Role of Information Technology in Library Automation and Networking

Somvir1,Sudha Kaushik2 1 P.D.M. College of Engineering, Sarai Aurangabad, Bahadurgarh E-mail: 2 P.D.M. College of Engineering, Sarai Aurangabad, Bahadurgarh E-mail:

Abstract- The aim of this paper is to introduce the impact of information technology in the academic library. Library automation, networking and digitalization of academic libraries are still in their formative stages. Networking system at the national and local levels are described, which are silent features of INFLIBNET, CALIBNET, DELNET, BONET, NICNET. Indexing of documents, Abstracting, Preparation of thesaurus, compilation of union catalogue, bibliography, inter library loan, reproduction of documents and searching and providing relevant information etc. are explained. The conclusion is that the use of Information technology in Libraries helps to give better services to the end user and the stock of knowledge is used in a better way for the development of academic activities. Some case studies are given in brief.

INTRODUCTION An academic library is a library which serves an institution of higher learning and support the research of the university faculty and students with aims to improve qualitative services to users. Latest achievements in the field of information technology have compelled libraries to embrace automation as the facilitates provided by automated libraries go for beyond the activities of traditional libraries. In developed countries computerization of libraries started in 1940s. The first use of computer in library and information centers in India was reported in 1965 at INSDOC, now known as NISCAIR, New Delhi. Some of the well known library softwares of foreign origin are Alice for Windows, Libsys and Virtua etc. Other Library software packages developed in India SOUL, Granthalaya, Maitreyi, Sanjay, DELMS, Librarian, WYLYSIS, LIBSUIT etc. few of them have been developed by the Govt. organizations, while other by private software companies. Networking is the linkages of working procedures for exchange

the information resources. Presently the term “computer network” is used in place of “resource sharing”. Resource sharing is defined as a mode of operations, whereby information resources are shared by a number of participants. Digitalization is an essential and expanding medium for providing online access to journal articles, databases, project, images and more. IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES Over the past two decades, computer-based technologies have effected the products and services the academic libraries. The application of Information Technology has had a profound impact on the way library resources are being used. Academic libraries and research libraries in India need to coordinate their information requirements and plan for resource sharing. The roles of Information Technology in Libraries are: - Enabler 1

- Provides opportunities to share, collaborate… - Efficient delivery of information - Aim is on effective & focused use of technology - The introduction of technology should enhance the learning environment. AUTOMATION IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES The UGC developed SOUL software for the automation of university libraries. The scientific and technical libraries working under R&D institutions (CSIR, ICMR, ICAR, and DRDO) have taken the lead in library automation. Several training programs and software development projects are running by these libraries, which have played an important role in increasing awareness of the use of the new technologies. Unfortunately, the academic libraries have made little progress in this direction. The reasons for the slow pace of automation in academic libraries are the following: - Academic libraries function in a relatively less autonomous environment in India. - The academic libraries are a comparatively smaller unit within a larger setup. - Libraries have to compete for scarce resources. - The lack of highly qualified faculty, technical and research staff. - Academic libraries are not under as much pressure to improve their services as are scientific and technical libraries. Library Software The last few years have witnessed some useful initiatives in the development of library automation software. BHEL R&D, SAIL, ICRISAT, INSDOC, NIC, DESIDOC, and IIT Kanpur have succeeded in this sphere. SOUL, Alice for Windows, LIBSYS, Virtua. Sanjay, MAITAYEE, and TULIPS are software packages used by various libraries.

Libsys Libsys is popular software in India having more than 1000 installations in different type of libraries. It has a contract with the British Council Division Divisions of South Asia, to provide automation and related services for its libraries. It is an integrated library management software developed in C and C++. Although the software is based on its own bibliographic database, It is available for systems using ORACLE and SQL Server as back-end RDBMS. It provides full graphic user interface front end for the Windows client. It runs on a wide spectrum of hardware and operating systems, including UNIX, Linux, and Windows NT Operating System on the server side and having any version of Windows at the client server side. Thus in choosing operating platform, users find greater flexibility in comparison to other softwares. Libsys is built around its own centralized bibliographic database based on MARC format supporting various types of materials in print as well as non-print form. The cataloguing data entry also accepts data in standard machine readable formats such as USMARC, OCLC etc., thus facilitating import and export of bibliographic data in both MARC and non-MARC formats. Catalogue maintenance utility allows changes in any bibliographic data including data removal facility. Moreover, this software also provides title entry for retrospective conversion following simple procure. The various modules of Libsys are as follows: # Acquisition # Serial Control # Cataloguing # Article Indexing # Circulation # Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) Alice for Windows


