Essay: Information technology in libraries

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  • Information technology in libraries
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2.1 Introduction:
A large number of researchers and academicians have so far contributed in the area of application of information technology in libraries the present chapter deals with a brief account of the literature of nationally and internationally renowned researcher and academicians. The numbers of articles reviewed under nine groups are mentioned below.
1. IT in Academic Libraries
2. Problems in using IT in Academic Libraries
3. Library Management
4. Library Technology
5. Library Staff Training
6. Library Professional
7. Users Training
8. Electronic Media
9. Internet
The review of specialized articles with common theme are mentioned below from section 2.1 to 2.10
2.2 Information Technology in Academic Libraries:
Following section gives a brief account of literature surveyed on IT in academic libraries.
Anand (1987) elaborated that after independence the expansion of higher education was accompanied by investment in library building and resources. In the same article light was through on academic libraries in India covering library collection, staff, funding agencies, information services and inter library co-operation. He also pointed out that impact of information technology has restrained due to socio economic constraints.
Tamberwade (1995) discussed the impact of educational technology along with information technology on academic libraries. He also gave an emphasis on modernization of academic libraries in India in order to participate in INFLIBNET programme.
Gessesse (1997) reexamines the role of librarian in providing services to the users in the present’s information age. The study also continuous to observe the impact of technological changes on academic libraries functions and services.
Neelameghan and Prasad (1998) gave valuable collection of research and review articles by the national level authorities in library science, information systems, networks and services. These articles cover national policies on libraries information systems and services in India. The programme like INFLIBNET initiated by UGC upliftment of academic libraries.
Kaula (2000) gave a focus on Ranganathan committee Report, second National Review committee and National policy on library and information systems. Discussion further continues to give impact of information technology on developments of communication technology, the growth of academic libraries and INFLIBNET programme of the university grant commission.
Khode and Dhar (2002) described that information technology involves acquiring, storing processing and distribution of information, keeping multidimensional activities in mind librarians of the present era were expected to have knowledge of new information storage and retrieval techniques, network technology, internet, multimedia browsing and efficient use of electronic resources. The focus was also given on making distinction between IT environment in library and traditional library. It environment in library includes along with books and journals CD-ROMs, magnetic tape, audio video cassettes, electronic database, e-books and e-journals. Contributing further, tey also suggested that application of IT can help to reduce cost and time, improve users services and their by increase the efficiency of library staff.
Veeranjaneyulu and Singh (2003) reviewed library and information services using IT environment in academic libraries. While describing various applications of IT in academic libraries study further continues to state that IT has wide range of application in house-keeping operations, collection development, technical processing, classification, cataloguing, indexing, storage and retrieval of information as well as information exchange. According to them impact of IT in academic library services also includes telecommunication technology-telephone, telex, videotext, fax, e-mail, CD-ROM technology, on line retrieval services, library network and internet. The study concludes with the conclusion that advancement in technology will continue to improve the effectiveness of libraries.
Konnur and Madhusudan (2004) presented the feature of libraries and changing role of academic libraries in India. The authors also discuss the new challenges in renewing the service oriented, knowledge organization and library networking. According to author the future of the academic libraries was largely dependent of networking and resource sharing. A brief account of role and responsibilities of academic librarians were also discussed in the article.
Satyanarayana (2004) discussed application of information technology applied in four areas in libraries i.e. library automation, information storage and retrieval, office automation and resource sharing network. The application of information technology in the library enables to avoid duplication of work, resource sharing through library network, improvement existing services, fast information communication, wider access to various information sources. Further, he discusses the influence of IT in libraries.
Hooda and International Siwach (2005) focused on feature view of college libraries in particular scope for application of information technology. Optimistic view of application of IT will certainly facilitated, co-operation and resource sharing through library network was also discussed. The advantages of application of IT like time saving, space and energy management, effective utilization of resources, increasing efficiency were also discussed in the article.
Subha (2005) covers scope of computers in libraries, various library software’s and implementation of the need of atomization of libraries of libraries function including house-keeping, acquisition, cataloguing, serial control, circulation, generation and publication of bibliographies, indexing and related documentation work. The issue of future automated libraries was also discussed.
2.3 Problems in using Information Technology in Academic Libraries:
The articles describing problems in using information technology in academic libraries are reviewed in the following section.
Woodsworth and Hoffmann (1988) traced out new opportunity and new problems in applying information technology in academic libraries. The detailed discussion on changing problem faced by the academic library to ensure continuing access of information by student and faculty.
Saha (1997) listed that during the course of library automation problem related to equipment, library budget and subscription rates for CD-ROM database. Few problems related to computerization of library function, building up CD-ROM database and online access were the main obstacles in the efficient administration of library.
