A national training workshop on “Digital Library using Open Source Software” was organized by eHealth Association of Pakistan (eHAP) at the Secretariat of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Islamabad. The workshop was supported by COMSATS Secretariat, COMSATS Internet Services (CIS), DlnetSA, and LISolutions. Librarians and I.T professionals from various government and private organizations, like Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), State Bank of Pakistan and Heartfile Pakistan, as well as academic institutions of Pakistan, like Aga Khan University, International Islamic University, Islamia University, Riphah University, Bahria University and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) attended the workshop.
The workshop was inaugurated on July 20, 2011 by Dr. Haroon Roedad Khan, President eHAP. The workshop aimed to provide the participants with free and open source software for digital libraries and library management comprised nine technical sessions that were spread over three days. Lead trainers of the workshop were Dr. Mohan Raj Pradhan from DlnetSA, Nepal; and Mr. Shafiq Rana and Mr. Ata ur Rehman from LISolutions who delivered lectures and imparted hands-on training for two important free and open source softwares, ‘GSDL’ and ‘Koha’.
The event was concluded on July 22, 2011 with the distribution of certificates among the organizers and participants. Speaking at the Concluding Ceremony, the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, felicitated the organizers and participants of the workshop on the successful holding of the event and hoped that it has been a good learning experience for the IT and Library professionals. He also appreciated the role of eHAP in supporting quality e-health services across Pakistan and considered it an important area for collaboration between the COMSATS and eHAP, as the former is one of the pioneers of this field in Pakistan. Both organizations are using the modern telecommunication means to supplement the existing healthcare services in Pakistan.
Also speaking on the occasion, the President eHAP impressed upon the participants the need to practically use at their institutions the knowledge imparted through this workshop. He believed that the libraries in the developing countries like Pakistan need to come at par with the modern technological age to effectively disseminate the most up-to-date knowledge. The three trainers also shared their training experiences in the light of the three-day proceedings and appreciated the support rendered by COMSATS Secretariat and eHAP for the event.