Alice for Windows, an integrated library automation software package is the product of Sofrlink, a Brisbane based Australian company. AFW is using for library automation with over 13000 installations world wide, including about 150 in India. It is worth mentioning here that out of the above fields, GMD, barcode, accession date and loan category fields are mandatory to be recorded to navigate further. The class number field of a catalogue entry may make use of any of the two classification system, i.e. Dewey decimal classification or Library of congress classification scheme. Notably, Alice supports USMARC format. Entering the title of any resource triggers automatic duplicate-checking that brings the closest match, provided the title is not present in the database. AFW caters for cataloguing multiple copies of individual titles which may be shelved at one or multiple locations. A wide variety of materials may be catalogued including video recordings, sound recordings, bits maps, equipment World Wide Web sites, electronic documents, etc. AFW facilitates automatic generation of keywords for every significant word in the title and edition fields, if desire. The facility for creation of keywords manually also exists which can be used particularly when title is misleading or ambiguous. Images such as photographs, diagrams, maps and text can also be attached to catalogue records for display in enquiry (OPAC). See and See also references may be added into the subject authority file. It is also possible to automatically generate. See references from any multiple-word subject heading. For example, when the subject heading “Medieval History” is created, the cross reference History-Medieval will be created automatically. This means that resources with this subject heading will be retrieved via the word, ‘Medieval’ as well as ‘History’, Provision of ‘Stop word list’ helps in

defining which words to ignore while automatically generating keywords from title, notes and edition. The stop list is updated as and when required. AFW has the following modules: # Acquisition # Subject Authority # Management # Web enquiry # Circulation # Book hire # Periodicals # Multilingual # Journal Indexing # Patron self checking # Multimedia In contrast to AFW, Libsys can generate a list of recent arrivals, special bibliographies for the purpose of providing current awareness service (CAS) and selective dissemination of information (SDI). Another feature of Libsys is its ability to construct an inbuilt thesaurus for the benefit of users as well as library staff. NETWORKING IN LIBRARIES Networking is the term that is used some what indiscriminately to refer to variety of cooperative activities whether or not any actual physical network supports system. Presently, the term “computer network” is used in place of “resource sharing” or cooperative systems. Resource sharing or networking is the mode of operation to share information resources by a number of participants having the same objectives in mind. Thus the user of one library can get his/her information by another library if the local library fails to serve his needs The aim of networking is to achieve maximum results with minimum input. This is clearly consonant with the nature of our economy. Networking is inevitable in all types of libraries. The benefits which accrue from resource sharing are the following: - Preparation of the cataloguing data/catalogue cards for publications available in network libraries; - Provision of bibliographies;


- Optimum utilization of rare collections; - Cooperative exchange and distribution and storage of documents; - Savings - of both technical work and collections; - Reduction in the cost of library services, in the long run; India has made rapid achievements in recent decades in the field of telecommunications via satellite and microwave links. Networking systems have been developing fast at local, state, national, regional, and international levels all over the world since the 1980s. Libraries have to plan their acquisitions keeping in mind to avoid the duplication of the collection. In the past few years, considerable progress has taken place in the planning and building of library and information networks. As a result, four major networks — INFLIBNET, DELNET, CALIBNET, BONET — have started functioning in libraries. INFLIBNET INFLIBNET started functioning in 1988 with the aim of optimizing the utilization of resources and avoiding their duplication. INFLIBNET has proposed to network 200 universities, 7,200 colleges, and over 200 research organizations attached to scientific, agricultural, medical, social science, and defence organizations. It would be a multiservice network aiming at providing catalogue–based services, access to databases and document supply services, and facilities for computer mediating. The main objectives of the INFLIBNET are: - To evolve a national network, interconnecting various libraries and the information centres and create database of projects, institution and specialist for proving online information services. - To provide reliable access to document collection, bibliography, factual data




numerical database and document delivery services To establish gateways for online accessing of information. To implement computerization of operation and services in libraries and information centre. To facilitate scientific communication amongst scientists, engineers, researchers, social scientist, academics, faculties and students. To encourage co-operation among libraries and information centers. To develop suitable professional manpower and evolve standards and uniform guidelines in technologies

These are some of the salient features of INFLIBNET: - Contribute to pooling, sharing, and optimizing resources. - Modernize libraries and information centres. - It is estimated that in India, Rs. 150 crores per annum are being spent towards books and journals by libraries concerned with higher education, and yet the needs of the users cannot be met fully. - Help the libraries to develop unique collections and avoid duplication in procuring costly books and journals. - Help the libraries to improve their efficiency and establish instant contact with other libraries in the country. - Operate at different levels — national, regional, sectoral, and local. - Help the libraries to update and arrange their catalogues. - There will be a national centre for managing, overseeing, and coordinating affairs of the networks, and four regional centres (north, south, west, and east) to maintain union catalogues of library holdings.


