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“Impact of Technology in the Library Systems”

A Research Paper

Presented to

Mrs. Jacqueline Lucero

Polytechnic University of the Philippines

In Partial fulfilment

Of the requirement for the course

Information Technology 1

By:

Martian A. Jinio
INTRODUCTION

The evolution of libraries has been influenced by constant changes due to information
technology developments. New technologies have always been of interest for libraries, both
for the potential of increasing the quality of service and for improving efficiency of
operations. One such technology, which is gaining tremendous popularity among the various
libraries, is RFID technology since it revolutionizes the way a library operates. Many large
libraries around the world have implemented RFID to speed material check-in, checkout,
shelf inventory, and security applications. Counter personnel check dozens of books in or out
in mere seconds without manually handling and orienting each item. The tags can also be
used for theft detection, much like anti-shoplifting technology currently used by retailers.
Librarians using portable computers with RFID readers can take inventory and find misfiled
materials simply by walking down an aisle of bookshelves. The reader can automatically
detect missing materials and alert the operator. With careful planning and implementation,
the introduction of RFID has the potential to provide libraries with productivity benefits, new
collection management tools, and improved customer service. Libraries can also use this
technology called Barcode Technology. This barcode technology is being used in different
courier companies also. Barcodes are being used by many manufacturing industries and
companies for their products, inventory control and shares. The implementation of barcode
technology in library’s circulation system and information centres became more successful,
because of speed, accuracy and reliability at work. From then automatic identification’s
technology became familiar in libraries and information centres in and around the world.
Application of barcodes helps in verification of stock, generating user statistics, control
periodically, collection and updating records. Barcode helps in data entry without errors and
it saves time as well. Barcode technology is a boon for library and information centres. One
should consider the factors such as cost factor, comfortable and convenient to use. So, there
are many advantages of using barcode technology in library and information centres.
Barcodes help to improve the efficiency and profits.

RFID means Radio frequency identification i.e. the technology that uses radio waves to
automatically identify individual items. The objective of any RFID system is to carry data in
suitable transponders, generally known as tags and to retrieve data, by machine readable
means, at a suitable time and place and to satisfy particular application needs. However,
barcode is Barcode are a pattern of bars and spaces of varying width that represent digits,
letters or other punctuation symbols to identify an item or object. Barcode by itself is not a
system but an identification tool that provides an accurate and timely support of data
requirement for sophisticated management systems.

Of course, we must not forget that library plays a critical role in our society. It is an important
component of any educational institution, which is hub of the teaching, and learning activities
where students, researchers and teachers can explore the vast resources of information. In the
age of information communication technology, computers are being used for day-to-day
housekeeping activity of the library which saves the time of the end users, and library
professional also and at the same time avoid duplication of work and make the library service
smooth and effective. In the age of ICT library scenario has been drastically changed in terms
of collection, organization and services. Simultaneously, user’s demands and attitudes have
changed in its kinds. Also the information seeking behaviour of user has dynamically
changed. They want relevant, authentic information very quickly within a single place at their
hand .This concept has posed challenges for library professionals for quick delivery of library
services and information. This development in library field has brought the idea of Library
Automation, also known as Integrated Library System.

Library automation is the design and implementation of ever more sophisticated computer
systems to accomplish tasks originally done by hand in libraries.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Integrated library systems (ILS) were often known as library automation


systems or automated systems in the 1970s and early 1980s. Before the advent of computers,
libraries usually used a card catalogue to index its holdings. Computers were used to
automate the card catalogue, thus the term automation system. Automation of the catalogue
saves the labour involved in resorting the card catalogue, keeping it up-to-date with respect to
the collection, etc. Other tasks automated include checking out and checking in books,
generating statistics and reports, acquisitions and subscriptions, indexing journal articles and
linking to them, as well as tracking interlibrary loans.
Since the late 1980s, windows and multi-tasking have allowed business functions to be
integrated. Instead of having to open up separate applications, library staff could use a single
application with multiple functional modules.
As the Internet grew, ILS vendors offered more functionality related to the Internet. Major
ILS systems now offer web-based portals where library users can log in to view their account,
renew their books, and be authenticated to use online databases.
Many histories of RFID trace the roots of the technology back to a seminal paper in 1948 by
Harry Stockman entitled “Communications by means of Reflected Power” (Shepard, 2005).
Much pioneering work was done in the late 1930s and early 1940s which resulted in the
technology we now know as radar. While it was obviously useful to be able to detect an
object at distance using a primitive radar system, it was even more useful to be able to
determine the identity of the object. This requirement (given added impetus by World War II)
led to the development of Identification - Friend or Foe (IFF) systems. These two
technologies, radar and IFF conceptually form the beginnings of what we know today as
RFID.
PROBLEM STATEMENT

