Candidate for 2022-2024 Director: Debal Kar

In the last two decades, Dr. Debal Kar has become a leader in India’s library community and has been instrumental in raising the visibility of India’s LIS profession. He serves on numerous advisory and expert committees for the Government of India and professional bodies for digital library development and LIS professional development in India. He was founding editor of the World Digital Libraries: An International Journal 2008-2012, Editorial Board Member for the ILA Bulletin 2004-2007, DESIDOC Journal of Library and Information Technology 2008-2011 and World Digital Libraries: An International Journal 2013-2021.

Debal has been very active in SLA since 2006. After serving successfully as Secretary of the Asian Chapter, he became Asian Chapter President in 2008, 2017, 2021 and he served Membership Chair, Nominating Committee Chair, and a founding member of the Asian Chapter’s Award’s Committee. He is also actively involved in the S&T & PAM Community activates and Board members.

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Question #1: Why are you a member of SLA? What has kept you a member throughout the years?
In the last two decades, I have become a leader in India’s library community and have been instrumental in raising the visibility of India’s LIS profession. I serve on numerous advisory and expert committees for the Government of India and professional bodies for digital library development and LIS professional development in India. I was founding editor of World Digital Libraries: An International Journal (2008-2012), editorial board member for the ILA Bulletin (2004-2007), DESIDOC Journal of Library and Information Technology (2008-2011), and World Digital Libraries: An International Journal (2013-2021).

I have been very active in SLA since 2006. After serving successfully as secretary of the Asian Chapter, I became Asian Chapter president in 2008, 2017, and 2021 and served as membership chair, Nominating Committee chair, and a founding member of the Asian Chapter’s Award’s Committee. I am also actively involved in the S&T & PAM Community activates and Board members.

Question #2: Why are you running for the SLA Board of Directors? What do you bring to the table? How do you plan to help support other SLA members, if elected?
While serving as a leader of the Asian Chapter, I undertook several major initiatives to increase SLA and Asian Chapter membership as well as to spread SLA’s presence and message throughout Asia by traveling across Asia to promote SLA at multiple forums and conferences, which has had enormous benefits for SLA. I also organized many seminars, workshops, meetings, and conferences in India for SLA, including the 1st International Conference of the SLA Asian Chapter (ICoASL 2008) and 6th ICoASL in New Delhi. For my initiative and effort, ICoASL has organized in Tokyo, Japan (2011); Manila, Philippines (2013); Seoul, Korea (2015); Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2017); and next will be in Seoul, Korea (2022) to spread SLA’s massage in the Asian countries.

Additionally, I am coordinator for SLA members who travel to Asia and wish to meet Asian Chapter members. I have also instituted the Asian Community’s Annual Conference, called LIPS (Library & Information professional Summit), since 2011 in India to spread SLA’s massage in India and other Asian countries.

Question #3: SLA is a leader in its commitment to diversity and inclusion and the importance of civil discourse. Share how you have demonstrated leadership or action in these areas, and how your own experiences will inform your contribution as an SLA Board Member.
I encouraged SLA to include, proposed and then led the effort to implement the “equitable dues structure,” which was accepted by the SLA Board of Directors. This resulted in a reduction of the SLA membership fee to $35 for those earning under US$18,000, which is now $50. Because of my success in making membership affordable, information professionals throughout the world will now be able to expand their networks and learning opportunities through SLA.

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