National Open and Distance Learners’ Library and Information Network (NODLINET)
NODLINET is a platform for libraries and information centres of the Open and Distance Learning System of the country provisioning information resources and digitized content to its stakeholders form anywhere at anytime using advanced technologies to enhance the quality of education at par with the conventional education system.
The Open and Distance Learning System is vast and complex. There have been serious concerns for ensuring the equivalent delivery of information sources as of the conventional system to the millions of Open Learners-faculty, counselors, researchers and students in remote setting of the country. Existing Library and Information set up has limitations in ODL system in regards to the library facilities, printed information resources, infrastructure, space, storage, ICT provisioning and staff. Due to resource constraints and location in far flung areas, the students in the distance learning institutions do not have access to the same kind of library services as available to the campus based learners. In the ODL system the applications of ICT hold great potential to meet the challenge of bridging the gap between the libraries and the students at home, work place or anywhere.
With the aim to create an integrated e-platform for scattered e-resources i.e. accessible e-books/journals of publishers and attempts of various institutions to create digitized contents of library resources unique and relevant to target beneficiaries, National Open and Distance Learners’ Library & Information Network (NODLINET) has been established. Its National Task Force Meeting has delineated the action plan for EFYP (2007-12).
This network and consortium shall involve all the participating institutions of the ODL system like State Open Universities (SOUs), Distance Education Institutes (DEIs) of conventional universities, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), and IGNOU.
Apart from e-resources access and digitization, NODLINET also plans to provide accredited standards and guidelines for the establishment of distance learning library facilities and assist in their set-up of automation, building digital libraries, etc. The Network would assess the content requirement of ODL system and further establish linkages with other national library networks so as to strengthen information resources for ODL system by sharing mechanism.
Activities, applications and services have been envisaged and virtual information system of open distance learning institutions comprising consortium of e-resources access for ODL and other components have been worked out at par with e-libraries of international open universities.
The NODLINET is governed by apex management of its National Task Force with Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU as its Chairman and the members as its functionaries. It is a planned activity of IGNOU as a continuation of its System Development Programme for ODL system.
The strategic plan emphasizes on producing distance learning libraries services, from the network, which are equivalent to those on-campuses. Distance learning students shall have access, somehow, to library/learning resources and services, designed to support the specific programmes offered. These services/resources shall meet the same standard of academic qualities as the same information resources offered in traditional settings. ODL library system should either a) own the resources itself or provide appropriate direct service b) provide electronic access or c) have formal agreement in place for provision of materials and services by other organizations.
The activities have been grouped as-VISDOL (Virtual Information System for Open and Distance Libraries) with its component CERDOL (Consortium of E-Resources for Open & Distance Libraries)
Activity components are:
• Digitized content
• Strengthening the ODL library setup
• Convergence with conventional system
• Linkage with other networks
• System integration
• Web Portal with access management and authentication
• Integrated platform for library related and other diversified library related services as E-Library.
The inter-working of relevant accessible content from other national library network and consortia is planned to be forged to economize the efforts. The activities and services shall be on suitable architecture, technology based options, and type of infrastructure available at DLIs (Distance Learners Institutions) with a suitable model.
To start with, Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU & Chairman, NODLINET launched access to 185 titles of e-books of World best publishers. These e-books are accessible to IGNOU HQ and its users at IGNOU Regional & Study Centres spread all over India. This is the first time that the e-books have been subscribed and provisioned beyond IGNOU HQ.