An On-line Index of 
PAKISTAN LIBRARY BULLETIN

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FOREWORD 
 
    "An index is a systematic guide to items contained in or concepts derived from a collection. These items or derived concepts are represented by entries arranged in a known or stated searchable order, such as alphabetical, chronological or numerical". (John Rothman) 
    To locate any information in a bulk of literature published in books, journals, newspapers, etc. is a very tiring exercise if these are not indexed. Indexes are very useful tools for the serious readers and researchers as they help them in locating the needed information with minimum effort. 
    In the past authors used to give broad subject headings and then detailed entries of the topics in table of contents of books. It was helpful to some extent but readers often faced difficulty in finding the specific topics of their interest. Gradually this problem was realized and authors with the help of professional indexers started providing indexes in alphabetical, chronological or numerical order of the subjects dealt in the book. But even today many books are published without indexes in our country. It may be due to ignorance of the usefulness the index or avoiding extra labour by the authors/publishers, particularly in Pakistan and other developing countries. 
    There are thousands of books published by government and private organizations, which do not care to publish indexes with the publications. Similarly thousands of journals and hundreds of newspapers are published in the country, which are not indexed. It is rather sad that some of our journals are indexed by foreign indexing services. It is very painful and discouraging that if anybody wants to check indigenous material for his/her research, such as articles, events, announcements, etc., faces great disappointment in the absence of indexes. He has to rely upon foreign indexes. Since 1947 a large bulk of literature is published in books, journals, newspapers reports, conference proceedings, etc. of which indexes are not available.  It is humanly impossible to trace out desired references. All published material is sunk in the ocean of ignorance. We lost most of the valuable research references of 55 years forever.
    There are some journals, which published their own indexes, occasionally. Newspapers have their own indexing system but they do not publish for public use. It is true of government documents and publications. 
    Indexing of journals collectively is a very hectic job. Individuals or small organizations cannot do it. Commercial publishers do not treat it a profitable enterprise. Even if any publisher undertakes the job of publishing indexes of journals he will not gain much in the beginning but if he continues he will earn substantial profit in the long run. 
    Indexing of journals is very important for research and planning for the present and future. Government should provide incentive to publishers or encourage organizations (familiar with the work) to publish indexes of research journals by giving financial aid. Indexing of Newspapers is also very important. Even newspaper should publish its own index on regular basis like Time Index or New York Time Index. 
    Pakistan Press Index was published (monthly) by Documentation & Information Bureau (DIB), Karachi. Its vol.1, No.1 appeared in April 1966. It indexed four English newspapers, i.e. Dawn, Karachi; Morning News, Karachi; Pakistan Observer, Dacca; and Pakistan Times, Lahore. Unfortunately it could not survive and disappeared after few years. 
    Pakistan Library Bulletin (PLB), a quarterly journal of the Library Promotion Bureau is being published since 1968. The Bureau has published books so far. It has published 3 indexes 1979, 1985 and 1996 respectively. These were in print form and were compiled on the patron of H. W. Wilson indexes (USA).  Now the fourth index of this journal is being compiled by Rais Ahmed Samdani, which is an on-line index and covers the period of 34 years, from 1968 to 2002 (Volumes 1 to 33). 
    Rais Ahmed Samdani is quite well known author of Library and Information Science in Pakistan. He has written and compiled several books on Library and Information Science some of them are even prescribed in the syllabi of MLIS, BLIS, B. A. and Intermediate.  He has been contributing scholarly articles in Pakistan Library Bulletin and other professional journals. 
    Mr. Samdani deserves all felicitations and congratulations for compiling and preparing this On-Line Index of PLB. It will definitely help to the readers of PLB as well as authors and writers all over the world to locate information and references of their interest.

Dr. G. A. Sabzwari 
Chief Editor 
Pakistan Library Bulletin

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