Snobar Malik Memories 2015-2017

Alumni Story by Snobar Malik

snooberLibrarian, Roots Millennium Future World School, Lahore

I was not happy at the time of admission at the department of information Management. There were many questions in my mind regarding my career that with this degree whether I’ll get a good job in future or not. But with the passage of time I started embracing my field and worked hard to get good CGPA. There were many people who always discouraged me that why you have chosen this field there is no future with this degree but I never let them make me felt down. I left everything on Allah and did my level best. I passed with 3.27/4.00 CGPA.

I liked the campus, the subject was interesting and the university has a good reputation.
After graduating from the University of the Punjab, I decided to drop my CV in multiple schools, colleges and universities. I started hunting for the job right after the day I graduated. I dropped my CV on the websites of reputed institutes of Pakistan in Lahore without waiting for their advertisements on social media or newspapers because I did not want to waste my time and skills. I received an interview call from Roots Millennium Future World School in April right after 2 days of dropping my CV. I was confused whether to join a school or not. I went for the interview recalling everything taught to me during my studies. It was my very first interview and I was enthusiastic, unsure but optimistic. I got selected there Alhamdulillah and joined this institute on January 1st, 2018 just with the start of the New Year, It was the start of my practical and professional life. I was hired with a highest paid salary among my whole university batch. I was happy and ready to face new challenges. I informed my teachers and all of them wished me good luck and felt proud on me. The best part of this department is that they know the market demand and revise their courses every year and add new subjects as per market requirements like professional communication skills, Personality Development, Marketing, School library media centers etc. 

snoober 1

Within 6 months of my joining, head office of Roots Millennium Future world school upgraded my designation to Library Auditor Alhamdulillah. I carried out library audits of many libraries in their network in the month of May.
I feel proud that my decision was right to join Department of information Management. Today I have everything I wished in my Career. DoIM gives us the opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world in ICIML every year.
If I could advise any IM student who is considering working in school library, I would tell him or her just go for it! Living and working in school has been the most revitalizing and profound experience I have had so far. It truly changes your approach to life. To prepare yourself, make sure to spend the most of your time at department, join a cultural or language society because working in private sector the most important thing I noticed is they demand your good English communication skills and dressing with your professional skills. Make sure that you are prepared to take risks. My mantra is to treat everything as an adventure not a challenge. A challenge is difficult and you fear what is going to happen. If you are on an adventure, you are learning about yourself and the world around you. So, you can and should embrace the randomness. 
Good Luck!


ICIML 2015 Speaker! A Message From Dr. Abdus Sattar Chaudhry

I generally do not go on Facebook but was prompted to see the conference video alerted by countless messages received in my inbox. I am glad I watched the amazing video. It reminded me to write this message.

I am very excited to send my heartfelt congratulations on the wonderful success of ICIML 2015. I have attended hundreds of conferences all over the world. Comparing with these, I feel very proud to say that ICIML stood out on all counts: planning, website, papers/presentations, hospitality, logistics, and cultural event.

abdul sattar

What impressed me the most that everyone among the organizers appeared to be doing his/her part from the heart – passion, enthusiasm, excitement and sense of belonging, all of us felt it was ‘our conference’. Impressive attendance in the sessions testified the quality.

I wish you a great success for the upcoming conference. 

Zaheer Ali Memories at DoIM 2010-12

Alumni! Our another memorable story
Zaheer Ali

(Librarian, Center for Clinical Psychology, PU)
(Librarian, Center for Clinical Psychology, PU)

The years at the DLIS now DOIM as a student are memorable. My experience as a student at DOIM is good and bad. I feel very lucky being a part of DoIM’s student as the department provided me with a professional degree. I feel that my personality has been shaped up due to the fact that
the DOIM provided me a range of experiences and it has entirely changed my way of thinking. 🙂

The classroom experiences were refreshingly hi-tech ;)from fancy power point presentations to extremely creative teaching styles of our teachers! The Assignment submissions always were the “(Sub) mission Impossible” 😉 but we all managed to do it! 🙂

