1.1    Role of Co-operation: Resource Sharing and Networks

          1.1.1    An Historical Overview

          1.1.2    Resources Sharing : Meaning, Need and Scope 

            1.1.3   Resource Sharing through Network                

            1.1.4  Criticism of Resource Sharing                

          1.1.5  Steps to Promote Resource Sharing through Network

1.2    Impact of IT in Libraries

          1.2.1     Information Technology

            1.2.2      Information Technology : Its impact on Information and 

                           Communication Media                           

            1.2.3     Information Technology Environment

            1.2.4     Applications  of  IT

1.3    Areas of Library Automation

            1.3.1  House Keeping Activities

            1.3.2  Information Search and Retrieval

            1.3.3  Advantages of Library Automation





Co-operation is a social activity as old as human civilization itself. The aim of any cooperation activity is to achieve what the members of the group can not achieve individually. So library co-operation may be defined as a combined effort of two or more libraries to share their resources for providing better services to their user community.

1.1.1    An Historical Overview                                                                                                              Top

    Library co-operation is age old and can be traced to 200BC when Alexandria Library shared its resources with Pergamon Library. According to Kraus, there existed library co-operation among monastery libraries in the 13th century. There were exchanges of agreements among the universities of Lund, Abo and Greifswald as early as 1740. The other examples of library cooperation include a projected union catalogue of the libraries of Weimar and Jean and a proposal for a co-ordinated acquisition scheme for Walfenbuttel and Gottengen. The 'Catalogue of Manuscripts in various parts of India' complied by Whitney Stokes in 1868, and in 1863 Part I of Sanskrit manuscripts in private libraries of North-west provinces covering Varanasi was published. The first major union list entitled 'A Catalogue of Scientific and Technical Periodicals' was complied by Henry C.Bolton in 1885. With the advent of the 20th century, the Library of Congress started co-operative cataloguing projects and began working on the National Union Catalogue. Thereafter, in the 20th Century the compilations and publications of union catalogues of different types increased in number in most countries.

    The first library cooperation activity in India is reported to be the Catalogue of Manuscripts complied by Whitney Stokes in 1868. Union catalogue development was one of major cooperative efforts in Indian libraries up to the 1960s. We can look at the following union catalogue development activities:

    1918: - Catalogue of Scientific Serial Publications in the Principal Libraries in Calcutta complied by Stanley Kemp, Asiatic Society of Bengal.

    1931: - List of Scientific Periodicals in the Bombay Presidency. Royal Institute of Science, Bombay.

    1953: - Catalogue of Periodicals in CSIR organizations corrected up to December 1953 CSIR, New Delhi. Union Catalogue of Learned Periodical publications in South Asia, vol.1: Physical and Biological sciences compiled by S.R. Ranganathan and others. ILA, Delhi.

    1956:- Catalogue of Medical Periodicals in Indian Libraries corrected up to December 31, 1955.4th ed. Director General of Health Services, Delhi.

    1968:- A Union List of Learned American Serials in Indian Libraries. Indian Council for Library Development.

    The 1960s also saw a large number of ILA and IASLIC national seminars devoted to the concept of library cooperation. However, with the advent of computers in library work, a change occurred. It is reported that the first use of computer in library work for the production of the Union List of Serials in 1964 using the IBM/602 machine at INSDOC. Since then library automation has been a matter of primary importance in Indian Libraries. With the establishment of the National Informatics Center (NIC) in 1975 and the development of NICNET in 1977, networking and communication technology in India received a major boost. This as a whole had a major influence in resource sharing among various libraries and information centers through networks. In 1984, the working group of the Planning Commission headed by Dr. N. Seshagiri recommended modernization of library services and inter linking of library systems in the seventh plan. The 1990s are said to be the golden period of library networking in India. There has been a plethora of publications and seminars on library networking during this period. Today besides INFLIBNET, there are various local library networks in India such as ADINET, BONET, BALNET, CALIBNET, DELNET, MALIBNET, MYLIBNET, and PUNENET etc.

    We therefore notice that the efforts made for library cooperation in the 20th century began with the compilation of union catalogues, as no co-operation could be effective without the knowledge of the resources of other libraries. The scope of co-operations soon took big leap. It became diversified and incorporated the various activities of the libraries such as Abstracting and Indexing, Acquisition, Bibliographic access, cataloguing, Circulations development, continuing education for staff and users, literature searching, management and accounting, microfilming, photo coping, processing, referral services, storage and union lists.


