Role of libraries in Higher Education

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Introduction:

Education is primarily at the hub of a country’s economic social and cultural development as much as it is science and technology. The evaluation in education can be seen as the increased awareness of the ever increasing access to the wealth of information or knowledge. The library is an integrated part of any academic institution, so also of any college. Education becomes student centered and encourages students to play a dynamic and creative role in pursuing learning and reading, and making him/her a perfect citizen. It should provide maximum information and services support to faculty, research scholars and students in a professional institution. The library is a multi-functional information provider. As such modernization of libraries is essential for research and development activities in any field and library facilities should be developed as a part of total programme of a college.

The role of a library in the education process at any level, especially at the college level for the overall development of students such as personality, skill communication, career, and creativity is very significant etc. So a well-organized library is essential for the teaching-learning process done in a college, especially when the emphasis is shifted from classroom teaching centered process. The quality of education is greatly linked with libraries. The information collected and disseminated by libraries decides the quality of teaching and learning process in a college. In the words of S.R. Dongerkery, “A well-stocked and up-to-date library is a sine qua non for every modern educational institutions”. The libraries of modern educational institutions have to plan, to develop and organize their library resources and services in such a way that it should facilitate retrieval of the desired information as quick as possible and save the time of the users. The purpose of a library is to provide the right information to the right user at the right time in the right form.

Role of Libraries in Higher Education:

It has been described that the education, particularly at higher levels, is a process of learning rather than teaching, signifying the efforts to be put in by the students. They have to be provided with the facilities necessary for mastering the subject matter, techniques, skills, and habits of thinking and methods of work in their chosen field. It is more so in the present day of information explosion, technological revolution and the days of dramatic shift in socio-economic and political spheres. The enormous growth of information and its proliferation on the one hand, access to information through various communication media with the advancement of technology on the other; and awareness among public of egalitarian opportunities and social justice on yet another hand have exerted a greater stress on the total educational system. The shift on this stresses call for a change in teaching skills and techniques, learning habits, curricula design and implementation, etc. This change in the educational system has further increased the need for supplementary reading resources. The classroom lectures cannot suffice the student to prepare for facing the societal challenges. The teacher cannot be an effective teacher unless he draws extensively from a variety of information sources and keeps himself up-to-date in his field of specialization. So also the information needs of the research scholars vary in quantity and quality. It is here that the libraries being reservoirs of knowledge hidden in a variety of forms have a vital role to play. Library played a vital role in the development of higher education. It is not merely a store house of books and other reading material collected for preservation, but it also functions as a dynamic instrument of education, to feed the intellect of the student, to encourage the researchers of the faculty and to invite all who enter its house to partake fully of its intellectual and cultural contents. It would not be an exaggeration if it were said that a library is an essential pre-requisite for successful implementation of higher education programme.

In the words of Dr.S.R. Ranganathan, “Libraries are not mere store houses; they are rich springs from which knowledge flows out to irrigate the side field of education and culture.” Documents are a media for knowing the latest information, with the help and cooperation of a library no formal educational programme can fructify.

The importance of library in higher education, a modern college in India must have a well-planned and functional library so that it becomes an intellectual hub of the institution for both students and teachers. The librarian invites information seekers of knowledge to enjoy an intellectual feast in calm and periodicals arranged systematically in shelves. It will then rightly call as an open sesame of the wardrobe of literature”.


Reference Article:

  • R, P. (2009). Impact of Electronic Resources on Academic Program in arts and science colleges Tiruchirappalli A study.

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