Status of ict infrastructure in college libraries of karimganj district south assam a survey
Status of ICT Infrastructure in College Libraries of Karimganj District, South Assam: A Survey Kumarjit Paul MLISc Assam University Silchar E-mail: email@example.com Dr. Manoj Kumar Sinha Reader & Head, Department of Library and Information Science, Assam University Silchar E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Introduction College library holds a distinctive position as its services, organization and administration and also significantly contributes to the realization of the objective of college education. The nature and efficiency of the information services provided by the college libraries vary from one to another, owing to a whole range of interests of the user community. However, with the emergence of the computer and revolutionary changes in information and communication technology (ICT), it has become possible for a college library to provide a variety of technology based information services on the basis of user’s requirements and satisfaction with a wide range of interests, which was not possible earlier. Today, students require strong technology skills to succeed in every sphere of their endeavor. An automated library is one where a computer system is used to manage one or several of the library’s key functions such as Acquisitions, Circulation, Cataloguing, Serials control and the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC). Today we can see that most of our libraries either fully computerized or partially computerized.
Objectives of the StudyThe main objectives of the study were to explore the application and availability ofICT infrastructure in the colleges of Karimganj District. The study is conducted withthe following objectives-To find out the current status of ICT infrastructure in College libraries inKarimganj.To know the various areas of application of ICT in College Libraries.To compare the status of ICT infrastructure in College Libraries in Karimganj.To know the opinion of the librarians about the barriers in application of ICT inlibraries and their attitudes towards adopting the technology.To study the impact of ICT & other associate problems.To examine the perception of college librarians towards library automation/computerization.
Scope and De-limitations of the StudyThe status of ICT infrastructure and other associate problems of collegelibraries of Karimganj District has been taken into consideration for this study.The study does not cover the quality of services provided by the libraries andhence a user satisfaction survey was not undertaken.The field that we have undertaken to study is a vast one in its scope andcoverage and it is quite difficult for an individual to cover everything of all theaspects.Like other investigators, we also have certain constraints or limitations liketime-limit, financial resources, and sufficient authority to collect the requiredinformation. It may be mentioned that the inferences drawn are based primarilyon the perceptions of the respondents and we have made the interpretations afteranalyzing all the collected data.
Methodology Keeping in view the objectives of the study, an effort is made to evolve a suitable methodology for the research. The study has been designed, developed and carried out to determine and analyze the current status and use of ICT Infrastructure in College Libraries of Karimganj District, South Assam. The present study is a survey type of research using a structured questionnaire to collect data from all the college libraries. A well designed questionnaire is used as principal tool for the collection of data. Apart from questionnaire, interview and observation methods adopted for data collection. 10 questionnaires were distributed among the 10 librarians/ library i/c working in college libraries and all the respondents have responded. Therefore 100% response achieved.
What is Information Communication Technology? ICT is a powerful tool for extending educational opportunities both formal and non-formal to all sections of the society particularly to the un-served sections of population. Customarily, ICT refers to information, communication and technology. ICTs include hardware, processes and systems that are used for storing and managing communications and sharing of information. These tools can be either manual or computerized. ICT is defined by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as, “ICTs are basically information handling tools, they include the ‘old’ ICTs of radio, television and telephone, and the ‘new’ ICTs of computers, satellite and wireless technology and the Internet.
The General Aspects of College LibrariesTable-1: Year of Establishment of the Surveyed Colleges Name of the College Status of Libraries Year of Total Collection Number of Staff Establishment Karimganj College 1946 34,796 06 R. S. Girls College 1962 19,710 03 R. K. Nagar College 1964 5,552 02 N.C. College 1969 28,180 03 Karimganj Law College 1985 1,352 02 Patherkandi College 1990 3,268 04 Nilambazar College 1994 2,106 02 Chargola Public 1994 903 01 CollegePatherkandi B.Ed. College 1995 7,172 04Vivekananda B.Ed. College 1995 6,657 03 Source: Returned Questionnaire
Table-2: Status of Automation of the Surveyed Colleges Name of the Status of Automation College Commencement of Fully Partially Not Automation Provided Karimganj College 2005 R. S. Girls College 2006 R. K. Nagar College 2008 N.C. College 2002 Karimganj Law College Patherkandi College Nilambazar College Chargola Public College Patherkandi B.Ed. College Vivekananda B.Ed. College Source: Returned Questionnaire
Areas of Automation adopted in College LibrariesComputers are being used for different activities in the library. There arevarious areas in in automating a library which needs systematic plan and workfor the smooth and accurate information. The areas of automation taken up bythe libraries are shown in a table as under (Table-3): Table-3: Status of Automation of the Surveyed Colleges Areas Completed Partly Started Not Total Completed Started Administration 1 1 1 7 10 Acquisition 1 2 _ 7 10 Cataloguing 1 2 1 6 10 Circulation 1 _ _ 9 10 Serial Control 1 1 _ 8 10 OPAC 4 - - 6 10 Source: Returned Questionnaire
ICT and other Infrastructure Facilities available in College Libraries Table-4: Status of Automation of the Surveyed Colleges Infrastructure Facilities Name of the TP Printer Fax SCR LCDP XX GR CC SC WC CollegeKarimganj College Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes YesR. S. Girls College Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No NoR. K. Nagar College Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No NoN.C. College Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes NoKarimganj Law College Yes No No No No No Yes No No NoPatherkandi College No No No No No No No No No NoNilambazar College Yes Yes No No No No No No No NoChargola Public College No No No No No No No No No NoPatherkandi B.Ed. Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No NoCollegeVivekananda B.Ed. Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No No NoCollege Total 8 7 3 5 3 4 7 4 2 1 Percentage (%) 80% 70% 30% 50% 30% 40% 70% 40% 20% 10% Note: TP; Telephone, SCR; Scanner, LCDP; LCD Projector, XX; Xerox, GR; Generator, CC; Client Computer, SC; Server Computer, WC; Web Camera. Source: Returned Questionnaire