For many years, people have dominated discussions of the technologies in the library
systems. Many people think technology can destroy the libraries, that it can prevent people
from going to libraries. People have failed to notice however, that many services and systems
in the libraries are provided now by technology. Once we truly understand the true purpose of
technology in the library, we’ll begin to see the answer as to what the impact of technology in
the library systems really is. Technologies in library, like library automation, RFID, and
barcode technology are not just a trend for a library to use. It is essential for the libraries to
provide not just for the librarians or for their supporting staffs but mainly for the patrons.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

THE IMPACT OF AUTOMATION

Studies of office, industrial, and library automation report that automation has the greatest
impact on staff in the lower levels of the organization where the work is routine; and less
impact at the top where authority and decision making are concentrated (Kraske, 1978;
Zuboff, 1982, 1985, 1988; Shiff, 1983; Atkinson, 1984; Diebold, 1984; Freedman, 1984;
Roscow, 1984; Dakshinamurti, 1985; Waters, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989; Caudle & Newcome,
1986; Lynch & Verdin, 1986; Horny, 1987; Bergen, 1988; DeKlerk & Euster, 1989; Jones,
1989; Forester,1989; Harris et al, 1989; Hoer et al, 1989; Long, 1989; Olsgaard, 1989; Smith,
1989; Prentice, 1990).

The literature suggests that the positive effects of automation are:

 a reduction in repetitive work and tedious procedures


 an increase in skill level
 possibly higher job satisfaction
 an increase in the variety of tasks
 greater flexibility

At its worse, the impact of automation on employees, especially lower level employees, can
result in:

 the degradation of the quality of working life;


 the decline in interpersonal communication and client relations;
 an increase of employee stress, depersonalization, and boredom;
 lower job-satisfaction;
 the loss of control over the pace of one's work and organizational functions;
 Lower self-esteem and staff morale.

However, the research does not indicate whether the introduction of information technology
will have either a positive or negative impact on employees in an organization. Instead the
research shows that the impact of technology depends on the how and why it is used, rather
than on the technology itself.

9. CONCLUSION

The evidence of the case study and other research suggests that the impact of information
technology on employees will not always be positive. However, if a major goal of library
management is to maximize resources to effectively serve their users and one of those
resources is human resources, then an automated system that predominantly impacts
negatively on staff is a waste of resources - of expertise, ideas, skills and knowledge; a waste
of human potential. Therefore it is important for management not just to automate the library
(that is, the operational aspects of their systems) but to work towards integrating the system
into the working environment to benefit both management and employees. I believe that to
realize this goal those involved in implementing information technology need to incorporate
as part of the implementation process the following basic human impact principles, which are
based on participative management techniques.

Communication

Staff must be kept informed of the progress of the implementation process in order to avoid
feelings of alienation and powerlessness over the change process.

Participation

In addition to being informed, staff must be able to actively participate in the implementation
process. Staffs needs opportunities to discuss the implementation process, ask questions, raise
concerns and provide feedback to those implementing the information technology.

Consultation

The whole concept of implementing an automated system revolves around changing the ways
in which tasks have been done. To maintain staff quality of working life and job
satisfaction, it is not sufficient to superimpose one system on another; due attention must be
paid to job design (Dyer and Morris 1990, p. 185). Management in consultation with staff
must design jobs that contain all or some of the following elements: variety, autonomy,
responsibility, feedback and recognition, social contact, discretion and control, achievement,
and opportunities to learn and develop. As Austen (1987) stated,

"The tendency to try and automate the person must be resisted. It is all too easy to fit the
person to the system, rather than to humanize the system - but it is courting
trouble!" (Austen 1987, p. 136)

Training

Besides the initial training staff receives in the use of the system, they also need access to
appropriate levels of training as and when required. Failure to provide ongoing training may
result in lack of interest, frustration and inability of staff to realize the full potential of the
system to meet their or the users' needs.

Support

The provision of quality and timely support to staff that are having difficulties with the
system, allows staff to feel confident that they can use the system to its full potential. If
support is not forth-coming, staffs tend to feel they have little or no control over the system.
This can lead to frustration and stress as staff doubt their ability to cope with the system.