The sharing of materials and the endless photocopying are unforgettable.:) Of course all the students of my session would never forget the legendary Sir Abdul Haq Quershi and Mr. Nasser. J There was not a single day at the department, that I did not desire to do better and build my skills a bit higher. 🙂

This is a wonderful opportunity for me to thank DOIM, my mentors Dr. Khalid Mehmood, Dr. Kanwal Ameen, Dr. Nosheen Fatima, Dr. Muhammad Rafiq, Dr. Shafiq Ur Rehman and Ms. Syeda Hina Batool for helping me to become a better professional and instilling a professional attitude in me. I owe it all to you (the department) and your (the teachers) training! Thank you SO much for being a very special part of my life! 🙂

Zaheer While performing on Annual Dinner & Farewell group picture
                        Zaheer While performing on Annual Dinner & Farewell group picture

You all have been and always will be a great source of pride, admiration and inspiration for me! 🙂 I will continue to follow your foot steps and aspire to be a better Professional as I grow older. I love and respect you all -deeply, truly and sincerely. :):)

‘Centennial year’ is about to end, we hope that you’ll like or give your feedback on this owsum story too. 😉 

Bushra Almas Jaswal – Memories-A journey towards the Past

Alumni! Our another memorable story
Bushra Almas Jaswal


(Chief Librarian and Associate Professor at Forman Christian College)

My years at the Department of Library Science at University of the Punjab are a story of lifelong relationship and my multiple and diverse roles. I entered the Department as an uninterested student and fell in love with librarianship instantly. I saw the Department coming into existence, the first class of MLS, and then stayed with it as its first Librarian. 🙂

DLS and MLS remained terminal courses for some years to allow old Diploma holders to be enrolled separately for one year of MLS. When I completed First year, there was still some time for MLS Admissions.  Meanwhile Punjab Public Service Commission announced new posts for College Librarians. I applied and was selected for appointment on Govt. Girls College, Bhakkar. I came to my Department to get a ‘Character Certificate’ which was required for joining. Sir Bashir Ali Tiwana was head of Department. I simply cannot forget the moment when, he said, “The post of Librarian for our Department has just been approved and it’s still vacant. Why not you join us! ”. 😉

First Librarian, Department of Library Science, University of the Punjab - Accessioning Books at DLIS Library
First Librarian, Department of Library Science, University of the Punjab – Accessioning Books at DLIS Library

I consider this moment as the BIG BANG of my life! 😉  It changed my professional direction from a dismal dead-end job to the eventful, thrilling and challenging career in Librarianship that I have today! 🙂

And what a challenge it was – the many senior librarians of MLS class as well as the faculty Dr. Mumtaz Anwar, Mr. Bashir Ali Tiwana, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad each one a seasoned Librarian – and poor me – a young Diploma holder. Each one was ready to find mistakes and luckily, each one ready to teach – “eh ki kerdi ain? Inj keri da”. 😉  Instead of being called Miss or Madam, it was “O kaki” and “O kuriye flani kitab…”. 😉  But what I learned in those years, actually built the strong base of knowledge behind my bright career. I remember while cataloging new books, the new and interesting concepts intrigued my curiosity and I started reading them – the magic world of real Librarianship opened on me through these books and after that there was no looking back – new concepts capture my attention and till today I read something new about my profession every day. 🙂 🙂

Changa Manga Trip – Bushra Jaswal, Shahnaz Muzammil, Nadira Sultana, Tahira Wahab, Nasim Qizilbash, Bushra Bashir, Nusrat (Late) and others
Changa Manga Trip – Bushra Jaswal, Shahnaz Muzammil, Nadira Sultana, Tahira Wahab, Nasim Qizilbash, Bushra Bashir, Nusrat (Late) and others

Then it was my Masters Class – an interesting mix of veteran leaders of the profession – old Gurus like G.D. Shah, Rana Jamaat Ali, Baji Farkhanda Lodhi – hot discussions about professional Associations – having political rivals in the same class – laughs, jokes. The devotion of these people was astonishing! It was amazing to know how the senior professionals like G.D. Shah wrote columns and letters to editor, every day to build the pressure on the Government for starting the Department of Library Science and MLS classes. It was so enlightening for me to learn and to feel how major issues had been resolved by working together in Associations. 🙂


