Various ICT components in Library:
ICT came about as a result of the digital convergence of computer technologies and other media communication technologies.
We may categorized the components of Information Technology (IT), which are frequently used in library and information center are as follows:
- Computer Technology;
- Communication Technology;
- Reprographic, micrographic and printing technology.
Now a brief account of these Information and Communication Technologies is discussed below:
1. Computer Technologies: The dramatic development in the information transmission process in every field of human endeavor has been made by the widespread use of computer technology that can further be divided into following categories:
- Workstations: These are expensive and powerful computers used mainly by engineers and scientists for sophisticated purposes. These include following:
- i. Mainframe Computers: Mainframe computers are fast, large capacity computers, after the super computer, occupies a specially wired, air conditioned room is capable of great processing speeds and data storage.
- ii. Super Computers: Super computers are high-capacity computers that are the fastest calculating device ever invented. It may have a vector processing design or massively parallel processing design.
- iii. Mini Computers: Mini computers are refrigerator-size machine that are essentially scale-down mainframes. Mini-Computers are becoming more important as serves in networks.
- iv. Personal Computers (PCs): These are desktop, floor-standing, or portable computers that can run easy-to-use programmes such as word processing or spreadsheets.
2. Microchip Technology: A microchip is a tiny piece of silicon that contains thousands of micro-miniature electronic circuit components, mainly transistors. The microprocessor of microcomputer, which process data, is made from microchips.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence is a group of related technologies that attempts to develop machines to emulate human like qualities, such as learning, reasoning, communicating, seeing and hearing.
3. Software Technology: Software consists of the steep-by-steep instructions that tell the computer what to do. Many software packages for various applications in the field of library and Information services and management are commercially available. Some of the important library packages available are:
- CDS/ISIS (Computerized Documentation System/ Integrated Set of Information System): This public domain package of library software developed by UNESCO is a menu driven generalized information storage and retrieval system designed specially for computerized management of structured database. The windows Version of CDS/ ISIS is called WINISIS.
- In magic: In this study, the major functions include cataloguing, acquisitions, circulations, serials, on-line catalogue, retrieval, etc.
- Books: This software system which supports all the major library functions including circulation control, acquisition, serial control, etc. This software is in COBOL language.
- Minisis: This software is for use in creating, maintaining and searching library and information databases supports both text and index searches, controlled indexing terms.
- Libsys: It is the most comprehensive library software. It supports almost all activities relating to acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, serials and articles alert.
4. CD-ROM technology: CD-ROM is an acronym that stands for Compact Disk Read Only Memory. It is an optical disc of 120 diameter and a hole of 15 mm at the center with thickness 1.2 mm. Data is recorded in digital forms using laser beam. CD-ROM is used to hold prerecorded text, graphics and sound.
5. Communication technologies: Communication or telecommunication technologies are used to transmit information in the form of signals between remote locations, using electrical or electromagnetic media as carries of signals. Communication technologies comprise the following:
- Audio technology: The outmoded AM (Amplitude Modulated) radio receivers are being replaced by the modern FM (Frequency Modulated) receivers. The recent development of the production of Compact Discs (CDs). Audio technology can be used in library and information centers for a wide variety of purposes such as story telling to children, imparting education, knowledge, recreation, etc.
- Audio visual technology: AV technologies are those by which things can be understood by listening as well as seeing.
- Motion picture: It can be used in library as one of the instruments of mass media communication. It is the dynamic source of information, education and recreation.
- TV: Television is one of the traditional and old information and communication technologies which were dominated by major of station in its formative period.
- CATV (Cable Television) system: It is a wired communication system of high capacity that flows from a central source through a major distribution cable to neighborhood lines and finally to the line into the house.
- Videodisc: Videodiscs can be used to disseminate computer programmes, digital databases, educational video programmes and a range of electronic publications.
- Videotext: Videotext is a newer technology, but as in the on-line information retrieval, the information is stored in computer files and accessed through a telecommunication link.
- Teletext: Teletext is a one-way service to a large number of simultaneous users, where pays of information from a central database are broadcast as part of the regular television signal.
- Telephone: The telephone is one of the longest established methods of electronic information transfer especially to transfer the voice which can be a strong means of disseminating information and keeping of what is being happened concerned organization and outside as well.
- Cell phone or mobile phone: Mobile telephones are based on the cellular radio technology. Mobile phone provides the facility to dial connections anywhere in the world. As the user of mobile telephone moves from cell to cell the radiotelephone link switches from on central transmitter/receiver to a second while the call continues, uninterrupted.
- Fax (Facsimile transmission): It is a method of converting an image into electronic signals that can be transmitted over a communication link and converted back into an image at the receiving end.
- E-mail: E-mail is a system of exchanging message in electronic format. It is the most used tool on the internet. It has brought a revolutionary changes in communication because any type of information such as personal notes, letter, documents, publications, computer progremme, even pictures and sound can be sent to or received from anywhere of the world within a fraction of a second at a very cheap rate through electronic signals called SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).
- Voice Mail: Voice mail acts like a telephone machine that digitizes the incoming voice message and store for retrieval later. It is an alternative system of e-mail.
6. Satellite technology: Satellite are, infact formed of microwave transmission in that satellites, which are positioned in space approximately 22,300 miles above the earth, represent relay stations for earth round communication.
- Internet: Technically the Internet is a junction of a number of hardware and software resources or equipment’s to contracture and to perform multiple functions. It is treated as a virtual library where world’s information resources are gathered for the use of the clientele. It has broken down the distance barrier in communication. It has greatly influenced the practice of librarianship. Access to information through Internet has changed the total scenario of librarianship.
7. Network technology: The important function of network is to interconnect computers and other communication devices so that data can be transferred from one location to another instantly. Generally computer network is of following three types:
- WAN (Wide area network): WAN is a communication network that covers wide geographic area such as a country or state, i.e. INTERNET.
- LAN (Local Area Network): LAN is a communication network that covers limited geographic area such as campus or building.
- MAN (Metropolitan Area Network): A high Bandwidth network designed to link together sites within a city and its environs.
8. Reproduction Technology:
- Reprographic technology: The term reprographic is used to identify of information processing which concerned with technologies and equipment’s for the reproduction of documents.
- Micrographic technology: Micrographic is that field of information technology which concerns making use of microforms. Microforms is a generic term for all information carries which use microfilm or similar optical media (including study) for the high-density recording and storage of optically encoded information in the form of micro images of printed document, but patterns or holograms.
- Printing technology: A printer is a device that converts computer output in to printed images. There are number of different kinds of printers used in library such as Dot Matrix Printers, Laser Printer, Inkjet, Bubble-Jet, etc.