02 Apr 2018

BENEFITS AND CONSTRAINTS OF A DIGITAL LIBRARY

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.

New technologies has had a significant effect on the way people live, work and play worldwide. Mail, telephone, television, radio, books, newspapers and periodicals are the traditional ways users send and receive information. Internet use has, today, revolutionized access to information for the business world, libraries, education and individuals. A few of the most popular include E-mail, www (World Wide Web), FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Usenet, and Telnet.

The Internet and its technology continued to have profound effects on the promotion of information sharing; especially in the academic world, making possible rapid transactions among businesses and supporting global collaboration among individuals and organizations. These technologies have the potentials to develop “virtual campuses” and “virtual libraries” thus, increasing students’ access and participation. “libraries in which computer and telecommunications technologies make access to wide range of information resources possible”. Today, the concept is referred to variously as “digital library”, “electronic library”, “community network”, or simply “library without walls”

Digitalization is taking place in many of their libraries and library information networks are established with connectivity through the university campus network to the Internet. The Centre for Learning Resources (CLR) Covenant University, Ota has been placed on the platform of full application of ICT because funds are made available for such innovations. Nigerian University campuses are now jam-packed with IT facilities and it is no longer strange to see lecturers and students doing their research and other academic works using various IT devices like e-mail and the Internet. Students can absorb more information and take less time to do so with the use of IT.

Any member of the academic community at Obafemi Awolowo University Library can now easily find information concerning any book in the Library of Congress in the US.

Problems with Nigerian Libraries

Nigerian libraries generally lack functional Web access, and do not have home pages. Some institutions have an institutional website, but the library has no presence there. The websites of such institutions are being used for only admission purposes. A library homepage should be a component of an institution’s website. Libraries must upload their bibliographic records to become part of global resources and should also be able to download information.

Many tertiary institutions’ libraries in Nigeria are not computerized, and are not internet connected, and where some ICT facilities exist they are zealously guarded. Many tertiary institutions’ libraries in Nigeria are not computerized, and are not internet connected, and where some ICT facilities exist they are zealously guarded.

Why institutions Should have a Digital Library

To capture, store, manipulate, and distribute information.

To retrieve and disseminate the information in user-defined format.

Computers have aided libraries with digital library which occupies little space but large storage capacity.

It provides users access to faster resources and help them overcome time and space barrier.

It gives a universal access to information due to the use of Internet.

Help researchers for effective literature review search needs.

Students use these resources to complete major assignments.

Audiovisual and electronic resources have the potential for enhancing student learning.

The role of these resources in teaching and learning is one of the most important and widely-discussed issues in contemporary education policy.

Difficulties encountered in adopting a digital library.

libraries especially those of tertiary institutions have had difficulties in their attempts at achieving full application of IT in the conduct of their operations; thereby failing to benefit maximally from such adoption.

Lack of fund

Lack of maintainance culture

People’s negative attitude to change in technology;

Encountering technical problems in the course of usage;

Power failure

Likewise, the conversion of analogue information into digital format and its storage capacity place a high demand on the bandwidth of the University.

Effective use of information communication technology facilities in organization of knowledge, the following are recommended.

Information technology has taken the center stage and is accompanied by massive increase in knowledge which leads to a new paradigm in the Library and Information Science (LIS) field. Similarly, the advances in the sciences and in the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), particularly the Internet, Intranet and other network technologies have continued to impact positively on the methodologies of library and information service delivery, education and training of information professionals as well as in the area of information seeking behaviour and use. Therefore, ICTs have now become common features in all fields.

 

 

 

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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