Library Science

Library and Information Services

Concept of  Library and Information Services


Libraries are built and maintained to provide information resources for a specific and defined community. A public library serves the residents of a specific geographic region. An academic library serves the students and faculties of a parent college or university. Special libraries support to achieve organizational goals by serving the members. Corporate libraries serve the commercial firms. In each case, the library only exists to serve its parent community. Each library performs three basic functions in the process of serving its community, selecting and collecting information, organizing information, and serving users. In the agricultural university, librarian used the ICT as a tool (such as Library Management Software (LMS), Internet, and Telecommunication etc.) to serve it researcher’s right information at the right time. Some librarian suggested four basic functions in the area of library services.Library and Information Services

(1) Instructing the User about library management.

(2) Assisting the users to solve his/her queries.

(3) Aiding the users in selection of good works.

(4) Promoting the library within the community.

Although over a century has passed, these four functions remain the core of reference and information services in today’s digital environment. The primary objective of a library, irrespective of type or size, is to promote the use of its resources. Library services bring together the documents or information sources and their users by personal efforts of the library staff.

Type of Library Services:-

Libraries provide a variety of library and information services to satisfy different information requirements of users. Here the researcher mentions library and Information services are as under.

1) Reference Service:- Reference services help users to locate and obtain specific pieces of information from information sources such as reference books, catalogues, directories, files, abstracting and indexing periodicals, databases (online and CD-ROM) and other reference materials. Library personnel may either help users in searching (direct search) or they themselves do the search for users (delegated search) in online or offline mode. Reference service is subjective because of its stress on personalized service. Instruction has objective connotations about it because it encourages the user to independent study. About the Rangnathan reference service was the essence of librarianship.

2) Referral Service:- Referral services aim to refer users to the sources of information such as secondary publications, information units, professional organizations, research institutions and specialists/experts. Such services do not provide the documents or information required by the user for his/her query but give the direction where available. Librarians utilize directories and databases on sources, specially designed and developed for rendering referral services.

3) Current Awareness Service (CAS):- CAS satisfies users’ current approach to information and thereby keeps them up-to-date in the field of their work. The important characteristics of CAS are as under:

i. It is a technique of communicating current information to users.

ii. It provides latest developments in a subject field and does not provide answer to any specific query.

iii. Generally covers a broad subject area and supplements the user’s own channel/media of obtaining information.

iv. It is known for the speed and timeliness.

v. It is meant for use before its contents are absorbed by secondary publications like abstracting and indexing journals.

CAS may be provided through variety of media and channels such as current awareness lists, current contents, routing of periodicals, list of research in progress and forthcoming meetings/seminars/conferences, newspaper clippings etc.

4) Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) Service:- SDI is a special type of current awareness service. It provides each user with the references of documents to their predefined areas of interest, selected from document published recently or received during a particular span of time. In 1950s, H. P. Luhn first coined the concept of SDI as a computer mediated information services. The workflow of SDI service is based on the following steps:

i. Create users’ profile.

ii. Create document profile.

iii. Matching the User’s profile and document profile.

iv. Give the notification to users.

v. Take a feedback from the users.

5) Literature Search Service:- It is an extension of reference service. This service includes the following steps:

i. Analysis of the search parameters of a query.

ii. Formulation of a suitable strategy for searching different information sources.

iii. Identification and choosing of most appropriate sources to be searched and the order of searching them.

iv. Understanding of retrieval features of online databases and CD-ROM.

6) Document Delivery Service (DDS):- Document delivery is a key element in access to information. Unless the documents required by the user are available to him/her, all the other services are of no use. DDS is a complex process and is concerned with supply of documents to users on demand in required format. DDS is the last point in this chain of information services that actually locate the required document and supplies it to users in required format. Electronic DDS supports delivery of documents in digitized form at anytime from anywhere.

7) Translation Service:- In the area of science and technology about half of the world’s literature is published in languages other than English. Access to non-English literature by people who know English is possible through translations. Translation services thus help in the global access of information. In India, DESIDOC, NISCAIR, IASLIC, ONGC, BARC, BHEL, DRDO laboratories and several wings of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Science and technology provides translation facilities.