NCC Cadet of MLIS
NCC Cadet of MLIS

After MLS and some years of work at Punjab University, I started thinking that the Librarians actually have a dismal future in Punjab University because we were not very well treated in terms of jobs and working conditions. At that time, there were 33 Libraries and one Main Library in the Punjab University. Almost 70 Librarians were working in these Libraries. There were two things which troubled me: 😦 😦

  1. All Librarians were hired as Library Assistants in Grade 16 and retired in the same Grade. There was just one post of Librarian (Grade 18) in the Main Library and two posts of Deputy Librarians (Grade 17). This was a very narrow growth of Library professionals. Majority of us could not benefit from this growth.
  2. The working conditions were very. Mostly Libraries were under-equipped, overcrowded and stuffed with books – affecting the health of librarians.

I found this situation very gloomy and thought, it needs to be changed!

In May, 1982, I circulated a letter to all Librarians of Punjab University and invited them for a cup of tea in the Library of Department of Library Science. I started the talk about the above two issues and said why not we make an Association and fight for our rights – after all, most of us were now Master Degree holders which is an equivalent to faculty. Sir Jamil Rizvi appreciated this initiative and everyone agreed. There was an on-spot election and we started the “Punjab University Librarians Organization – PULO”. Chaudhry Nazir Ahmad was elected as President, Malik Siddique was the Vice President and I was elected as Secretary of the Organization.

We decided to hold an oath-taking ceremony and invited Vice Chancellor, Dr. Khairat Ibn-e-Rasa and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr. Munir ud Din Chughtai to preside over the function.

PULO Reception – Secretary PULO-Bushra Jaswal, President PULO-Ch. Nazir Hussain, President ASA-Dr. Khalid Alvi, Vice Chancellor-Dr. Khairat Ibn-e-Rasa, Pro-Vice Chancellor- Dr. Munir ud Din Chughtai.
PULO Reception – Secretary PULO-Bushra Jaswal, President PULO-Ch. Nazir Hussain, President ASA-Dr. Khalid Alvi, Vice Chancellor-Dr. Khairat Ibn-e-Rasa, Pro-Vice Chancellor- Dr. Munir ud Din Chughtai.

During this function, in my welcome address, I emphasized on the need and importance of libraries in a University and presented a detailed account of the issues faced by libraries and librarians in University of the Punjab. Further discussions during the tea finally convinced the Vice Chancellor about the graveness of the situation. He advised us to prepare a case of Libraries’ improvement and Librarians’ career growth in the University.

Secretary PULO - Presenting Problems of Libraries and Librarians
Secretary PULO – Presenting Problems of Libraries and Librarians

Chaudhry Nazir asked me to prepare the write-up. This was a challenging job – I never knew there will be so many obstacles. In PULO Meetings we decided that there actually should be 4-Levels of Library Positions, starting from Librarian in Grade 17. This gave another challenge – what will be the nomenclature for the other positions – I started visiting British Council and American Center Libraries every day after office – scanning books, journals, University brochures, Newspapers for job advertisements – and noted down any designations that I could find –  I prepared many sets of nomenclature and presented to the PULO Meetings for discussion. Ultimately, everyone liked the 4-tier designations set – Chief Librarian – Deputy Chief Librarian – Senior Librarian and Librarian.

President PULO, Chaudhry Nazir Ahmad, Librarian Oriental College, was also the elected President of Punjab University Staff Union.  We the Librarians being 70 voters had a powerful majority in Staff Union elections – we used the political power of both organizations to get our point to the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Khairat Ibn-e-Rasa. I still remember what Dr. Khairat said to me – Ok. You have convinced me – but tell me, how do I convince the Academic Staff Association (ASA) – This will put you equal to them and there might be some resentment. I said leave that to us, Sir. But if we convince them, we hope there will be no problem – He said yes, no problem.  😉