It is difficult to be more specific as not enough studies have been done in this area to
determine the long term effects of automation on library staff. However, technology cannot
determine what choices will be made for what purpose (Zuboff 1985, p.6) within the
organization, only people can. Consequently, only when system administrators and library
managers implement automated systems to utilize both technological and human resources to
their full potential, will the negative effects of automation on library staff be minimized. As
one worker in Zuboff's In the Age of the Smart Machine (1988) mused,
"If you don't let people grow and develop and make more decisions, it's a waste of human life
- a waste of human potential. If you don't use your knowledge and skill, it's a waste of life.
Using the technology to its full potential means using the man to his full potential." (Zuboff
1988, p. 414)1

1
Karen Horsfall, The human impact of library automation,
http://web.simmons.edu/~chen/nit/NIT'92/195-hor.htm
Accessed: 02 September 2016
Conclusion

I believe that it is important for management not just to automate the library but to work
towards integrating the system into the working environment to benefit both management and
employees. As reading the article, I learned that automation can ease the works of the
librarians and staffs but it can also cut them off to the institution. Manpower is important to
libraries. They’re like robots when providing services to the patrons but the growth of
technology help them to lighten their works. However, it’s not always a positive impact for
the employees; first, they must be informed so that they would not feel left-out. Second, they
need to participate in the implantation process. Throw questions and provide feedback. Third,
the staffs should enrol themselves or by the management to seminars, they need training to
fully understand the process of automation. Lastly, the staffs need support. They need to feel
confident that they can use the system to its full potential but not in the level of over-
confident. Just confident is enough so they won’t mess up.

Library automation or automating the services of the library is indeed a time-consuming and
exhausting process. It cannot be done in just a blink of an eye. The management and
employees or staffs should take this process seriously.
IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES IN LIBRARY AND
INFORMATION CENTERS

Information technology (IT) is for better management and exchange of information, for more
efficient communication and ultimately for the benefit of the people using IT (Bryson, 1990).
Information is a dynamic and unending resource that affects all disciplines and all walks of
life as it supports education, research and development. As libraries and information centres
deal mainly with information, majority of their technical applications will be in the
collection, handling, storage, and dissemination of information or information technology.
Technologies, especially computer and telecommunication technology have highly
revolutionized the field of library and information services. They facilitate collection, storage,
organization, processing, analysis, presentation, communication and dissemination of
information. With the introduction of new technology, libraries are expected to use various
types of technology to provide information, more quickly and in greater volume than before.

The advantage of IT applied to information retrieval is the immediate and local access to a
much wider range of library resources. Information technology has also made an impact on
the alerting services, mainly by providing speedy access to information that appears initially,
and the news and business services of one kind or another in electronic form. Electronic
delivery of materials has also made a major impact on information service operations
providing increased flexibility, customization of services and opportunities for entirely new
types of services in the widespread information transfer (Varalaksmi, 1992). The
advancement in technology will continue to improve the effectiveness of the libraries and
become indispensable for handling information between libraries and library patrons to
librarian and vice versa (Kumbar, 1996). This is already happening the success of
information technology will depend on library automation and skilled manpower, but the
most important factor is considered, as the motivation and attitudes of librarians to get into
information technology for their various work activities.

RIFD & Barcode technology: RFID is a combination of radio-frequency-based technology


and microchip technology. The information contained on microchips in the tags affixed to
library materials is read using radio frequency technology. A reader (aka sensor, scanner or
interrogator) looks for antennae on the tags and retrieves information from the microchips
through them. The tags used in RFID systems can replace both EM or RF theft detection
barcodes and targets although the hybrid system that 3M introduced in 2000 replaced only
barcodes and retained the EM strips in the belief that EM is superior to RFID for security. 3M
did introduce a comprehensive RFID product that replaces both EM and barcodes in 2004.

Advantages of RFID systems

 Rapid charging/discharging
 Simplified patron self-charging/discharging
 High reliability
 High-speed electronic inventorying
 Interfaces with materials handling systems
 Long tag life

Disadvantages of RFID Systems

 High cost
 Vulnerability to compromise
 Removal of exposed tags
 Exit sensor problems
 Perceived Invasion of Patron Privacy

LIBRARY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES

The purpose of digital library services is to enable the user to access the information required
for knowledge enhancement. Digital library services include information about all the
services, collections, digital resources, library instruction sessions and services.

The specific services of digital library include providing remote access library resources-both
printed and non-printed, service deliveries and generation information on library. Depending
upon the bylaws or regulations of the individual organizations, the access could be limited to
members, or limited to certain resources like commercial database, where only members can
access them through password.2

2
Kirti Singh, ‘Impact of Technology in Library Services’, International Journal of Management and Social Sciences
Research, April 2013, Volume 2, No. 4, pp. 74-75.
Conclusion

Information Technology has brought us many incredible things. As for the field of library, we
have this RFID and the Barcode technology. Of course, this would help to ease the tasks of
librarians and to make the library great or greater.

