Conference PaperPDF Available

ICT Application in Academic Libraries

Authors:

Abstract

Paper deals with application of ICT tools and techniques in academic libraries in present scenario. Paper clearly explained the starting of ICT application in libraries and its history among world libraries. Further discusses the included technologies under the umbrella of ICT in libraries environment like computer technology, communication technology, optical technology, multimedia technology etc. Major library components covered under ICT application umbrella has been identified and explained clearly followed by functions affected by the use of ICT and its impact on library. Due to wider application of ICT in libraries, library professionals' role has been changed and this has been discussed elaborately with the conclusion.
Pre-print: Shukla, Akhandanand & Sialai, S. (2016). ICT application in academic libraries. In
Maurya, R. J. (Ed.) "Future of Academic Libraries: Issues & Challenges" (pp. 62-71). New Delhi:
Pentagon Press for UPRTOU, Allahabad.
ICT Application in Academic Libraries
Dr. Akhandanand Shukla
Assistant Professor
Deptt. of Library & Information Science
Mizoram University, Aizawl – 796 004
S. Sialai
M. Phil. Scholar
Deptt. of Library & Information Science
Mizoram University, Aizawl – 796 004
Abstract
Paper deals with application of ICT tools and techniques in academic libraries in present
scenario. Paper clearly explained the starting of ICT application in libraries and its history
among world libraries. Further discusses the included technologies under the umbrella of
ICT in libraries environment like computer technology, communication technology, optical
technology, multimedia technology etc. Major library components covered under ICT
application umbrella has been identified and explained clearly followed by functions affected
by the use of ICT and its impact on library. Due to wider application of ICT in libraries,
library professionals’ role has been changed and this has been discussed elaborately with the
conclusion.
Keywords: ICT, ICT Application, Library Automation, ICT Impact on Libraries
1. Introduction
The use of computers has been steadily increasing in science and technology since the 2
nd
World War. Most of the advanced countries of the world have made much advance in this
respect but India has just made a start, especially in industry and business and there also these
are witnessing stiff opposition from the employees and their trade because of the fear of
retrenchment. However, their application is increasing day by day in science, technology,
industry and business. Libraries are no exception to them. As the library authorities and
librarians are becoming aware of their potential uses, these are being put to more use. It is
hoped that by their use, libraries would increase in the years to come in India, thought not at a
rapid speed, especially because of our socio-economic conditions and the prohibitive of their
installation and maintenance.
2. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Libraries
In the past, volume of information was not as large it is today, and the libraries were in the
position to organize the information materials through manual operation. But since the 2
nd
World War, there has been a tremendous output of information, which has been usually
referred to as information explosion. The materials of information in both print and non-print
media (i.e. manuscripts, books, journals, reports, films, discs, tapes) continue to be produced
and used in greater and greater quantities. As Xerox Corporation put it in one of their
promotional brochures in 1984, “recorded knowledge has doubled during the last twelve
years. It will double again during the next ten.” This vast amount of information has to be
processed, stored and retrieved whenever required. The very complexity and magnitude of
the problem makes it an impossible task to process by manual method. Library and
information professionals are increasingly being compelled to take the help of semi-
automatic and automatic machines for information handling. The revolutionary developments
in information technology have two impacts. Firstly, as more and more information is readily
available in machine-readable form, there has been a fundamental shift in the concerns of the
information profession from “more information” to “accurate, up-to-date and timely
information.” Secondly, as computers are used increasingly for provision of information,
librarians and other information professionals must familiarize themselves with the latest
technological development in this field.
3. History of ICT Applications in Libraries
The American pioneers of library automation were outlasted more than other countries. In
1930s, Herman Hollerith of the US Census Bureau invented Punch Card technology with the
help of Dr. Jolul Show Billings. In 1936, Ralph Parker installed Hollerith Punch Card system
at the University of Texas for circulation control of the library and in the mid of 1940s the
system was also experimented in the serial record control. In 1950, the Library of Congress
introduced a book catalogue using Punch Cards. In 1960s, the first library automation was
developed in U.S. In the 1970s, integrated chips and storages devices were also developed
and RLIN and WLN was started the online library networks. In 1980s, the use of computers
in libraries increased greatly. Many library automation packages came into the market and in
the late 1980s; CD-ROMs that contained databases, information and software were also
introduced. In 1990s, the development of computer networking was started. The
overwhelming explosion of technology with the latest one penetrate the library automation
system till date that started using high technology services and security system in the library
to facilitate information protection, sources and services.
