Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Academic Library Websites in Bangalore City, India: An Evaluative Study

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Academic Library Websites in Bangalore City, India: An Evaluative Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

The academic libraries in India, in particular the University Libraries of today, are improving their service base especially with application of Information technology for access and delivery of e-content to their clients. In this process they are also adapting to the change, altering their image, by executing new functions and providing varieties of services in an evolving continuum. The rapid developments in information technologies have already laid a solid foundation for a new innovative evolution of university in the on going digital era. Impacted by new advances in emerging and cutting-edge technologies, however, "academic libraries have already transformed their specific functions in today's changing world as; information center, learning center, training center, publication center" (Lilili, 2009). The World Wide Web (WWW), the invention of Tim Barnes Lee, has also created tremendous influence in the transformation of libraries as knowledge resource centres, rather than store house of print media. The impact of this change is all pervasive and affecting all the aspects of library operations, information resources and services, staff skills requirements and users expectations. The accelerating pace of technological developments has tremendously increased the ability to access, store, process, communicate and deliver information services to the desk-tops of the libraries' clients. The vast majority of library services are now Web-enabled and so attention is being focused on designing user-friendly and easily managed and maintained library websites. According to Diaz (1998), "a library website can play different roles; it can serve as a workstation where a user finds databases, electronic texts, and the online catalog. It is a way to make library-made products available, it is used as a window to the WWW by making Internet resources available on a selective basis, and it is a communication tool where information about services, people and facilities and collections can be found." Considering these face books as excellent user interfaces to provide access to vast knowledge resources and services offered by the Academic libraries, a review of some Websites of Academic Libraries are taken as cases for evaluation in this paper.

Review of Related Literature

It is now an accepted fact that Libraries have undergone a mini revolution in the way that they operate and provide information services to users. A vast amount of literature on various aspects of library websites is being generated and published in learned journals. A brief review of related literature is made here for a succinct factorization of evaluation process.

A comprehensive resourceful library website to provide access to the following: (i) orientation of the library resources, services and facilities; (ii) access to online databases and e-journals subscribed by the library; (iii) link to other open source databases and institutional repositories available in different subjects; (iv) access to a world of information from e-books, e-theses, e-dissertations, e-prints and web-based reference sources, etc; (v) computerized library housekeeping operations; and (vi) other resources and services.

In this context of change, the libraries have brought in revolutionary changes in the concept of organization/institution, functioning and management of library and information systems throughout the world (Houghton, 2000). The convenience and availability of e-information sources from the Web, have dramatically altered the information landscape and the functioning of libraries (Kuchi, 2006). Website serves as the primary tool in the delivery of services (Shropshire, 2003) to market the library (Balas, 1998)--a fact which needs to assess the quality of academic libraries on the web (Chao, 2002). The library's home page represents a new platform for the delivery of varieties of library services (Bao, 2000) and give academic libraries the leverage and ammunition they need to outperform competitor websites and regain the loyalty of students, teachers, and researchers alike (Detlor and Lewis, 2006). …

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