The main problem for me is that the financial aspect. RFID is so expensive, about a million
and a half. That’s the lowest possible price. Here’s the catch, it’s only for the software and
the physical materials like the microchips, the sensors, and many more. In that amount of
money, the payments for the training of employees are excluded. Obviously, it is new to them
so they need to attend seminars and training for proper handling and administrating the new
facility or feature in the library. So they will not feel alienated after the installation of the said
technology.

Of course, these technologies are for big institutions only. It would only be a waste of time,
effort and especially money if you want to install it in just small libraries with small
collection. Installing RFID is a process, a long time process. The administration should
religiously go to seminars and talks about RFID so there will be no doubts about it.
The Modernisation of Library Systems

Libraries and librarians have had to adapt to the growth of information and communications
technology in recent years. Today people use the internet as a primary source of information,
often relying on books as a last resort due to the issues of time and money. In terms of
infrastructure, libraries now devote space to public computer facilities and librarians undergo
additional training in order to be well-equipped to deal with queries related to modern
research techniques and online resources as well as the traditional questions related to finding
and borrowing books. Library archives and records are also now computerised meaning a
more efficient and effective borrowing and returns system and a faster method of locating
resources and assessing availability of items. In terms of administration, running a library is
now much simpler than before, thanks to the aid of computerised systems. Modern systems
are also beneficial to customers who are able to reserve and renew items online as well as
being able to explore the extensive library catalogue. In terms of ecological impact, the new
system of computerised records saves using a considerable amount of paper, which, on a
national scale could contribute significantly to helping the environment.

New Resources

The evolution of technology has undoubtedly increased the variety of resources available in
libraries today; it is no longer a case of going to the library to borrow a particular book for
your research but rather an opportunity to explore books, journals, DVDs and websites
related to the matter under examination, ranging from information concerning dental health
matters like toothpaste and mouthwash to the human anatomy.

Computer Skills and the Internet

The dawn of the internet has challenged the concept of going to a library as people
are often able to access books and journals online; for those who do not have access to a
computer at home, however, the library is an increasingly valuable resource. Furthermore,
with library services now offering classes in basic computer skills and online research master
classes, even those who do have internet access at home can benefit from the local library.3

3
The Impact of Information Technology on the Library,
http://www.swmlac.org.uk/the-impact-of-information-technology-on-the-library/
Date accessed: 01 September 2016
Conclusion

It is true that the library – as a growing organism must be responsive to change. Now, the
libraries and librarians are facing a new phase of technology. As many people are dependent
to the internet, they want everything; I mean every single thing to be accessible on internet.
The information technology is not a threat and it comes with a great help to the libraries and
librarians. IT made the library services easier for the librarians, no more exhausting and
repetitive tasks to be done. It also made the access of library materials easier for our well-
loved patrons because they can now access information anywhere.

When I was a kid, I personally thought that technology would be the reason to the greatest
downfall of the libraries around the world but now, I am 100% sure that technology will help
us to improve and to perform better innovations for the library. The growth of technology
should not be considered as a threat but a great help. However, we must not let technology
bring us down, always have a backup plan and a backup plan for the backup plan ‘cause we
don’t know when these technologies will have a problem and give us problems.
How Innovation and Technology Are Shaping Libraries of Today

There is no doubt that technology has had a lasting impact on libraries. Once thought to be
going the way of traditional bookstores, libraries have rebounded and are thriving in a
technology fuelled world. With the help of innovation, re-imagination and vision, libraries
are embracing new technologies while creating dynamic community centres filled with life.
They are no longer a house of dusty books and card files; they are centres of creativity,
research and collaboration...and they are free.

Technology has changed the expectations of library patrons; people today expect to be able to
find and access information from wherever they are. This is why so many public library
systems across the country have increased both computers for use inside the library as well as
mobile and online access to e-books, audio books, research databases and archives. In 2010,
nearly 300 million Americans used library services including onsite computers and onsite
Wi-Fi to check out books, to attend workshops, and to consult with reference librarians.

Libraries are now hubs of technology with over 85 percent offering wireless internet services,
and many offering state-of-the-art computers for use. But technology available to patrons
does not stop there. Surveys show that currently 12 percent of academic libraries have pre-
loaded E-reading devices in circulation that patrons can check out. Another 26 percent of
academic libraries are considering adding this service. New (even book-free) libraries are
popping up around the country, employing technology in ways most never envisioned:

• GPS apps that help locate material inside the library


• Mobile apps that allow patrons to access library services
• Access to 3-D printers, binding services
• Book delivery robots

The digital age has produced challenges for both libraries and librarians; the sheer volume of
information available in e-books, databases, archives and other digital materials has spurred
innovation in the organization, management and distribution of library resources. For some
time, some believed that just as bookstores and libraries were becoming irrelevant, that
librarians would too. However, this could not be further from the truth. Search engines do
provide a plethora of information, quickly and easily, but there is no guarantee of the quality
of the information.