1.1.2    Resources Sharing : Meaning, Need and Scope 



Resources sharing is sharing of library resources such as document collection, staff members, technical facilities and mechanical aids among the participating libraries on the basic principle of cooperation, "All for one and one for all". In this respect it is possible to consolidate the document collection of participating libraries, exchange their technical capabilities and share their services. In this way it is possible to share the resources to provide on access to the vast amount of library and information sources to a larger user community at the least-cost. The objective of resource sharing is obviously to make the greatest amount of best information available to the most users at the reasonable cost.

Thus Resources sharing is a need-based concept founded on the sound principles of give and take. It is not the quantum of exchange but the real desire to do so, that is essential to become part and parcel of the important programme of resource sharing activities.



There has been a voluminous growth of published documents in the recent part. As a result no library in able to procure, process or store all documents that its users demand. According to Kent " it is difficult to anyone single library to acquire even one percent of the total document published in the world" due to one or more of the following reasons:

(i) Growth of Knowledge in different subjects

(ii) Rapid increase of literature and growth of publication

In the second half of the 20th century, the growth of new publication became unmanageable for traditional libraries. Its impact was felt primarily in major programs and later by the smaller libraries. In the field of Science and Technology alone about three million documents are published each year which includes articles, conference papers, books, technical reports and these the rate doubles every eight to ten years according to V.A. Kamath. There has been an alarming growth lately in journal articles.

According to Faxton Company in USA, the number of journal titles rose from 38,079 in 1974 to 1,04,714 in 1989 an increase of 175 percent

According to Conen, Two articles are generated in the sciences alone every minute or over 10 lakh articles a year. Also fast production of literature takes in different places in different formats and in different subjects

(iii) Increasing trend of new born subjects and specialization

(iv) Limitations of funds

(v) Increase in the cost of publications

(vi) Increase in the number of members of user community teachers, scholars and students in universities.

(vii) The information needs of academic community being wide in scope and varied in nature

(viii) Such information needs being often repetitive and recurring

(ix) Lack of environment to make use of available computer and communication technology for efficient and production use in libraries.

Therefore some resource sharing is necessary between one library and another library to acquire more information in a specific subject with low cost as published records are increasing at on incredible rate and their prices are keeping pace, is such circumstances library cooperation will assume a pivotal role and resources sharing will become the focal point of cooperation.


The idea of resource sharing for a long time was restricted to the area of lending of books and periodicals now it has become diversified and incorporated the various activities of the libraries such as abstracting and indexing, acquisition, bibliographic access, Cataloging circulation, collection development continuing education for staff and user, literature searching management and accounting, microfilming photo coping , processing, referral services, storage and union lists. The resource sharing in modern times is helpful in the following four main activities.

Acquiring books – selection, ordering and purchase, etc

Recording books- cataloging and classification

Making them available –their own books by consultations and lending books not held by them by borrowing from elsewhere

Storing books – for present and future uses

Shared acquisition:

The shared acquisition involves procurement of books, periodicals and other materials from publishers and booksellers of foreign and own country through mutual agreement among the participating libraries. By the process of shared acquisition the saving of money and time, avoiding wasteful duplications and building up a sound and large cumulative collection is possible. The savings on this count may be utilized for further utilization of documents to enrich the library collection.

All the acquisition activities such as placing order, reminding the suppliers, passing bills and other activities, besides book selection can be reduced to a great extent through co-operative acquisition of documentation. This may bring down cost, care discount and save time and labor of individual libraries participating in the system. The various problems associated with subscribing foreign journals can be avoided through cooperative acquisition.

Shared cataloguing:

The processing of library materials is claimed to be the highest shares of bottleneck in library work. Serious attentions being paid to document processing under the concept or resource sharing. The shared cataloguing projects of USA, UK, Australia and Canada have shown how processing work could be done very effectively, and economically, saving lot of time, effort and money. The on-line computer Library center (OCLC) project and the library of congress shared cataloging projects have shown how shared processing of library documents can undertaken and how the individual libraries can save their time and lab our.

Future Scenario:

The future scenario of resources sharing could be termed as `Global resources sharing interconnections’ Not only are these interconnection going to grow because of INTERNET and electronic publishing, but their growing trends are felt at various regional groupings two. There will be a gradual move towards greater integration of services and resources sharing.


