Digital Initiatives at Aga Khan University Libraries reflect the vision of a distributed and flexible technology infrastructure that enhances access, manipulation, storage, distribution, and integration of information and services throughout AKU.
Being a part of digital world, AKU has planned to shift to electronic resources where possible. Faculty of Health Sciences and Institute for Educational Development Libraries at Karachi have taken initiative with the support of Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. We are subscribing to 25 databases through HEC, whereas eight databases are being subscribed by AKU in its own capacity. The total number of journals accessible from AKU Karachi campus is 12,000. Apart from e-journals, we are subscribing to 25,000 e-books which are accessible through campus-wide network. Apart from online databases, FHS Karachi library is subscribing to 307 international journals. Users can access to most of these journals from campus-wide network, while some of them are password protected. List of these journals is available at AKU Intranet.
The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) Library, Karachi is also maintaining a bibliographic database of medical literature of Pakistan with the name of AKUMEDLIT. This database is available on AKU Intranet that covers all issues of journals approved by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) as well as non-approved journals which are published regularly or irregularly and received by the FHS Library, Karachi. The database is updated regularly. AKUMEDLIT is providing maximum assistance to our faculty, researchers and students looking for the local literature for writing their research papers, theses and dissertations etc.
AKU libraries in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) are also part of this shift and are subscribing to a number of electronic databases. Some of the initiatives include Health Internetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) and the Programme for Enhancement of Research Information (PERI).
The Faculty of Health Sciences Library, Nairobi has developed Information Literacy Module, and has been offering it as an examinable course with Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) and non-examinable with Advanced Nursing Studies (ANS). The same module is being exercised in ANS/PGME in Tanzania and Uganda.
AKU Audio Visual - Learning Resource Centre (AV-LRC), Karachi had started digitisation of video cassettes some time ago, and now they have completed conversion of educational videos from VHS to DVD format. These videos now can be used on AV-LRC computers at AKU Karachi campus. Some of these DVDs include lectures of various distinguished professors in the field of medicine. AV-LRC has also moved from analogue to digital photography, and state-of-the-art digital cameras, e.g. Nikon D200 and D300, Leica V-Lux-1 are being used for this purpose. All photography is being done now in tiff, jpeg or raw format.