4. ICT Application in Libraries
Information Technology means a variety of technological applications in the process of
communication of information. The term “information technology” has been used as
collective term for the whole spectrum of technologies providing the ways and means as to
acquire, store, transmit, retrieve and process information. According to the Webster’s New
Encyclopedia, information technology is the collective term for the various technologies
involved in the processing and transmission of information. Thus information technology
includes computer technology, communication technology, multimedia technology, optical
technology, networking and barcode technology, etc.
a) Computer Technology: Computer can store every variety of information recorded by
people, recall it whenever need arises and can calculate millions of times faster than the
human brain. Thus, computer can do precisely all those jobs in the library for which we
use many devices with a set detailed instructions.
b) Communication Technology: It is used in communicating the information from generator
to the user of the information. Some communication tools like telephone, fax, television,
e-mail, and Internet are very much popular for communicating with the person.
c) Multimedia Technology: Multimedia technology is most commonly applied to the
simultaneous use of sound, text, image and video in preparing presentations and used in
bigger libraries where the special kinds of students have to access and used for it.
d) Optical Technology: Compact discs are one of the most important and useful electronic
media of storing the information. A CD-ROM can store a huge amount of records of
library like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
e) Networking Technology: Merging of computer and communication technologies has
emerged as a networking. In India NICNET, INDONET, PUNNET, CALIBNET,
DELNET, INFLIBNET are some of the important networks.
f) Barcode Technology: Barcode technology can be defined as a self contained message
with information encoded in a series of black bars of varying breadths and white spaces
between every two of them. These are helpful in terms of circulation work and stack
verification work of library documents.
5. Major Library Components covered under ICT Application
a) Library Automation
Library automation is the application of machines to carry out the library operation or
activity. Library automation is important to provide more and very high speed information
accession, to minimize staff requirements, it facilitates handling of huge data or information
and it increases library use. The basic requirements for automating library are the selection of
computers with right hardware and software, computer skilled professional, conversion and
standardization of data, resources and services. In the fully automated library, there are two
types of operation works: library house-keeping operations, and library information handling
operations which are performed with the help of computers. Library automation encompasses
the house keeping operations which are performed by computers. The house-keeping
operation brings acquisition, cataloguing, circulation and serial control.
b) Digital Library
The first use of the term digital library, in print, may have been in a 1988 report to
the Corporation for National Research Initiatives. These draw heavily on “As We May
Think” by Vannevar Bush in 1945, which set out a vision not in terms of technology, but user
experience. The term “virtual library” was initially used inter-changeably with digital library.
A distinction is often made between content that was created in a digital format, known
as born digital, and information that has been converted from a physical medium, e.g. paper,
by digitizing. The term “digital library” was first popularized by the National Science
Foundation’s (NSF) Digital Libraries Initiative in 1994 with the funds of $24.4 million from
the US federal. This funding came through a joint initiative of the National Science
Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That US federal
funds would be distributed for “digital library” research among six universities which were
Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of
Michigan, the University of Illinois, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and
Stanford University. A digital library is a type of information retrieval system. It is a
combined use of digital computing, storage, and communications machinery together with
the contents like multimedia database, information mining, information warehouse,
information retrieval, on-line information repositories, electronic library, imaging database,
World Wide Web (WWW), and Wide Area Information Services (WAIS).
c) Internet & Library Services
Internet has become an important tool to transfer information and offers a variety of services
to create, browse, access, search, communicate and views information. Internet also plays an
important role to enhance library services in providing better information service. The
information services based on Internet are: e-journal, e-book, library catalogue, technical
reports, online databases, Web OPAC, e-mail based information services, online reference
services, content page of journal, online bibliographic databases, etc. All these services
provide useful information that can be accessed through online tools available over Internet.
d) Resource Sharing
Areas of Resource Sharing: The network should be able to access some areas over the
Internet like online catalogue, indexes, cooperative procurement, co-operative technical
operation, preparation of union catalogue, co-operative storage, browsing privilege of co-
operative members, co-operative in documentation, exchange of experts, co-operative inter-
library loans, document delivery services, consortia purchasing, and collection development
etc.
