ICT and Information

Areas of ICT Application in Libraries

The explosion of computer and communication technologies, which are referred to as information communication technology (ICT) has affected almost all aspects of human life including the library. Libraries have been looking forward to better technologies even before the onset on the computers. Ranganathan’s five laws of the Library Science stipulate that the documents of the library should have maximum numbers of users, with the application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the areas of Libraries / Libraries and Information Centers. There has been a tremendous improvement in the library services offered by the library to the users. Now in the information era, in order to avoid obsolescence of information, library professionals are applying advanced technologies to enable its user community to get the right information at the right time. In order to achieve this objective, libraries are automating their services. Many Libraries mainly concentrated on the circulation, reference etc. In some OPAC’s WebOPAC’s, CD-ROM Networks, DTP office Automation etc.ICT Application in Library

1. Acquisition System: Acquisition System is concerned with finding book selection sources, searching and selection of books, required, placing of orders with a wide range of suppliers, keeping track of orders, receiving and recording of materials, settlement of invoices, accessing and maintaining detailed accounts of funds. Requisition of payment; order follow up; receiving and accessioning of free gift items are also dealt with. Here, the computer is of immense help to the library staff as in computerized information systems the bibliographical details of the material are to be entered only once and at different stages for different jobs the computer, through the integrated software takes relevant bibliographical details for each book at each stage. Similarly, in a computerized library, it is easier and automatic to maintain bill register, expenditure register, vendor directly etc. in computer’s memory. Online quires may be made on titles, orders, invoices, vendors and budget heads. Various reports such as approval request from; purchase orders, overdue notices, budget and expenditure analysis, payment requisition report, accession register, and bill register can be generated and printed on the requirement.

2. Cataloguing System: Cataloguing is one of the important functions, which link user’s requirements to the documents in a library. In cataloguing we take into account the various approaches of users in searching for a book in the library and make catalogue entries in order to ensure that each major approach if a user is satisfied. The computerized catalogue is the most efficient tool in retrieving information about the documents in a library easily and quickly. The cataloguing system maintained a titles-in-process file of all items that are then catalogued. Catalogued are also produced by data import, or by network downloading or by direct data entry. Details about a book or any other library material can be searched by either item number or by a combination of fields such as keywords, title, author, Dewey Classification number, class number or by subject. In addition, this system covers catalogue maintenance; thesaurus construction; authority files; and holding updates. Cataloguing system provides the facility to provide Current Awareness Services (CAS) such as SDI, Special Bibliographies and Lists of recent Arrivals. It makes possible import / export of bibliographies data in CCF, MARC and UNIMARC formats and automates the stock verification process.

3. Classification System: Call Number of books is to be assigned manually and relevant call number for each book is to be fed in the computer through the keyboard. The computer can help in alphabetical classification only by talking keywords from the acquisition module.

Computerization provides the following benefits in classification:

• Helps the classification in the selection of isolate terms, grouping and arranging them in hierarchical sequence;

• Helps a classifier in synthesizing the class numbers;

• Saves time by avoiding reference to the schedules of scheme for classification on and often;

• The constructed class number can easily be used as a query language in a typical retrieval system; and

• Improves accuracy and speed in classification.

4. Circulation System: Circulation procedure in a conventional system is very lengthy and consumes much of staff time in repetitive works. The use of technological devices such as computers, barcode scanners, and its software in circulation helps in performing these routine operations easily and quickly. Academic libraries are the suitable candidates for computerization of circulation control systems as they frequency have a high volume of circulating transactions per day. An automated circulation system provides information about the location of the on loan at the bindery, on reserve alerting the library staff on return of a reserved; print recall notices for items on long-term loan; renewal of loan; circulation of fines, printing of fine notices; analysis of summary statistics; printing due date slips; automatically generating orders for lost books, and Provision for inter-library loan transactions.

5. Serial Control System: Serials include periodicals, newspapers, manuals, journals, processings, transactions etc., of societies and monographic series. Serials are distinguished from monographs by their ongoing nature. The continuing nature of serials subscriptions creates problems and makes it a complex process requiring a separate control system. An automatic serial control system provides the following benefits:

• Ordering new journals; Renewal/discontinuation; sending reminders; Receiving the journals.

• Preparation of a list of periodical received; Preparation of a list periodical canceled; Preparation of a list of holding; List holding with their status (i.e. on the shelf, in binding, in circulation etc.)

• Bindery management; recording and accessioning bound volumes and;

• Keeping track of amount spent on subscriptions, binding etc.; Estimation of the budget for the next year; announcement of the missing serials for recording the same.

6. Article Indexing System: The article indexing system facilities indexing and abstracting of an article from various journals, technical reports, conference proceedings, monographs etc. It includes scanning of the article, entry of citation, and online searches on author, keywords, depositors and even word-based free searches. This system also provides periodic documentation lists, personalized SDI, bibliographies on specific subjects etc.

7. OPAC System (Online Public Access Catalogue): The ALA Glossary define Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) as “a computer-based and supported library catalogue (bibliographic databases) designed to be accessed via terminals so that library users may directly and effectively search for and retrieve bibliographies records without the assistance of a human intermediary such as a specially trained staff’. The library staff and the public can usually access it at computers within the library, or from home via the Internet. OPAC terminals began to replace card and catalogues in many libraries in the 1980s. An online public access catalogue or OPAC is a computerized online catalogue of the materials held in a library. Or library system since the mid-1990s, these systems have increasingly migrated to Web-based interfaces. OPACs are often part of an integrated library system. In its most simple from, a library’s OPAC could consist of nothing more than a simple index of the bibliographic data catalogued in the system. More complex OPACs offer a variety of search capabilities on several indexes; integrate rich content (book covers, video clips, etc.), and offer interactive request and renewal functionality. Most interacted library system offers a browser-based OPAC module as a standard capability or optional feature. OPAC modules rely on pulldown menus, popup windows, dialog boxes, mouse operations, and other graphical user interface components to simplify the entry of search commands and formatting of retrieval information. OPAC system also provides the facility to request acquisition of title, to reserve materials, and to send personalizes SDI, overdue /recall/collect notice and massages by e-mail.

8. Web OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue): The concept of Wed OPAC is the recent origin and it is serving as a gateway to the resources not only held by the respective library but also to the holdings of other participating libraries without limiting to local collection but going beyond further to regional, national and international levels. It allows users to interact with documents stored on computers all over the world and makes easier access to catalogue data in the form of bibliographic records. Some of the disadvantages of Web OPAC are:

• Some Wed OPACs, even though the links are available on the Web page or the telnet address is given are restricted to a particular user community and requires the use of appropriate login names and passwords;

• Some Web OPACs do not provide links through authors or subjects;

• Displays in most of the Web OPACs failed to provide access to online help and;

• Some of the Web OPACs do not display the database being searched, the search strategy/query and the call number.


Reference Article:

  • K.m, P. (2018). Use of ict resources and services at state university libraries in Gujarat a study.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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