The Odisha Library Academy, Bhubaneswar in collaboration with the Central Library, IIT Bhubaneswar organised a Seminar on Beyond Books: Libraries in the AI Era – Redefining Roles and Services & Librarians’ Day Celebration at IIT, Bhubaneswar, Argul campus on 13th August 2023 (Sunday). The seminar aimed to explore the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on libraries and their evolving roles in the digital age. The event also marked the celebration of Librarians’ Day, an occasion to honor the legacy of Padma Shri Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, the father of Library Science in India, and recognize the valuable contributions of librarians.
A significant moment of the inauguration involved the lighting of the lamp to symbolize the illumination of knowledge that libraries represent. Additionally, a floral tribute was paid to commemorate the 131st Birth Anniversary of Padma Shri Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, recognizing his pioneering contributions to the field of Library Science. Prof. Sreepad Karmalkar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar, the Chief Guest, reflected on the role of libraries in an AI-driven society. He emphasized on the reading skills of the readers. He also gave the correlation between the reading habits and the innovations. Hence the librarians should promote reading habits, he added. Guest of honour Prof. Puspanjali Jena, retd. Prof and HOD, Utkal University, mentioned the roles of different categories of librarians working in academic, public and research/scientific libraries. She also stressed on the reading habit of the users. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a balance between technological advancements and the preservation of traditional library values, such as fostering a sense of community and promoting equitable access to information. Earlier Dr. Bibhuti Bhusan Sahoo, Deputy Librarian, IIT Bhubaneswar & Organising Secretary, in his welcome address, emphasized the importance of the seminar’s theme in the current era of technological advancements. He underlined the role of libraries as information hubs and stressed the need for them to adapt to the changing information landscape brought about by AI. Dr. Banamber Sahoo, the President of the Odisha Library Academy (OLA), highlighted the role and activities of Odisha Library Academy and highlighted the contribution of Dr. S.R. Ranganathan and he stressed the need for librarians to upskill and embrace new technologies. Dr. Soobhankar Pati Pati Chairperson, Central Library, IIT Bhubaneswar delved into the ways in which libraries are transforming. He gave the concept of open library for children of local schools. Four Library professionals were felicitated on this occasion by Odisha Library Academy for their exceptional contributions to the field of Library Science. They were Dr. D.B. Ramesh, Chief Librarian SOA, University, Bhubaneswar; Mr. Jitendra Das retd. Librarian, KV3, Bhubaneswar; Mr. Sanjay Kumar Sahu, SriJagannath Museum and Library, Nuagaon, Nayagarh & Mr. Ganeswar Nayak, Retd. Asst Librarian, HKM State Library. Dr. Basudev Mohanty, IOP Bhubaneswar & Secretary, Odisha Library Academy extended his gratitude to all dignitaries, participants, sponsors, and organizers for making the seminar a resounding success.
The technical Session was chaired by Prof. Bulu Maharana, HOD, DLIS, Sambalpur University. He advised to adopt the technological change as an opportunity. Three invited speakers spoke on this occasion. Dr. D. B. Ramesh, Chief Librarian, SOA, Bhubaneswar spoke on Beyond Books:Libraries in the AI Era. Mr. Prashanta Panda from TCS , Bhubaneswar gave a presentation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) application in Library. Dr. Naresh Chandra Sahu, IIT Bhubaneswar spoke on Users’ expectation and visualisation of the modern library in the AI era. He concludes that users visualise modern libraries as holistic spaces.
More than 350 participants from different parts of the country participated and contributed to the knowledge economy for the society. A poster session and Quiz competition was held for students on this occasion. The posters were evaluated by Dr. Deepak Khuntia, Dr. Puspalata Negi, Dr. Satya Ranjan Sahu. Mr. Bijoy K. Panda, Joint Secretary, OLA and Dr. Sambhunath Sahoo, Assistant Librarian, IIT coordinated the entire programme. During the valedictory function Prof. R.R. Dash, Dean, Students Affairs, IIT Bhubaneswar ; Prof. P. Padhi, (Retd. Prof.), DLIS, Utkal University; Prof. Baman Parida (Retd. Prof.), DLIS, Utkal University and OLA Vice-President Dr. Kamal Lochan Jena were also graced this function. Seminar Rapporteurs Dr. Bibhu P. Panda, Mr. Sisir Kumar Mohanty &, Mr. Prasanna K. Muduli summarised this programme. The seminar provided a platform for insightful discussions on the convergence of libraries and AI, shedding light on the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities that arise from this fusion. The event celebrated the legacy of Padma Shri Dr. S. R. Ranganathan and acknowledged the crucial role that librarians play in adapting to new technologies while upholding the core values of information dissemination and equitable access. As AI continues to shape the information landscape, this seminar served as a reminder that the evolution of libraries in the AI era requires a balanced approach that preserves tradition while embracing innovation.