In Memoriam: Dr. H. Anil Kumar

 by Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand (Reproduced from IIMA Archives)


Dr. H. Anil Kumar, Librarian, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad served as a member of the editorial committee of this newsletter. Born on July 17, 1967 he passed away on July 17, 2020. We reproduce below a brief account of Dr. Anil Kumar's contribution prepared as a tribute to his memory.

Dr. Anil Kumar joined the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as Librarian in August 2007. A postgraduate in Library and Information Science from Bangalore University (1990) he completed his doctoral studies in Library Science from the MS University Baroda in 2010. Prior to joining IIMA, Anil Kumar had worked in Bangalore University, PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, British Library, Ahmedabad and Trivandrum, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad, and Nirma University, Ahmedabad.

At IIMA, Anil Kumar oversaw the transition of the Vikram Sarabhai Library from a predominantly traditional library which was using information technology only to manage its physical collections, into a predominantly digital format-based learning centre. This involved a major reorientation of the staff and systems, a more sophisticated understanding of the legal complexities involved in managing online digital resources, and developing new capabilities in handling information technology applications. Anil Kumar also oversaw the restoration and upgradation of the Vikram Sarabhai Library that was supported by TCS Foundation. This involved managing the relocation of the Library to a temporary site, working with the restoration architect, Somayya and Kalappa Consultants and a number of other stakeholders, and ensuring that there was no disruption of the functioning of the Library. The Library returned to its upgraded home on November 26, 2019.

Contributing academic articles and book chapters was an activity that Anil Kumar took seriously; he published 15 articles and book chapters. He has also written six books on library management related matters. He was also an active participant in conferences, contributing a number of papers and organizing many conferences. An important conference that he designed and organized was the Global Conference on Emerging Trends in Business Librarianship in 2015, 2016 and 2017, a collaborative initiative of IIM Ahmedabad and ISB Hyderabad. He also contributed to teaching. He designed an executive development programme "Managing for the future: A Publishers Training Programme" in 2011 for CEOs and senior level executives in the publishing sector in collaboration with the Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany. The programme was repeated in 2012 and 2013. He was also a guest faculty in various executive development initiatives in management education.

Anil Kumar's contribution to librarianship also extended to his participation in a number of committees. For instance, he was a member of the Librarians Advisory Board of John Wiley and EBSCO, and the National Executive Committee of Indian Library Association. He had also served a term as President of MANLIBNET (Management Libraries Network) India, and Regional Advisor (India) to Emerald Publishing, UK (2009 and 2010). He was a founding team member of the International Centre for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Ahmedabad (www.icreate.org.in). He also served as an invited expert on various committees. His professional memberships extended to the Asia Pacific Business School Librarians Group; Association for Information Science and Technology, USA; Indian Library Association; MANLIBNET; Higher Education Forum, India and Association of Indian Management Scholars.

His contribution to library science was recognized regularly. In 2001 he was part of the International Visitor Programme of the US Department of State; in 2007 he received the Best Librarian Award from MANLIBNET; in 2011 he was conferred the Asian Professional Award by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Asian Chapter; AIMS International Outstanding Librarian Award 2012 by AIMS (Association of Indian Management Scholars); in 2012 he received the AIMS International Outstanding Librarian Award from the Association of Indian Management Scholars. In 2014, he was chosen 'Best Librarian' by Taylor and Francis for Professional Excellence in Library Services. On August 23, 2019 he received the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Librarian's Choice Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Dr. Anil Kumar was an outstanding library professional and his contribution to the Vikram Sarabhai Library and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad has been immense. The Institute mourns his untimely demise and hopes to keep his legacy alive by committing itself to the sustenance of the learning centre that he so lovingly shaped.



About The Author

Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand (Reproduced from IIMA Archives)

Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand (Reproduced from IIMA Archives)

Vijaya Sherry Chand is Professor and Chairperson of the Ravi J. Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation at IIMA. His current work focuses on practice-based workplace innovation in the public education system and using technology to leverage such innovations for teacher professional development. With the Hewlett-Packard Sustainability and Social Innovation Award he received in 2013, he created a web-based repository of grassroots innovations in the public educational system, which is being used for large-scale online teacher training. His research covers teacher-driven innovation, school-based governance, the influence of teacher innovative behavior on the non-cognitive competencies of children, online learning behaviour, educational policy and educational leadership.