With PULO Executive Council - Late Zafar Abbas Bhutta, Arfa Baji and Khushi Muhammad in a PULO get together (Standing the Back are Hafiz Tahir and Jamil Asghar)
With PULO Executive Council – Late Zafar Abbas Bhutta, Arfa Baji and Khushi Muhammad in a PULO get together (Standing the Back are Hafiz Tahir and Jamil Asghar)

We set to meet ASA Executive Council Members one by one. The debates were very interesting – sometimes not very pleasant too. The main issue was the selection criteria – which were 1st Class Master’s degree for faculty and then the research papers and further Ph.D. for higher posts – whereas Librarians did not have these criteria in their employment rules. So, how can they have an equal status and salary? Some objections were about Librarians not being as presentable – but we tackled, politely, softly – saying, things are not going to be the same and librarians will improve in person when they get their due status. 🙂

Ultimately, Dr, Khalid Alvi, President ASA and his cabinet said Ok. However, due to being an administrative position and not equal selection criteria as faculty, it was decided that the new positions will be created and administered under the Tenure-Track Statutes of the University. This was not a very satisfactory situation. But it also was a “now” or “never” situation.  😦 So, PULO executives decided to go for it.  The case was ultimately approved by the senate. Punjab University, for very long remained the Only University where Librarians have this 4-level nomenclature and a venue of promotions. 🙂

It took us around two years to get the whole process done. By this time, Dr. Rafique Ahmad took over as Vice Chancellor. PULO held a reception to thank the authorities and to celebrate the success. Dr. Rafique Ahmad congratulated PULO on this success and gave us a strange proposition – to teach the illiterate lower staff of University – So we arranged an Adult Education Training for PU Librarians at Lala Musa. 🙂

PULO Executive - Discussions over Tea with Vice Chancellor, Dr. Rafique Ahmad
PULO Executive – Discussions over Tea with Vice Chancellor, Dr. Rafique Ahmad

Upon return, I submitted a proposal to Vice Chancellor for releasing yearly budget to PULO, for holding training and to announce an extra increment to participants as an incentive. This Program was successfully run by PULO, for quite long. 🙂

In my second tenure 1984-85, as Secretary PULO, I submitted a detailed Report to Dr. Rafique Ahmad about the problems of Libraries in University of the Punjab and a need to improve the situation of infrastructure, equipment and living conditions.

Vice Chancellor, Dr. Rafique Ahmad addressing a PULO Annual get together
Vice Chancellor, Dr. Rafique Ahmad addressing a PULO Annual get together

The results of this report were slowly appearing when in September 1985, I left PU to join the newly established Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) to start a new University Library from scratch!! 😉

Group Photo of Department of Library Science Staff 1977 – My respected teachers, Dr. Abdus Sattar Chaudhry, Malik Bashir Tiwana, Dr. Mumtaz Anwar, Malik Mushtaq Ahmad, Madam Nighat Afza and Bushra A. Jaswal Standing at the back. Tansir Haider, Syed Zawwar Husain Zaidi, Akbar Badshah(Late).
Group Photo of Department of Library Science Staff 1977 – My respected teachers, Dr. Abdus Sattar Chaudhry, Malik Bashir Tiwana, Dr. Mumtaz Anwar, Malik Mushtaq Ahmad, Madam Nighat Afza and Bushra A. Jaswal Standing at the back. Tansir Haider, Syed Zawwar Husain Zaidi, Akbar Badshah(Late).
Great Teachers and great Alumni - 1978
Great Teachers and great Alumni – 1978

Alumni! You know ‘Centennial year’ is about to end, we hope that you’ll like or give your feedback on this owsum story too by our senior or most promising  professional. 🙂 🙂

Azhar Ishaq Memories at DoIM 2008-10

Alumni! Our Another Memorable Story
Azhar Ishaq

(Library Officer, University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (CVAS), Jhang )

One should have beautiful experience of university life and time flies before you realize it, so make it last, make it memorable, make it the best time of your life, the best memories that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. 🙂

