Technology advancement has played tremendous role in human development and nation’s growth. Look at the area of information and communication technology (ICT), there is an advancement that incorporates the use of automation facilities in libraries hence, the improved customers’ service and improved cataloging, unlike the traditional libraries that we have before the advent of technology.
Automation libraries is a new development that should be encouraged, supported and funded by the relevant authorities and corporate organization in Nigeria, just like what is obtained in the developed counties of the world.
In this article, we will cover the following topics:
- problems facing library automation in nigeria
- origin of library automation
- history of library automation pdf
- reasons for library automation
Libraries automation came as a result of advancement in education, coupled with high cost of hardware (books and other relevant materials), has brought about software introduction and software patronage.
Librarians have seen the important of integrating automation into library use. This integration has made information accessibility and communication easy, as well as other role it has played in library automation such as easy and improved cataloging and collection.
The new technology advancement has made creation of data base in library automation possible with cataloging module.
However, over the years, library automation objective has gone beyond local frame work to the international. The advancement has made library automation to serve internationally with the help of tele information facilities.
Meaning of library automation:
Library automation is a description for the integration of information and communication technology into the traditional approach of finding information hence, replaced the old and outdated manual approach with the use of computers for easy accessibility of information and reduction of workload in a work place.
Prospects of library automation in Nigeria
1. Reduces workload
Library automation helps in reduces workload of staff members in a library. Workload such as cataloging and distribution and circulation is taken off the librarians and other workers hence, ensure efficient and effective response on the part of the workers to those who patronize them.
The time they would have use in cataloging and circulation is invested in other profitable adventure within the library, facilitating the functions of library staff, which include; assisting persons who encounter difficulties in the course of their research or attain to those with reference question.
2. Access to material with ease
Library automation helps in accessing books and some other journals and materials online easily without difficulties. One does not need to go to somewhere or a particular place to access what information one is looking for, just at the comfort of your home.
Library automation also allow for flexibility, having access to different information that will help secure you your needs
3. Quality collection
Library automation helps in allowing access for a variety of materials that are quality, reliable, since these materials are in the library’s collection. Some of the information materials and books that are not relevant are disposed from the library collection through library automation hence; library’s collection is well maintained, checked and streamlined to ensure that only relevant information can be access in the collection.
4. Improve MARC
Library automation allowed for cataloging improvement. In library automation, there is what is called; automated cataloging standards, and this automated cataloging standard comes in form of Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC).
What this automated cataloging standard does is to helps quicken online cataloging of library materials hence, automation library also helps the in distribution of library items from place to place in an easy way, and allowed library staff a good number of hour to attain to other customers’ needs with a view to improve the services rendering to the customers.
Problems of library automation in Nigeria
1. High expenses
Library automation is a new advanced technology in research findings. In the course of using this approach, a lot of things are involved. A start-up capital and the recurrent expenses have posed a serious challenge to the new development of library automation.
The issue of unavailability of power, that is, electricity in the Nigerian state has also hampered the successful running of library automation, since the cost of running this adventure with private generator is costlier.
2. Lack of workers education
Library automation has come with a lot of issues and challenges with its attendant application of advanced technology. Librarians and other staff members need to be trained; they need to be updated knowledge wise in line with the new technology and how to appropriate this knowledge and skills to serve the customers.
Therefore, the issue of continuous education and staff training is a challenge in library automation system, a new advanced system that helps in accessing knowledge globally.
3. Outdated software
Life is dynamic, so is the world we are living in. since the advancement of library automation in Nigeria some decades ago, most of the initial soft wares introduced were outdated, new development and discoveries have paved way to new soft wares product, which have better served the people with new cataloging module, replacing the old discoveries, that has made data base creation more convenience, as well as a better way of streamlining and maintaining the system.
So the issue of old and outdated soft ware, where you secure this one today, and before you know it another new ones with relevant features are in the market, and people are patronizing the new brand, leaves you with no option than to abandon the old soft ware and go for the latest.
Therefore the continuous changing of one soft ware to another has posed a challenge to the use of library automation system.
Conclusion and Suggestions
Library automation system, as used today in Nigeria has indicated some challenges that made accessibility of information much more discouraging, not taking into consideration the fact that technology is changing or advancing in regular basis, given new discoveries.
In view of this challenge of information management and accessibility, I think there should be need to take into account the new resources and information technology that are available.
A number of things have to be done to ensure improvement by bringing in those, who patronized the system through the design and system investment processes.
There is need also for some policies or some resolutions to be made, policies that will motivate and ginger information management in thinking process that will serve for human capacity development; skills to be transfer for optimal appreciation for the new development and the new modern technique
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