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Experts recommend setting up national digital library platform

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ICDL 2013 has pioneering recommendations with regard to taking digital library movement forward

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The three-day International Conference of Digital Libraries organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) came to an end.

Delivering the special address, V Srinivas. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, said: "ICDL 2013 is a huge success as it has pioneering recommendations with regard to taking digital library movement forward. It is a significant international movement."

Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharti, New Delhi said, "Having such a variety of experts can yield benefits only if post conference digestion of knowledge is organized systematically and extraction of relevant recommendations are sent to those who need to work on them".

Taking into consideration the current issues, challenges, and opportunities, the Conference proposes the following recommendations for different stakeholders.

Recommendations for the National Governments and their agencies

1. National Digital Library platform that nations can adopt
In order to develop digital libraries as an instrument of change in national development, and for advancing towards international digital library development, it is desirable that digital libraries are accessible, interoperable, and sustainable using a single search interface.

Given these expectations, the conference recommends that digital libraries are integrated on a national platform and developed as dynamic and interactive knowledge resource on the internet. The other benefits expected from such a national digital platform are:

a) Leading a major shift in libraries from print to digital media.
b) Opportunities for library collaboration at national and international level.
c) Opportunities to aggregate digital resources from libraries and archives from across the nation.
d) Opportunities for consortial agreements for nationwide access to network based digital resources.
e) Consistent network interface for resource discovery and access.
f) Opportunities to engage and draw on the national and international expertise for reformulating terms and conditions for licensing e-resources from the library perspective and for their long term use.
g) Opportunities to launch national digital archives to house academic and public interest digital content. India has already undertaken initiative in this regard and written a policy document for the purpose. This document is under consideration of the Government of India. (Ref - National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy -2012 as notified by Gazette of India).
h) Opportunities to plan, organise, and coordinate digital library services at various levels such as national and regional level.

2. Toward digital deposit legislation
In order to guarantee permanent free access to the national digital collection of the country, the conference recommends that the current act in place in a country (e.g. Deposit of Books, Periodicals, and E-publications Act as in the case of India is under consideration) be suitably amended or if necessary a new legislation for legal deposit of digital publications is brought in for the purpose.

3. National governments should fund and support policies, programmes for digital library development
For ensuring smooth development of digital libraries, the conference recommends that national governments in the country and their agencies should support with funds for digital library programmes such as follows.

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