Upadhaya (1997) gave a detailed account of a large number of problems coming across the modernization of libraries. The problems identified in the present article were lack of support from higher authority including economic support, high cost of accessing remote database, lack of technical skills, lack of long term planning, lack of own recourses, lack of exploration of available technology, lack of working knowledge among the library personnel, lack of initiative among the library professional including psychological barriers. To overcome these problems, the recommendation mentioned in the article was INFLIBNET, NISSAT and other such agencies should take responsibilities of motivating and helping the academic libraries to achieve the excellence.
Singh (1997) pointed out the problem of reducing resources expanding demands of users and resource sharing were prominent problems. In Indian setup resources in library were inadequate and geographically scattered. Some of the additional problems investigated in the same study were library networking, creating database and trained manpower.
Dugan (2002) found that in order to achieve the stated educational goal the expenditure in application of information technology was the major problem faced by many academic libraries with identification of weakness and strength corresponding to technological implementation. The study also mentions about vision strategic direction and identifying the need of technology to support teaching, learning, research, and library service. As a remark study also states that many libraries also have collection development plans and staff development plans.
Lohar and Roopashree (2004) discussed the issue of problem in using electronic resources. The savior identify problems in the study were lack of hardware and software, lack of training, lack of electronic resources, lock of operating funds. The study also recommends some of the suggestions to overcome the problem these suggestions were conduct training programme, awareness creation programme, to use e-journals and e-books, provision of necessary hardware, software and provision of adequate funds for electronic resources.
Hooda (2004) has highlighted the problems arising during the application of information technology in college libraries. The problems were the computer illiteracy of library staff, lack of interest, and failure of networking due to electricity, problems of transliteration of Urdu, Bengali and Hindi books and in retrospective conversion there are some errors of editing.
Therefore, from the above literature surveys the various problems that may arise in application of IT have discussed by various researches were as follows:
1. Required equipments
2. Insufficient library budget
3. High subscription rate for CD-ROM Databases
4. Lack of support from higher authorities
5. Lack of economic support
6. Lack of technical skill
7. Lack of on germs planning
8. High cost of accessing remote databases
9. Lack of working knowledge
10. Psychological barriers
11. Reduced resources
12. Expanding demands
13. Inadequate and scattered resources
14. Networking
15. Creation of databases
16. Trained manpower
17. Lack of hardware and software
18. Lack of electronic resources
19. Lack of operating fund
20. Issue of designing hypermedia for learning
21. Inadequate number of printed books
22. High cost of electronic publication
23. Proper communication method.
2.4 Library Management:
The research articles on library management focusing on various organizational issues, changes and challenges due to emerging information technology are reviewed in the following section.
Paul (1988) explained new organizational structure for academic libraries and also suggested some innovative strategies that academic librarian should adopt to face the challenges encountered due to information technology.
Hipsman (1996) emphasized on strategic planning for the implementation of rapidly changing information technology. Strategic planning allows libraries to evaluate their role within the community they serve and community demands. The detailed examination of fundamental qualities of libraries and recent changes in information management was also discussed in the article.
Seetharama (1998) gave the brief account of standards to be maintained in the library. The study also deals with the standards of information sources, library and information services, manpower, furniture and equipment, building, finance and information technology.
Jeevans (2000) pointed out the well tried and tested method of public relation used by libraries including new media, print and audio video material. The need of public relation in libraries, continuous education programs and conferences should emerge out for successful introduction and implementation of information technology.
Ramesh (2004) applied SWOT for the implementation of information technology in Indian libraries. The proper identification of strength and weaknesses along with opportunity and threats were carried out in advance then impact of information technology on libraries will be as per the expectations.
Singh (2004) has expressed the opinion that in-house data entry in the library is fastest, reliable and cheapest. Having created database, it monument is also essential. He has stated that database management is very important function in the library. If the library database is not properly handled and maintained the library services will go haywire. Further, he illustrates the policies and a procedure for management of data is a strategic resource of the library. This amounts to collection, storage and dissemination of all type of data in such a manner that the data becomes a standardised resource available to all end users.
Langley et al (2005) elaborates the importance of managing files by giving dates to documents, keep working documents together, not to discard any files prematurely or delete any unwanted items prematurely. He focuses attention towards managing e-mails by copying it, deleting useless messages, use of folders and archiving e-mail. Further, he explains the importance of computer file management by placing documents in proper folder, giving proper file names and sorting the files by dates.