DELNET In 1991 DELNET began its operation with the introduction of e–mail service, and has since then linked 35 libraries in the Delhi area. Participating libraries are using different software, such as CDS/ISIS, LIBSYS, CFS, DELMS, MINISIS, and dbase-LC–MARC. These libraries have saved a considerable amount by avoiding duplication of journals and other reading materials. The DELNET database has become one of the major bibliographic databases in India. The network adopted Common Communication Format (CCF), developed by UNESCO, and AACR–2 as the code for developing cataloguing. More libraries in Delhi are joining DELNET and making inquiries about online access to the Union catalogue. The British Council and NIC have helped DELNET in providing necessary assistance. The DELNET Newsletter, first published in January 1994, provides information about its activities. DELNET plans to provide automation facilities in the following areas: 1. Acquisition and fund accounting 2. Serial Control 3. Book and General Maintenance 4. Circulation 5. Creation and maintenance of Bibliographic database 6. Inter Library User services 7. Document copy and transfer facilities 8. access to national and international database 9. Union Catalogue 10. CAS and SDI 11. Authority Data 12. Subject Profiles 13. Abstracts CALIBNET This network links 38 science and technology libraries in the Calcutta metropolitan area. The plan focuses on the introduction of

automated systems into the participating libraries before networking them. Each library will have to automate its book acquisition, cataloguing, serials control, fund accounting, user services and circulation control. Libraries participating in the CALIBNET will use AACR–2 for bibliographic description. BONET BONET was inaugurated on 6 November 1992 at the National Centre for Software Technology (NCST), Bombay. BONET is the latest project sponsored by NISSAT. The network has the following objectives: - To build a low cost library information system, which can possibly be used as a model for future expansion. - To promote cooperation among libraries in Bombay with emphasis on interlibrary activities. - To impart training related to library computerization and the networking of Bombay libraries. NICNET NICNET has been set up to link government departments for decision optimization. With the successful implementation of data communication between NICNET at Delhi and RJE station based on microcomputer at Ahmedabad through Apple Satellite, linking computer in 16 major state capitals in India to NICNET via the INSAT-IB satellite. This would facilitate. This would facilitate the development of interactive database with query systems for the central and state governments. CONSTRAINTS OF NETWORKING There are several constraints in the networking of Indian libraries. Higher education authorities still have a dilemma as to whether or not resource sharing is possible through networking. The potentialities of INFLIBNET are still not known to many


academic libraries. Besides, UGC has failed to provide appropriate funds to academic libraries for computer software and hardware. Therefore, if INFLIBNET is to be of any help to the libraries, it surely has to provide funds for capital investment in software and hardware. These are the problems faced by the libraries: - Information infrastructure is not up to date - Lack of trained manpower; - Lack of funds - Lack of compatibility, standardization and motivation - Lack of effective networking and communication technology; - Lack of foreign exchange for importing proper hardware; and, - Technological backwardness, with a wide gap between India and developed countries. DIGITALIZATION OF LIBRARY The digital libraries may be defined as the new way of carrying out the function of libraries encompassing new type of information resources, new approaches of acquisition, new methods of storage and preservations, new approaches to classification, cataloguing, intensive use of electronic systems and networks and dramatic shifts in intellectual organizational and electronic practice. Digital library system providing a community of users with coherent access to a large, organized responsibility of information and knowledge. Traditional libraries are limited by storage space; digital libraries have the potential to store much more information, simply because digital information requires very little physical space to contain it. As such, the cost of maintaining a digital library is much lower than that of a traditional library. The collection development and selection policies changed to provide better services.