8) Web-OPAC Service:- Web-OPACs are next generation of OPACs. Web-enabled OPACs allow users to search library catalogues and access other services from any client at Library Services anywhere at any time. It allows users to search for the bibliographic records contained within a library’s collections. It helps to users for find out necessary information and removes the time barriers. The users access the Web OPAC service with a standard web browser connect as a client machine because the mechanism does not require installation of any additional client-side software. (Bhatnagar,Anjana.(2005).

9) Article Indexing Service:- Modern automation packages also provide facility to create and index database of articles or papers published in the journals subscribed by the library. The abstracts of papers/articles may also be included in the database. Such a database allows specific and combined searching by author, title, keywords etc. and produces number of user specific services like table of contents services, compilation of subject bibliographies and generation of CAS, SDI, etc. in online and off-line mode.

10) Lending Service :- Lending service provides facility to allow books and other library materials to be read elsewhere by users. This service increases the use of library collection. Computerized lending includes following value-added user services

i. Quick issue, return and renewal of books and other library materials.

ii. Automatic display of document availability and possible date of availability, display or printing of documents borrowed by a member.

iii. Quick generation of fine receipts;

iv. Issue of member ID card with photograph;

v. Membership history in the form of list of documents issued and returned by a member during his/her membership tenure.

vi. E-mail reminders for overdue books.

vii. Reservation of document by users through OPAC/Web-OPAC, if it is on loan.

viii. Inter library loan (ILL) services for documents not available in the local library.

RFID and smart card based circulation system allows self-issue and self-return of documents, secure use of library resources and personalized access to public domain resources.

11) Union Catalogue and ILL Service :- Union catalogue is a collection of bibliographical details of resources belongs to a group of libraries. No library of the world can purchased all resources. Union catalogue helps user of one library to check the availability of required documents in other libraries, if not available in the stock of local library. Union catalogue is the result of co operative processing works of member libraries of a resource sharing network or consortium. These are available in the form of CD-ROM databases or online databases. Rowell initiated U.C. Berkeley’s first program of inter library lending in 1894, with the California State Library as partner. Inter library loan (ILL) service handles the processing related with the borrowing of items from collections beyond that of the local library. ILL service acts as a central service in resource sharing activities.

12) Electronic Document Delivery Service :- Document delivery has always been at the heart of services offered by libraries. Due to the digitization of document; it is possible to make more efficient through the introduction of electronic document delivery. The document delivery service is an integration of document discovery, the location of a supplier, request and delivery. It takes many forms, deals with variety of formats and involves a number of intermediaries. The different types of documents delivery services as under.

i. Library networks and consortia based services.

ii. CD-ROM based services.

iii. Suppler and agent base services.

13) Outreach Services :- Outreach services aim to automate the processes required to deliver materials to the home-bound and other patrons who cannot physically enter the library. Automated library systems also offer community information services in the form of list of names and addresses of local organizations or persons, local leisure facilities, employment etc. Outreach services allow creation of user interest profiles, reading histories, easy selection, delivery and return of items. Access to outreach services and community information service is often integrated with OPAC.

14) ICT Base Library Services:- Information Communication Technology (ICT) has made significant impact on all spheres of human life. For the Libraries, ICT’s has tremendously changed the Management of Resources or House Keeping Operations as well as the way services are delivered. IT application tools and Integrated Library Management Systems are largely used in housekeeping operations, like acquisition, cataloguing, circulation control, serials control etc. In the library, Internet has been used extensively as a resource as well as a tool to deliver the Library and Information Services. Library provides the following ICT base service to their users.

a. Full text Database services.

b. CD-ROM Database Services.

c. Web-based information services. (Chauhan Budhdhi Prakash.(2004)

15) Reprography Services:- Reprography means reproduction of documents by photography or xerography, Reprography service is useful for information dissemination. This service provides with charges. Today, reprography plays a very important role in the transmission of knowledge in the library resources and services. Introducing Reprographic services helped to preserve the document from stealing or mishandling.


Original Research Article:

  • Patel, B. K. D. (2015). A study of library and information services for agriculture universities researcher of Gujarat state.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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