Use of IT and Its Impact on Service Quality in an Academic Library

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information technology has profound effect on the progress and development of human civilization. The advances in science and technology has made a tremendous improvement and changed all activities of present society. Due to revolution of information technology, increased tremendously demand, consumption, and importance of information in present society. The librarians are faced challenges to managing massive volume of information for storage, process, retrieve, and disseminate in libraries (Ramana, 2004). Rapid advances in Information Technology in the past two decades have brought revolutionary changes in the concept, organization, functioning and management of library and information systems through out the world. The modern technology has greatly improved the capabilities of managing this explosive growth of information effectively. Information technologies today are characterized by their very dynamic development and increasing complexity. Information technology application in library and information field has made remarkable progress in the world. Information Technology not only affects the technical services of libraries but also shapes the library services that are being offered to the public. Worldwide libraries have been exploring new technologies for providing better and faster access to vast information resources and efficient information services to their users. Information Technology has offered better solutions to achieve greater level of efficiency, productivity and excellence services in libraries (Cholin, 2005).

Information Technology Trends in Academic Libraries

The advent of information society can be traced to 1960s when a shift occurred from the industrial processes to a service based economy. Since 1960s, libraries worldwide have been using technology in general and computers to automate the administrative & technical tasks of the library (Raman, 1998). In India, computerization of library had started in the year of 1955 at Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta. During 1970s DRTC, BARC, TIFR, IITMadras, and BHEL- Hyderbad have been used production of information product and services (Raman, 1998). Every facet of library work, in academic, school, public, and special libraries, is being transformed as a result of technological advances. Among the changes are: increased database access through CD-ROMs, local mainframes, or dial-up services; a shift in the focus of library instruction toward skills for using computer-based information systems; and the provision of access to local collections for remote users, and to remote collections for local users. The World Wide Web became a significant vehicle for distributing information. Information technology has emerged as the most potent tool to collect, organizes, and disseminates information to the people at large scale through communication network. Internet brought the biggest change in libraries as 1990s saw the rapidly increasing availability of access to computers generally. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have brought revolutionary changes in handling delivering and storage of information. The transition of traditional library collections to digital or virtual collections presented the librarian with new opportunities and challenges.

Libraries in India have struggled with many problems, but recent government support for research has provided an opportunity for the development of library services and increased access to information. Government encouragement of funding of private organizations through tax benefits has also led to investment in libraries and information as part of research activities (Ashraf, 2008). The internet, especially WWW has given the librarian a new dynamic role to play in the society and serve the new information based in better ways than every before, because of the powerful features of web i.e. distributed, heterogeneous, collaborative, multimedia, Standards and Protocols, architecture, world wide web has revolutionized the way people access information and has opened up new possibilities in areas such as digital libraries, Virtual libraries, efficient information retrieval and dissemination. …