other publications. She is currently finding her bliss while she explores news destinations and dabbles in the world of fiction.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bookworms get a treat in Kuala Lumpur

Jumbo Editorial Team

Malaysia have emerged as one of the strongest economies of Asia and its capital Kuala Lumpur remains one of the most popular destinations for the tourists from all over the world.

The Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (KLIBF) continues to be one of the most sought after events for the residents of the bustling city as well as many of those who are attracted there by the presence of the leading international publishers.

The National Book Council of Malaysia and the Malaysian Book Industry Council join hands to organise the KLIBF and they did it successfully for the 30th time recently. The KLIBF 2011 was held with great fanfare at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur from April 22 to May 1.

Due to an overwhelming response that they received from their international visitors and exhibitors during the KLIBF 2010, the organizers were prompted to hold an even bigger trade exhibition in 2011. The event lasted no less than 10 days at the Tun Razak Hall 2 of the Putra World Trade Centre.

As in previous years, the KLIBF 2011 again featured a wide range of genres from local and international publications. The international overseas companies participated enthusiastically to display their latest and best titles in KLIBF 2011 besides for trading of copyright and book licensing.

The KLIBF has been acknowledged one of the major events in the global publishing calendar, providing a networking opportunity to meet with the local and international publishing community.

Over one million visitors have reportedly been in attendance at the KLIBF every year. It is branded as the perfect place for book lovers to get the latest books and promotions from publishers around the region. Book launches, seminars, conventions, and lots of other activities are in place to suit all levels of the reading community.

Lahore International Book Fair completes Silver Jubilee

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Silver Jubilee edition of the Lahore International Book Fair was held at Lahore Expo Centre in Johar Town, from April 7 to 11, 2011. It was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, while the Punjab Governor, Sardar Latif Khosa, was the chief guest in the concluding ceremony of the five-day event.

Both the dignitaries visited different stalls and appreciated the efforts of the organizers for successfully organising the book fair and providing healthy and positive activities to the people.

As in the past, thousands of people from different walks of life, particularly teachers, students and educationists, visited the book fair in large number and explored the world of books presented by over 160 local and foreign publishers who had set up stalls there. A number of educational organisations and companies, dealing in educational and stationery items, were also participated in the book fair.

The book fair remained the main attraction for book lovers and people from academia who were happy over the presence of thousands of books on variety of topics under one roof. As usual nearly every participating publisher and bookseller offered considerable discount on books.

Books were on offer on a variety of topics, including Islam, history, education, computer and information technology, engineering, business management, medical sciences, agriculture, literature, law and children literature.

The visitors appreciated organizers of the book fair, saying the event provided them a chance to take part in a positive and healthy activity and promoted book reading.

The Lahore International Book Fair, having become a premier educational and cultural event of the city, is recognized as the largest and annually international book fair held in the country.

Lahore has been a centre for publications and todate holds that distinction as more than 80 percent of books in Pakistan and remains the centre of literary, educational and cultural activity in the country.

Seminar on Library Management held in Islamabad

Jumbo Editorial Team

Around 50 library professionals from all over Pakistan attended the one-week training course on ‘Role of ICT in Library Management’ held in Islamabad from April 25 to 30 at AHK National Centre for Rural Development and National School of Public Policy.

Brig (retd) Amanullah, Director General, NCRD, welcomed the participants while Ikram Kayani, Director (Training), NCRD, introduced the course contents in the opening ceremony. Mohammad Saleem, Senior Librarian, Supreme Court of Pakistan, delivered a lecture on "Role of ICT & Professional Development" on the first day of training course while a few experts and software developers of ‘Libmax - Integrated library Solution Software’ delivered their lectures on the different modules of Libmax.

A field visit of COMSATS Library, Islamabad, was also made and the participants visited the different sections of the library. Raja Mohammad Ibrahim, Senior Librarian, COMSATS, delivered a comprehensive lecture on ‘User Education and 21st century libraries.’

He shared his experience about the ways and means being adopted by CIIT library team for user education and information literacy in recent years. He reckoned that the need of the hour was to emphasize the user education and information literacy programmes in various institutions and organizations.

On the last day of course, Hameedullah Khattak Librarian, NCRD gave a presentation on ‘Library Automation’ and Ikram Kayani, Director (Training), NCRD, awarded the certificated to course participants. No registration fee was charged for this course from the participants and all expenditures of training course were borne by NCRD of NSPP.

Bahria University Library launch new website

Jumbo Editorial Team

Acclaimed as one of the leading institutions with focus on higher education, Bahria University’s Library at Islamabad campus has recently launched a new website whose purpose is to advance the library mission, vision and values through innovative uses of technology.