1.1.3     Resource Sharing through Network


As indicated earlier, the past few decades have witnessed knowledge and information explosion the world over and inadequate financial resources to do the best in terms of dissemination of knowledge and information. Under these circumstances, resource sharing and cooperative functioning of libraries and information centres through networking becomes vital. Efficient resource sharing can be achieved by using recent advances in Information Technology, i.e. networking of libraries and information centres through Local Area Networks, Metropolitan Area Networks, Wide Area Network and so on.

Network of information/Resource sharing is to use the computer and telecom link for transmission of information or data from one library to another. Keeping this concept in view, various library networks have been established for cooperation and resource sharing among libraries. They have grown mostly during the last thirty years in different geographical environments in order to cater to the specific needs of users. In the United States, there has been a proliferation of them. Library networks in other countries are also growing. Several models have emerged that provide specific services. Not all networks conform to the essential functions of library networks. However, it is noted that the essential functions should include:



In India, as elsewhere, economic pressures, enormous growth of publications and emergence of subject specialization have compelled the libraries and information centres to think of sharing the information resources and optimizing the use of existing resources within India as well as from abroad through various networking systems. Some of the notable networks in India are NICNET, ERNET, SIRNET, INDONET and INET. In addition, there is a major initiative from the University Grants Commission called INFLIBNET, interconnecting universities, colleges and resource institutions countrywide.


As stated earlier, INFLIBNET, a national level resource sharing of university libraries was set up in 1986 under Professor Yashpal Kapoor, the Chairman of UGC, INFLIBNET is a multiple functions/service network with focus on resource sharing and cooperation through computer communication links. It is very useful to all libraries and their readers. For this purpose, it is possible to create data banks in different subject fields, produce a number of bibliographical tools and information services. It is also possible to conserve a lot of library resource avoiding duplication at the national level.

But under the present conditions, it is not congenial to initiate a network of libraries at the national level, because all universities in India depend on the finance from central and state governments. The various universities have their own district characteristics based on factors such as geographical, linguistic and political. Each university library is following its own pattern and procedure in its routine work. For this reason, there is no uniformity and standardization. However, such a networking can be initiated in a limited environment, regional or state level.


In India, formation of a network of university libraries in all states is possible only if the concerned administrative and professional staff and supporting agency make a sincere attempt in this direction. They should plan to co-ordinate programmes of all universities in the state to form a uniform academic calendar. They have to establish a body like Council of Higher Education to initiate a network of libraries in the state say KAULIBNET (Karnataka State University Library Network) in the interest of larger academic community. They should bring all the affiliated colleges within the fold of state level library network and extend the services to colleges.

It is not difficult to bring uniformity and adopt a standard procedure in all participating libraries within the state. After achieving the success in running the network at the state level, it is possible to link all such state level networks to the national level network. Further, it will not be difficult to link university libraries network with specialized networks in the field of library and information in India, using sophisticated modern technology and satellite facilities.


Specialized library networks have come up for individual cities like DELNET, CALIBNET, MALIBNET, PUNENET, BALNET, ADINET, BONET, MYLIBNET, etc. These networks are meant essentially for providing a centralized database of library information to be accessed by its user libraries, mostly in a particular city for the purpose of resource sharing.

In the present day of limited resources, it is imperative that an integrated view of these networks and National Information Systems and Centres on the possibility of sharing resources among them should be taken to explore avoiding duplication of efforts, materials and resources and maximizing the utilization as they form the base for successful networking. Access through any network in the globe can be obtained virtually through INTERNET which is widely used international network.


1.1.4     Criticism of Resource Sharing


Resource sharing, despite its various advantages, has certain disadvantages too. The critics voice concern on the following points:



The criticism of resource sharing is no doubt sound and partially valid. But there seems to be no alternative to this. INSDOC’s document supply service is an example which has been continuing for over the last four decades. INSDOC sources approximately 28,000 orders annually.

We may conclude that Library co-operation is the key to the successful functioning of a library and without it, it cannot provide effective service to its users. Without cooperation, it is impossible to start sharing of resources. We notice that the sharing of resources can help:


1.1.5 Steps to Promote Resource Sharing through Network

As we have seen networking of libraries is essential for sharing of library resources, the same should be promoted at local, regional, national and international level. Following steps are to be taken to promote resource sharing through networks:


1. Important libraries, information centres and institutions get their catalogues and     bibliographies prepared in machine readable form to provide computer aided information services to users and promoting automation of the functions in their libraries such as cataloguing, circulation, preparation of bibliographies, union catalogue, etc.


