The most favourite haunt of the bookworm, a staple scene in films worldwide and a world where history, science, fantasy and fiction co-exist, the library is nothing short of a cultural icon.

In these rapidly changing times, where books are read on the Kindle and search engines have taken over the role of the librarian, the library is at the crossroads.

Come December and librarians and information science professionals will descend on Puducherry to examine how libraries and information centres can shift their focus from ‘Building collections to making connections: transforming libraries in the knowledge era.’

The 17th edition of the National Convention on Knowledge, Library and Information Networking, an annual event, will be organised by the Developing Library Network in collaboration with the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), from December 9 to 11.

“It’s an honour for the French Institute of Pondicherry. This is the first time that it is being held in Puducherry,” said Anurupa Naik, chief librarian at the IFP and organising secretary, NACLIN 2014.

The convention will look at managing libraries through open source software packages. Some of the sub-themes include digital technologies, management of e-resources, networking, social media and libraries, reading habits and library users, copyright and intellectual property rights, library and information science and transforming libraries through remodelling spaces, modernising and other methods.

“Around 350 library and information science professionals from various parts of India, South Asia and other countries are expected to attend. It will be a wonderful opportunity for library and information science professionals to interact, debate and discuss with colleagues and experts on important issues, and learn about the latest developments in their profession, especially their changing role in the knowledge era. We hope library professionals and LIS students will join us at the convention,” said Ms. Naik.

The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, is expected to inaugurate the convention.

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