Impact of ICT in Library and Society

1. Impact of ICT on Society: Developments in ICT have brought about the merger of the computing, information, Communications, entertainment, and mass media industries thereby providing a means of exchanging information anytime, anywhere in the digital format used by computers. This technological convergence has brought about an enormous impact on the way we live, work, think and play. These changes are quite prevalent in our everyday lives such as the use of e-mail and cellular phones at home and in the workplace and also linked to all facets of society: business, education, military, recreation, transportation, communication, scientific exploration, knowledge management, etc.

 Figure- 1: Impact of ICT on Society
Figure- 1: Impact of ICT on Society

2. Impact of ICT to Change the Scenario of Academic Libraries:

ICT has changed the nature of academic libraries. A variety of terms such as hybrid, digital and virtual library are used to refer to the academic library. A digital library can be defined as a “Managed collection of information with associated services where the information is stored in digital format and accessible over a network”. The virtual library has been defined as “Remote access to the content and services of libraries and other information resources, combining an on-site collection of current heavily used materials both print and in electronic form with an electronic network which provides access to and delivers from the external worldwide library and commercial information and knowledge sources. Hybrid libraries are libraries that provide access to both electronic resources and paper-based resources”. From the definitions, it is clear that most of today’s academic libraries fall in the hybrid category. The internet has made information access and retrieval both simple and complex. Information retrieval systems are being designed to suit the need of end users and therefore try to simplify the process. Simultaneously however the user is overwhelmed with so much information resources and choices that the process becomes complex.

  • ICT made information creation in digital format possible.
  • ICT made online access and file transfer possible.
  • ICT made networking and sharing of information resources possible.
Impact of ICT to Change the Scenario of Academic Libraries.
  Figure- 2. Impact of ICT to Change the Scenario of Academic Libraries:

The shift from print to digital information has a high impact on libraries, information centers and other institutions directly involved in processing information. This shift is generally attributed to the merging of computing, telecommunications technologies, and other industries. Computers have permeated society because of their ability to perform high volume error-free repetitive tasks at speeds much faster than human beings, while recent and emerging developments in the area of computing; telecommunications, networking and resource sharing made access to information anytime, anywhere possible.

With the developments and application of ICT, the whole scenario of libraries has changed. There is a shift from traditional libraries to hybrid libraries. We see the emergence of libraries with different nomenclatures operating in the universe of knowledge. These libraries are automated libraries, electronic libraries, digital libraries or ubiquitous virtual libraries. In the web environment there has emerged the concept of Library 2.0. All these libraries are using different information technology applications for performing activities ranging from the acquisition of materials to the dissemination of information.

3. Impact of ICT on Library Collection Management:

In this age of information explosion electronic resources has made collection management a very complex and challenging task. There is a budgetary constraint, numerous formats, ever changing user needs. Collection management implies involvement in tasks such as analysis of needs, negotiation of contracts and evaluation of resources:

  • Electronic Resources: ICT has fundamentally changed academic/college library collections. Forever gone is the era when academic library’s physical collection determined its stature. In the modern networked technological era, the emphasis is shifted from ownership of physical resources to access electronic resources that are globally accessible.
  • E-Journals: The e-journal can be defined as a version of the traditional print or paper-based journal which is disseminated electronically in some form or other directly to the user. Since it’s inception in 1665 the printed journal remained the primary vehicle for communication among academics and researchers but there had been major increases in the cost of journal subscription during the last decades. Between 1986 and 1996 the average increase per journal subscription had been 147%. The advent of the internet transformed publishing radically made it possible to publish cheaply. The Internet also made access universally available.
  • E-Books: E-Books are essentially published books and reference materials that were digitized and are distributed electronically. From a library point of view, e-books are cost saving in terms of shelving, binding, circulation, overdue notices and management of fines. Other advantages are on-line availability, keyword searching capability, etc.

4. Impact on Library Users:

Academic library staff has a good understanding of the tremendous value of printed and electronic resources available to students at academic libraries. Users do not necessarily the insight. New generation library users have a preference for electronic resources rather than print resources. They want

  • All resources should be available in full text and printable
  • The library service should be fast and easily accessible
  • 24*7 hours availability of library services
  • All library transaction should be online

Effects of these developments on the user community 

  • Increases the level of technology literacy
  • Increases demand for better and faster access to information
  • Aggravates discrepancies between the information rich and information poor.

Exposed to different applications of technology in their life, users nowadays are more adept at its use and are expecting to have access to it in their times of need. In libraries, users that are knowledgeable in using computers and the Internet for their research demand nothing less than a computer with Internet access. However, this may not be true and not applicable to those who have no access to such technologies due to financial difficulties. Thus, two different kinds of users have emerged that libraries must cater for: the “haves” and “have-nots”. Ideally, a balance must be maintained in providing services for both groups so that all users will have equal access to information. This can be effectively done through the use of powerful and appropriate technologies.

5. Impact of ICT on LIS Professionals or Librarians:

The computer and IT has brought in a new impact on the library services and information usage. In libraries, ICT has assisted library and information science professionals to provide value-added services and give more remote access to available information resources. Information and communication technologies provide faster retrieval of stored information and reform our traditional library to a modern library. Recent ICT is impacting on various facets of libraries and the information profession. Advancements in ICT and the widespread use of ICT are resulting in digital information sources and digital media replacing and becoming the dominant form of information storage and retrieval. Information and communication technology also survives and makes true rules of Library Science “Every reader his/her book/information”, “Save the time of the reader”, “Library is a growing organism”. Information and communication technology with its great information sources, fast transmission speed, and easy access guarantees the satisfaction of the user with multifaceted demand, overcome the distance barrier and reduced the time required and guarantee the right information to the right reader at the right time. It also rises and resolves the library’s demand for collection development. It is really an outstanding tool for information centers or libraries.

ICT has created complex challenges for Librarian or LIS professional they have to redesign their positions to meet evolving needs. Librarians or LIS Professionals have to manage the change by adopting the latest ICT, thereby improving performance. They need to improve the skills and knowledge of new information and communication technologies to provide quality library services.

6. Changing Role of the Librarian in the ICT World:

At present dynamic turbulent World, the role of the librarian is accepting to new information & communication technologies, information resources, and users’ demands. Librarian is responsible not only to provide traditional library information services but also to fast deliver online/offline information services according to the actual user’s needs. The librarian needs to keep up with their users’ demands to survive and service them. The librarian needs to become information knowledge navigators who distill data into usable information. Today, the Librarian has to play multiple evolving and expanding roles to face many new challenges in the dynamic ICT environment.

  • Librarian as a leader
  • Librarian as a two-way communicator
  • Librarian as a identifier
  • Librarian as a information collector
  • Librarian as a information organizer
  • Librarian role of information retrieval
  • Librarian as a website designer
  • Librarian as a information analyst
  • Librarian as a researcher
  • Librarian as a knowledge manager
  • Librarian as a information scientists in electronic/digital libraries
  • Librarian as a e-resource managers
  • Librarian as a information disseminator

Reference Article:

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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