2. To promote sharing of resources among the libraries in India by developing and disseminating information and by offering computerized services to the users.


3. To optimize information resources utilization through shared cataloguing, interlibrary loan services, catalogue production, collection development and avoiding duplication in acquisition to the extent possible.


4. Encourage cooperation among libraries, documentation centers and information centers so that pooled resources can augment weaker resources centers.


5. The promotion of non-bibliographic databases in India, especially by National Informatics Center has enabled institutions to perfect computer and networking technology.


6. In house functions like acquisition, cataloguing, classification, serial control, circulation, SDI, current awareness services, etc; the network should support these library operations and the libraries should use the data in the central port for this purpose.


7. The participating libraries should follow the rules and regulations of the network and be willing to create bibliographic records according to standards laid down.


8. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR-2) should be used as the code for cataloguing. It will help in creation of standard records.


9. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) should be used as a guide for creating subject descriptors. Other thesauri available on specialized subjects could also be used whenever needed in specialized libraries.


10. The network should provide technical assistance to participating libraries in the creation of bibliographic databases.


11. A panel of experts should be maintained for providing assistance to libraries.


12. A central host machine should be installed for creating a union catalogue, combining catalogues of all participating libraries.


13. As libraries in India use mainly Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) and Classified Catalogue Code (CCC) for classification of books, it would not be within the means and worth the effort to have one classification scheme in all participating libraries.


14. The network should promote inter-library service and sharing of foreign periodicals should be attempted. As far as possible, foreign exchange should be saved on avoidable duplication titles. A courier service should be established to support the sharing of resources.


15. All serials should also be published in electronic format and the availability of serials in electronic format, either outline or CD-ROM.


16. Most of the abstracting and indexing services have cumulated the entries forming into databases, which can be searched online.


17. Networking activities should increase in India. Government should take an interest in this field. Some of the important networks established are NICNET, I-NET, ERNET, SIRNET, INFLIBNET.


Thus we see that with this network, we can pool together all resources of all libraries, resources of all universities, colleges, research institutions, various departments and also the resources of individuals. It will be possible for us to acquire a greater number of information sources taken together in all the libraries in the country. These can inter-connect people, i.e. students, teachers, researchers, users, etc. It is, therefore, assumed and expected that in order to have quick access by educated or creative member of the society to whatever is happening in their own country or the world over, networks are considered as a boon.




1.2.1     Information Technology                                                                                          Top


Information technology simplifies the coming together of the disciplines of electronic, computer hardware and software, communication (in particular telecommunications), artificial intelligence and human machine interface. UNESCO has defined information technology as

"The Scientific, technological and engineering disciplines and the management techniques used in information handling and current interaction with men and machines and associated social, economic and cultural matters".

It acts as one of the major tools to shape our society and our institutions – particularly our libraries as one of the most important influences in education, culture and society. Information technology, through the melding of computer technology with communications, digital imaging and full-motion video and sound, can be a powerful ally to improve education and thus improving skills for gainful employment. Cut, in order to do this, libraries and librarians will have to change. If the right changes are made by libraries of every persuasion, there would be a good information technologies. These systems would become major information delivery systems to a wide variety of societal segments.


1.2.2      Information Technology : Its impact on Information and Communication Media


The rapid and exponential growth of information has made it necessary for librarians and information scientists to employ new techniques to cope with the massive proliferation of literature in all subject fields. Research in the science and social sciences has led to high productivity in document publication. To bring this vase amount of information under bibliographic control and to render it useful and accessible to potential users is a great task. The information is valuable only if its is retrieved timely and cost effective. The scientific application of knowledge has necessitated to keep abreast of the latest information and makes necessary to keep interaction with working in advanced and frontier areas. So, in this age of information explosion/overload, keeping track of information resource and managing the same are the key to achievement and success.


