Adoption of ICT's for Library Operations and Services: A Comparison of Public and Private University Libraries of Pakistan

By Qutab, Saima; Bhatti, Rubina et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, January 2014 | Go to article overview

Adoption of ICT's for Library Operations and Services: A Comparison of Public and Private University Libraries of Pakistan


Qutab, Saima, Bhatti, Rubina, Ullah, Farasat Shafi, Library Philosophy and Practice


INTRODUCTION

Information and communication technologies (ICT) are the most influencing factors of today's information society. The term of ICT is used to express the hardware and software usability for information transportation and conducting communications linked by a vast array of technological protocols. It also covers internet service provision, information technology equipment and services, media and broadcasting, library and documentation centers, network based information services and other related communication activities (Anie and Achugbue, 2009). The rapid implementation of information technology in our society has changed and continues to change in all areas of our life (Ramzan, 2004). Education, research & development sectors are highly affected with these technologies. New opportunities for teaching, learning and training through the delivery of digital contents (Harrods's glossary) are now widespread. ICT facilitates the information storage, retrieval, acquisition, searching, viewing and information handling. The main function of ICT is availability of right information to the user at the right time for appeasing his thrust of knowledge. ICTs have brought dramatic change the traditional ways of library profession and practice, both challenging and full of opportunity at same time (Omoniwa, 2001).

LITERATURE REVIEW

Importance of adoption of ICT in university libraries -

The library has an important role to play within a university to support its objectives of learning, teaching, research and community services. The extent, to which the university is able to carry out its laudable objectives, portrays how the university library has been supportive to it in the provision of all the essential information resources (Okiy, 2005). Proliferation of new technologies opens a number of challenges for higher institutions of learning (Mutula, 2007; Onyekwelu, 1999). University libraries are in a state of transition in terms of resources and users in the past two decades due to the applications of IT (Ramzan, 2004; Ani, Esin & Edem, 2005). University libraries in the countries with developed educational, library systems and infrastructure are using ICT for both library operations and services. This is aimed at ensuring quick and easy access of the large numbers of library users to relevant accurate and current information from both remote and immediate databases to facilitate learning, teaching and research in the universities. Adeleke & Olorunsola (2010) and Odero-Musakali & Mutula (2007) emphasize that libraries must take a more proactive response to ICT to function effectively in the present age, the manual processes or methods will have to give way to information and communication technologies (ICT) and a computer driven environment.

Libraries are using information and communication technologies for book and serial acquisitions, money transition, classification and cataloguing, reference service, user orientation service, circulation service, inter library loan, document delivery service, electronic contents, e-mail and chat assistance, web 2.0 interactive sharing, bibliographic service and photocopies services. These opportunities not only enable libraries to provide quick information to users but also benefiting remote libraries. (Gulati, 2004; Ramzan and Singh, 2009; Adeleke and Olorunsola, 2010). Onyekwelu (1999) named the internet as the greatest wonder of the century. Fitzgerald and Savage (2004) discussed the influence of the World Wide Web on the logistics of service delivery in libraries. The availability of e-mail and internet facilities in academic libraries offers a wide range of access to information globally without geographical barrier and timely (Ani, Esin, & Edem, 2005). Reding (2006) noted the rapid growth of that blogs and their influences on libraries users experiences.

Okiy (2005) found that acquisition of ICT facilities is demanded by users and is the way to enable the university libraries of developing countries to provide the services expected in present electronic age. …

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