Public libraries across the globe are adapting quickly face according to the progressive changes in storage media, library management, and print technology. Due to automation, today’s public library members have become capable of accessing the knowledge from any corner of the world faster than ever, getting educated using it, and transforming their beliefs and ideas.
Let us know more about automation and IT in public libraries.
Library automation means mechanizing the routine or repetitive tasks in the library with the help of automation device such as computer. Automation reduces drudgery work in the library to a large extent.
It helps to ease and streamline repetitive tasks such as acquisition, collection development, storage, administration, preservation of knowledge resources, and communication in the library among staff and users. It thus increases the productivity of the staff in terms of efforts, time, and services.
Public library is automated by planning, designing, and implementation. Following are some vital benefits of library automation −
● It provides efficient access to various knowledge resources.
● It reduces the amount of time and efforts to acquire material, take inventory, and manage the knowledge resources.
● It eases budget administration and record keeping.
● It introduces library users to global information.
● It enables the library users to search its collection from outside the library walls.
● It motivates the users to solve problems, create knowledge than just consume it, and get equipped with information retrieval skills.
● It improves cataloguing and circulation.
It enables the library staff to manage knowledge resources, inventory, circulation, and cataloging efficiently. Library Management Software enables users to search and access a desired knowledge resources online.
The following are a few paid library management software demand −
● Polaris − It is an MSSQL server database platform software that can transform a physical library into digital format. It also automates staff workflow and confidentiality in resources circulation and management.
● Verso − It is a customizable software to fit for any library sized from small to medium.
● Apollo − This efficient software is specially designed for public libraries, to be integrated with any library and platform.
● Library World − It is a cloud-based online library management software that provides versatile functionality.
● Koha − It is developed by library science experts. It is an open source and scalable software that works on multiple platforms to provide multilingual, translatable functions according to library standards.
Biblio is a widely-used software. With this software, the library staff can manage different media of knowledge resources such as printed, CD/DVD, tape records, etc. It is also possible to generate reports to manage the library.
BiblioteQ, Book Tome, and LMS are some other freeware library management software, which aid to manage knowledge resources of varied formats. They also help to record, search a particular knowledge resource with ISBN, rating, author/creator name, or some keyword, add book details and specify its location, and retrieve it efficiently. In addition, they help the library staff in scheduling the staff and creating reports.
In modern days, the libraries have gone beyond the walls of its buildings. Electronic barcodes are used to identify, track, or sort library holdings in the library at the circulation counter. The systems using RFID labels facilitate effective collection management, security of knowledge resources, inventory, and efficient customer service.
RFID tags have no batteries, as they use power from the initial radio signal for transmitting their response. In addition, these tags are very durable. The use of RFID in library automation provides theft detection, and highly reliable and speedy library management. LibBest is a popular RFID-based library system.
Most of the sophisticated public libraries have their presence on social media for communicating with their users. The libraries use Facebook and Twitter to make their users interact, discuss, share, and gather knowledge.
Here are a few exceptional public library blogs to know −
● Bloomsburg Public Library (www.bloomsburgpl.org)
● Coudersport Public Library (www.coudersportlibrary.org
● Galeton Public Library (www.galetonpubliclibrary.org
The two terms are different in the following way −
|It is a collection of digital objects such as text, images, audio and/or video material, recorded in electronic formats. It also includes the means for organizing, and retrieving the files and media in the collection.||A repository is a collection of intellectual information generated at an organization, a group of organizations, or only a department of an organization, which is available freely and openly.|
|It has no bounds of topics. It is generic by nature.||It is built around specific subjects or sectors of study.|
|This is built by practicing deliberate methods of developing collection.||This is built by voluntary contribution of scholarly articles and papers.|
|Services to user are important. User satisfaction through better services is one of the many aspects of managing digital libraries.||They offer limited services to user.|
As the expanse of information and knowledge became widespread beyond the print or analog formats, the search methods developed further to provide easier, efficient, and speedy search.
Today’s digital libraries with their incredible collection of books, magazines, images, movies, audio, and videos in Petabytes (1000 TB = 1PB) need equally powerful and fast search engines that also provide contextual search with high precision at rapid pace.
The following are some popular search engines working today at their best performance levels −
● Google − It is a world-popular and widely-used search engine that is capable to find the information that one does not know, exists.
● Yahoo − It is yet another powerful search engine that provides full text search.
● Lucene − It is an open-source cross-platform search engine developed in Java. It is used where full-text searches are required.
● Sphinx − It is a search engine developed in C++ programming language and is used for full-text search.
● Indri − It is a cross-platform, intelligent, SQL-based search engine that can perform search from 50 million documents present on a single computer (single search) or 500 million documents present on various computers on the network (distributed search).