Management of Digital Libraries: Issues, Challenges, Present Scenario and Future Prospects

Anil Kumar Mishra LIO, NCHRC, NIHFW New Delhi Email id: Blog:

The development of the information structure of the world and growing use of the Internet are creating a rapidlychanging environment that provide easy access to the digital material. The new generation whose demand for information is never met is always demanding that traditional libraries should be developed as well equipped and interconnected as digital libraries. If we consider that the information is for use and for all then why not libraries for all? Why not Libraries become universal, open for all those who seek for information?

There is no doubt that the present era is an age of information and hence structurally our libraries and allied entities are the branded responsible organization for procuring organizing and disseminating the information to the users. But the widely experience factors such as budgetary crisis and voluminous character of information have changed the concept of libraries which has to move parallel with rapidly changing development in the field of information technology taking place every moment.

The Digital library federation in the USA defines the digital library as:

Digital Libraries are organization that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to interpret, distributed, preserve the integrity of and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities.

Cont. Technically speaking, digital libraries can be viewed as infrastructures for supporting and creation of information resources, facilitating the movement of information across global networks, allowing the effective and efficient interaction among knowledge producers, librarians and information and knowledge seekers. ranging from a digitized collection of material that one might find in a traditional library through to the collection of all digital information along with the sense that make that information useful to all possible users.


‡ The term digital library has variety of potential meanings,

‡ Digital libraries don¶t mean libraries in the classical sense but

a network of multimedia system which call for carrying out of the functions of libraries in a new way, which are digital in nature.

Digital libraries: Viewpoints
From an information retrieval point of view, it is a large database. 2. For people who work on hypertext technology, it is one particular application of hypertext methods. 3. For those working in wide-area information delivery, it is an application of the web. 4. For software developers collections of computer algorithms or software programs are digital libraries.

The Primary objective of a digital library is to enhance the

digital collection in a substantial way.  To Provides scalability and flexibility to access the information.  To collect store, organize and access information in digital form via communication channel.  To provide personalized & retrospective service in efficient way.  To have large digitized database.  To provide coherence view of all information with a library in any format.  To meet the requirement of patrons by providing better services.

Issues And Challenges 
Financial Management.  Copyright.  Inconvenient system/infrastructure.  Managerial issues and challenges  Preservation archiving.  Attitude of professional.  Technical barrier
Software Management Collection Management Hardware management

The cost involved in the creation and maintenance

of digital library is very high.  Copyright has been called as the ³single most vexing barrier to digital library development.  Poor electricity, poor quality of telephone service lack of technology standards inadequate library collection ,legal restrictions etc.

Managerial issues and challenges:
y Inadequate & poor hardware are another y


y y y

for digital library. Decision regarding the use of a site license Internet Protocol access or to have individual or group passwords is major software management activity. Preservation of material has become a great challenge as the cost involved in this process is very high. Attitude of professional Lack of proper technical skill & technical architecture.

Present scenario and future prospects 
In the present era there have been lots of advancement and development

in the field of Information technology.  The joint Digital Libraries Initiative (DLI) sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established as a project of the US Federal Internet Infrastructure Technology and Application Working Group of the High Performance Computing and Communications initiatives.  The joint initiative funded digital library proposals from six universities with several external collaborators. Joint Digital Libraries Initiative (DLI) and the project of Library of Congress (LC), Xerox, TULIP (The University Licensing Program), Network Computer Science Technical Report Library (NCSTRL), Research Library Group (RLG), Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC), Network Digital Library of Thesis and Dissertation (NDLTD) ( is a digital library project of international significance, launched at the initiative of the Virginia Tech. University, U.S.A.  Benchmarking proper standard are required because digital libraries are operated in such a network environment where there are both consumer and suppliers of digital collection & services.

The uniformity of standards must be maintained. e.g. raster

graphics, ASCII texts, GIS and metadata schemes.  Digital library system should also have a strong collection interface capable of embracing almost all the popular digital standards and formats and software platforms .  The preservation of digital content for long periods of time, across multiple generations of hardware and software technologies and standards is essential in the creation of effective digital libraries Therefore due consideration must be given to the important stage in maintaining efficient service provision.

There is need to accommodate these techniques

and technologies in an efficient manner. This is possible only if experts hands are there in each and every field.  Deploying cutting edge Resource Description Framework (RDF) standards for metadata and its encoding to minimize the efficiently & effectiveness of the information access and retrieval  Providing adequate no. of computer workstations and other equipments.  The sources of finance should be planned efficiently for the management of common contents of the digital library.

As the professionals have an ultimate responsblity to break through this there hold of seminar to move into cyber space and navigate through world wide to realize the dream of digital libraries in true senses. If we concentrate at the reasons why there are very few digital libraries In India, we can very clearly see that our government is not taking proper decisions for the development of it. Our government must take proper steps for the development of digital libraries and should have the motto ³each library a digital library´, then only librarians and information professionals are going to progress into the 21st century by presenting an effective "digital library" model.


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