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History of Library Automation

In 1930s, the efforts of library automation system was started by Herman Hollerith of the US Census Bureau who invented punched card technology, with the help of Dr. Jolul Shaw Buildings, the then Director of Surgeon-General’s Library (now the National Library of Medicine). In 1935, Dr. Ralph H. Parker Created a circulation control system at the University of Texas at Austin using the Hollerith Punched Card or IBM Punched card equipments. however due to slow progress in the development of computer systems the efforts was put into experimental project of library automation system.

In 1960s the first trend of library automation was developed in US, using computers for creating bibliographic databases as library catalogues. Library of Congress developed a machine-readable catalogue of its holdings records using the MARC input format. In 1967, the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), was started the first computer-based library network.

During the 1970s the development of the integrated computer chip and storage devices led to an explosion of library automation. RLIN (Research Libraries Information Network) and WLN (Washington Library Network) was started the online library networks. In this decade, a number of libraries started automation using the microcomputers of their organizations.
During 1980s, when the repid development of lower cost microcomputers and its easily available in libraries, the automation become a possible proposition for all types and sizes of ;ibraries. Many library automation packages also came into the market. The introduction of CD-ROMs in the late 1980 has changed the way libraries operate, CD-ROMs containing databases, softeware, and information previously only available through print, became available market the information more accessible.
The 1990s have seen the rise of computer networking. By linking computers together to form a network, access can be provided both locally and from a distance, and the different resources held on the networked computers can be shared. Libraries also started Internet ant the World Wide Web on a large-scale providing quick library and information services to their users. Also, hardware-specific automation packages, packages with web-interface, came into the market.
In the new millennium, every library, small medium or large are now using the computers ans places or implements automation of its activates and services. Computerized catalogues or OPACs largely replace traditional library catalogues. Technological advances will continue to open new opportunities for libraries to provide efficient and exhaustive information services and to link to computer networks worldwide. The latest technology presentation in library automation system is barcode technology, digital library and RFID security system. The library automation, which started in the 1970s in a few special libraries. It is yet to take off in college libraries and University libraries in Bangladesh owing to various problems.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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