Libraries are as old as human civilizations. These are important institutions for human and national buildings. Suppose libraries were not important institutions for the last 5000 years; they would have died out long ago. Libraries are places for culture and knowledge preservation. It plays an essential role in society. It creates opportunities for literacy, learning and educations. It shapes the new ideas for a creative and innovative society. It ensures an authentic record of knowledge created by the past generation. Libraries are unique places for educational resources, where people thirst their research quench. It provides 100% safe access to educational resources free of cost. All resources at the library are free without spending money. Those are books, access to the Internet and academic training programmes.
Libraries are helpful in local economies. Many people have argued that libraries are not concerned with the economy, but it plays a crucial role in financially strengthening the local economy. It provides free Internet, workspace and material that help the communities to find jobs and similar opportunities. It buys hardware, software and information that help people in finding opportunities.
Libraries make communities healthier with their resources and it is known as centres for curation, health and wellbeing. It also offers internet facilities where people seek health information and services.
Libraries are the most significant sources of preserving history and truth. In today age, information which is available on the Internet is fake and not authentic. Libraries house centuries of learning, history, information and reality and are great defenders of the fight against misinformation.
Libraries connect communities to share their ideas freely under a roof, like town halls, public parks, and other community centres. Libraries are hubs of communities for sharing good thoughts. It brings people of different caste, creeds and races into one place.
Libraries help people to elevate themselves and their situations in the right direction. It is an excellent source for people connection, where one feels comfortable and peaceful environment to sit there for long hours. As libraries are portals to all of the world’s knowledge, librarians preserve these records for today’s generation and forthcoming.
Libraries are excellent sources of value to the neighbourhood. Those people living near public libraries are great opportunists in enhancing their quality of life. Even public libraries are valuable places for meetings. Libraries are sources of community gathering for social issues and decision making. People of communities come and sit together and share their views.
Libraries break down boundaries and offer free literacy programmes for low-literate and non-English people. It also provides outreach programmes that teach the community of multicultural and multilingual society. It is an excellent source for home-bound elderly, institutionalized individuals, prisoners, blind and hearing-impaired people.
The writer is a library officer at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). He can be reached at [email protected]
Dr. Raiz Ahmed Saeed, Dr. Saeed-ur-Rahaman, Rauf Ahmed, Abid Hussain
Interfaith dialogue has become one of the most significant and interesting activities in contemporary socio-political and socio-religious global scenario due to its crucial role in the peace process and peaceful interfaith relations. Many groups of scholars, institutes, organizations, and even governments are promoting the activities regarding interfaith relations. Meanwhile, it is also assumed that Pakistan is one of the countries where interfaith dialogue activities are arranged officially on the state level. In this study, efforts are made to review statistically and to index the literature produced by Pakistani scholars and universities. A mixed
method research methodology is adopted for this study with a bibliometric approach to find out results. Almost 136 theses & dissertations have been produced by scholars in a wide range of Pakistani Universities on interfaith Dialogue, religious debates, harmony, and relations. The research produced by male scholars was 71 (52.21 %) and most 49 (36%) productive era was from 2011 to 2015. The majority of the research was for Master (38%) and MS/M.Phil (34%) level degrees and about one-fifth of the theses were on the theme of “Interfaith Dialogue in Pakistani context”. Therefore, it is suggested that the course on interfaith dialogue, harmony, and relations should be taught at M. Phil and Ph.D. Level in the discipline of Islamic studies and social sciences.