Libro Futuro

Librarians in Pakistan. Mario Coffa interviews Ayesha Furqan

Intervista in italiano

Ayesha Furqan is 30 years old and is a librarian living in Karachi Pakistan. She is a professional librarian done Masters in Library and Information Sciences from University of Karachi and she is gold medalist got first position. She has 6 years experience in School Library and works as internee at Pakistan Naval Engineering College as well.  She works in Cambridge Schools both in Pakistan and Jeddah and part of Cambridge Librarians Panel too which is an online platform. She is currently working in Pakistan International School Jeddah English Section as Library In Charge and helps her students to continue their readings by creating E-library and conducting online library sessions during recent COVID-19 pandemic.

She wrote different articles in Library Journals and newsletters in Pakistan which published online. She believes in continuous professional development to meet old and new trends of librarianship.

Ayesha, can you briefly tell us about your work and what prompted you to become a librarian?

Firstly, My work is to facilitate my school staff and students in order to fulfil their needs to acquire knowlegde. Research and reading interest. For students, I am working with faculty members to enhance and develop their reading skills as well as make them aware of different formats of knowledge and information. For example, how to get information from periodicals, books and electronic media. Secondly, becoming a librarian was a dream because a librarian can facilitate different communities and professionals around the world. We are well equiped with the modern and traditional tools to help patrons in their reading for research, information or recreation. Our profession never get outdated because our skills transformed according to trends and new mediums of acquiring knowledge.

What does it mean to be a librarian in your wonderful country, Pakistan?

Pakistan’s nation is very talented and intelligent but most of the people are unaware of librarian’s role. In Pakistan, We still need to spread awareness that librarians are not only book keepers. It is the profession which is equal to any good profession of the world like doctors, engineers, Managers etc. Now we can witness in many International schools and good organizations that librarians are serving with their speciality of being Medical Librarian, School Librarian etc.

The experience of Covid 19 has also involved the world of libraries. How did you deal with the crisis due to the pandemic? What role did digital play, for example, in overcoming the physical closure of structures?

Covid 19 was the worst thing, world has faced but it brought some new dimensions of thinking and innovations in many fields. During this pendemic I worked on E- Library and online classes for the students. I used to plan lessons with English Faculty of my school and introduce books with different genres they were studing in their English Lessons. We plan activities, reading of E- Books and evaluate students’ reading skills. We even plan stretegy to enhance students searching skills by introducing them with educational and science authentic websites. Digital was blessing during pendemic as schools and offices were online even few databases and educational websites made their resources free to acces for everyone.

You believe in the vocational training of librarians. In your opinion, what new skills are needed besides the traditional ones in our time?

Librarian must know the new trends and how to handle new gadgets. They must know how train their patrons to use and access right information whether online ofr physically in libraries. We need to know about softwares and databases. We should also be trained to make and access platforms for librarian to work and support new ideas for the benefit of our users.

This project is based on sharing. Do you believe that an increasingly connected world can contribute to strengthening the activity of each individual nation thanks to the critical and constructive confrontation with other countries of the world? 

Well, it is a good initiative to gether professionals around the world on one platform as it will help to share, learn and solving problems easily. It will also help us to inspire from the work and life of other can simply allow us to be on the right place where we can groom ourselves and join hands for betterment. Well, thanks for this.

What would you recommend to a young student of yours who one day wants to become a librarian? 

I would like to recommend them to do research on working and achivements of great librarians as well as be creative while presenting any idea as this is the demand of our field to learn modern and traditional library services and put your efforts and creativity according to the standards of the organization you are going to serve.



Mario Coffa
Mario Coffa
Mario Coffa archivista e bibliotecario, laureato in Conservazione dei Beni Culturali presso l’Università degli Studi di Perugia (2005) e diplomato in Archivistica e Paleografia presso la Scuola di Archivistica dell’Archivio Segreto Vaticano (2010). Dal 2010 Lavora per CAeB (Cooperativa Archivistica e Bibliotecaria) presso le biblioteche dell’Università di Perugia come bibliotecario e come archivista presso l'Archivio Storico del Comune di Gubbio. Si occupa di Biblioteche Digitali e formazione in ambito di biblioteconomia digitale. Nel 2014 membro del Comitato Esecutivo Regionale dell’Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB) sezione Umbria, membro del gruppo AIB sul portfolio professionale e nel triennio 2017-2020 Presidente eletto di AIB Umbria. Dal 2020 membro dell'Osservatorio Formazione dell'Associazione Italiana Biblioteche. Autore di diversi articoli e interviste per Insula Europea sul tema degli archivi, delle biblioteche e del digital lending.