Infostructure


Infostructure in National Development Perspectives


by
Dr. Mohamed Taher
Information Specialist
drmtaher@yahoo.com

Literature Survey            My paper




Googling in title       Googling anyhow
 

The library is a ubiquitous component of the information environment of any society and plays a critical role in connecting information resources and services with users. Yet, despite their ubiquity and centrality in the production, management and dissemination of information in society, libraries have been largely neglected in many CEE countries. Libraries can play a critical role in political reconfiguration of their nation by building the types of skills and competencies that will empower individuals and thereby contribute to shaping an information culture that meets the needs of the time. Nadia Caidi: Building “civilisational competence”: a new role for libraries? Journal of Documentation Volume 62 Issue 2 2006, (pp. 194-212)

Literature Survey

The term Infostructure has been used in the literature, since 1984.  Not all agree on what is infostructure. Each writer (incl. e-writer) has used it to meet his/her end. This essay first reviews the literature in print, as well as, on the net and the results are follows:

E-publications & Web sites:

(1)
What is an infostructure? (Dead link? - Web site unavailable? link checked Nov. 19,2002)
Extract: "Infostructure is a word that I have decided to coin, because we need a word like it. It is an easy cognitive slip from infrastructure to here, for both refer to a necessary groundwork that must be laid. ... An infostructure is similar (to infrastructure), except that it doesn't refer to anything physical. An infostructure is the layout of information in a manner such that it can be navigated -- it's what's created any time an amount of information is organized in a useful fashion. A table of contents is an infostructure, as is a bibliography, or an index. GopherSpace is an infostructure. The World Wide Web is an infostructure" (page last updated Oct. 23, 1994) (2)
National Information Infrastructure (NII):
Extract: "The phrase "information infrastructure" has an expansive meaning. The National Information Infrastructure (NII) includes more than just the physical facilities used to transmit, store, process, and display voice, data, and images. ... That is why, beyond the physical components of the infrastructure, the value of the National Information Infrastructure to users and the nation will depend in large part on the quality of its other elements:

  • The information itself, which may be in the form of video programming, scientific or business databases ...
  • Application and software that allow users to access, manipulate, organize, and digest the proliferating mass of information...
  • The network standards and transmission codes that facilities interconnection and interoperation between networks, and ensure the privacy of persons and security ...
  • The people -- largely in the private sector -- who create the information, develop applications and services, construct the facilities, and train others to tap its potential...
Every component of the information infrastructure must be developed and integrated if America is to capture the promise of the Information Age".

(3)
Providing information as the 'Fourth Utility', Building "Infostructure" key to meeting tenant requirements, by Herb Hauser. (Reprinted electronically from Office Life Magazine, December 1997)

Extract: The year is 1903. A real estate developer has just decided to bring copper wires to one of his buildings in order to power up "light bulbs". ... The year is 2003. Worldwide telecommunications advances have produced a myriad of communications services and a complex array of technologies and products to deliver these now-essential services. Tenants wouldn't think of choosing a building without advanced communications capability - it would be like choosing a building without electricity. ...

How do we characterize "InfoStructure"? I have come up with the following ways that information, the fourth utility, initiates and differs from the other three (heat, water, and light) utilities (in providing residences with info structure):

  • delivery of information achieved through appliances, computers, fax machines, TV, telephones,
  • deliver info seamlessly as water through a faucet, ..
  • unlike the others, information is highly dynamic, info. and bandwidth demands and content may be very different ...
  • unlike the others, info is bi-directional
  • unlike the others, info is a global utility
  • unlike the others, each info resource requires a different transmission mechanism,
  • unlike the others, building infrastructure necessary to distribute and meter info through its various delivery channels is not yet in place
(4)
Informatics and Infostructure  UNESCO CII - WebWorld
Extract: UNESCO will concentrate on the development of a sound "Infostructure" (policies, networking and applications), for its Member States.

A large number of projects in this area are being implemented within the framework of the Intergovernmental Informatics Programme.