Acquisition, organization, delivery and storage of information have always been the main tasks of any real library. Emerging new technologies offer new ways of handling these tasks. We can summarize the impact of ever renewing information technology on communication media and information in the following manner:



Technology (Form Old to New)

1. Communication

  • Personal Travel
  • Postal
  • Teleconferencing
  • Teletext
  • Satellite transmission

2. Inputting

(Primary Format)

  • Oral Presentation
  • Writing & Typing
  • Word processing
  • Optical scanning through computer

3. Multiplication

  • Printing
  • Computer Visual Display Terminals
  • Video discs and cassettes
  • Computerized photo printing

4. Storage

  • Book shelves & Pamphlet
  • Microform storage devices
  • Computer based digital and analogue storage

5. Information

  • Browsing through surrogates in catalogue and through shelves
  • Browsing through on-line terminals
  • Database software



1.2.3 Information Technology Environment


Computers have made possible the availability of information and have brought many benefits in library and information systems and services. The computers’ application to the information storage, retrieval and dissemination are the inevitable consequences of the information explosion/overload. The application of computers to information storage and retrieval has brought new possibilities of automatic indexing and free text searching for the words or phrases on the subject, which is likely to occur in any document, and the computer is set to read entire document for the appropriate words or phrases. The development of digital representation of information has made the computer an effective tool for data processing. The qualitative changes in design and architecture of computers and their software have enlarged the sphere or computer applications in library and information centers. The computers are of great significance with the advancement of telecommunication and reprography technologies in the library automation. When computers interconnected by some of the modern communicable vehicles, i.e. through networking one can have information over vast distances in no times.


1.2.4 Applications  of  IT                                                                                                             Top

Information Technology provides an excellent opportunity for library professionals to manage themselves better. Application of communication technology and electronic data processing of information have made a great impact on libraries and information centres, and the computers and associated facilities have come to be recognized as indispensable for accurate storage, processing, retrieval and dissemination of information. All librarians should be perfectly familiar with the benefits of modern technology and perform efficiently. The main features of the recent development in Information Technology can be briefed as follows:

These have led to the development of

There has been a very considerable increase in the amount of information available in the form of full-text documents, bibliographical references, factual and numerical data and at the same time increase in the complexity of information handling and storage system.


a. Computerized databases/Library software

In this modern scientific world, manual handling of information has become difficult and complicated. This old system is not accurate and speeding to channetise the information. In order to meet these problems, computerized databases like CDS/ISIS and other advanced useful library packages have already been set up in advanced countries like USA, UK, Germany, Japan and other developed countries. In developing countries, cheaper databases like CDS/ISIS and others are going to be used, in few cases these are widely used but in majority cases, they are still unfamiliar with the utilities of these library software.

In India, along with the use of CDS/ISIS, many purposeful packages like Sanjay, Libsis, Granthalaya, Basisplus, Techlibplus, Libris, Librarian-4 and other relevant packages have come into existence. These innovative software packages are helping the modern librarians in processing and distributing the information and extending the scope of sophisticated kinds of information technology.

Many hardware industries like Wipro and Penguin India Ltd. Have come forward in manufacturing library-relevant packages which give users almost instant access to a large portion of scientific and technological knowledge by means of On-line communication technology.


b. Computerized services

Since information literature grows at exponential rate causing problem of space for storage and speedy utilization of vast amount of information, the librarians may take advantages of the computer while searching and retrieving the required information useful to users. The computers are being increasingly used in library and information services for information processing and repackaging of information and on improving products and services of Library and Information Centers. In modern days, many librarians prefer to adopt computers because of their following advantages:

Recently, there has developed an awareness of the importance of computers and librarians have started using non-book materials for information transfer. Librarians can utilize computers in their various house keeping activities and information services as mentioned below:


(i) Computerized services – Technical section

The technical processing desires occupies significant role in the channel of library administration. Computerization of these services would facilitate the library staff as well as information seekers while searching the relevant information.

(ii) Computerized Services – Circulation section

Computerized information facilitates the librarians to deal with day-to-day operations, planning and decision making. This is an informative package useful to the library managers and other subordinate staff for carrying out their regular work and routine processing of the transactions. For example, facts such as book orders, bills and other matters must be available to them to carry out daily works efficiently. If this information is made available speedily, library staff can do routine duties perfectly and promptly.

