Best Practices in Academic Libraries in India: A Study
ODLIS (Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science) describes best practices as follows: “In the application of theory to real-life situations, procedures that, when properly, applied consistently yield superior results and are therefore used as reference points in evaluation of the effectiveness of alternative methods of accomplishing the same task. Best practices are identified by examining empirical evidence of success.”
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary describes ’best practices as quality of high standard, excellence, highly improved, outstanding, par excellence service. It means way of doing something that is usual or expected way in a particular organization or situation, guidelines for good practices. In this process of developing best practices we take action rather than good ideas, and we improve our skills.’
“National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) developed a set of best practices followed in academic libraries and presented under the following four broad areas:
1. Management and Administration of Library.
2. Collection and Services.
3. Extent of User Services.
4. Use of Technology.
For college libraries NAAC has developed the following set of best practices for college libraries:
- Computerization of library with standard software.
- Inclusion of sufficient information about the library in the college prospectus.
- Compiling student / teacher statistics
- Displaying newspaper clippings and a clipping file maintained periodically.
- Career/ employment information services
- Internet facility to different user groups
- Information literacy programmes
- Suggestion Box
- Displaying New Arrivals
- Conduct book exhibition on different occasions
- Organizing book talks
- Instituting Annual Best Use Award for students
- Organizing competitions annually
- Conduct user survey periodically
However the above set of best practices for college libraries prepared by NAAC cannot be termed as the last word. The following set of practices too should have been included in it.
- Making of a Path Finder to the library
- Keeping the library premises neat and clean
- Compiling a list of Current Serials/ catalogue of journals.
- Updating and maintaining library website
- Maintaining useful statistics regarding the use of the library and displaying them on the library walls
- Compiling checklists on different subject/topics as a part of documentation service
- Library Committee formation
- Distribution of useful handouts
Source : An Article from MANAGEMENT MODELS AND FRAMEWORK by S.D. Vyas, Librarian, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India, firstname.lastname@example.org
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