According to Pew Internet and American Life surveys, 80 percent of Americans believe that
“reference librarians” are a very important service in today’s libraries. Librarians are still at
the forefront of understanding information and research gathering and the education system is
adapting to their changing roles. Library and information science degrees have evolved and
are now training librarians for leading libraries for this generation, and beyond. Not only are
librarians at the forefront of information management and organization, they are
administrative and community leaders charging forth to enhance the public’s experience
inside and outside the library.

A library card today gives more than just access to books and periodicals at the local library;
it gives access to the world from home or while on the road. It also gives access to the true
visionaries of information organization and dissemination — librarians, who are more
valuable than ever before. While many of the duties and responsibilities of librarians have
changed over the years, it is still true that they hold the keys to the best and most relevant
information available on the planet.

Libraries today house more than books, and librarians are more than good stewards of
materials. Both have morphed and evolved to meet the changing needs of their patrons, by
embracing technological advancements. Libraries are still a place filled with information,
imagination, and community and librarians are an essential part of the system because of their
knowledge, skill and passion. Are libraries and librarians a thing of the past? Absolutely not!
Libraries have always been, and will continue to be harbingers for freedom, communication,
creativity and advancement, and librarians will continue to bring the information to life for
many children, teens and adults alike.4

4
Frankie Rendón, How Innovation and Technology Are Shaping Libraries of Today,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frankie-rendon/how-innovation-and-techno_b_5244601.html
Accessed: 02 September 2016
Conclusion

What’s happening now in physical world, the reality, just surpassed my imaginations on
technology. I never thought technology will be this grand. Look what just happened. Look
how technology help and shape people and specially – the libraries. When I say technology, I
refer to the technology itself plus the internet. We’re so dependent now. We want
information, everything, in just a snap of our fingers. We somehow evolved as the technology
continuously grows. Good thing, libraries also evolved as technology grows. It’s like the
libraries and technologies are perfectly made for each other. Yes, there was once a threat that
technology will prevent people from going to the libraries. But this threat was welcomed with
open arms and fully embraced by the libraries as a challenge for them with the help of
innovation, vision, and imagination. Libraries now are hub of technologies.

Nobody had vision the libraries would be this brave and adventurous in meeting the
expectations of the library-users. The patrons are truly their motivation and the main reason
why they did such bold actions in innovating and transforming the libraries.
Introduction

Information technology has profound effect on the progress and development of human
civilization. The advances in science and technology has made a tremendous improvement
and changed all activities of present society. Due to revolution of information technology,
increased tremendously demand, consumption, and importance of information in present
society. The librarians are faced challenges to managing massive volume of information for
storage, process, retrieve, and disseminate in libraries (Ramana, 2004). Rapid advances in
Information Technology in the past two decades have brought revolutionary changes in the
concept, organization, functioning and management of library and information systems
throughout the world. The modern technology has greatly improved the capabilities of
managing this explosive growth of information effectively. Information technologies today
are characterized by their very dynamic development and increasing complexity. Information
technology application in library and information field has made remarkable progress in the
world. Information Technology not only affects the technical services of libraries but also
shapes the library services that are being offered to the public. Worldwide libraries have been
exploring new technologies for providing better and faster access to vast information
resources and efficient information services to their users. Information Technology has
offered better solutions to achieve greater level of efficiency, productivity and excellence
services in libraries (Cholin, 2005).

Information Technology Trends in Academic Libraries

The advent of information society can be traced to 1960s when a shift occurred from the
industrial processes to a service based economy. Since 1960s, libraries worldwide have been
using technology in general and computers to automate the administrative & technical tasks
of the library (Raman, 1998). In India, computerization of library had started in the year of
1955 at Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta. During 1970s DRTC, BARC, TIFR, IIT-Madras,
and BHEL- Hyderbad have been used production of information product and services
(Raman, 1998). Every facet of library work, in academic, school, public, and special libraries,
is being transformed as a result of technological advances. Among the changes are: increased
database access through CD-ROMs, local mainframes, or dial-up services; a shift in the focus
of library instruction toward skills for using computer-based information systems; and the
provision of access to local collections for remote users, and to remote collections for local
users. The World Wide Web became a significant vehicle for distributing information.
Information technology has emerged as the most potent tool to collect, organizes, and
disseminates information to the people at large scale through communication network.
Internet brought the biggest change in libraries as 1990s saw the rapidly increasing
availability of access to computers generally. The Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT) have brought revolutionary changes in handling delivering and storage of
information. The transition of traditional library collections to digital or virtual collections
presented the librarian with new opportunities and challenges.
Libraries in India have struggled with many problems, but recent government support for
research has provided an opportunity for the development of library services and increased
access to information. Government encouragement of funding of private organizations
through tax benefits has also led to investment in libraries and information as part of research
activities (Ashraf, 2008). The internet, especially WWW has given the librarian a new
dynamic role to play in the society and serve the new information based in better ways than
ever before, because of the powerful features of web i.e. distributed, heterogeneous,
collaborative, multimedia, Standards and Protocols, architecture, world wide web has
revolutionized the way people access information and has opened up new possibilities in
areas such as digital libraries, Virtual libraries, efficient information retrieval and
dissemination.

