The beginning of the 21st century appears to be ushering in a new era of human life with a number of very significant inexorable changes. The ever changing and developing technologies have changed the all round expectations of the people as a whole along with the library users. Users are not satisfied with traditional library services. Users are demanding modern, innovative information and knowledge support facilities from libraries, not only in the existing fields of engineering but also in a number of new fields that are emerging. For all the strengths and weaknesses, the government has launched the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) to equipment the strength effectively and to fighting weaknesses of the country. NKC has suggested for creating a knowledge based society to build up India as human resource capital of the world. NKC has given a very strategic role to Libraries and Information Centers to provide all the information and knowledge support to the process of economic development and growth. Thus the library professionals have an unfortunate opportunity to participate in the change of our strength into knowledge strength. In the process, library professionals have to face a number of challenges. Library professionals need to assess strengths and weaknesses of the field to overcome and get rid of the weakness of the same.
At present, library professionals have to acquire computer and communication skills and get in-depth training in use of institutional repositories, library management software package, radio frequency identification technology as part of their professional education and training. Library professionals need to perform their job with special combination of intellectual aptitude, computer skills, communication skills and managerial abilities all at a relatively high level. Library professionals need to attend short term courses, continuing self education, publish professional writing, presenting seminar and conference papers etc. to keep themselves updated.
The responsibilities of the library professionals have increased and changed tremendously with the changing environment of the libraries. The Autonomous Engineering College libraries of Andhra Pradesh are now moving towards modernization and they are successful to a large extent in meeting the demands of the users. Self-Assessment plays a vital role for the improvement of the library professionals by helping in different decision making policies of the libraries. Further it also helps a lot in the right direction to achieve organizational goal and for better performance of the library professionals.
These issues were in my mind before taking up the study area for the Ph.D. programme. Moreover, I have attended a number of professional events like seminars, conferences, discussions, workshops wherein self-assessment were the one of the focal areas. All these have worked in a positive way for taking up the study and research.
Keeping in mind all these, I discussed with my fellow professional friends, professionals working in various colleges at different positions and respected lecturers of B.L.I.Sc and M.L.I.Sc. Courses, including my research guide Professor Kodela Venkata Rao who has also advised me for undertaking the topic for my PhD.
I am confident that this study will ably guide library authority and library professionals for evaluating self-assessment and better professional performance.