A college is considered as an academic institution of higher learning offering three-year degree courses. In colleges library occupies a prominent position and it is an important and integral part of the teaching programme. It is not merely a depository of books, but an active workshop instrument in the production of or original thinking. The aim of college education and college libraries in inter-related. College library extends opportunities for self-education to the deserving and enthusiastic students without any distinction. These libraries develop in each student a sense of responsibility in the pursuit of knowledge. College library stimulates the students to obtain, evaluate and recognize knowledge and to familiarize himself with the trends of knowledge for further education and learning new disciplines.
Objectives and Functions of College Libraries:
The objectives of college libraries are based mainly on the objectives of the institution itself. The college library must, therefore, reflect the purpose of the institution of which it is part.
Several scholars have viewed the objectives of the libraries in different ways. According to “Education commission” 1966, the objectives of the college library are:
1. To provide resources necessary for research in the field of interest to the college;
2. To help the teacher in keeping abreast of developments in his field;
3. To provide library facilities and services necessary for the success of all formal programmes of institution;
4. To open the door to the world wide of books that lie beyond the borders of one’s own field of specialization; and
5. To bring books, students and scholars together under conditions, which encourage reading for pleasure, self-discovery, personal growth and sharpening of intellectual curiosity.
According to W. M. Randall and I. Francis, to meet the educational objectives of the college, the library:
1. Makes available to the students books and allied reading materials relevant to the courses offered in the colleges;
2. Makes available the books and documents required by faculty members in preparation of their instructional courses;
3. Provides supplementary books and other reading materials to help to study and teach at the college;
4. Provides comprehensive selection of authoritative books and documents needed by the faculty members to pursue their research programmes;
5. Promotes the proper use of the reading materials available in the stack; and
6. Trains the students in making use of the library properly and derive full advantage out of it, integrating the library with the education course.
Libraries were though of by people up to 18th century as just places where a collection of books was housed and books were considered nothing more than physical commodities and were seldom allowed to migrate from the shelves. The librarian of those days was considered a custodian. Gradually this idea faded away as a result of the industrial revolution. Now a days library is a place where knowledge in the form of books is stored and retrieved whenever needed. The collection is made effective to achieve definite aims and purposes in pursuit of knowledge. The library acts as a social institution for the conservation, communication and extension of knowledge, and it is an institution to meet the recreational informative and inspirational needs of the modern society.
The library plays an important role in the present education system. A well-equipped and well-managed library is the foundation of modern educational structure. It is the responsibility of the library to collect, preserve, organize and disseminate all kinds of reading materials for the purpose of profound use by the readers of an educational institution to which it is concerned. Library is a mirror that reflects the culture and activity of the educational institution and it measures up the standards of the institution. Therefore, the library is said to be the heart of the educational institution. At the turn of the present century, a number of reports concerning formal education came out, to mention a few, the Mudliyar Report, Radhakrishna Report, Kothari Commission Report etc. All these reports have reportedly emphasized the importance of libraries in higher education. Effective use of library is always a necessary complement to the functions of higher educational institutions. Education System should be an integration and co-ordination between classroom and library, which brings out the fruitful result in building up the overall development of personality of the student. Library is a service institution, the services of library towards the society are:
1. To provide opportunity of self-education to everyone.
2. To provide modern trade business for the managerial people to adopt the training for the development of information.
3. To provide up to date information to all.
4. To provide scientific knowledge.
5. To provide biased and unbiased materials for the people.
In the recent years, libraries have witnessed a great metamorphosis both in the collection development and the service structure. A significant transformation has been noticed in collection development policies and practices due to availability of ICT based resources and services in plenty and had easy access to these resources. Print medium is increasingly giving way to the resources that are produced in electronic/ digital formats. The availability of CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and other online resources of bibliographical and full — text databases is quite common in the majority of the university and college libraries. The libraries have an option to subscribe to these full — text databases as part of their digital collections. Most of the important publishers now offer web — enabled interfaces and full text of their journals. Some of the important full-text digital collections available on CD-ROM or online include Automatic Digital On-line Information System (ADONIS), IEEE/IEE Electronic Library (IEL), Computer Application Binary Interface Databases (ABI/ INFORM) and Library and General Periodicals, E-space worlds, US Patents, etc.
The heterogeneous nature of documents in terms of physical formats, types of contents, sources of generation following different standard and that of users carrying both research and development work demanding service suitable to them and co-existence of both old timers loving only print documents and younger scientists asking for documents on to their desktops, the responsibility of information professionals is becoming much more challenging. The developments in information technology and their applications in libraries for rendering a variety of services have given new dimension to the entire spectrum of information management.
The libraries in the digital era do not have exceptions in acquiring ICT based resources and services to meet the requirements of the users who need information as quickly as possible. Since the users in the modern information society are aware of many ICT based resources and services useful to them and are able to access to these resources without any difficulty, it is quite challenging for library and information professionals at present. Keeping the demand of users for ICT based resources and services in mind, most of the academic libraries have started subscribing to e-documents and the remaining libraries should also be in a position to subscribe to the same.
- R, P. (2009). Impact of Electronic Resources on Academic Program in arts and science colleges Tiruchirappalli A study.