This strategy includes:

  • supporting consistent national information policies
  • networking of people and institutions
  • designing innovative, application-oriented, pilot projects: virtual learning communities, virtual laboratories, virtual libraries, ...
  • developing information management tools
  • training in information and informatics
  • improving infrastructures: public libraries, archives and documentation centers serving as gateways to the Information Society, information services and networks. (copyright 1998)


(5)
A Global Infostructure for a Global Info Society
Extract:

  • economies and communities are globalizing
  • western economies transform into information economies
  • telco markets are liberalized and free competition is introduced
  • Info Infrastructure for global info society:  a) Multimedia  b) Internet Protocols c) E-commerce (@1999)
(6)
Infostructure WA Pty. Ltd
Extract: Infostructure is an information/knowledge based business located in Perth, Western Australia. We assist clients in researching, understanding, communicating, collating, and retrieving all types of information (last modified Aug. 16, 1999)

(7)
InfoStructure Incorporated
Extract: InfoStructure offers professional computer services to business in need of knowledgeable consulting for computer systems and software. .. InfoStructure is pleased to open its doors to home PC users in the Greater Springfield Area. (@ 1998).

(8)
A Concept Dictionary - Working Knowledge to Support Health Infostructure
Extract: The project will develop a Concept Dictionary, a web-based tool to help health care analysts and researchers use information resources more efficiently, by devising terminology that will make database access easier.  (last updated on Dec. 22, 1998).

(9)
Building a city Infostructure Additional links
Extract: "Re-engineering the desktop: Taking the knowledge-base to the user to support education and city  communities" by Jim Strom, and George Neisser, Manchester Univ.

(10)
Infostructure Methodology (Dead link, Website unavailable, link checked on Nov. 19, 2002)
Extract: Within the Specification Documentation, we map out what the solution should do for your company, what business needs it addresses and how it will be utilized by end-users. Elements addressed in the documentation may include: all components of the solution, data layouts, API interfaces, flowcharts and/or mockups of graphic user interfaces, paper or functional prototypes, network topology, and the requirements for hardware, software, operating systems and storage. ...

(11)
Civil Infostructure Technology
Extract: An interdisciplinary team of software designers, engineers, and social scientists is working to identify ways to help organizations use information technology more effectively in a new project funded by the National Science Foundation. Project City will provide a demonstration of how IT can help communities maintain their civil infrastructure -- their buildings, roads, bridges, sewer lines, and gas and water pipelines. The major functions of the CityScape are to support:

  • a shared space of a rich variety of data and info to support a wide array of work contexts
  • a flexible workflow support tool for the most ubiquitous process
  • access to spatial data manipulation, particularly for real property, environmental, natural resources, master planning, and CAD functions
  • access to organizational data, particularly for managers and new lines.
  • a public kiosk for members of the community (functions extracted from print version: IEEE Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 1997, pp. 2223-27), (web site last updated 11 September, 1995).
(12)
The Web as a Set of Infostructures
Extract: Currently more and more documents on the Web are part of an infostructure - an information resource with a specifically designed structure. Automatic document converters such as webMaker (a frame to HTML converter) and a LaTeX2HTML take a master, non-HTML document and produce a set of HTML pages from it.

The process can create large infostructures easily and effectively, due to the extra navigation information it can automatically generate. ... (printed as "Weblinker, a tool for managing WWW cross-references", by Aimar A,  et al., Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, 28 (1 & 2), Dec 95, 99-107).

(13)
Infostructure
Abstract: Provides extensive training and access based information services

(14)
NPS Home Infostructure History (Naval Postgraduate School) (dead link, Web site not available: checked on Nov. 19, 2002)
Extract: "In addition to all the usual little editing here and there, I changed the link to the research web page, as the Research Department has now taken over that responsibility. Also changed the graphics for the NPS Infostructure slightly (March 6, 1996).  ... added the "building web pages at NPS" page, as well as made some changes and updates to the various pages. The central Home Page infostructure looks like this: ... (March 13, 1995)

(15)
Infosurge and Infostructure
Extract: (Written for NORTEL). by James Burke.
Thanks to information surge, each one of us in the modern world has more machine power available at a fingertip than any Roman emperor. ... Most important of all, information surge changes the way we think. We are experiencing a transformational surge of innovation and convergence of information technologies.