INFLIBNET has played major role in bringing IT culture and establishing IT infrastructure in
Indian Universities. It is involved in modernizing university libraries in India. To create
awareness about library automation and spread IT culture among library professionals,
INFLIBNET organizing INFLIBNET Regional Training Programme on Library Automation
(IRTPLA) in different regions of the country. Recently it has initiated subscription of the E-
Journals for academic libraries in India. INFLIBNET has played major role in library
automation. SOUL designed and developed by INFLIBNET, which is cost affective and user
friendly software has been installed in 170 universities/institutions (INFLIBNET, 2003).

Application of IT in Academic Libraries

The application and accessibility of IT facilitates the free flow of information, creative
expression and effective management. The major factors and challenges forced the libraries
to adopt Information Technology such as Information explosion, Technological development,
Provide efficient and effective services, Increased number of users, Increased the
expectations of the users, Online Information retrieval, Increase the commercial information
providers , and Changes the nature of Information resources (E-Journals, CD-ROMs, and
Online Databases etc.) (Davarpanah, 2001)

Libraries are using the Information Technology in general and to automate a wide range of
administrative and technical process, build databases, networks and provide better services to
their users. The use of IT has become imperative for the efficient management of modern
libraries. Library Automation is one of the major applications of IT in libraries. It is helped to
change the libraries In-house activities (Acquisition, Cataloguing, Indexing, Serial control,
Circulation etc.) from manual system to automation (Venkataraman, 1998). In 1980s, most of
the libraries were computerized their in-house activities. Recently, libraries have to
implement increasingly complex solutions that involve distributed networking and access to
remote information resources. The use of IT in libraries has tremendously increased due to its
enhanced user satisfaction, cost effectiveness, faster and simpler programs, rapid
communicative interaction and easier operational procedures (Storey, 1995).

Effective use of IT in libraries increase efficiency in operations, eliminates repetitive nature


of works, improves the quality and range of services, facilities easy and wider access to all
kinds of information sources, facilitates faster information communication, increase moral
and motivation of library staff, facilitates cooperation and resource sharing, save time, space,
improves productivity and image of library (Venkataramana, 1998).

The electronic resources that are available in libraries are an outcome of the advances in both
computer technologies, including information storage and delivery mechanism, and software
providing user friendly interfaces. In most of the libraries in the western countries, Online
Public Access Catalogues (OPAC) have almost replaced card catalogues, offering enhanced
search capabilities for accessing the collection of library. Many libraries also provide a web
interface to their library and information system, often including direct links of electronic
journals, books and internet resources (Cholin, 2005).

Impact of Information Technology on Library Services

The growth of information and the dependency on it have paved the way for the information
society and subsequently the knowledge society. Information has always been prime factor
for the development of society and is often regarded as a vital national resource. Information
services try to meet this objective. Information has become important part of our lives and
should be available when needed. Information services are generated using new tools and
techniques to facilitate the right users to the right information (Khodeh and Dhar, 2002). The
implementation of information technology in the libraries has demanded new forms of library
services to get more user satisfaction. Digital library service has evolved after the
implementation of IT in the library and information centres. Information technology has had
a significant impact and has successfully changed the characteristics of information services
being generated in libraries. The past two decades have seen great changes in library due to
information technology. The technological advancement have made significant impact on the
growth of knowledge and unlocking of human potential. In library, the impact is clearly
visible on information resources, services, and people (Manjunatha, 2007).

One of the distinct gifts of information technology has been the invention of devices with
huge storage capacity. CD-ROM’s, DVDs and flash memory cards have changed the face of
libraries. Online access to information has turned many libraries into “Virtual Libraries”
(Mishra, 2001). Now Libraries are changing the way in which information is stored and
disseminated to users.

