Information Technology and Library Automation

Library automation which started in the late 70s in few special libraries has now reached most of the university libraries. Automation is used to reduce the amount of time devoted to repetitive (and often less challenging) activities that must be done in any properly functioning library. Library automation is the application of computers to perform traditional library housekeeping activities such as acquisition, circulation, cataloguing, reference and serials control.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has enormously increased the capabilities of library services, creating options for networking to provide access to vast stores of electronic information, for more sophisticated library housekeeping systems and for greater bibliographic access through services. However, technology can also create further pressures and drains on a library’s resources simultaneous for delivering a vastly advanced service. Problems of obsolescence and compatibility of hardware and software can be costly and the demands for training, both of staff and library users are great.

Information technology presents both new opportunities and challenges before the library profession as it creates new possibilities for the development of new products and delivery of services. It has also changed the basic assumptions about organizational structure, working relationships and the quality of library services. Some of the characteristics of the current and emerging information environment in which libraries have now to function include greater complexity in locating, analyzing and linking information, sustained financial investment for technology, lack of standardization of both hardware and software. The new information environment requires that librarian’s role should be characterized by increased visibility and vitality. Librarians need to be well integrated into the activities of their institutions and the community they serve.

Original Reference Article:

  • 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. http://hdl.handle .net/10603/8693

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