(iii) Computerized Services Periodical section

The acquisition and processing of periodicals are common functions in academic, special and public libraries. In order to maintain and process the details, a library has to maintain large volumes of various registers. The maintenance of register is tedious and every year a large set of data has to added. Accession registers occupy much space and they are expensive. Manual cataloguing also may not be at uniform standard. It is time consuming and difficult to maintain the large set of data also. Manual calculations are likely to have errors and it is difficult to check all types of errors. To a librarian the modern technology would have a great boon.


c. Networking and Network based services

In this information age, with enormous growth of publication and emergence subject specialization and economic pressures on libraries, it has become essential for the libraries and information centers to think of sharing the information resources among libraries and optimizing the use of existing resources thought the use of computer and telecommunication technology by establishing various networking systems.

Through library networking, users can scan and monitor the information they require, which a particular library doesn’t hold but other library holds that particular information, without loss of time and at a minimum cost. Resource sharing networks offer:

Access through any network in the globe can be obtained virtually through INTERNET which is widely used international network.

Automated libraries can also help sharing of information through CD-ROM networking. With the increasing tend in electronic publications particularly on CD-ROMs and networks, automated libraries are going to be converted into electronic libraries. The introduction of multi-user and multi task CD-ROM systems has made more economic for most of the organizations, especially where the same data or database are required for several users.

It is relevant to monitor that a number of Indian libraries have a status of rich document collection. Through automation and networking, these rich resources can be put to best possible are not only in their respective states but even outside whenever there would be demand for the information.





As stated earlier, libraries should adopt the new sophisticated information technology tools to provide accurate and instant information and to cope up with the demands of new knowledge, the enormous increase in the collection of documents, their problems of storage, dissemination and retrieval of information. Today, the term `Library Automation’ is used to refer "the extensive use of mechanical, electronic or micro-electronic equipments to perform the functions and activities associated with the libraries, such as acquisition, serial control, cataloguing and circulation and also to library and information services and networking". Computers are used in libraries to assist in a number of library routines necessary for efficient day-to-day functioning what we call `house keeping activities’. They are also used for formatting and generation of indexes.

The computers are of great significance with the advancement of telecommunication and reprography technologies in the library automation – when computers interconnected by some of the modern communication vehicles, one can have information over vast distances in no time. The computers are being increasingly used in library and information services for information processing and repackaging of information and on improving products and services of library and information centers. They offer a versatile tool for organization and retrieval of information.


1.3.1  House Keeping Activities                                                                                                      Top


Library took necessary for efficient day-to-day functioning and falling into the area of `house keeping’ consist of procedure for acquisition, cataloguing, circulate and serial control.

(a) Acquisition

Acquisition and ordering systems in libraries cover the selection, ordering and accessioning of items into the library’s collection. Computers are used:

The detailed input to an acquisition system covers


Selection of new books can be done from commercially available services which disseminate information about forthcoming documents, or directly from MARC tapes or any local inputs.

Two files are maintained in a computer-based acquisition system. One is the main file containing records of all current orders. The second is a file with the names and addresses of booksellers used by the library. A code number for each bookseller links the two files, so that booksellers information is not repeated in the order file. The system prints out the orders addressing the appropriate supplier printing of orders can also be done on special pre-printed stationery that can be sent directly to the book-seller.

By checking with the date of entering the order record into the file, `chasers’ can be sent to the booksellers, if no information regarding the order has been received within a predetermined time.

When the item is received in the library, the order record with the bibliographic details becomes the basis of the catalogue record. The edited record is merely added to the catalogue file in an integrated system.

Other processes that can be performed by a computerized acquisition system are:

(b) Circulation control

This is one library service that is most accessible to computerization. The advantages are especially seen in the amount of time saved in issue and discharge routines, and the avoidance of bottlenecks, which are the basic of any library.

Circulation systems using computers have the details of the book issued and the person borrowing it is entered on files. Dates of return are on the basis of the period of loan (one week, a fortnight etc). Daily check of the files will identify what books are due or overdue and notices can be typed and sent to the users who have borrowed them. Provision for reservation data will make it possible to pick out these books for which there is a request and a user can be asked to return that particular book.

The circulation process in a computerized system depends on giving unique identification codes to books and to users. An accession number or a call number can be used as this is a unique identification key for a book. Users can be given individual identity codes.


(c) Cataloguing

Cataloguing includes the job of describing, recording and displaying details of the holdings of the library. Computers are used to aid in the production, maintenance and updating of catalogues. The quality of the catalogue depends ultimately on the cataloguer. In other words, initial input data is still the cataloguer’s work.

