Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Survey of Library Automation in College Libraries in Goa State, India

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Survey of Library Automation in College Libraries in Goa State, India

Article excerpt

Introduction

We live in an information age, and libraries are expected to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to provide information more expeditiously and exhaustively than before. Computerization of library "housekeeping" operations is an important activity in this context. "Automation," when used in a library or similar environment, refers to the computerization or mechanization of activities (Kumar, 1987; Harinarayana, 1991)

Background to the Study

Goa University is the sole university in the Goa state, and is located in Taleigao. There are three engineering colleges and one medical college in the state. The Goa Engineering College and Goa Medical College are run by the state, whereas the other two engineering colleges are run by private organisations. The private engineering colleges are Shree Rayeshwar Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, Shiroda, and Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, Verna. There are also colleges offering pharmacy, architecture, and dentistry, along with numerous private colleges offering law, arts, commerce, and science.

Library automation began in the late 1970s in a few special libraries and has now reached most of the university libraries. It has yet to take off in college libraries in India owing to various problems. Many studies on library automation have been undertaken in the West, but few have been undertaken in India. This paper tries to identify the status of library automation in college libraries of Goa State.

Objectives of the Study:

1. To find out how many libraries have undertaken automation.

2. To find out which areas are automated.

3. To find out whether sufficient staff is available to carry out automation.

4. To find out the barriers to automation faced by libraries.

Methodology

The present study is a survey using a structured questionnaire as a tool. The address of institutions in the area were collected through formal and informal sources. A short structured questionnaire was sent to these institutions.

Analysis

Forty-three questionnaires were sent to college libraries affiliated with Goa University. Thirty-six libraries responded, a response rate of 83.7%.

Designation of Librarians

Twenty-eight (77.8%) of the college libraries are headed by a Librarian, while the remaining 8 (22.2%) are either headed by Assistant Librarians or by Non-professionals. This is generally owing the post of Librarian remaining unfilled by college administration.

Qualification of the Librarian

Twenty-three (63.9%) college librarians have a master's degree in library and information science; seven (19.4%) have a bachelor's of library and information science, and two (5.6%) have completed a certificate course in library science. Two (5.6%) have an M.Phil degree in another field, while one (2.8%) has a doctorate in library science, and one has no professional qualification in library science. Out of these 36 librarians only 6 (16.6%) have cleared their NET/SLET (National Elegibility Test/State Level Eligibility Test).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Total Collection of the Library

Library Automation

The data shows that 23 college libraries are automated. The 13 other libraries carry out their library operations manually and provide services to their users in a traditional way.

Status of Automation

The bar chart shows the status of library automation in the 23 college libraries that have undertaken automation. Of these, 14 are at the initial stage, 5 are partially automated, while only 4 are fully automated.

Software Used for Automation

The majority of college libraries in Goa state use NEWGENLIB, perhaps because Goa University Library uses it. NEWGENLIB supports all automation functions, and its cost is comparatively low. …

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