Sr. Traditional No. Library Collection 1. Book 2. Journals 3. Bound Volume 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Reference Collection Slides Scientific Movies Photo Album Newspaper Clippings

Digital Library Collection E-Books E-Journals Journal Archival Digital Tools Images DVDs Image Collection E-Newspaper clipping (PDF, PS, DOC Format)

Indexing is “an organized series of access points which lead from information known to the user to additional previously unknown information”. It is also a systematic guide to the intellectual contact and physical location of knowledge record. The three languages forms have been identified are authority lists, free indexing languages and natural language indexing. Thesaurus is a terminology control device which helps the users to formulate their questions precisely and also acts as an aid to the indexer in assigning the referred description to the subject of the documents. Source thesaurus, Adjunct thesaurus and Cumulative thesaurus are the different varieties of the thesaurus. The thesaurus may be alphabetic, classified or graphic display. Computer programs can be used in producing a thesaurus and presenting it in a number of output formats. Terms may be added any time. When a term is deleted from the thesaurus, the programs well checked all the terms reciprocals and delete all references to this term automatically.


Abstracting service is providing current and retrospective literature chosen fields with abstract as well as citations of articles and papers appearing in current journals, reports, conference papers and proceedings. Abstraction is the process or result of generalization by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically in order to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose. For example, abstracting a leather soccer ball to a ball retains only the information on general ball attributes and behavior. Similarly, abstracting happiness to an emotional state reduces the amount of information conveyed about the emotional state. Computer scientists use abstraction to understand and solve problems and communicate their solutions with the computer in some particular computer language. Bibliographic service is used to control the different varieties, complexity and vastness of information. The entries in a bibliography may be arranged alphabetically author wise or chronologically for small quantity and for large quantity entries may be arranged classified order or under subject headings in alphabetically or systematic order. For recording bibliographic information there are several national and international standards are: IS 2381-1963: Recommendations of Bibliographical reference, R77-1958: bibliographical reference Essential Elements, R690-1968: Bibliographical Reference – Essential and Supplementary Elements. Reproduction of documents includes supply of photocopy of document. Usually supply of photocopy is made for journal articles, conference papers, brief reports etc., this service is given only on the individual basis to avoid copyright violations.

Inter library loan service in a network environment can be carried out by sending request through e mail. The receiver locates the relevant material if it is available and send the required information to the requester thorough e mail, courier or fax. Union catalogue service provides the union catalogue of books, monographs, serials and Non book materials held at different libraries in the country and information regarding the specific library or libraries where required information is available. Searching play very important role in search activities. Every search activity entails a considerable amount of time, painstaking labour and good deal of expenditure. OPAC is very popular searching technique. Conclusion In India automation and networking of academic libraries are still in their formative stages. INFLIBNET, DELNET, and other metropolitan networks are providing training facilities. The Indian Library Association, IASLIC, and NISSAT have jointly helped academic libraries in the choice of software and hardware, and in manpower training. Every year, INFLIBNET organizes a conference — CALIBER (Convention of Automation in Libraries) — to discuss issues related to the computerization of academic libraries. In the first convention of CALIBER, held at Ahmedabad in February 1994, the Chairman of INFLIBNET, Professor Yashpal, said that the government of India should provide more funds for the speedy networking of higher education and research and libraries. UGC should provide funds for hardware and software to accelerate the pace of library automation and networking. Unfortunately, technological advances do not percolate to the grass roots level, and so the rural community is denied the benefits of progress. The plans prepared


by the decision–making bodies should be more realistic, so that they can easily be achieved. Therefore, efforts should be made to remove the barriers, so that India makes rapid strides in the field of information technology in automation and networking in libraries. Reference: Kumar, Krishnan, and Shailendra Kumar, 1989. “An Overview of Computer Activities in Library and Information Science in India in the Year 1988,” Library Herald, volume 28 (October), pp. 118–123. Sharma, Pandey (S.K.), 1993. “Library Computerization : Theory and Practice” (New Delhi : Ess Ess) Sehgal, R.L., 2004. ‘An Introduction to Library Netowrk” (New Delhi : Ess Ess) Dhiman, A.K., “Academic Libraries” (New Delhi : Ess Ess) Lal, C., 2009. “ Library and Modern Technologies” (New Delhi : Ess Ess) List of Abbreviations and Acronyms Used BHEL — Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited BONET — Bombay Library Network CALIBNET — Calcutta Library Network CSIR — Council of Scientific and Industrial Research DELNET — Delhi Library Network DESIDOC — Defence Scientific Documentation Centre DRDO — Defence Research Development Organisation IASLIC — Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres ICAR — Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICMR — Indian Council of Medical Research ICRISAT — International Crops Research

Institute for Semi–Arid Tropics IIT — Indian Institute of Technology INFLIBNET — Information Library Network INSDOC — Indian National Scientific Document Centre NISSAT — National Information System for Science and Technology OPAC — Online Public Access Catalogue R&D — Research and Development SAIL— Steel Authority of India Limited UGC — University Grants Commission