Bahria University was established by the Pakistan Navy in 2000, and since then it has slowly and steadily grown into one of the leading higher education institutions in Pakistan, playing a major role in grooming future leaders.

They are a multi-campus university whose aim is to achieve the highest standards in teaching, learning and research. They offer an expanding portfolio of programmes which caters to a wide variety of interests ranging from business, computer sciences and psychology, to medical and dental health, and maritime research. The faculty and management of the university are known for taking care of their students having ambitions, dreams and passions to move up the ladder.

Historically Pakistan Navy had entered the field of education in 1980s by establishing a couple of institutes, one at Karachi and the other at Islamabad. They were designed to provide uninterrupted education up to Intermediate level for the children of naval personnel when they were transferred from one city to the other.

Over the years the two Institutes grew in size and facilities, leading to the commencement of BBA and B.Sc (CS) classes in 1995. In 1997 these programmes were further upgraded to BBA (Hons), BSC (Hons) and MBA and MSC, as evening programmes. The Institutes were known as Bahria Institute of Management and Computer Science (BIM&CS), suffixed with the location Karachi or Islamabad. The institute was upgraded to a university, the present Bahria University, in February 2000 through a Presidential Ordnance.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Book Bazaar resumes at Frere Hall in Karachi

Jumbo Editorial Team

May 8, 2011 could be described as another Red Letter Day in the annals of Karachi history as the Sunday Book Bazaar at the historic Frere Hall, also known as Bagh-e-Jinnah, was finally revived after a very long time.

The decision to resume the Sunday Book Bazaar at the Frere Hall was taken by the Community Development Department (CDD) of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) only a few days ago and it went to their credit to have managed it so swiftly and nicely in lightening quick time.

The Sunday Book Bazaar at the Frere Hall had become one of the most popular weekly events of the metropolis when it was closed down abruptly due to security reasons.

The resumption of the Sunday Book Bazaar has certainly gladdened the hearts of the bookworms of Karachi who would definitely go there in large numbers as the word continues to spread.

Not surprisingly there were not too many stalls under the giant tent on May 8 and there was not a big crowd either but there would certainly be more vendors and more buyers in the weeks to come because huge variety of books, ranging from subjects as varied as children’s activity books to classical literature would be up for the grabs at rates lower than the ones in the market.

Those booksellers having taken the trouble of setting up stalls and not generating enough sales due to the low turnout are expected to make up in the coming weeks when the number of visitors increase manifolds and the same old enthusiasm of the Sunday Book Bazaar is revived. It seems a matter of time now.

The CDGK, who provided stalls to the vendors free of cost on May 8, have already announced that the Book Bazaar will now be held on a weekly basis every Sunday. It will be an opportunity for a larger number of publishers and booksellers to display new and second-hand books on a variety of subjects at the bazaar.

Monday, May 2, 2011

COMSATS Lahore celebrate World Book and Copyright Day in style

Jumbo Editorial Team

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Library Information Services Lahore, celebrated the World Book and Copyright Day 2011 on April 29. The main purpose of holding the series of activities was to develop students with wider outlook and a balanced view towards science and humanities. It also helped in achieving the ultimate goal of developing knowledgeable and compassionate citizens for the society.

COMSATS has made significant strides in the domain of education. Considering the fact that COMSATS is a relatively young organization, they have developed reasonably good libraries and a wide collection of books. They have acquired a wide collection of books of fiction, Islamic studies and general reading.

The main events of the day were Walk, Poster Competition, Gadget Competition, Departmental Publications Stalls and Library Mounted Books Exhibition.

The celebrations started with the walk at 9:45 am inaugurated by Convener Library Affairs Committee and Incharge of Academics, Dr Talat Afza, and Incharge library Information Services, Tariq Najmi. The path of the journey began from Lahore campus mosque and ended at the library. The head of all departments, faculty/staff members and a large number of students participated in the walk.

After the completion of this walk Dr Talat Afza inaugurated the Library Mounted Book Exhibition and Departmental Publications Stalls. They also watched the posters and gadgets with great interest and admired the effortsof the students.

Dr Ghulam Qamar Abbassi was the guest of honour in the concluding ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, he said that books can play an important role in our lives and we should connect with the reading, wherever we are.

The Organizing Committee of these events was praised for having done a commendable job that resulted in their success. All the members particular, Bilal Javed, Lecturer-MS, Javeria Fatima, Lecturer- MS, Amna Jahangir, Lecturer- A & D, Sadaf Ehsan, Lecturer-MS, Sardar Muhammad Zahid, Lecturer-MS, Muhammad Ishtiaq, Assistant Librarian and last but not least Khurram Shahzad, Lecturer-MS, are recognized for their brilliant work. The library staff was also credited for having made the necessary arrangements.