• Library Herald

Equitable Library Services and Information Support for Distance Education

Library Herald Year : 2011, Volume : 49, Issue : 1 First page : ( 48) Last page : ( 62) Print ISSN : 0024-2292. Online ISSN : 0976-2469. Equitable Library Services and Information Support for Distance Education

Tripathi Manorama*, Deputy Librarian, Jeevan V K J**, Deputy Librarian *Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi- 110067, email: manoramatripathi2@yahoo.com **Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi- 110068, email: vkjj@rediffmail.com

Abstract In a knowledge economy, the significance of knowledge and education is universally acknowledged. Economic competitiveness and prosperity of a country depends upon the strides made in the field of Education and Training. The conventional system of education is not able to cope with the increased demand for training, education and updating knowledge. Distance learning has emerged as a viable option for lifelong learning and as a means for human resource development in the country. It is acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction. It covers all technologies and facilitates the pursuit of lifelong learning for all. This massive popularity in distance education has eventually resulted in the libraries attaining an enormous importance; their role in the effective delivery of distance education has increased manifold. The paper presents the prevailing status of library operations in different open universities of the country. It discusses how Information Communication technologies should be harnessed by libraries to supplement and complement distance education in the country. The paper further endeavours to compare them with library practices adopted at other open Universities (such as Hong Kong Open University, Athabasca Open University of Canada, Open University of United Kingdom), Sheffield Hallam University, UK, and Jones International University, USA. which have emerged as pioneers in library and information intrinsic delivery of distance education. The paper suggests an equitable access model, which may be adopted by open Universities’ libraries across the country for providing effective distance education in the country.