Library and Information Services (1998)
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1997, pp.11)
Library and Information Services
The ICA maintains one of the best and well-stocked co-operative library in the world. The library is recognised by the University Grants Commission of India and the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) for co-operative research.
Many Ph.D. students/research scholars within India and abroad make use of the library for their research and studies. Several overseas users are being provided with co-operative bibliographies, statistical information, reprographic services and information, which are appreciated by the recipients.
Ms. Sabitha Venkatesan took over the charge as Librarian after the retirement of Mr. B.D. Pandey, who had served the library for almost thirty years.
Apart from the normal users of the library, a number of co-operative leaders, students and teachers of various co-operatives, co-operative training institutions and colleges visit the library every year, individually and in groups.
The ICA Regional Office and its information service has become one of the largest publishers of co-operative literature over the years. These publications are being disseminated to wider audiences both within and outside the co-operative circles in the region and globally.
The Library and Information Services has also been maintaining an ISBN system for its publications and an ISSN system for its periodicals. One of the significant developments of the year has been the initiative to introduce a blue print and an action plan for an Asia-Pacific Co-operative Information and Resource Centre. Discussions and dialogues were held with several ICA member organisations and partners including the ILO Coopnet and the Canadian Co-operative Association.
An expert consultation on the proposed research and development programme was held during August, 1997, which provided various recommendations for the improvement of services and these are being implemented now.
The Library computerisation work which began in 1989 is progressing well. Documentation bulletins have also been published and circulated among member co-operative movements.
We are hopeful that we will be able to improve the services of the Library and Information Services and also set up the Asia-Pacific Co-operative Information and Resource Centre with the active support and co-operation of our members and partner organisations.
The ICA ROAP library has been much sought after and we have received encouraging feedback from our readers and users.
Some such remarks are worth mentioning: "Thanks to the excellent library, the Regional Office has been able to establish itself as a Centre for Research and Documentation on various aspects of Co-operative Development in the Region and globally"; "We appreciate the high standard of the ICA ROAP library, which certainly is a valuable asset for the members of the ICA or any one interested in co-operative development"; "The library should be given enough funds for procuring more co-operative publications and providing efficient and better services to members and readers."