Benefits of Using ICTUsers get benefits out of application of ICT in libraries. Four main aspects were mentioned andasked the respondents to respond on these. Library professional’s responses are presented in(Table-5): Table-5: Perception of Librarian’s towards Library Automation/Computerization and Benefits of ICT in Library Number of Libraries Response rate Aspects Yes No Not Mentioned Not Mentione d Saving of valuable 10 __ __ __ time? (100%) Helps in House 6 1 3 3 Keeping Operation? (60%) (10%) (30%) (30%) Giving accurate 3 5 2 2 results to user’s (30%) (50%) (20%) (20%) queries? Computer is 9 1 1 essential in college (90%) (10%) (10%) library? Source: Returned Questionnaire
Barriers in AutomationBarriers faced by the college libraries in regard to library automation/computerizationare shown in a table format to present better clarity (Table-6): Table 6: Reasons/ Barriers for not introducing Computer in Library Aspects Number of Library Response rate Yes No Total Insufficient of funds 9 1 10 (90%) (10%) (100%) Lack of infrastructure 10 __ 10 (100%) (100%) Lack of support from the concern 4 6 10 authority (40%) (60%) (100%) Application of Computer in the library is 8 2 10 not so easy (80%) (20%) (100%) Lack of skilled man power 4 6 10 (40%) (60%) (100%) Lack of commitment in college librarian 3 7 10 (30%) (70%) (100%) Lack of ICT knowledge 5 5 10 (50%) (50%) (100%) Inadequate staff training 8 2 10 (80%) (20%) (100%) Source: Returned Questionnaire
Major Findings There are 10 colleges in Karimganj District, affiliated to Assam University, Silchar. There is only 1(10%) college, which was established before 1947, the name of the college is Karimganj College. During 1990-1995, maximum (50%) numbers of colleges were established. Karimganj College library being the oldest library in the Karimganj District has more than 34,000 collections followed by Nabin Chandra College library more than 28,000 collection and R.S. Girls College library has around 20,000 collections. The gender-wise distribution of respondents shows that out of the whole 80% is comprised of male and 20% female. Highest number of respondents 60% is under the age group of above 41. And 40% respondents under the age group of 31-40. Karimganj College library has the highest number of professional staff (6). 40% college libraries having only 1- 2 library staff. In most of the college libraries librarian is the only professionally qualified staff. Only one (10%) college is having 8 computers. The process of computerization has been started only in 40% college libraries. It has been observed that out of 10 college libraries; only 1 library is fully automated that is N.C. College. And 30% libraries are partially automated. Only one library (10%) have own server system. 40% libraries mainly used SOUL 2.0. About 90% respondents gave opinion that computerization of library is essential. About 30% of the respondents gave opinion that automated system giving accurate results of users’ queries, 50% professionals do not agree and 20% not mentioned.
Suggestions and RecommendationsBased on the findings and views of the library professionals the following suggestions are put forward to improvethe ICT based facilities of college libraries and to enable the library professionals to utilize the ICT facilities moreeffectively, by improving their knowledge and skills in ICT applications and services in the library.Suggestions to College LibrariesCollege libraries in Karimganj District have to utilize effectively, the available resources to improve the ICTinfrastructure.The college librarians must take a leadership role to have long-term planning and well-defined strategy for ICTapplication. Libraries that have not introduced ICT till date should make plan to start the process at the earliest.In terms of choosing the library management software, college library should purchase integrated librarysoftware package, which has already been in use successfully in other libraries in the country.College libraries, besides cataloguing should start computerizing all other operations of different sections of thelibrary.The college libraries should switch over from the traditional system to the modern system to cope up with theever changing world of Science and technology.Setting up of LAN inside the library is suggested in colleges wherever possible in order to facilitate easy accessto library OPAC and to gain maximum benefits from computerized services.
Suggestions and Recommendations :-Suggestions to College AuthorityThe college authority should try to know the importance of ICT in today’s IT based Society.So they should initiate and plan the library for automation. For this they can seek funds fromUGC. Success depends on the decision taken by the authority of the college.The college authority should encourage the librarians through deputing them to attendtraining programs, seminars, conferences so that they may be acquainted with latesttechnologies.Librarians’ qualification is a most important pre-requisite for the development of the library.Hence the authority should appoint only those candidates as librarians who possessqualifications and experience as prescribed by UGC.The college should provide a separate library building and make space available for differentsections like, librarian’s chamber, stack room, reading room, reference section, periodicalsection, processing section, Internet section, Xerox room, etc. for the smooth functioning andmanagement of the library.Sufficient manpower should be provided to the library as per need for the effective andefficient management of the library.
Conclusion The innovations in ICT have brought revolutionary changes in creation, handling, processing, storage, and dissemination of digital information through communication network. Millions of millions digital information products are coming up day by day. There is a need for continuous monitoring of automation activities for improvement of the situation and for meeting the future needs. College libraries play a crucial role in dissemination of information services to the academicians, students, and teachers. The entire phenomenon is a joint venture where library professionals, library authorities, library users play the key role. All of them should come forward to make it a successful one by their full-fledged cooperation. Then only the college libraries of Karimganj District will prosper in new direction.