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Library Automation.

What is Library Automation?
The term ‘Library Automation‘ is being used extensively in library science to mean the application of computer to perform some of the traditional library activities such as acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, stock verification etc. Library automation can be defined simply as the use of computer and networking technologies in the library.
Definition:
Automation is a process of using the machineries for easy working and saving the human power and time.
When we use machine for collection, processing, storage and retrieval of information and do an other work of library with the help of machineries that called library automation.


Common areas of Library Automation and its scope:

  • Acquisition System: Automates the acquisition process, ordering, receiving, claiming materials from suppliers and returns and cancellations of materials. Acquisition can be done online if system is linked to an external network.
  • Cataloguing System: Creation, storage, retrieval and management of bibliographic records and indexes.
  • Circulation System: Handles circulation activities such as lending, return, renewal and place on hold.
  • Serial Publications Control System: Manages placing, canceling, claiming of orders; returning defective, unwanted and unordered material and accounting and statistical information.
  • Inter-library loan via OPAC: Provides staff with an information management system for interlibrary loan transactions. This includes automatic monitoring of loans and accounts, making claims, putting holds on materials being borrowed, etc.
Objectives of Library Automation:
Some of the common objectives of Library Automation system are:
1. To improve the level of services and quality of your library.
2. To fulfill needs that cannot be achieved by manual system:
  • Information that appears only in electronic format.
  • To share effectively the resources among various libraries in a region.
  • To have an effective control over the entire operation.
  • To serve effective Union Catalogue.
 Needs of Library Automation:
  • Obtain increased operational efficiencies.
  • Improve the quality, speed and effectiveness of services,
  • Improve access to remote users and other stakeholders, e.g., the general public.
  • Improve access to resources on other networks and systems, including the web.
  • Improve the management of their physical and financial resources.
  • Facilitate wider access to information for their clients.
  • Facilitate wider dissemination of their information products and services.
  • Enable participating libraries to resource sharing activities.
  • Enable rapid communication with other libraries and professional peers.
  • Increased operational efficiencies of the library staff.
Common Advantages of Library Automation:
  • Labour saving.
  • Cost effective.
  • Efficiency in speed and operation.
  • Ease and accuracy in data handling.
  • Great speed and promptness in operation.
  • elimination of duplication.
  • Great manipulation possible.

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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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