Mahmood & Shafique -Part 10
Conclusion and Recommendations
Like other countries in the South Asian region, Pakistan exhibits a wide range of inequalities, which add to its socioeconomic problems. Unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, inflation, regional inequality, etc. are the enduring problems that affect the growth and development of library and information infrastructure in Pakistan. This paper concludes that the library services support the educational, social and cultural development of all citizens; indeed that it is the essence of inclusion. Libraries, especially public and school libraries, must therefore be integrated into the information society infrastructure for inclusion. Here are some recommendations towards this end:
- Developed countries of the world give prominent place to libraries and information centers in their information society infrastructures. Keeping this reality in view, the Government of Pakistan should accordingly revise its plans and strategies.
- Since libraries are social institutions and government efforts can reach to the grassroots level of the civil society through these institutions, libraries, especially school and public libraries, should be the focus of government development plans.
- To make rural development programs more cost effective, libraries in these communities should be focused to serve as multipurpose community telecenters.
- Librarians are members of the civil society, and they have allies in many public interest groups that have been very active in the preparatory work going on since the first phase WSIS meeting at Geneva. The government must give special consideration to the inclusion of these members of the civil society as well in its information society initiatives.
- Librarians should visualize their roles in the emerging information society and should make effective and efficient efforts to include their voices in the development of government policies and strategies.
- The computer and telecommunication technologies component of library school curricula also needs to be strengthened for the librarian to be able to cope with the changing environment.
- 7. To fully reap the benefits of the information society, 4 A’s are essential. These are Awareness, Access, Affordability and Application, and libraries can help in achieving these goals. National strategies and policies, especially information and communication technologies and education policies, need to be revamped to be less trendy and more substantive.