Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Digitization of Library Collection in Nigerian University Libraries: University of Ilorin Library Experience

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Digitization of Library Collection in Nigerian University Libraries: University of Ilorin Library Experience

Article excerpt

Introduction

Libraries worldwide, especially academic libraries are increasingly becoming digital in outlook. Many libraries and allied institutions have been launching projects designed to digitize their collections in response to the global information exchange and for wide outreach. T he process in the academic library has been very challenging. The digitization project has been slow and expensive. The world over, electronic resources are preferred because of their inherent benefit of wide outreach. As a step forward in making prints in hard copy format available online for the teeming users, it becomes necessary to digitally scan all the intellectual output of the university especially the theses and dissertations so that many users can gain access to a wide variety of information online.

During the 2 000s and 2010s, the term "Information explosion" was coined to refer to the vast increase in information being generated. Taiye (2008). Today we are facing an "information revolution", that is an enormous change in the systems of handling these increasing volumes of information. Over the last decade, developments in Microelectronic have reduced the size of circuits and increased their reliability and speed of operation by several orders of magnitude.

Today, the society talks of digital, electronic, virtual and computerized libraries. All their resources are available online. These are different from the open internet, as they have restricted access. Some libraries either give special access or pay money so that students and faculty or even the public can pay to access the articles in the databases, books, services and resources through the E-library.

Smit (2001). The choice of materials to be digitized depends on the priority of each library but there are widely accepted criteria which are normally applied. These include materials that are on high demand by patrons especially when such materials are available in limited copies or are on restricted access; local and unique materials; items that are of immediate and curricular importance; aging materials that are on high demand by patrons; useful materials that are out of publication; and materials that are difficult to handle.

The paper seeks to investigate and describe the digitization of the intellectual output of the University of Ilorin library with a view to proposing ways of improving the process to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery.

Objectives of the study include:

- To protect original record by reducing frequency handling.

- To gain access to a wide variety of information online.

- To digitize its heavily-used collection.

- To preserve the documents.

- To harvest the institutional repository of the University and make them searchable

The study focuses on the management practice of digitization in libraries. These practices will be described in detail and they in turn may provide useful information for other libraries to improve service delivery. The result of this study will also provide the impetus for improving library practice and enhance the effectiveness of digitization. It is necessary to have a database of local publication so that it can be accessed online. This is expected to improve teaching, learning and research activities among the stakeholders.

Literature Review

Digitization has been defined by Taye (2008) as a library in which collections are stored in digital formats (as opposed to print, microform, or other media) and accessible by computers. The digital content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks.

According to Jagboro, Omotayo and Aboyade (2012), digitization refers to all of the steps involved in the process of making collections of historical and other materials available online. In the world of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and globalization, digitization of materials is fast becoming the norm among libraries as each seeks to contribute its quota to the world information resource. …

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