INFormation and LIBrary NETwork (INFLIBNET): In April 1988, the University Grant Commission (UGC) constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Yash Pal, to work out the details of a university information library networking system. The report of this working group was published in December 1988 containing a project proposal for the establishment and development of an information and library network. Finally, in April 1991, INFLIBNET was initiated by the UGC. It can be defined as a computer communication network of libraries and information centres of universities, institutions of national importance, Research and Development Institutions, bibliographical information centres, etc, thereby improving the capability in information handling and services.
a) Objectives: INFLIBNET Centre is an Autonomous Inter-University Centre (IUC) of University Grants Commission (UGC) involved in creating infrastructure for the sharing of library and information resources and services among the academic and research institutions.
b) Organization: The organization of INFLIBNET can be viewed from the following angles-
i) National Centre: One national centre at Ahemdabad.
ii) Regional Centre: 4 Regional centre located in four geographical region of the country. They are -
- North: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
- South: Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- East: Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
- West: University of Poona, Pune.
iii) Sectoral Centre: These are means for bibliographic and information services. About 40 Sectoral Information Centre (S.I.C.) will be set up in due course.
iv) Document Resource Centre (DRC): About 100 library / Information centres will be deigned as Document Resource centre. They will provide Document Delivery Service and they will be identified based on their collection strength.
Each regional centre will maintain the copies of union catalogue of other regions so that Union Catalogue enquires relating to the whole country holding can be solved at the regional centre itself. The terminal of the college / department library is to be connected to the University library, the terminal of the University library is to be connected to the Regional centre, sectoral centre and D.R. Centers.
c) Resources: The main resources of INFLIBNET are.
i) University catalogue: The catalogue of document, periodicals, thesis forms major part of INFLIBNET resources.
ii) Research & Development Library Catalogue: The collection of NISCAIR and NASSDOC.
iii) National Library: The computerized catalogue of the National Library of Kolkata.
iv) Indigenous Databases: The databases of discipline oriented information centre such as Machine tools, Food technology, Leather technology, Drugs, Aeronautics are considered as input to the INFLIBNET resources.
d) Functions and Activities: The main functions and activities of INFLIBNET are-
i) SOUL Software: INFLIBNET has developed library management software known as SOUL. It is associated with its training, installation and up-gradation. Under Prime Minister’s special package to NE India, SOUL packages are given free of cost to those libraries which are under 2F or 12B of UGC. Delivery of SOUL package is done through the UGC Regional office. The SOUL 2.0 was launched in 2009.
ii) Institutional Repository: INFLIBNET Centre develops a digital repository using DSpace software. It hosts INFLIBNET’s Press and Media related documents, INFLIBNET's Annual Reports, INFLIBNET's Convention Proceedings, INFLIBNET's Special Seminar, etc.
iii) Electronic Submission of Theses and Dissertations (ETD): It is a joint venture of UGC, INFLIBNET takes an active role in making it mandatory to submit the electronic copy of a thesis whenever the research scholars submit their thesis to the respective university or institutions for the PhD degree.
iv) IndCat: Online Union Catalogue of Indian Universities: It is unified Online Library Catalogues of books, theses and journals available in major university libraries in India.
v) CCF to MARC Conversion Utility: INFLIBNET launched an open source utility primarily focused on libraries, where one needs to convert CCF data to MARC21 format. Development of tool has been done with VB.Net 2005 with Framework 2.0. It can be found in <http://sourceforge.net/projects/ccftomarcconver/>
vi) Standardization: MARC – II has been accepted as bibliographic standard for data capturing.
vii) Seminars, Conferences, Workshops and Training: INFLIBNET is regularly conducting Convention on Automation of Libraries in Education and Research Institutions (CALIBER) and Promotion of Library Automation and Networking in North Eastern Region (PLANNER) every year. From 2009, the authority of INFLIBNET has decided to hold CALIBER and PLANNER every alternate year. Besides, it also conducts INFLIBNET Regional Training Programme on Library Automation (IRTPLA) and Attachment Training Programme for Practicing Librarians and Computer Professionals of North Eastern Region.
viii) Mailing Lists and Forum: As on November, 2009 INFLIBNET is maintaining four online mailing lists besides its “INFLIBNET Centre Blog” <http://www.inflibnet.ac.in/blog/> that provides news and announcement related to the INFLIBNET.
INFLIBNET is a cooperative venture. So its resource strength depends on its participants. The development of SOUL is likely to give more revenue to INFLIBNET and provide justification for more and more libraries to join it. As a resource, it is hoped that INFLIBNET will grow faster as a service based library network in India. The INFLIBNET Library plays a vital role in the collection development and dissemination of scientific and technical information to meet the present and future needs of the Centre.