Need for Adoption of Koha Integrated Library Management Software in Nigerian Academic Libraries

By Anyira, Isaac Echezonam | Library Philosophy and Practice, April 2020 | Go to article overview

Need for Adoption of Koha Integrated Library Management Software in Nigerian Academic Libraries


Anyira, Isaac Echezonam, Library Philosophy and Practice


INTRODUCTION

Libraries need up-to-date technology to effectively and efficiently function in the face of information overload and variety of media, and provide services to an increasing number of users. The use of computers in library operations gave birth to library automation and electronic library services such as database subscriptions, e-books and e-journal collections, open educational resources, open access collections, institutional repositories etc.

Therefore the fundamental motive behind the rapid adaptation of information technology in libraries is the desire for efficiency and rationalization in dissemination and management of library resources. Paper-based or traditional library has been seen to have serious limitations that make automated and electronic libraries a matter of necessity. For example, it is a strictly localized medium since the resources and the users must be in the same place at the same time and only one person can in general; use a single paper document at a time. Thus, multiple copies of books would be acquired for multiple users. Secondly, a book, as a medium is rather inflexible since no reformatting can be done, and finally collections on paper become bulky and create space and storage problems.

One of the factors that have influenced the application of Information Technology in libraries is improved performance and efficiency as well as reduction in space requirements. Other factors include decline in the price of personal computers, new forms of wide area networks using even virtual connections and availability of high density distribution media e.g. the CD-ROM.

We must further realize that library services are labour intensive and about two-thirds of library budget usually goes for labour and therefore since machines can be made more cost-effective in ways that human beings cannot, the use of machines is a viable alternative to increasing labour costs. Consequently, automation of library operations makes easy and less tedious the performance of library operations. Automation improves cost-effective performance of library functions.

Library automation covers routine library processes such as cataloguing, circulation, serials management with the aim of reducing cost and at the same time, improving scope of services and efficiency of these operations. One of the greatest innovations in the library is the emergence of copy cataloguing. Original cataloguing has been a major challenge in the process of getting new library materials to the shelf. It is very slow, tedious and demanding. But with library automation, especially with the Z39.50 search innovation, cataloguing has been revolutionized. In addition, the online public access catalogue (OPAC), which is the online version of the card catalogue, has made searching the library and its collection very easy and enjoyable.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The major goal of any library is to provide access to relevant and adequate information to information seekers in a timely manner. However, many libraries in their current state cannot meet this goal. The reason is simple. The library has not embraced the deployment of critical library infrastructure, especially the adoption of automated library system. This may be as a result of resistance to change, financial constraints, lack of will-power in the part of management or library leadership, lack of technical know-how or any other factor. No matter how much the library tries to meet its mandate of providing adequate information to its users in this digital age, without library automation, that mandate is dead on arrival. Unsatisfied library users no longer visit the library to use its resources but have devised means of meeting their information needs by searching the internet and online-libraries. Without automation, libraries can no longer keep track of publications in this digital era as most of them are available in electronic versions (such as e-books, e-journals, database, open access etc). …

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Need for Adoption of Koha Integrated Library Management Software in Nigerian Academic Libraries
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