Objectives of Resource Sharing & Networking: The main objectives of library resource
sharing and networking are:
By exchanging library resources and information for the user that will help the user to
access the resources which are not available in their own library.
To facilitates the maximum utilization of resources.
To avoids duplication in resources.
To make overall improvements of library services.
To provide better library services with less budget and safe the times of user.
To develop sharing policies for inter library loan and reciprocal agreements for
special collections.
Nowadays the cost of reading materials is increasing day by day, so that libraries are facing
difficulties to acquire collections. The publication duration of print materials take a long time
so that print materials may not relevant enough in compare with soft copy which is available
on the Web. The soft copy can be accessed rapidly on the Web at anywhere and then the
emphasis is now shifting hard copy to soft copy to provide immediate information service.
Therefore, library resource sharing and networking is very important in present ICT era.
6. Functions of Library affected by ICT Application
The following operations of the library functions can be speedily processed by the computer.
These are outlined briefly as:
Acquisition: Duplicate checking, Preparation of order lists, Sending orders to book
supplier(s), Monitoring orders and follows up action, Verification with order file and
invoices, Maintaining state of funds, budget control etc.
Cataloguing: Duplicating cataloguing cards, Preparation of authority file/subject headings
list, Sorting, checking, and filing of catalogue cards, Automatic generation of added entries,
Generating the monthly accession lists, Developing centralized and cooperative cataloguing
system.
Circulation Control: Registration of members, Charging and discharging of documents,
Updating the records file, Preparation of reminders, Maintaining statistics, Information
retrieval etc.
Serial Control: Ordering of serials, Receipt and updating the record file, Receipt to
vendors/publishers, List of holdings, Maintaining statistics, Information retrieval etc.
Documentation and Information Retrieval: Indexing of micro and macro documents,
Thesaurus construction, Abstracting work, Compilation of union catalogue/lists,
Bibliographic work, Searching and print-outs of queries of users.
In addition to what has been outlined above, more library operations can be manipulated with
the computer system to achieve efficiency, effectiveness, and to reduce per unit costs etc. ICT
provides easy access to information resource and the facilities of technologies have been the
driver of knowledge society.
7. Impact of ICT on Libraries
ICT has wider connotations for librarians that include in addition technologies like repro-
micrographic technology, technical communication technologies and database creation and
use. Information and communication technology has affected operations of various areas in
the library sections which are given below:
a) Library Management: Under this, classification, cataloguing, indexing, database creation,
CAS, & SDI works are affected by the ICT.
b) Library Automation: Under this, organizing databases, automating library, and various
house-keeping operations are coming which are affected by the ICT.
c) Library Networking: Under this, resource sharing and information dissemination are
coming which have been affected by ICT.
d) Technical Communication: Under this, technical writing, editing, and desktop publishing
works are included which are affected by ICT.
8. Changing Role of LIS Professionals in ICT Environment
The development of ICT and their application in library and information centers has changed
the nature of collections; the needs of users; the library environment and the roles of LIS
professionals. The old concept of book centered librarianship has changed to the user-
centered librarianship. ICTs have paved path to new roles for LIS professionals. The LIS
professionals as creators, communicators, leaders, mentors, and lifelong learners are
monitoring the trends in technology continuously to provide global information
instantaneously to end-users through ICTs. In the Web environment, options of sources and
format of information and flow of information have great impact on the role of libraries and
library professionals. In development of collection tools, techniques and approaches has
increasingly entered in the field of library services globally. It forces to change the way they
are functioning in providing the information needs of their users. These new roles require
different personalities for librarians as well as different skills and knowledge. The focus is on
power to draw together different forms of communication, smoothly integrating them within
a digital environment and providing access to the stored information using computer systems
via telecommunications which are fast, friendly and interactive. The globalization of ICTs
has posed various challenges before the LIS professionals in the nature of collections, the
information environment and the radical change in the expectations and needs of the users. In
digital environment, LIS professional’s competence lies in: speeding up access to
information, speeding up spread of information, filtering material chosen by users, organizing
user information sources in standardized keyword and classification schemes, and developing
expert vocabulary.