The next benefit of IT is the automation of library activities. Many in-house operations in the
library like acquisition, processing, circulations, maintenance, serial management are
changed manual to automation. The need for automation arises as to reduce the effort a time
required for these jobs. Now much software is available in market for library automation. IT
has helped in establishing library networking and resource sharing through internet and
intranet. Library networks have expanded the limitation of the scope of resource sharing and
information exchange. Today internet is the major resource for librarians. Application of IT
has contributed the improvement in provision of quick, quality services in the libraries.5

5
Satish Kanamadi and B. D. Kumbar, ‘Impact of Information Technology Innovations on Resources and Services of
Management Institute Libraries in Mumbai: A Librarians’ Approach’ , Electronic Journal of Academic and Special
Librarianship, 2007, Vol. 8 No. 1
Conclusion

Libraries are using information technology to automate a wide range of administrative and
technical processes, build databases, networks, and provide better services to their users. IT
in libraries helps in performing operations and services efficiently. The application of IT and
accessibility of IT facilitate the free flow of information, creative expression, and effective
management. The current research has investigated the status of technology in IIMT Library.
The overall assessment of service quality and user satisfaction is moderate, indicating wide
scope for improvement. The following three features: Adequacy of print resources; electronic
resources; and IT Services were rated particularly low. As per the analysis, the library staff
should give more attention to these three features. Improving performance requires paying
attentions to the key features by which users access the service quality and it involves
commitment from management and library staff.
Man age men t of R FID i n L i b rari es

I have likened RFID to the barcode, which is an apt analogy. As an identifier, it is particularly
suited to inventory functions, and a library has a strong inventory component. There is,
however, a key difference to the library’s inventory as compared to that of a warehouse or
retail outlet. In the warehouse and retail supply chain, goods come in, and then they leave.
Only occasionally do they return. The retail sector is looking at RFID as a "throw-away"
technology that gets an item to a customer and then is discarded. Yet the per item cost of
including an RFID tag is much more than the cost of printing a barcode on a package. In
libraries, items are taken out and returned many times. This makes the library function an
even better use of RFID than in retail because the same RFID tag is re-used many times.

Second only to circulation, libraries look to RFID as a security mechanism. The RFID tags
can facilitate security in a variety of ways. In one method, the tag that is used has a special
"security bit" that can be switched from "checked-in" to "checked-out." The exit gates at the
library read each tag as the user passes out of the library and sounds an alarm if the bit is not
in the "checked-out" state. The check-in function resets the bit. Another method is for the
tags themselves to remain the same; as the user passes through the exit gate the system reads
the tags in the books in the user’s arms or bag and queries the library database to be sure that
the items have been checked out.

Although RFID can be used in library anti-theft systems, this doesn’t mean that it is a highly
secure technology. What libraries don’t tell their users, and none of us should probably say
very loudly, is that RFID tags can be shielded by a thick layer of Mylar, a few sheets of
aluminium foil, or even an aluminium gum wrapper, so they won’t be detected by the reading
device. In addition, today’s tags are not hidden in the spine of the book, like security tape, but
are often found on the inside of the book cover, barely concealed by a library label, and can
be removed. This is not a condemnation of the technology or even a reason not to use it in the
library security system; the reality is that library security has never provided more than a
modicum of security for library items. The gates and their alarms are as much social deterrent
as they are actual prevention. The reason to use RFID for security is not because it is
especially good for it, but because it is no worse than other security technologies. There is,
however, some potential savings because a single tag serves many different functions. The
library saves some time in processing new items because it only has to affix one technology
to the item. It may also save some money due to the integration of circulation and security
with a single vendor and into a single system. Some future-positive thinkers in the library
world see the potential to have a combined exit-gate/check-out station that allows patrons to
walk about of the library with their books in hand and their library card in their pocket. That
brings up other questions, especially privacy ones, but the notion is intriguing.

As well as being an inventory technology, barcodes also serve the point of sale (or lending).
The need to have a direct line of sight on the barcode makes it difficult, however, to perform
functions on more than one item at a time. RFID systems can read multiple tags at once,
allowing you to check out a stack of books with a single transaction. Barcodes also have
some disadvantages when taking an inventory of the library. The line of sight requirement
means that each book must be tipped out far enough to read the barcode if it is on an outside
cover, or removed entirely from the shelf if the book or item must be opened to see the
barcode. This is an area where RFID can provide great advantages because the tags can be
read while the books sit on the shelf. Not only does the cost of doing an inventory of the
library go down, the odds of actually completing regular inventories go up. This is one of
those areas where a new technology will allow the library to do more rather than just doing
the same functions with greater efficiency. Library experience with RFID is still in its early
stages, but already some librarians are getting ideas for additional uses of this technology.
RFID could be used to gather statistics on the re-shelving of books in the stacks area, by
equipping shelves with hand-held readers. Vendors of RFID systems for libraries are already
offering automated sorting of returned books into a handful of bins that facilitate the re-
shelving of books that are checked in. A fully automated library could potentially know
exactly where an item is, down to the very book truck or bin, during the return process. In
theory, a library could "know" when a book leaves the shelf, and could trace the progress of
the book through the library to check-out. In reality, it is already possible to find a requested
video in a jumbled browsing section that gets out of order due to high use.6