My honor is to say that I am alumni of DoIM PU.I got distinction in BA from Jhang District.I submitted my admission forms in two departments. My first choice was Mass Communication and second was Library and information science. I was confused to decide about my career. Suddenly I got a phone call from DLIS-PU, ki ap ka Morning ma MLIS ma admission ho gia ha ap fee submit karway. 😉 So I decided this is what Allah planned for me. I enjoyed my first day of MLIS class and all teachers instructed about performance, study and attendance. I completed my internship from LUMS Library and my aim was when I will go back my sweet home Jhang with a job wo bhi 17 ma la ka jao ga and I did it .I got regular job in BS-17 in 2011.  😉

Memorable day of my life : The memorable days of my life were once when I got MLIS Transcript and other i got first job letter. That was ALLAH’s help and my parents duas . 🙂

Credit goes to this Job: I regard  Dr. Rafiq sab, for preparing us for interviews,Rafiq sab said always used to say inshalalh you will get good job, I am seeing potential in you, second Respected Ms Hina Batool as when she said in final semester azhar will get a job due to his excellent social networking and I am sure he will lead. 😉

Annual Dinner
Session 2008-2010

My Classfellows were so nice and affectionate specially Mr. Shahbaz , Zaheer ahmad, Siddique Ur Rehman, Saad baloch,  Bilal Ch, Qaiser iqbal, fahad umair .

Random Memories
Random Memories

I also have regards for my females classfellows  Sundus Zeeshan, Aisha Rehman, Hina Iktikhar (GR), and Fatima Zahura ,  Neelam Shahzadi .

Session 2008-10
Session 2008-10

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Ms.Qaisra Riaz Jaswal Memories at DoIM 2000-2002

Alumni! Our another Memorable Story
Ms.Qaisra Riaz Jaswal

Qasira Almas Jaswal

(Manager Library & Documentation at Lahore School of Economics)

My Two Cents – Start of the MLIS – Evening Classes – 1999


How can I forget the time when I came to the Department of Library Science for admission in the Master’s Program?

I was temporarily working as Assistant at the Lahore School of Economics Library and doing my Law degree in the evening classes. My Rector Dr. Shahid Amjad   Chaudhry was quite impressed by my work management and thought I can become a good Librarian, One day, while visiting the library, he advised me to study Librarianship instead of a Law degree. He said “Ms. Qaisra I want you to go to the Department of Library Sciences in Punjab University and try for your Admission there”. He give me a letter of recommendation addressed to the head of the Department (Respected Mr. Afzal Haq Qurshi at that time), saying that I am very happy with the work of MS. Qaisra in Library and want her to get further training in Librarianship. Please give her admission in your department to study Library Sciences. 🙂

I met with Sir Qurshi with the letter and he said that we cannot admit because you are not fresh a graduate. You can only study in evening classes but we have only Morning sessions. 😦

I salute Sir Qurshi that he encouraged me for study and said we will try for your admission in morning classes as a special case. He further said that there are many people especially ladies like you who cannot study because of Fresh Graduate limitation. He said because it is a matter of policy, so you can meet the admission committee of Punjab University and present your case. According to him, I could speak well and my case was sympathetic enough to convince authorities. So, why not I try for the start of an evening Program?

I told my Rector that there is a hurdle in my admission because the department has only Morning classes for fresh degree holders. Dr. Shahid Amjad, then wrote a letter to the Governor of the Punjab, who was the Chancellor of Punjab University that he wants to train his staff in Library Science so, either the condition of fresh graduate should be waived off or an evening program should be started for the working librarians requiring formal study and training.

A directive from the Governor, to look into the matter was the basis of starting a discussion within various administrative levels of Punjab University. Chairman Sir Afzal Haq Qurshi endorsed the matter with his full support, emphasizing the need for an evening Program.

Dr. Shahid Amjad advised me to meet with the Head of Department of Library Science and Head of Admission Committee as a follow up of his letter to Governor. 😉

I had almost three or four meetings with the Head of Punjab University Admission Committee, Prof. Zafar Iqbal, (Head of Biology Department), who advised me to also meet with the Vice Chancellor, Punjab University.