Before adapting to any changes in libraries, the LIS professionals have to analyze the
organizational conditions, to what extent both higher officials and team members are willing
and prepared to accept these changes. When creating a new role within the digital library, the
LIS professionals must have the curiosity, adaptability, flexibility, confidence and ability to
interact with users outside the library, a passion to educate, can do attitude with team oriented
spirit, and ability to think globally. Creativity is required to deal with the changes in
collections, services, and users. The LIS professionals in libraries will become agents of
accessibility and integration, linking users to a range of digital information available through
licensing agreements or other means. LIS professionals have been working to re-tool library
services in order to make them more useful for patrons to find organize, and interact with
information in a way that has infinite potential for user customization. These new types of
services are a shift from “isolated information silos” to “interlinked computing platforms”.
Smith (2006) proposes nine important factors which are key elements to achieve successful
and sustained change by any LIS professional. They are: ensure readiness for change; plan
for change; lead change; manage change; support change; deal with resistance to change;
communicate effectively; follow through, evaluate, learn; and attend to the human factor.
Ashcroft (2004) suggested the qualifications for a modern librarian to be a mix of old and
new ones and that synthesis derives from the need to organize documents and information in
a hybrid environment. He identified six categories for basic skills: professional, marketing
and promotion, evaluation, communication – negotiation – collaboration, censorship, and
personal transferable skills.
As new technologies come along, library and information science professionals experiment
and try to find ways to employ the new tools in their libraries. Technology has posed a
challenge and given an opportunity to re-design library organization. Technological
developments enabled networking, file storage and graphic user interfaces. This challenge
has paved the way for serious thinking on the capabilities to compensate for reduced budgets.
LIS professionals need to adapt to the new mindset of users linking new technologies,
information, and patrons. The essence of being a library liaison has been defined as one who
“connects users with their information needs, whatever the format and whatever the
technology”.
9. Conclusion
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and techniques utilization has been
spread widely in every work of human being and all kinds of organisations. In academic
environment, ICT application is much used to create standardized and better academic
environment in educational institutes. Libraries are the central place to cater the information
needs of students of the institutes. Due to rapid changing environment, it is necessary to
employ the applications of ICT in libraries to serve the need of their users in better and faster
way. ICT has improved the library services than traditional one and now become the demand
of the users as well as organisation to fulfill the necessary requirements on time. With the use
of ICT, library professionals’ role has been changed totally. They need continuous training
and support from the organisation to serve the user community with pride. It the demand of
libraries to deploy ICT tools and train the library staff to run the library services based on
ICT effectively.
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... In modern library use of technological tools has been a common factor. This green library concept has faced a challenge to use technological tools which have revolutionized the library services without hampering the green ethos (Vijayakumar and Vijayan, 2011;Shukla and Sialai, 2015). Green and cool ICT was characterized as ICT which, because of use, produce comparatively low degrees of carbon emanations while having the capacity to exponentially diminish discharges in other areas by catalyzing technological, institutional and behavioral change (Okuda and Okuda, 2009). ...
... ICT means application of a variety of technology such as electronics, computing and telecommunications in the process of acquiring, storing, transmitting, retrieving and processing of information. Thus ICT includes computer technology, communication technology, multimedia technology, optical technology, networking technology, barcode and RFID technology and photocopy, scanning and printing technology, etc. (Shukla and Sialai, 2015). Application of ICT consumes the energy which mostly comes from fossil fuel. ...
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Role of ICTs in Library and Information Science
  • A Kaliammal
  • G Thamaraiselvi
Kaliammal, A. & Thamaraiselvi, G. (2005). Role of ICTs in Library and Information Science. Delhi: Author Press.
Model ICT Practices in Librarianship
  • P V Konnur
Konnur, P. V. (Ed.) et.al. (2008). Model ICT Practices in Librarianship. Bangalore: Indian Academic Library Association.
Information Technology Applications in Libraries: A Textbook for Beginners
  • M Mahapatra
  • D B Ramesh
Mahapatra, M. & Ramesh, D. B. (Ed.). (2004). Information Technology Applications in Libraries: A Textbook for Beginners. Orissa: Reproprint.
Application of ICT by Related Manpower Problems in the College Libraries of Burdwan
  • A K Mondal
  • A K Bandyopadhyay
Mondal, A. K., & Bandyopadhyay, A. K. (2010). Application of ICT by Related Manpower Problems in the College Libraries of Burdwan. Retrieved from http://publications.drdo.gov.in/ojs/index.php/djlit/article/view/459/255.