ICIML 2015 Participant!Farhana Saeed Hashmi

Some events act out as the turning points in our lives. ICIML 2015 was one of that occasion which brought my hidden yearnings out of the box. Social media has reconnected our lives. It was on Facebook that I came across the news of ICIML 2015 centennial celebrations. Upon investigations, revealed that registration is closed but to attend the pre-conference workshops register at the venue. So, I decided to attend.

The moment I entered in the department after a span of 12 years, I found my desires and passions rejuvenated.  ICIML 2015 was the platform which made possible to meet and greet those people who once were your best buddies. Time flies by and we were again sitting together, but for this time not in the classroom but in the conference hall.

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On the first day, I met Dr. Saira Soroya after a long time, cherished the memories of hostel life with each other and she advised me to take admission in M.Phil. I asked her if she thinks I can do it now, after a long gap of 12 years. She replied with her gracious smile “why not, you can, and you will”. This statement boosted up my passion. While sitting in the hall and listening to the researchers I thought whether it would be possible for me to stand on the stage and speak like them. That was the deciding moment of my life which changed everything. And now, after three years, my dream came true to present my first research paper in ICIML 2018. ICIML 2015 was not just an international conference for me but it was a connecting moment with my dreams, with my friends and my teachers whom I idealize the most.

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Thanks to the department which provided a platform to relive our dreams and hope that ICIML 2018 will be another moment which will inspire many others as it inspired me in the past.

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ICIML 2015 Speaker! A Message From Prof. Dr. Trishanjit Kaur

Greetings from INDIA

I am so pleased that the 2nd International Conference on Information Management and Libraries (ICIML 2018) on the theme “Leading for Transformation: Preparing Reflective Information and Library Professionals” is being organized by the Department of Information Management, University of Panjab, Lahore (Pakistan) during 10-12 October 2018. It was a proud moment for me to be a part of the Centenary Celebration of Library and Information Science education which took place during the 1st International Conference on Information Management and Libraries (ICIML 2015) from 10-13 November 2015. 

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It was a great honor for me to represent my country as an international speaker at such a historic and prestigious international conference which saw for the first time in the history of the department perhaps speakers from different countries together on one platform.

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I congratulate the organizers once again for organizing ICIML 2018 which will see a galaxy of international speakers like Prof. Ismail H. Abdullahi, Prof. Miguel Baptista Nunes, Prof. Abebe Rorissa and others together with library and information professionals from Pakistan and other countries. It will be an enriching experience for the participants. I am surely going to miss it this time but nevertheless, I send my warm wishes to the organizers, speakers, participants and paper presenters.

With best wishes for the success of ICIML 2018

Prof. Dr. Trishanjit Kaur

(Former Dean Faculty of Education & Information Science)

Department of Library and Information Science, Punjabi University, Patiala-147002 (Panjab)-India

ICIML 2015 Participant! Syed Adnan Adil-Memories

The very concept of ‘experiential learning’ surrounds around the ‘self-learning by doing things’; none the less, observing others how they have performed certain things also shapes our beliefs, ideas and the knowledge. Participating in ICIML 2015 was such an event, which had further strengthened my beliefs in the ‘fruitful outcomes’ for the dedication and hard work. It literally seems like yesterday when during a face-to-face meeting of her London visit in June 2014, Dr. Kanwal Ameen briefly shared the project-scope of an international conference, as part of the centennial celebrations program for the Department. I was “shockingly surprised” to observe the margin of well-advanced planning, clarity of vision, the level of details already identified, and the element of leadership in delegating the tasks to appropriate people. No wonder why the ‘virus of ICIML 2015’ was injected in me at that point and I started to take up this occasion as my personal-event.

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Over the coming months, more details emerged; formal announcement came out and the operational planning started to take its route. I wouldn’t bore anyone by repeating the national and international uptake and response of the LIS community. Social media and promotion team did an amazing job in promoting the value of this event. And frankly, the campaign was so aggressive that most of the delegates knew about the program. Therefore, upon my arrival in Lahore, I knew most of the details already about of the events.

Process of reconnecting with the history can go in any direction such as soul-searching, self-fulfillment, motivation to do more, nostalgia as well as surprise and shock to observe how quickly time flies. ICIML15 certainly provided an opportunity to experience different behavioral-moods within 4 days. Detailed workshops, structured sessions with the brief presentations and thought-provoking keynote speeches were more than enough for the education and learning. However, the wanderers and rebels can be found anywhere in the world, who can take-up unexpected routes in the grand-schemes of things.

During the cultural night at the Alhamra Arts Council, it was hard to resist the ‘emotions’ at the dance-provoking performances. So not surprisingly, I found myself dancing in my chair. It was a double pleasure to find young and energetic colleagues like Saeed Siddiqui and Bilal Chaudhary also joining me in this “natural expression of the emotions”. Very shortly, three of us were found on the stage performing the Punjabi dance. Before jumping on the main stage, there was a bit reluctance such as: what colleagues would think, should we go to the stage, would we be breaching the decorum, what international colleagues would think and so forth. Like the first drop of rain, we set aside our ceremonial-egos and continued to enjoy the moment. To our great pleasure, we were gradually joined by the seniors, teachers and even international colleagues; all dancing in line with the rhythmic tunes.

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I have always been a fan of the multi-faceted skills and hidden talents of the library community, hence why I always look forward to meeting such “unique colleagues”. At ICIML15, I was attracted by a colleague wearing traditional Sindhi dress; upon introduction, I found that he is a descendant of world-fame Pakistani folk singer “Allan Faqeer”. Since then, I am in touch with Faqeer Aftab (a library professional) via social media. I was equally impressed by Syed Tauseef, who is a professional photographer and was using his skills to cover this event. Saleem Abbas Zaidi is another example, who is an impressive painter. Azhar Ishaq is another social-media enthusiast, who aims to capture every key moment within pictures. Having delegates from Sindh, KPK and Balouchistan also added charm to this event for being so inclusive and broad-ranged. I was honored by the encouragement, given by Dr. Sajjad-ur-Rehman and Dr. Mumtaz A. Anwar. One can learn and enjoy a lot when chatting with Muhammad Ashraf Shakoori, Farasat Shafi-Ullah, Dr. Midrar Ullah, Kazim Shah, Madam Rakhshanda Jahanzaib and Muhammad Ubaid Ullah due to their knowledge and open-nature. Meeting with Sir Afzal Haq Qarshi and Madam Umera Shah was ‘soul-enriching’ experience.

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Concluding ceremony was another ‘emotionally-touching’ occasion, where all the history of the Department was packaged in a short but thoroughly-impactful video. In the end, the way all the delegates applauded Dr. Kanwal Ameen, was a testament to how the LIS community appreciates the “doers”. Without a doubt, this event offered plenty of knowledge, entertainment, an opportunity to network and to reconnect with the teachers and classmates. Only a few occasions can offer such a ‘diversity of flavors’.

I am certain that ICIML 2018 will bring back the same advantages and opportunities for the LIS community. Another encouraging fact, I’ve observed is that since the event, all the proactive volunteers for ICIML15 have excelled in their careers. So certainly, “social capital”, available via such professional gatherings, carries value for the early-career professionals and new graduates.

 

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. 

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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.

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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
by
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
by
Bushra Almas Jaswal

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(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. 🙂 🙂