(16)
McLean, Neil, "Global access to scholarly communication: The quest for sustainable solutions"

Extract: Almost all developed countries are now engaging in open debate on the nature of the information infrastructure required to compete successfully in the global market. The debate is fraught with problems for a variety of reasons, including:

     the lack of any agreed definition of national information infrastructure;
     the difficulties in defining and describing the inextricable links between technological infrastructure and information infrastructure;
     the high number of stakeholders and the diversity of visions;
     the uncertainty of the role of public intervention/investment in an enterprise that is so market-driven;
     the rapid pace of technological change, which appears to defy the normal rules of strategic planning;
     the very different rates of progress between the various service sectors;
     the doubts in many countries on how they can influence what appears to be a global development, primarily driven from the US.

All these problems have led to doubts as to whether the paradigm of the national information infrastructure is a useful
vehicle for addressing the developmental issues.

(17)
McLean, Neil, "Information architectures: Why do they matter?"

Extract: This paper aims to explain the importance of defining and understanding the concepts and content which underpin the information infrastructure required to support the library and information industry. It also explores the inextricable link with technological infrastructure and the importance of defining the functionality required to allow transparent access to information resources. Finally, there is reference to a series of potential service paradigms, all of which are dependent on the development of open systems architecture based on common technical standards.
 
 

(18)
McLean, Neil. "Investment in information and knowledge infrastructure: A Strategic Framework for Australia's Research Enterprise"

Extract: It is widely accepted at the international level that there are inextricable links between information and knowledge infrastructure and technological infrastructure. This has led to the tentative use of the term 'infostructure' to embrace both concepts, although it is not entirely satisfactory because both components require different, but complementary, strategies for achieving success.

The relationship between both types of infrastructure need, therefore, careful definition and consequent synchronization of development strategies. When analyzing policy development at the international level, there are many signs of dysfunctional strategies either because of undue concentration on the importance of technological infrastructure or, conversely, an unfounded optimism by information and knowledge policy makers that the technological infrastructure will be automatically in place to fulfill service requirements. It is critical, therefore, that technical requirements for supporting a highly distributed information and services environment be clearly specified, both in functional and technical terms.

(19)
McLean, Neil, "Strategic directions for Australia's research infrastructure."

Extract: The Project Workshop was sponsored by nine universities with a strong interest in research, together with the CSIRO. In the latter half of 1998, Colin Steele, the University Librarian at the Australian National University, canvassed opinion at various levels within the university research community, within CSIRO and with the primary funding agencies DETYA and the ARC, concerning the impending crisis facing Australia in terms of library and information support for research.

The main symptoms of this perceived crisis are:

  • all the main players in the research enterprise including, researchers, librarians, university managers, publishers
  • the competition for scarce economic resources has become fierce at the institutional level and in terms of competing for research grants
  • the costs of maintaining information infrastructure, particularly journals, are escalating of an alarming rate
  • libraries, being the main providers of access to information and knowledge, are under particular pressure as they try to maintain both traditional print-based services and a plethora of new electronic information services
  • there is no consensus at the national or international level on how best to deal with the perceived crisis.
(20)
Components of the African Information Society Initiative:
extracts: Building Africa's information and communication sector requires developing and improving four major components:
  • Institutional framework and legal, regulatory and management mechanisms.
  • Human resources.
  • Information resources (infostructure): Communications infrastructure supports both access to content and access to an electronic venue (space) where real social and economic activity occur. The quality of data and information, knowledge resources (databases, archives and libraries) which are made available via this 'infostructure' ranging  from indigenous to global information sources, and how they are used, will ultimately be the yardstick by which the benefits of the AISI will be judged. ... The opportunities for building a wealth of information sources could have substantial positive impact on Africa, allowing it to: a) enable African decision makers to make much more informed socio-economic planning decisions; (b) make African people producers of indigenous information and knowledge and not simply passive consumers of imported information, (c) export information and knowledge and to participate pro-actively in the development of the global information infrastructure, (d) provide African researchers and scientists with access to information on Africa generated from within the continent, (e) enable African researchers and scientists to collaborate on an equal footing with their peers around the world irrespective of distance, (f) promote Africa's culture, heritage including the modern cultural sector of its rich and growing film and music industries.
  • Technological resources (infrastructure)
(21)
Health Infostructure in Canada - Introduction
Extract: An ambitious, long-term undertaking, the development of a health infostructure in Canada will help our health care system meet the challenges of the 21st century. The term "health infostructure" refers to the development and adoption of modern systems of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in the Canadian health care system which would allow the people of Canada (the general public, patients and caregivers, as well as health care providers, health managers, health policymakers and health researchers) to communicate with each other and make informed decisions about their own health, the health of others, and Canada's health system.
 
(22)
InfoStructures
Founded in 1988 in Maryland. We are the US trademark holder for the word InfoStructures in the areas of computer consulting and software development.
Main areas of interest:
NETWORK SUPPORT: Comprehensive network support for small businesses, trade associations, corporate offices, and government agencies.
NETWORK INTEGRATION: Certified by Novell , Microsoft and Citrix for excellence in network integration services, with a balance between leading-edge technology and proven reliability. Providing powerful and reliable PC's and servers from Compaq.
CONSULTING: Experienced staff members provide consulting assistance on various types of of system analysis/recommendation projects.

Printed papers:

(1980)
Zurkowski, Paul G. "Information Industry Association," In Simora, Filomena, editor. The Bowker Annual of Library & Book Trade Information. New York, R.R. Bowker Company, 1980. pp. 149-155
Abstract: The Information Industry Association, established in 1968, is a trade group for those concerns that
"create, assemble, organize, manage, or distribute information products and services through any
medium appropriate to the client or customer." The association has firmly established the concept of the
information industry as a separate and identifiable industry and has identified common interests for a
large and growing list of companies. A brief review of the highlights of the association's activities in 1979
included the launching of a new membership campaign, the publication of the third edition of Information
Sources (a membership directory) and of The Information Resources: Policy, Background and
Issues--An Infostructure Handbook by Forest Horton, and the development of an industry survey. Also
described were the National Information Conference and Exposition and the activities of the various
committees of the association.

(1984)
Zurkowski, Paul G., "Integrating America's infostructure", JASIS, 35 (3) May 84, 170-178.
Abstract: Infostructure is defined by using a map of information industry to show interrelationships of various segments. There is an interrelationship of the 8 information industry segments, viz., content services, content packages, facilitation services, information technologies, integrating technologies, communication technologies, communication channels, and broadcast channels. A new, vertically integrated infostructure is revealed, based on information and communication technology and designed to deliver information content. Criteria for identifying information businesses are identified and each segment of map is reviewed in relation to parameters.
 

(1987)
Levitan, K.B.  Government Infostructures: A Guide to the Networks of Information Resources and Technologies at Federal, State, and Local Levels.   Westport CT, Greenwood Press, 1987. 320 pp.
Abstract: The chapters in this book address the components of information infrastructures and their interrelationships in supporting selected policy topics and processes. The significance of information  resources management to the formation, execution, and direction of public policies at national, state and
local levels are directly and indirectly examined. The text is divided into three sections: descriptions and
discussions of infostructure components at 1) the federal level; and 2) the state level; and 3) case
studies of policy areas and their underlying infostructures. Specific application areas include civil
liberties, congressional uses of information technologies, decision analysis, service policies to specific
groups, such as the aging and the handicapped and the dynamics of policy making as it parallels
information resource management.

