Users' Perceptions regarding Networking and Resource Sharing in Selected Academic Libraries of Bangladesh
Siddike, Abul Kalam, Library Philosophy and Practice
Across the disciplines, technology is spawning brand new carries in even as it changes in the way we performed old ones. Standing at the edge of 21st century probably there is no dispute over the recognition of technologies in information activities. Unprecedented changes in the use of information are reshaping our personal activities, our community and organizational practices. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) bring the global information to our finger end. With the emergence of Internet, information kept in different locations has become asset of the world community bringing - almost every day in equal platform. To control over the world information resources different specialized information systems and networks are playing vital role in accumulating and generating indigenous literature on the information super-highway (Alam, 1998).
In the present day, libraries and information centers have become multimedia due to adoption of new technological advances and innovations, and changing nature of their information storage, retrieval and services. In fact, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an indispensable part of modern information systems development, management and services (Munshi, 1998).
In the present information age, it is simply impossible to keep track with development activities in the absence of a dependable information system in the country. A workable information system is an essential pre-requisite for research and development in every field of study. Scientists and researchers need to know about the information tools and resources available for better utilization of information. Failure to provide accurate and adequate information to the scientists, researchers, planners and administrators may lead to faulty results which will, in turn, hinder national development. The solution lies in identifying the available information resources and ensuring quick dissemination of information to the concerned users through various channels of communication. In this regard libraries and information centers can be considered crucial media, which can play a dynamic role in the universal diffusion and advancement of knowledge and can provide right information to the right user at the right time (Mannan, 1997).
Presently Bangladesh lacks a well organized and planned library and information system. However, both the government and private bodies in recent times have shown an awareness of the importance and need of information system. The existing libraries and information centers in Bangladesh are not properly organized and suffer from different problems such as, acute shortage of funds, inadequate information resources, lack of qualified staff, modern technological facilities and a lack of willingness of the authorities. In such circumstances it is simply impossible for any single library in Bangladesh to meet the information needs of its users. To overcome this stagnant condition of research and development activities, library networking and resource sharing is a must. The major reason of this networking is to share available library resources effectively. The resources can include information, equipment, facilities, qualified staff, time and money. The sharing of resources usually means the sharing of library materials and other information resources irrespective of geographical barriers. The library and information system of Bangladesh is in need of catching up with modern development. Already, many libraries of the country from different fields have started to realize that networking and resource sharing is one of the most effective ways to solve the problem of providing information in time to the users. But many of them are undecided about what models they should adopt, because of a lack of experience, technological facilities or necessary financial allocation, etc. Library and information centers of Bangladesh are now seeking models adaptable to Bangladeshi circumstances (Mannan, 1997). …