Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Library and Information Networks in India

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Library and Information Networks in India

Article excerpt

Introduction

The explosion in the amount of literature that is available, increases among the number of users and their different needs, and the application of electronic media are forcing libraries to construct and participate in networks. Magnetic tapes, floppy disks, and CD-ROMs provide enough data storage capacity. Retrieval through telecommunications networks and access to international databases are available for searching for information on various subjects. With the advent of networks, remote transmission of texts and graphics, video clips and animated clips are also possible. Definitions:

* A library network is broadly described as a group of libraries coming together with some agreement of understanding to help each other with a view to satisfying the information needs of their clientele.

* UNISIST II working document defines Information Network as

   a set of inter-related information systems associated with
   communication facilities, which are cooperating through more or less
   formal agreements in order to implement information handling
   operations to offer better services to the users.

* The National Commission on Libraries & Information Science in its National Programme Document (1975) defines a network as

   Two or more libraries engaged in a common pattern of information
   exchange, through communications for some functional purpose.

Objectives:

* To promote and support adoption of standards in library operations.

* To create databases for projects, specialists and institutions to provide online information services

* To improve the efficiency of housekeeping operations

* To coordinate with other regional, national & international network for exchange of information and documents

* To generate new services and to improve the efficiency of existing ones Network Development in India:

Some factors that are responsible for the development of library and information networks in India are:

* The report of the working group of the planning commission on modernization of library services and informatics for the seventh five year plan, 1985-90

* The National Policy on Library & Information systems document (1986) accepted by the ministry of HRD, Government of India.

* The report on national policy on university libraries prepared by the Association of Indian Universities (1987)

* The UGC report on information systems for science and technology under the Department of Science & Industrial Research (DSIR) Government of India has been vigorously promoting an integrated approach to library automation and networking

Limitations in Network Development

A network may fail in the early stages if there is not proper planning or if adequate funds are not available. Moreover, a common memorandum of agreement signed by the participating libraries at the institutional level is essential for the success of a network venture. On a more practical level, catalog data must be in a standard, machine readable form for it to be shared and exchanged. And, finally, a continuous flow of external assistance is crucial for the network's survival.

Types of Networks:

Presently, there are three types of computer networks:

* LAN

* MAN

* WAN

Local Area Network (LAN):

A LAN is a number of related computers and electronic devices that share information over a transmission media.

A typical use of LAN is to tie together personal computers in an office so that they can all use a single printer and a file server. The LAN can be within a building or a campus wide network.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN):

Attempts are being made to develop this type of network in metropolitan areas such Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, Madras, etc.

Wide Area Network (WAN):

A large-scale network, involving offices in different cities and countries is referred to as WAN, which is specially designed to interconnect data transmission devices over wide geographical areas. …

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