Brief overview of college Library

college library

College Library

The objective of a college library is to supplement the instructions imparted in the classroom. It aims to function as an independent teaching agency, encouraging and promoting the use of books in the ways beyond those suggested or required by the classroom. The college library functions basically to assist and support the study and teaching in the respective college. It helps to meet the reading requirements of the students as well as the teachers of the college.

The college library functions basically to assist and support the study and teaching in the respective college. It helps to meet the reading requirements of the students as well as the teachers of the library

Randall and Francis stated that to meet the educational objectives of a college, its library has to perform the following functions:

  • Make available to the students, books and allied reading material relevant to the courses offered in the college;
  • Make available the books and documents required by faculty members in preparation of their instructional courses;
  • Provide supplementary books and reading material to help in study and teaching at the college;
  • Provide a comprehensive selection of authoritative books and documents needed by the faculty members to pursue their research programmes;
  • Promote the proper use of reading material available in the stock; and
  • Train the students in making use of the library properly and derive full advantage of it, by integrating the library with the educational courses.

The objective of college libraries should be emphasized on the provision of the latest information to users, support to user studies, etc. In order to cope with these activities, the professionals should be given an opportunity to learn the skills in IT from time to time.

Problems of College Libraries:

The following are some major problems being faced by the college libraries:

  • Lack of library centered teaching.
  • Lack of right books.
  • Lack of scientific book selection policies.
  • The escalating cost of books.
  • The inadequacy of books.
  • Inadequacy of physical and technical organization.
  • The inadequacy of staff.
  • Inadequate continuing education programmes.
  • The inadequacy of services.
  • Lack of library awareness among students and staff.

Educative Functions of the Library:

To participate effectively in the college instructional programme, the educative functions of the college library lay in providing materials to the college community adequate for their various needs and purposes.

a) Making easily available through open shelves, orientation, or other efficient means and bibliographically through catalogues; bibliographies and indexes.

b) Making them available for library use and home use through the reasonable loan period.

c) By giving formal and informal instruction in the use of the library.

d) By enlightening wide reading through the easy accessibility of materials, reader’s guidance, displays and book discussion.

e) By enlightening the cooperation of the faculty in making the library a speedy centre.

f) By providing bibliographical information on special materials for the faculty.

g) Borrowing needed materials on Inter-library loan from other libraries.

h) Providing adequate and comfortable physical facilities for study including corrals for work on special projects.

i) By extending the hours of services to meet the needs of the users.

The library is expected to support the objectives of the college. Thus the primary function of the college library is to help the college in carrying out its programmes. The college library does not exist as an independent institution itself. Libraries in progressive colleges seek to fulfill the following functions:

a) To provide a comprehensive selection of literature covering the requirements of the college syllabus, together with a selection from humanities and sciences to help a student brooded his reading beyond his practical course.

b) To enable students to be trained in seeking collecting and applying the information for themselves.

c) To provide the members of the teaching faculty a substantial nucleus of the more advanced type of books and periodicals necessary to enable them to keep abreast of the latest developments in their subjects.

d) To provide reference services to both postgraduate students and staff and to assist them in their studies and research activities.

The college library in its use is essentially a “Humanistic Device” and its chief function is to serve the educational objectives of that college, to aid the faculty in the work and to assist the students in their course Libraries function as an essential integral component in the higher education system. Academic libraries in India are facing a lot of problems due to static budgets and exponential price hike of library collections. The library environment is currently undergoing a rapid and dynamic revolution leading to a new generation of libraries with an emphasis on e-resources. A lot of efforts have been taken in the past few years to overcome this problem of the financial crunch by resource sharing through consortia for university libraries.

With the proliferation of engineering colleges in recent years, there is an indication that the future of India is bright. But it has its own disadvantage in the sense that quality may be a casualty. It is physically and financially impossible for any single library to acquire all published material needed. It is more so with technical education. The rising cost of books, an increase in the number of journals and specializations in each subject, inflation, budgetary constraints are the resultant threats for information and publication explosion. Against this, the libraries have a greater role to play in upholding the highest academic standards by offering the best services to their clientele through resource sharing and networking.

The future libraries are going to be digital libraries and e-libraries. Today we have new technologies to meet this challenge and we call it a more fashionably “network” INFIBNET is one which is aiming at networking all the University libraries. The existing library staff should be motivated to adapt to modern technologies and learn computer techniques and be partners in this great yagna.

The colleges insist on internet connections in the Libraries. Internet connectivity facilitates students to browse any number of sites and download the required material for helping readers.

The Technical Education department has plans to network all the engineering colleges using high bandwidth with support from the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., (BSNL). Two separate cables of 64 KBPS would be laid across the state for the purpose. This is being done as a part of the Society for Networking for Excellence in Technical Education (SONET) project that aims to interlink all the engineering colleges through electronic classrooms.

The academic libraries are changing faster than their respective parent institutions. Essentially everything in and around the library is changing such as services, technologies, organizational constructs, etc. Most of the academic libraries in India have been facing financial as well as technological constraints. With the advent of computers, the nature of academic libraries has changed dramatically. Computers are being used in libraries to process, store, retrieve and disseminate information. As a result, the traditional concept of academic libraries are being redefined from a place to access the books to one which houses the most advanced media including CDROM, Internet and remote access to a wide range of resources. This can be overcome easily with the help of change management in the activities of libraries and give better services to the users.

Academic libraries have really understood that consortia based subscriptions is cost-effective and also avoids redundant expenses and duplicate subscriptions. The effort of UGC-INFONET and INDEST—AICTE Consortium are appreciable and will definitely strengthen the higher education system in India free and or highly subsidized access to scholarly e-resources will help educational institutions in fulfilling their mission into reality. These are the two major initiatives that are revolutionary steps in providing scholarly resources including peer-reviewed journals, databases, abstracts, proceedings, etc. These efforts are a boon to university library users which will definitely boost the level of the higher education system in our country. In the long run consortia approach will be much more popular in the user community and that day is not so far behind when the consortia approach will expand the country’s information base.

Library Resources:

The library’s collection of books, journals, and other materials be so constituted and organized to provide direct support to the instructional programme both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The resources should be of the requisite size, scope, and quality. So as to include textbooks with multiple copies of collected reading material, references, and bibliographical tools, journals serials, in addition the collection should have standard works on our cultural heritage. It should also be supplemented by a wide variety of books, which widen the horizon of the students and also provide recreational reading; there should be a strong and up-to-date reference collection in the major fields of knowledge. The medium of instructions and examination in the college should be kept in view in building the library resources. The library holdings should be checked against standard bibliographies.

For citing this article use:

  • Venkatasubbarao, M. (2013). Professional attitudes of librarians towards information and communication technology: a survey of engineering college libraries in north coastal Andhra Pradesh (Ph.D. Thesis). Andhra University, Departments: Department of Library and Information Science.
Declaration: Articles shared in this blog are collected from different sources available on the internet to help students of Library and Information Science. Sources are mentioned in the reference section of the article. If you have any objections about the content of this blog, feel free to contact the site admin at

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