Venkatarama (2007) has briefly discussed the use of information technology in libraries, its functions, roles and strategies needed for managing change in libraries like organizational environment, top management support, leadership financial, information resources, staff and users. He has also suggested that change has to be managed more positively and strategically to derive maximum benefit for new opportunities.
2.5 Library Technology:
The reviews of articles by different researchers on library technology are surveyed here.
Jain and Rai (1997) noted that combination of Department electronics, planning commission, University Grant Commission towards modernization of libraries was very important. The author also thanks to computer network like NIICNET, ERNET, and INFLIBNET for providing co-operation in the establishment of computerized environment among them.
Sharma (1998) gave exploratory discussion on information technology, academic library and human resource development. The studies continue further to state that information technology involves computers electronic media, satellite, telecommunication and storage devices. The suggestion for human recourse development was is conduct workshops, seminars, conferences and refresher courses regularly for those who were engaged in IT environment in libraries.
Shephered (2000) gave an account of change caused by library automation. The analysis further state that the information and communication technology as applied in the academic libraries as to undergo continuously organization change, social change and technological change.
Rockman (2002) mention that libraries must transform the way they think and take strong leadership role in its planning efforts, further suggested important networks and portals for academic libraries.
Parida (2004) studied in detailed the telecommunication and noted that telecommunication technology forwarded new horizon for communication in 21st century. According to the researchers is an orgnisation communication may have number of direction including upward, downward, lateral and diagonal. The study also experts to access large number of database through national and international computer networks. The database may include abstracts of journals subject wise articles either abstracts or full text, full text version of newspaper, software, reference books, readers guide and so on.
Lahiri and Sundersingh (2004) presented the trends in library network development in India. The objective of the study was to provide access to a wider base of information resources. To nationalize acquisition and to optimize utilization of information resource, to promote and support adoption of standard in operations, to improve the efficiency of library housekeeping operations, to established link between various national and international network, to generate new services and to improve the efficiency of existing services. According to researcher improvement in computer communication system will be more effective if network like NICNET by planning commissition, INDONET by CMC limited, ERNET by Department of Electronics, INET by Department of telecommunication and SIRNET by Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre should come forward for necessary guidance and support to the library. The article also gives the list of library network development in India including BONET (Mumbai), CALIBNET (Kolkata), DELNET (Delhi) MALIBNET (Chennai), PUNENET (PUNE) MYLIBNET (Mysore) and INFLIBNET (Ahmedabad).
Reddy et al. (2005) presented a scenario of academic library network in India. The author also pointed out that the factor responsible for development of library and information network in India includes working group of planning commission on modernization of library services and information for 7thfive-year plan. The national policy of library and information system, the national policy on university libraries, and the UGC reports on information system for science and technology.
2.6 Library Staff Training:
Many researchers have also given the importance to library staff training for the efficient service and administration of library. The articles related to such study are reviewed as follows.
Macleod and Chiware (1993) gave emphasis on study of information technology in academic libraries of developing countries. The study gives priority to the adequate training to librarians so as to access the opportunities extended by computerization in library operations. The study continues to give the suggestion that certain training programme must be conducted in all academic libraries. To support the suggestion, article also focuses the several training porgrammes conducted by Botswana University library.
Kirkpatrick (1998) illustrated that Minnesota state college and university system conducts training of academic library staff on information technology. The survey based article also conclude that the common training programme conducted were either workshop or at individual level. Whereas rigorous instructional and electronic mail workshop were relatively rare. To overcome the lacuna present in the suggestion of the author was to organize library staff training previous levels.
Kumar (1998) discussed the INFLIBNET programmes for academic libraries in India initiated by University Grad commission in 1991. The study also mentioned the major objectives of the INFLIBNET programmes including computerization of libraries and information centers in the country, to establish a mechanism for information transfer and access, to support scholars and academician, to facilitated pooling, sharing and optimization of library and information resources, to organize library services at micro level at affordable cost and maximum benefit, to provide fast and efficient service to the end user. The study also gave a proposal to provide standard data formats and guideline preparation of database, organization of short term training programmes and workshops, use of integrated library management softwares, retrospective catalogue conversion to digital code, annual convention of library and information professional.
Nagaraj (1998) gave brief account of various activities including seminars, workshops, conferences, proceedings, publication of periodicals, books and support to the profession as organized by Indian Association of special libraries and information centers.
Mangla (1998) gave the detailed overview of National policies on libraries information system and services in India. The study also gives the importance to well trained professionals to plan and administered the information technology environment. Some universities in India also provide the formal education in information science pertaining to master’s degree and doctoral programmes. Documentation Research Training Center Bangalore and Indian National Science Documentation center, New Delhi also offers courses in documentation and information science. Many courses on information and telemetics, national level workshops and conferences and continuing educational programmes were also conducted by various organizations. All these activities were aimed to keep the library professionals up to date in various aspects of information field.