In my meeting with the Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (retd) Arshad Mehmood, I could plead my case and said women have several issues and your Policy of allowing the right of higher education to only Fresh Graduates is a barrier for us from having a chance to higher education. He said, he will discuss it with the ‘Admissions Committee’ and will let you know shortly.

I again met with Dr. Zafar Iqbal who informed that the committee is thinking of waiving the condition of fresh graduation in your case. But we have not made a decision as yet. We will inform you soon.

And— I cannot forget the day when Sir Qurshi informed me – that we are Starting Evening Classes and you can apply for admission now in our evening classes.

I thanked God for the success of my solo struggle – thanked Sir Qarshi for his continued advice and encouragement – And one day I was sitting in my MLS class with around 40 of my class fellows who benefitted from my humble initiative and struggle.  The evening program is still going on – but very few know how it actually started.

I spent my golden time in my department. I learned a lot from my respected Teachers. Sir Qurshi, Madam Umaira Shah and Sir Zafar Dahar & of course my Rector, may he live long and my great sister, my mentor Bushra Almas Jaswal that with out her I am nothing. May Allah bless her. Ameen 🙂 🙂 

I never forget the healthy”dant” of Sir Qurshi sahib that always reminded me my goal to get a master’s degree in Library Sciences. I salute my teachers that today I am a proud Librarian. My Rector is happy to get a good Librarian because of his efforts as well.   

Session 2000-2002
Session 2000-2002



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Anwar Ahmad Memories at DoIM 1993-4

Alumni! Our Tenth Memorable Story
 Anwar Ahmad


(Solution Consultant (Applications), Global Information Services, British Council, Manchester, UK)

Reminiscing the period when I was a student at the DLS (PU), I feel mid-1990s mark a watershed moment for library education in Pakistan in general and the DLS (PU) in particular.  The session I attended (1993-4) witnessed a string of developments that would exert a lasting impact on how the department operated and imparted LIS education.


For a start, the university extensively revised its entry requirements to take into account the earlier academic achievements of prospective students in addition to how they fared at graduation level.  This suddenly changed the anatomy of the cohort that preceded us and the process matured the following year when I applied.  Until the early 1990s, a segment of the enrolled students comprised non-gazetted administrative staff working in various departments of the university.  From the session preceding ours, the department would offer a place only to a fresh graduate who held good previous academic record.  This induced healthy competition to the classroom environment and helped improve the academic performance as a result. 🙂


A little while before our session started, two young lecturers had been inducted to the teaching faculty at DLS (PU) – (Dr) Kanwal Amin and (Dr) Khalid Mahmood Malik had joined the previous year but our session would become the first full session they would teach.  Madam Kanwal’s only claim to fame at the time was librarianship.  It was several years down the line that another point of reference would strike a louder chord with millions outside the fold of this ‘holy’ profession.

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that they both gave the department a fresh lease of life.  Madam Kanwal used various texts during the lessons and encouraged thinking outside the box.  We felt the communication gap was minimal and also found it easier to beguile them into settling the bill for refreshments.  Their youthful vibrancy helped break through the developmental stalemate that the department faced for some years.  Our entry to the department concurred with an auspicious event in Khalid Sahib’s personal life.  It was during our session when he entered into wedlock and the entire class went to Sharaqpur by bus to attend his Walima. 😉


While we can’t claim to have any role in the developments mentioned hitherto except witnessing in passivity, there is one particular matter that we instigated and to this day our session can rightly take pride in it.  If I remember correctly, three of us – Maqsood Ahmed Shaheen, Asif Seemab and I – were roaming around aimlessly when we came up with the idea of publishing a magazine on behalf of the students of the DLS (PU).  We parked the idea and let it brew for a while.  However, the more we tried to laugh it out, more intensely did it captivate our minds!  We decided to explore it further and test the waters.  My sports motorbike, a not-so-trusty old banger, was used to transport 3 and sometimes 4 of us to various locations on and off the campus.  We visited the editors of a couple of magazines issued by some other departments to get an idea of what publishing a university magazine entailed.  We also visited some printers at Urdu Bazar to find how much it would have cost to print a magazine.  It was some years before e-publishing offered an alternative modus operandi to the publishers.  The initial explorations weren’t very encouraging, I have to say. 🙂 🙂


Bewildered but not willing to give in, 😦  we decided to speak to the then Chairman of the department, Anwar-ul-Haq Sahib.  He listened to us patiently but remained non-committal with regards to any funding requirements.  However, on our request, he very kindly appointed Afzal Haq Qarshi Sahib as our advisor – invariably the best man for the job.  But it was now clear that we had to raise the funds or a large part thereof if the magazine were to see the light of the day.


