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Digital Library: A Feasibility Study of Babaria Institute Library, Vadodara. Ranjita N Dash Librarian, BIP. Babaria Institute of Technology, Vadodara -391240. e-mail: - ran_dash [email protected] co. in
Introduction • The library is an extremely important entity in an everchanging society and it must be responsive to the needs of society. • Information technology has changed the complexion of today’s libraries. • Libraries have evolved to become information provider rather than mere document providers. • The shift from traditional libraries to the digital is not merely a technological evolution, but requires a change in the paradigm by which users access and interact with information. This move from traditional to electronic library also alters the fundamental role of library. Contd…
• The present study attempts to briefly highlight the basic features of digital libraries. • Babaria Institute Library, one of the most modern libraries of India with RFID system has been studied as a case for digitization.
Definition • A simple definition of a digital library is ‘a library consisting of digital materials and services’. • Digital materials are items that are stored, processed and transferred via digital (binary) devices and network. • Digital library services are information services that are delivered digitally over computer networks. Contd…
• According to Donald J Waters, “Digital Libraries are organizations that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to, interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities”. Contd…
• Griffin defines a digital library as “an organized collection of multi-media data with information management methods that represent the data as useful information and knowledge to people in variety of social and organizational context”. • On the whole, a digital library can be understood as a system of organized collection of information that is available to the users through networked computers in digitized form.
Antecedents • The term ‘Digital Library’ was coined in the early nineties, but the concept of digital libraries evolved with the widespread use of the web. • The advent of World Wide Web (www) offered a crucial advantage with the availability of ready-to-use, publicly available, user-friendly graphical web browser for all prevalent platforms. • With the coming up of Internet and web technologies, the graphical components, which were missing in the earlier digital libraries, could be introduced.
Why Digital Libraries • There a number reasons for building digital libraries such as, • Information Explosion. • Dwindling budgets of the library • Space problem • High information demand, • Available technologies, etc
The other major points, which compel us for digitization of present day libraries, are: (i) Documents and others materials hashed in collection of traditional libraries are deteriorating at a rapid rate. (ii) Libraries with unique collection of Manuscripts and Archives should be digitized so that these rare materials should be available for extensive access through out. (iii) Digital Library Technology is to manage large amount of digital contents such as thousands of images, audio clips etc.
(iv) Vast amount of information being created and stored each day makes it more difficult to find specific information later. There are electronic tools, which enable this to be done quickly and easily by text search and also by actual searching on the closer texture and even in shapes in images. (v)Digital libraries enable greater access to the content. They are capable of managing content from multiple locations and provide a way to enrich the teaching and learning environment from distance.
(vi) The information available on the web is not uniformly distributed and only a small portion of which exist in print. Hence digital library seems to be the most suitable solution to provide the necessary corrective.
Purpose of Digital Library • To develop information systems providing access to a coherent collection of materials, which will be in digital format and enable full utilization of the opportunities that are offered by the materials available in digital formats. • Helps in the reduction of physical storage of information, consequentially lessons wear and tear of the materials.
• It enables several readers to view the same item at the same time on their respective desktops. • Digital libraries prove to be more cost-effective. • It supports library functions, such as circulation, serial control, acquisition work, stock maintenance and developing in-house database.
Key Features (i) Provides access to a very large collection of information. (ii) Supports multi-media content. (iii) Network accessible (iv) Provides user-friendly interface. (v) Unique referencing of digital objects.
(vi) Supports advance search and retrieval. (vii) Information available for a very long time. (viii)Supports traditional library missions of collection development, organization, access and preservation of information. (ix) Supports editing, publishing annotation and integration of information. (x) Integrates personal, group, enterprise, public digital libraries.
Babaria Institute Library: Digitization Prospects…. • Babaria Institute of Technology (BIT) was established on 19 th May 2004 (affiliated to Gujarat University, Ahmedabad) along with a library of modest size. Today, it is housed in a separate building and the ultimate plan is to build it up as an E-resource center. • The prime objective of the library is to work towards meeting the information needs of its clientele by providing high quality information systems, services, through the utilization of current and emerging information technology i. e. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Technology.
• The Institute is fully computerized with high quality technology of RFID system with Internet facility. Digital information environment is going to be a part of the day-today professional activities. • The library has two segments, one for Technological Sciences and the other for Pharmaceutical Sciences. Both units are well equipped with recent books and reputed periodicals. • The house keeping operations of the library are acquisition, cataloguing, classification, circulation of books, serial control, on-line public access catalogue, budget management, current awareness services, selective dissemination of information etc. all catered through the RFID system.
• The library is having around 12, 064 books, which are already classified according 22 nd edition of DDC. For assigning book numbers, the first three alphabets of author surname and accession number according to the registers are used. • Out of the total collection of the library, 7727 books, fall under the category of Engineering (computer, mechanical, civil and electronics etc. ) and the remaining under Pharmacy (pharmacology, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical engineering, anatomy, physiology etc. ).
• The library is also subscribing to around 70 national (53) and international (17) journals and magazines covering all the disciplines. • I-TEK RFID Based Library Management Suite has been used in the data entry operation of the entire library stock. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an exciting new technology being applied within libraries.
Searching Process • The catalogues are prepared for searching the materials in the library, but these are not fully capable to search out the required material out of large chunk of the literature • To provide the answer to various types of queries, the entries prepared to provide access to the users are filled. The search for a record of a document may be done for various types of access • Once the database under RFID system is created, the online catalogues are available for searching. This machinereadable catalogues, which are available for searching are called On-Line Public access Catalogue (OPAC).
• OPAC allows searching through the access points such as author, title, subject, class, and key words, accession numbers etc. • It ensures a sure success of information retrieval. Browse facility allows the user to consult the catalogue of a library. • Internet facility has become essential for every library in the modern age of technology. Babaria Institute Library is well equipped with this facility. The Internet services of web browsing, email, etc. are connected to the campus LAN.
Digitization of Babaria Institute Library To digitize a library, three basic components are essential. (1) Electronic Text (2)Networking Technology (3)Users
• The Babaria Institute Library is amply endowed with most of the hardware requirements. Even the software requirement can well be catered to with the help of the existing RFID software. The digital resources are on-line resources such as Internet, E-journals, LAN-WAN, EBooks and Off-Line resources such as CD-ROMs, Audio. Visuals Aids. • Babaria Institute library is equipped with Internet facility. The Library has connectivity to Internet through D 2 V(Digital 2 Virtual)Internet Service provider. The Internet services such as WEB Browsing, E-mail, etc are connected to the campus through LAN.
• E-journals and E-books: The library subscribes e-journals through DELNET(Developing Library Network), New Delhi. • However, e-book provision is not yet made available. • CD-ROM Server: All the 700 CDs (Comp, EC, Mech, and Elec) acquired have been loaded to the server to make their availability on LAN within the library.
Conclusion • Babaria Institute Library has tremendous potentiality and appropriate resources for digitization of its library. The library, with rich collection of conventional books and journals is at present fulfilling the needs of its users. • However, to catch-up the current trend of digital libraries, sincere effort has to be initiated by the library professionals of the institute to provide digital information by way of developing infrastructure (hardware nod software) and acquiring digital sources.
• From the point of view of a digitized library, the Babaria Institute Library has by and large the entire required infrastructure. However, to realize the ultimate digital concept of a library, the Babaria Institute library has to travel a long way by initiating a process towards digitization.