(1987)
Barth, P.D. "The Veterans Administration: organizational and information structures," In Government Infostructures: A Guide to the Networks of Information Resources and Technologies at Federal, State, and Local Levels. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 1987. pp. 219-241.
Abstract: In a detailed case study, the author described the parallels between the information and organizational structures of the Veterans Administration in handling its policies. She provides descriptive
profiles of the organizational units that are the primary loci of information collection, use and
dissemination and access to rule making. For each unit, relevant infostructure considerations are
presented, including 1) the network of information technologies and associated people; 2) information
resources (collection, records and reports) and their physical and functional placement; and 3) the
organizational placement of workers involved with information.

(1992)
Ellis, William W., "Changing information infostructure", in The Future of Information: Money, Management and Technology. Edited by Carolyn Mulford.  Summaries of proceedings of the FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies, 9th, Washington DC.,  March 17, 1992.

(1994)
Fielding, R., "Maintaining distributed hypertext infostructures: Welcome to MOMspider's Web," Computer Networks and ISDN Systems,  27 (2), November 1994, 193-204.
Abstract: Most documents made available on the World-Wide Web can be considered part of an infostructure --an information resource database with a specifically designed structure. Infostructures often contain a wide variety of information sources, in the form of interlinked documents at distributed sites, which are maintained by a number of different document owners (usually, but not necessarily, the original document authors). Individual documents may also be shared by multiple infostructures. Since it is rarely static, the content of an
infostructure is likely to change over time and may vary from the intended structure. Documents may be moved or deleted, referenced information may change, and hypertext links may be broken. As it grows, an infostructure becomes complex and difficult to maintain. Such maintenance currently relies upon the error logs of each server (often never relayed to the document owners), the complaints of users (often not seen by the actual document maintainers), and periodic manual traversals by each owner of all the webs for which they are responsible. Since thorough manual traversal of a web can be time-consuming and boring, maintenance is rarely or inconsistently performed and the infostructure eventually becomes corrupted. What is needed is an automated means for traversing a web of documents and checking for changes which may
require the attention of the human maintainers (owners) of that web. The Multi-Owner Maintenance spider (MOMspider) has been developed to at least partially solve this maintenance problem. MOMspider can periodically traverse a list of webs (by owner, site, or document tree), check each web for any changes
which may require its owner's attention, and build a special index document that lists our the attributes and connections of the web in a form that can itself be traversed as a hypertext document. This paper describes the design of MOMspider and how it was influenced by the nature of distributed hypertext maintenance and requirements for the good behavior of any web-traversing robot. It also includes discussion of the efficiency requirements for maintaining world-wide webs and proposed changes to HTML and HTTP to support distributed maintenance. The paper concludes with a short description of MOMspider's future and pointers to its freeware distribution site.

(1994)
Ball, M.J. and Reese, E.L. "Information services at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Giving the vision life," JASIS   45 (5), Jun 1994, 326-330
Abstract: The strategic vision for information services at the University of Maryland at Baltimore incorporates the integration concept advocated by the National Library of Medicine. Computing, library, and telecommunications services report to a single vice president; services are being redesigned for optimal functionality. Recent accomplishments include transmitting radiographic images between the campus network and the Johns Hopkins and televising interactive grand rounds-other projects also target networking visual information. A new Health Sciences Library/Information Services Building, scheduled to open in 1997, will
house the "infostructure " for "the virtual library."

(1994)
"Infostructure for the 21st century", Science in Parliament, 51 (6) Dec. 94, 13-16.
Extract: Infostructure for the 21st century is the use of IT in the development of infrastructure for tomorrow's needs.

(1995)
Floridi, L., "Internet: Which future for organized knowledge, Frankenstein or Pygmalion?", Int. J. Human Computer Studies, 43 (2) August 1995, 261-74.
Extract: The Internet is like a new country, with a growing population of millions of well educated citizens. If it wants to keep track of its own cultural achievements in real time, it will have to provide itself with an infostructure like a virtual National Library system. Proposes that institutions all over the world should take full advantage of the new technologies available, and promote and coordinate such a global service. This is essential in order to make possible a really efficient management of human knowledge on a global scale.