Bibliographic details are gathered from relevant sources or from the acquisitions system. Usually there is one main or master file for the holdings of the library, and a temporary file for cumulating the additional records, because printing the master file is done only once in while.

After initial input of the records, the computer can perform simple tests on the record structure, and errors can be located and checked. Again, if a basic record structure of a package format as that of the CDS/ISIS is used, entry of data becomes a very simple process. The computer can be asked to generate added entries, if required, which can later be sorted into the main file. Separate listings for authors, subject and key points of access can be created. A postings file and an inverted index helps the computer search and display record relevant to a specific query.

(d) Serials Control

Serial control through the use of the computer is perhaps one of the most complicated tasks of housekeeping. This is perhaps because of the literally unpredictable nature of serial publications. Some of the functions of the serials control system that can be handled by the computer are:

i. listing of serials holdings;

ii. accessioning of serials (which includes relation, ordering, checking-in, renewal of subscription, studying notices when issues are not received.

(i) Listing of Serials holdings : is basically producing a catalogue of serials. However with serials, there are problems relating to change in title, periodicity etc. A listing system will depend on the bibliographic record for each serial being available in machine readable form. From a master file of such serials records, individual listing can be made based on title, subject, publishers/ suppliers etc. Union lists of serials holdings by librarians within a geographic region can also be produced by computer.

(ii) Accessioning of serials : must take into account receipt of issues, and periodicity of the serial, likely date or receipt in order to be able to send claims notices to suppliers for items not received, and to update the holding file. To predict the arrival of periodical parts. Each record must contain information about the publication pattern of the serial. This relates to the number of volumes per calendar year, number of parts per volume supplements, if any, the pattern of numbering parts, and the frequencies of publication. Algorithms can be written with reference to the real calendar which use information on the details given above, to predict the arrival of each issue. Prediction cards called `chaser’ notices can be sent to the suppliers when an issue is overdue. Details of the suppliers and the price per volume are necessary for the system to handle subscription, renewals and accounting functions.


1.3.2 Information Search and Retrieval


Creation of bibliographic databases has become one of the essential and key activities of library automation. The search process on a computerized database has many advantages over search from a catalogue by manual methods in term of speed, and accuracy. Any library or information can create first a set of machine readable records of its holdings, based on a structured format, or using a database package like the CDS/ISIS.

Users can search the database through key terms of author, subject or title, which are formulated into a search expression using Boolean operators (logical connections AND, NOT OR). Computer will display relevant terms/records that match the terms of the user’s request. Current Awareness listings, Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) and retrospective searches are the services where the computer capabilities can be used very effectively. Index generation is another area where computer are generally of use. Computer can be used to format the entries in a permuted index and also to generate the entries for an index. Keywords can be derived from the bibliographical description, or assigned to describe the document (subject keys) and then put into the required format. KWIC indexes for instance, can be produced from titles of documents, with keywords and content generation performed by the computer. Stop lists of put forward lists prevent words like `a’, `the’, `of’, etc. from being used as the key terms. Fully automatic indexing can also be done through statistical analysis and word frequency counts with weighting, provided the text is machine-readable form.


1.3.3     Advantages of Library Automation                                                                              Top


Library automation or computer applications in library and information functions and services has the following advantages:

(i) Speed

Information processing is done much faster which ensures better work flow through the library.

(ii) Accuracy

The degree of precision and accuracy in processing information is high. However, it is dependent on the accuracy of information led into the system.

(iii) Cost effectiveness

Operating costs can be reduced if the system is well designed and well managed.

(iv) Reduction in library work loads

Library workloads can be reduced as the computer can do vast amount of work and processing.

(v) Improved services to users

High rate and better quality in performance is possible through the use of computers.

(vi) Avoids/eliminates duplication of work.

(vii) Easier access to external databases

(viii) Providing on-line access and search of information possible.


Looking at the advantages of Library automation in library functions and services, it is highly recommended that libraries/information centers should follow the same in India, as here more than 97% libraries are still using the traditional and orthodox systems in their library services. India should keep pace with the changing scenario and acknowledge and utilize the computers as an internal part of library house keeping and services as libraries in the USA, UK, Japan and other countries are making their full use.


























Copyright © 2001 Pawan Kumar Jha. All rights reserved.
October, 2001
Hauz Khas,New Delhi-110016

Note: The Dissertation is based on the sources mentioned in the "References"