Basic Components of Library Automation System.

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An Integrated Library System or Library Automation, is an enterprise resource planning system for a library, used track items owned, orders made, bill paid, and information patrons who have borrowed. Automation is the use of machines, on the other-hand Library Automation refers to the implementation of computer software that allows previously manual tasks to be completed in computer system.
Basic Components of an Integrated or Automated Library System:

The followings are the basic components of Automation Library System.

  1. Computer System.
  2. Networking Device.
  3. Software.
  4. Database.
  5. Server.
1. Computer: A computer is an electronic device that have the ability to accept data, store data, and automatically execute an instruction, to perform mathematical, logical or manipulative operation to produce output. A computer system consist of a number of individual components performing a particular function.
A computer system has input, output, storage’s and processing components as the basic elements. Some of them are as:
a) Input device: A device that can be used to insert data into a computer or other computational device is known as input device. Some of common input devices are:
  • Keyboard: It looks like a key board of a type writer that enable us to enter data into a computer. Keyboard is the most popular and commonly used input device.
  • Mouse: In computing, a mouse is a pointing device. It looks like a small plastic box with two buttons and a scroll wheel and connected by cable with computer.
  • Optical Character Reader (OCR): A method of reading character that have been printed or typed in a special type front. By means of a photo electric scanner device, which converts the light patterns into digital signal for computer.
  • Optical Mark Reader (OMR): A special scanning device that can read carefully placed pencil marks on specially designed documents, like form , answer sheets, etc.
  • Bar-code Reader: A bar-code reader is an electronic device for reading printed barcodes on paper by the help of computer. This is very helpful device for a librarian to find out the basic information of a book.
  • Scanner: Scanner allow a PC to connect a drawing or photograph into digital format. This device is helpful to build-up a automated library collection.
  • Voice Data Entry: Voice or speech data entry system, that accepts the spoken word as input data or commands via a microphone.
b) Output device: An output device is any peripheral device that converts machine readable information into people readable form. Some commonly used output devices are:
  • Monitor: The monitor is the commonly used display device. It output signal as image format or display. It is vary useful device for automated library system.
  • Printer: A printer is an output device that produces a hard copy of data or paper sheet. we can prepared / print catalogue card or bibliography by using printer.
  • Central Processing Unit: The main part of a computer in which operations are controlled and executed. It contains most important hardware of a computer. It also called the brain of a computer.
  • Storage / Memory: A computer system contains a variety of memory devices to store instruction and data for its operation. This mainly two types:
  1. Primary Memory, e.g. RAM, ROM etc.
  2. Secondary memory, e.g. Magnetic disk, Hard-desk, Floppy disk etc.
This devices are very important for automated library system, because you can store books, journals and documents in digital format on storage device.
2. Networking Device: Networking device includes the following devices:
  • Modem: An electronic communication system that allow two or more inter connected computers and terminals to share information and resources.
  • LAN: A Local Area Network is a data communication network used to interconnect data terminal equipment distributed over a limited area (typically up-to 10 square km.).
  • MAN: A Metropolitan Area Network is a computer network that usually spans a city or a large campus. A MAN usually interconnects a number of Local Area Network.
  • WAN: A Wide Area Network connects computers located across a wide geographical area e.g. Internet is best known as WAN. Telecommunication links might involves common cities, microwave of satellite communication.
  • Cable: Networking cables are used to connect one networking device to another networking devices or to connect two or more computers to share printer, scanner etc.
3. Software: Software is a collection of computer programs and related data that provides the instruction for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. To build-up an automated library collection, use of computer software is very important. Without using library software we cannot build-up an automated library collection.
Some of the popular automated library software are:
  • Koha,
  • OpenBiblio,
  • Evergreen,
  • Green Stone Library Software, etc.

4. Database: A database is an integrated collection of logically related records or objects. Database is very essential for an automated library system, because all the basic information of books are stored on database. It may be as Author database, Bibliographic Database, etc.

 
5. Server: A computer or computer program that manages or controls the access to centralized resource or service in a network. By using server you can share your library e-resources with other libraries who are connected with the server.

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