(1996)
Green-Kenneth, C, "Building a campus infostructure", Trusteeship, spec. issue, 4-9, 1996.
ABSTRACT: Colleges and university administrations must recognize and accommodate change more quickly and efficiently if the institutions are to remain competitive. Trustees must examine the policies they create from this perspective, also keeping in focus the institution's mission, strategic direction, and future. Institutions need periodic professional renewal just as individuals
do.

(1999)
Summary of the CHLA/ABSC response to the Interim Report of the Advisory Council on Health Infostructure, Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana, 20 (3) Spring, 1999, p. 133-4.
Extract: The Canadian Health Libraries Association has developed a response. Summarizes the response which addresses the lack of reference to knowledge-based information as part of a health infostructure, outlines the need for a national network of health libraries in the context of Interim report's recommendations, and emphasizes the role of health libraries and librarians in Canadian health infostructure and as partners with other information creators and providers.
 

(2002) The IM building blocks, by Robert Meagher, Information Management, 36 (1) Jan / Feb 2002, p. 26-35
Abstract: Information professionals are challenged to think of information management not just as records management but as a business and strategic issue. The article gives the blocks that form the infostructure (p.29). Meagher can be reached at: meagher@itnet.ca
 

My Paper:

Infostructure: Defining what comprises infostructure is then the most complicated task. It is essential that there must be a national consensus of what pertains to information infrastructure or infostructure, necessary for an all round development of nation. While there is a link between technological infra-structure and informational infra-structure (or info-structure), for the purpose of our discussion we will retain this link as indispensable. But our primary discussion relates to infostructure. This paper does not intend to be a recommendatory source for actions and solutions, rather it aims at raising issues that are involved in the development of the nation and its relationship to infostructure.

To begin the discussion it must be explicitly stated that infostructure as construed here is not taken as just one segment of the information society, like a web page or national information policy document, or documentation services, or documentation that supports networking and technological systems.

Infrastructure is understood as the fundamental structure of a unit or system or organization. The basic, fundamental architecture of any infrastructural edifice (be it economy, machine, society, polity, religion, institution), determines how it functions and how it will be prepared to meet requirements of future. But then what is infostructure:

Infostructure, as discussed here, is the base for all information incorporating and information related activities, in the following areas: a) dealing with development of individual or social good or national development; b) meant for academia or business, c) distributed in the society as a free product or value added service; and d) enabling functions such as, education, information, news, entertainment or knowledge building.

For functional purpose, infostructure, is defined here as: developing an integrated support mechanism for information related activities within the framework of library and information industry. Support can be interpreted as regulatory, documentational, metadata, database, etc. These would facilitate, explicitly and implicitly, in manpower development, documentary resource development, organizational development, information and knowledge based content development, etc. These could manifest in the form of guidelines, procedures, policies, plans, manuals, records, reports, databases, web sites, communication technologies, information technologies, etc.. The development of infostructure then concerns creation, generation, assembling, organizing, managing, and distributing information based products and services.

For the sake of illustrating my view point, in a realistic perspective, India is taken here as a case. Two reasons compel me to use India in this illustration. Firstly, India has no such official talk about Infostructure or Infrastructure, and I can illustrate my own perspectives and use my own analogies!  Second, India is the country that has the potential to develop Infostructure, with its vast expertise, resources, existing sectoral information systems, and with an ironically obvious vacuum in terms of developing the national information infrastructure initiative. Let me further elaborate. India has been at the forefront in technological infrastructure, and instances of electronic waves reaching corners of the country is no news. One single state, Andhra Pradesh, has made much inroads in implementing its technological initiatives. Technology apart, and proposed cyber cities in India, apart, there is no inkling of infostructure any where. No official medium has given a hint on how and where is the information support that is required for all the technological infrastructure that is being imported or generated using the indigenous resources. Internet is globally growing as a supplement to the existing information resources. Contradictorily, in India, all attempts are in isolation, and it is aimed to develop the Internet information resource. Library development and library movement, which had undergone tragicomic stage in the last fifty years, has been altogether by-passed in this process. No single source in any place can provide all information to all the needs of the information society. This has not yet dawned to Indian cyber maniacs, and soon they will have a nose dive!!!