In a ‘eureka moment’, our gang of four decided to request (should be read ‘force’) our classmates and seniors to make a contribution of Rs.100 each.  Youthful naivety did not pay heed to any dissenting voices and had its way.  We chased our class fellows for months and made most, if not all, of them pay the amount. 😉  Our seniors persevered and barring one or two kind-hearted souls, no one obliged.  However, in the next year we coerced our juniors into paying the amount.  We solicited funds from the teachers too and they, generally, acceded to our demand.  One of them objected to the fact that we demanded twice the amount from teachers of what we sought from the students.  However, everyone complied at the end. 🙂


By that time, the final exams were upon us.  We had a few thousand rupees and a small pile of articles, stories and poetry that our class fellows and juniors had handed over to us for publication.  The funds that we had managed to raise were still short of the required amount.  At this point, considering we were preparing for our exams, Qarshi Sahib very kindly took the reins in his more than capable hands.  His experience and contacts in the publishing world of Lahore made things easier.  He spent a lot of time and oversaw the publication of the first issue.  We had already decided that it would be called ‘Pakistani Librarian’, later to be renamed as Pakistan Journal of Library & Information Science (PJLIS).

On the final day of the exams as we gathered in the library for a farewell get-together, Razzaq Sahib from the department library announced the publication of ‘Pakistani Librarian’ and that we could collect our copies from Qarshi Sahib’s office who had by then replaced Anwar-ul-Haq Sahib as the chairman.  Even after these many years, I find it difficult to explain how it felt at the time to hold the first copy of the ‘Pakistani Librarian’. 🙂 🙂 🙂


Early to mid-1990s saw another major change in the field of librarianship in Pakistan.  ‘Library automation’ became a buzzword that could be heard in any conversation among the professional community.  The professional literature and newsletters published in the country were replete with this phrase.  Understandably it became a cliché, very soon.  It was during that time that the first stand-alone computer was acquired for the department.  During our session, email facility was provided to the department through the courtesy of a sponsor.  Free web-based email did not exist at the time.  Even access to email was the prerogative of a select few, let alone the Internet.  I’m sure some of us still remember CDS/ISIS and LAMP.


Our group spent long hours in libraries both on and off-the campus reading everything – from literature and history to philosophy – precluding only the course study materials.  Our conversations with Mirza Hameed Sahib, department librarian, focussed more on Shakespeare’s plays than LIS literature.  He seemed more into English literature than librarianship.  I still remember his advice to read only ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Julius Caesar’ and ignore the rest of the works.  Discussions with Qarshi Sahib revolved more around Iqbal, Abul Kalam Azad and Indian history than the unit he taught.  I vividly remember the day when I entered his room and he had just received his complementary copies of ‘Iqbal Ka Fikr-o-Fan’ which he compiled and edited for Bazm-e-Iqbal, Lahore.  I enquired about the book, with innocence that Puss in Boots would be proud to exhibit through his eyes.  Qarshi Sahib very kindly offered me a copy with his signature.  Years later when the 3rd edition was published by Iqbal Academy with a revised title, I managed to obtain a copy, again with his signature.  I still have both the copies on my bookshelf. 😉


One of the great privileges of my life has been to come in contact with the distinguished teachers and some remarkable individuals at the DLS (PU).  Memories continue to flock as I sit back and think about them.  I hope to see them in the conference in a couple of weeks’ time.  While writing these memories, a popular old song was reverberating in my head all the time; so I finish off with its opening lines:;)


“Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

We’d live the life we choose

We’d fight and never lose

For we were young and sure to have our way..”


Session 1993-4
Session 1993-4

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