Kumarsen (2002) discussed areas of quality training for library and information professionals. His focus is on adequate training and exposure on computerized data processing, online data services and handling all other information technology gadgets. He has explored various area which planning new services and enhancing the existing services using IT, hardware and software selection for the library to provide such services, networking and network based services availability of information through network based resources. He has also suggested that Indian library association (ILA) and Indian association for special libraries and information centers (IASLIC) should form training division with the help of subject expert.
2.7 Library Processional:
Many researchers have made the study of library professional interacting with information technology environment. The present section deals with the review of articles in this area.
Parekh (1997) elaborated the efforts being made in training of information personnel. The researcher also identified the major challenges in the related area. The discussion on certificate programme in information technology conducted by the Indian institute of science, Bangalore, for library professional and many other programmes conducted by INSDOC, NISSAT, DRTC, and INFLIBNET was also available in the article. Academic Staff College also places an important role in organizing the refresher for college librarians. According to the opinion of researcher number of opportunity may be available to library professional to develop information product like bibliographies, in house database, OPAC, text files and home pages.
Singh (1998) made special attempts to asses and evaluate human resource management in the academic libraries of Lucknow. The study also gives special focus on the impact of information technology on human resources. The concluding remarks states that library staff has number of opportunity for their career growth and development. The performance appraisal and job satisfaction of the library staff was also another issue discussed in the article.
Shridhar (2004) listed various skills required for library professional to work in the electronic environment. The skill includes operational skill, knowledge of software and telecommunication products, DBMS and file management, digital organization of data, indexing and browsing techniques, information processing and retrieval. The researcher also gave emphasis on managerial skill to library professional for effective information management.
Rajalakshmi (2004) observed that in developing country like India less than 50 per cent libraries have dual source of information namely printed and electronic. The issue of increasing number of sources and the need for optimal use of online information retrieval, demands proper training to library professionals. According to the researcher the rained library professional can contribute to make available the right information in the right format to right user at right time.
Satpathy (2004) covers the issue of professional up gradation for digital environment though human resource planning in academic libraries of Orissa. The article also covers discussion on digital environment as a driving force for the need of profession up gradation. Environment changes in library require professional trends, technological advances and influence of both on library development. The need of continued education programme for up gradation of library professional was also discussed in the article. In conclusion researcher suggested that INFLEBNET should provide financial assistance for minimum hardware, software and other IT tools to each academic library.
Patel and Naidu (2005) rightly pointed out the role of librarian in the changing scenario of knowledge management. The researcher further gave certain motivation theories and major for the library professional.
2.8 User Training:
As training is expected for effective implementation of information technology it must be given to both library staff and users. Many researchers also contributed their study towards user training following section deals with article related to user training.
Dennis and Harrington (1990) showed that library staff faculty member differ in using information technology. From user point of view many academic libraries have extended bibliographic instructions to their online catalogue. The study also suggests that user training is must efficient and effective use of library services.
Faber (1995) commented on library and under graduate education. The advances in information technology have facilitated searching information to the great extent. There by librarians have to reconsider their role. It was a need of time that librarians should took some appropriate major for user training.
Bodi (1998) attached ethical role to librarians in changing environment in library, to help student to use electronic resources. Study also put forth four principles guide students while using information technology namely respect for ownership, respect for the right to privacy, respect for social responsibilities and self-respect.
Kibirige an Depalo (2001) strongly suggested the need to develop user training programme that must have covered various types of digital data collections, hardware and software requirement its interface telecommunication access various communication modes and containing education programmes.
Bracke and Critz (2001) deal with survey of users in science and engineering library. Now – a – day’s expectations of library users have been changed with the development in information technology and electronic resource. The researcher was also of opinion that user training was necessary to use library resources.
Hope et al. (2001) reported that with the emergence of internet the teaching role of academic librarian have been increased. The researchers have suggested teaching strategies including class room instruction, web brows instruction, and information literacy instruction. The study also recommends that the academic librarians should explain their teaching role with the development of information technology.
Singh (2003) presented the article showing the need of training to the end users for the effective use of information an electronic resource like e-mail, web browsing, OPAC, databases, e-journals, e-books, SCs DVDs and CD-ROMs. The study also gave the emphasis on comprehensive user training programme at national level. University libraries, UGC, NASSDOC, DESIDOC and other similar association should come forward to conduct user training programmes.
2.9 Electronic Media:
The advancement in electronic media is the backbone of digitization of information. Different researchers have contributed their efforts to study the aspect of electronic media. The literature related to electronic media is surveyed in the following section.