6
Karen Coyle, ‘M a n a g e m e n t o f R F I D i n L i b r a r i e s ’ , Journal of Academic Librarianship,
V. 31, n. 5, pp. 486-489
Con cl u s i on

Whether your library is using RFID today, is thinking of using it in the future, or has pre-
determined that RFID is not suitable for libraries, we cannot ignore this technology. It is
going to be incorporated into products that libraries purchase and into items that users bring
into the library, such as smart cards and hand-held electronics. It is being considered for
passports and is already in use as a payment system. Now is the time to develop both policies,
such as the American Library Association’s statement on RFID in libraries, as well as sets of
best practices that give the library some clearly stated goals for the decisions that will
inevitably have to be made as RFID becomes a common, if not ubiquitous, technology.
SUMMARY

Many years ago, libraries used card catalogues, typewriters, and manually assigned due dates.
Library automation, an up-to-date method to help libraries and library patrons to effectively
use library resources, is now streamlined because of computers and software.

In Libraries automation refers to the process of automation in house functions such as


circulation, cataloguing Acquisition, serial controls etc. Automation is a technique to make a
system automated means self-active. For these electronic machines are used to automate the

Automation means the application of machines to perform the different routines, repetitive
and clerical jobs involved in functions and services of the libraries.

Library automation is the general term for information and communication technologies
(ICT) that are used to replace manual systems in the library.

RFID can be used library circulation operations and theft detection systems. RFID-based
systems move beyond security to become tracking systems that combine security with more
efficient tracking of materials throughout the library, including easier and faster charge and
discharge, inventorying, and materials handling (Boss 2004).

This technology helps librarians reduce valuable staff time spent scanning barcodes while
charging and discharging items. RFID is a combination of radio -frequency-based technology
and microchip technology. The information contained on microchips in the tags affixed to
library materials is read using radio frequency technology, regardless of item orientation or
alignment (i.e., the technology does not require line-of-sight or a fixed plane to read tags as
do traditional theft detection systems). The RFID gates at the library exit(s) can be as wide as
four feet because the tags can be read at a distance of up to two feet by each of two parallel
exit gate sensors.

However, this barcode technology is being used in different courier companies also. Barcodes
are being used by many manufacturing industries and companies for their products, inventory
control and shares. The implementation of barcode technology in library’s circulation system
and information centres became more successful, because of speed, accuracy and reliability at
work. From then automatic identification’s technology became familiar in libraries and
information centres in and around the world. Application of barcodes helps in verification of
stock, generating user statistics, control periodically, collection and updating records.
Barcode helps in data entry without errors and it saves time as well. Barcode technology is a
boon for library and information centres. One should consider the factors such as cost factor,
comfortable and convenient to use. So, there are many advantages of using barcode
technology in library and information centres. Barcodes help to improve the efficiency and
profits.
CONCLUSION

Library automation, digitizing library, and using technology in the library systems are not just
a trend. It is necessity for a library to provide for their patrons given that it is the house of
knowledge. There is no doubt that technology has had a lasting impact on libraries.
Inspecting the impact of these technologies in the libraries, it contributes a big factor to the
success of library services and it also gives credits for the librarians’ works and efforts. With
the help of innovation, re-imagination and vision, libraries are embracing new technologies
while creating dynamic community centres filled with life. Technology has changed the
expectations of library patrons; people today expect to be able to find and access information
from wherever they are. The age of the technology is continuously developing right in front
of us and for some time, some believed that bookstores, libraries and as well as librarians
were becoming irrelevant. Yes, there are search engines that provide overabundance of
information, quickly and easily, but there is no guarantee of the quality of information.
Libraries today house more than books, and librarians are more than good stewards of
materials. Both have morphed and evolved to meet the changing needs of their patrons, by
embracing technological advancements. Libraries are still a place filled with information,
imagination, and community and librarians are an essential part of the system because of their
knowledge, skill and passion. However, the success of these new and trendy yet amazingly
useful technologies in the library systems still depends upon its proper planning and
execution. Hence library professionals need to take right initiatives in right direction.
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