While it is only the US that has explicitly stated the national goal of creating a Information Infrastructure, a few countries followed the agenda. As seen above, African Information Society Initiative, Canadian Health Infostructure Program, are the two main programs among the nations. UNESCO's proposed 'development of a sound "Infostructure" (policies, networking and applications), for its Member States' is a step in this regard to achieve global outlook. But in all these initiative technological infrastructure dominates, and Infostructure does not seem to occupy a distinct place. All talk, ubiquitously, is for building the high-tech and building bridges to achieve global telecommunication connectivity. Further it is directly focused on lining computers with communications, as C & C the watchword developed by Japanese industrialist, Koji Kobayashi, as early as 1977. Irony is information processing as a term is now directly related to IT and not much of a relative of LIS!!! I quote from eb.com:
'information processing':

 "the acquisition, recording, organization, retrieval, display, and dissemination of information. In recent years, the term has often been applied to computer-based operations specifically."

What is then the agenda for the infostructure in terms of national development perspective? In highlighting the agenda, I will attempt to illustrate Infostructural perspective in the context of India's development needs.

My agenda for infostructure includes:

In-house alterations:
a) LIS, to break its ivory tower and start playing a creative role in national development;
b) Teaching in LIS to be revitalized, as a value added product, and concentrate on national development;
c)  Project based research in LIS to be initiated, as a value added product, and concentrate on national development;
d) Projects have to be in collaboration with business and industry, to make the projects feasible;
e) LIS has to assert and activate all its organs, so that these commence, at least playing, the pro-active role in the national development programs;
f) If the profession finds today itself as a loose configuration and lacks coherence, it is time for a century old profession to re-assess its boundaries in holistic sense, and re-define its territorial limits and frontiers;
g) the profession must wake at least now from slumber and re-install its (e-)reference desks (reference desk  - a concept now reminiscent via library history books), lest they, en-masse, will be soon buried under the debris of reference dust;
h) break the style of waiting for the information seeker, today they must go in search of seekers in the Wild  Wide Web, and get back those potential knowledge seekers into library portals, instead of allowing them to wander in a wasteland;
i) initiate value added products in the new environment of Manmohaniac economy. Today Indian info society is ready to pay any amount for quality based service;
j) re-vitalize the sectoral information systems, that were founded for science literature, and expand its role for all social sciences and humanities, integrating CSIR, NISSAT, INSDOC, NASSDOC in a manner that there is more purpose based cooperation leading to the development of a library and information consortium;
k) integrate all information handling agencies that form the information industry components, i.e., consider these sisterly organizations as one whole - content services, content packages, facilitation services, information technologies, integrating technologies, communication technologies, communication channels, and broadcast channels (Zurkowski, 1984);
l) Consolidate and broaden the inter-disciplinary vistas (based on whose continued support does the foundation of LIS stand) - social, economic, historical, anthropological, scientific and technological, and others;
m) mindset and attitudinal overhaul are a must to achieve infostructural superiority in the world, and to bring man-machine-material balance in the infostructure.
 
 

External manifestations:
a) the national programs must at least now incorporate library and information science (LIS), in addition to the on going talk to enhance telecommunications and power among the technological infrastructural initiatives;
b) so also, incorporate LIS in national development programs and projects;
c) while energy, light and water are considered as essential infrastructure for the national development, information must be explicitly incorporated as a fourth essential component;
d) Infostructural paradigm must be manifestly incorporated in the constitutional and legal frame of reference, and proper remedial measures to implement infostructure in all relevant context;
e) the society must find for itself that LIS is more than the person behind the reference desk.
 
 

[Other details to follow]


Note: taher.cjb.net: has moved to: https://sites.google.com/site/akbanis
May 1, 2006
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