Barry (1996) made a case study of information seeking in an advanced information technology culture. The article also examines the effect of information technology, academic library and internet. The researcher also noted that electronic resources, primary electronic bulletin and electronic mail user generally use to access information.
Rao et al. (1997) expressed the need for multimedia and its applications in libraries. Multimedia was widely applicable in interfacing, storing of information and library management. The article also illustrates number of applications of multimedia in academic libraries. Databases in CD-ROM formats like dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, almanac, multimedia base catalogue could help the user as well as librarians; Multimedia could also be useful in various administrative utilities. In recommendation the researcher have emphasis that every library should use electronic media for disseminating the information.
Prasannakumer and Mudhol (2002)have explored the use of multimedia for library and information services i.e. multimedia communication, multimedia databases, multimedia newsletters and multimedia books. They stated that many big libraries including library of congress (LC), British library and OCLC etc. are building their collections in multimedia form. In India also use of multimedia in libraries has improved considerable. Most of the libraries are using multimedia resources for reference service and instructional purposes.
Padhi (2004) has explained multimedia application in libraries. In India American centre libraries, British council Libraries, DESIDOC library and few other libraries at national level are using multimedia PCs for providing multimedia resources. Multimedia applications in libraries helps in searching references, enrichment and entertainment meet the requirements of scholar’sscientists, technocrats and other professional. Here he has also stated limitation of multimedia i.e. hardware, software requirement and lack of trained manpower for development of multimedia database.
Sing (2004) noted that medium of information transmission may be text, graphic, speeches, music, images or animation. The components of multimedia system listed in the article were text, graphic, audio and video. Use of multimedia in library facilitated the user to receive the information from different media. Further it allows creating, editing, retrieving and storing the information. Network extends the facility to adopt the multimedia at remote place also. It was an aid for video conferencing through electronic media. Library professional and users have changed their approach of information collection and dissemination.
Singh (2007) elaborated the importance and use of multimedia in the libraries. Multimedia is any combination of text, graphic, images; audio and video transmitted by the computers to its users. He stated the components of multimedia systems. Many big libraries in the world are bringing their collection in multimedia forms, in order to make the teaching learning process more effective. The collections include historical books, pamphlets, photographs, folk songs, movies and geographical sources.
2.10 Internet:
In the present cyber age internet have reduced the logical size of the world to global village. Many researchers study the importance of internet and its application. Following section deals with the survey of literature on internet.
Xu and Ryan (1995) focused on changing leans on information superhighway between academic libraries and internet. The study also relates to the feature of internet and potential impact of internet on information world. The researchers also have put forth the possibility of replacement of traditional printed information sources by more and powerful electronic resources.
Pradeep et. al. (1999) stressed on the need academic librarians to face the challenges posed by the internet and World Wide Web. The study concludes with the say that parent organization need to play an important role in encouraging accepting and adopting the changes due to internet.
Babu and O’Brien (2000) exploited discussion on web OPAC interface technology. The first application of Web online public access catalogue was observed in 1990 in U.K. academic libraries. The study further deals with feather of remote access by users and potential integration of many types of documents and sources via a single interface.
Siddiqui (2003) elaborated on the adoption of internet for resource using by Gulf academic libraries. Virtually internet was a new dimension applicable in every area of library services and operations. The researcher thoughtfully examined the scope for transmission of electronic document through internet. The article also gives an account of availability of required hardware and software in the Gulf academic libraries to use internet for potential electronic document delivery.
Bhandi (2004) gave an explanatory discussion on World Wide Web as a major source of electronic information and search. According to the researcher web can be used in three ways at the first students or clients should use webs to access information, secondly web as an application in education as an integrated interface tool for distance learning. Lastly web can be used to support the conventional classroom instead to replace it.
Madalli (2004) discussed the issues of connectivity of academic library through network. The researcher stated that the impact of internet on libraries cannot be ignored. Internet have virtually desolate the geographical restriction by providing a large quantum of information across the world.
Panigrahi (2004) deals with the need of web page authority for libraries and information centre. The objective of the study includes the possibility of access and download of different web site to access the information for other libraries to access the information services though different libraries. The study continues to suggest that any web page should have attractive feature, fast downloading facility.
Malhotra (2006) elaborated use of internet in academic libraries. some of the avenues of internet which have potential application in academic libraries were, e-journals, databases, table of content of the journals, preprints, union catalogue, discussion forum and bulletins of libraries. The researcher has also put forth the information about networks connecting the academic libraries in India and their services. He has also discussed recent trends of using internet in the academic libraries.

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