Academic library; heart of the institution

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Academic Library, Dhaka University Library, University Library

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Academic library; heart of the institution

  1. 1. Assignment Topic: Academic Library; Heart of the InstitutionSubmitted to;Md. Anwarul IslamLecturerDepartment of Information Science & Library ManagementUniversity of DhakaSubmitted by;Rajib Hossain KhanRoll no.: 383rd year 5th semesterDepartment of Information Science & Library ManagementUniversity of Dhaka
  2. 2. Academic Library; Heart of the InstitutionLibrary is an important intellectual resource of the academic community. It helps to anacademic institution members for their ‘self development’ to fulfill the curriculumrequirements & to promote studies & research. The primary characteristic of a good academiclibrary is to make complete identification with its own institution. The main objective ofacademic library is to function as an auxiliary to parent institution in carrying out its teachingprogramme effectively.Definition: A library attached to any educational institution is known as academic library.According to Harrod’s Librarians’ Glossary, academic libraries are, “those of universities,polytechnics, colleges, schools, & all other institutions forming part of or associated with,educational institutions”.According to Online Dictionary for Library & Information Science academic library is, “A librarythat is an integral part of a college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education,administered to meet the information & research needs of its students, faculty, & staff”.Types: In general the education system comprises of three divisions namely; School, College, &University. Libraries attached to these academic institutions are also divided in the same wayas; i. School library ii. College library iii. University libraryUniversity library is expected to cater to the varied needs of graduates, post-graduates,research scholars & faculty members. As a result university library is only treated as the heart ofthe academic institution.University Library: For higher education the university library is the center of learning &intellectual activity. Each university has a central library attached to it & may have manyconstituent libraries attached to different teaching departments or the constituent colleges.According to Hamlin, there are three functions of university library; i. Conservation of knowledge ii. Extension of knowledge (Research) iii. Transmission of knowledge (Teaching)
  3. 3. Thus the university library is not merely a store house of books, yet it is a dynamic agency toassists the scholars & researchers in carrying out their pursuits in the advancement ofknowledge by making use of documents in libraries.Prime arguments behind the statement: Here we will present some arguments concernedtowards the consideration of ‘university library is the heart of the academic institution’. 1. The university library holds enormous amount of collection of books & periodicals which are basic requirements of the students in preparing their assignments, presentations, & notes. 2. The library holdings are arranged scientifically according to any standard classification scheme which helps the students of different disciplines in locating their required documents. 3. Cataloguing service provides the bibliographical & other relevant information of the holdings which aids the user having any particular document being charged or reserved. 4. Reference activities solve the users problem that which kind of information source will provide his/her required information & also serve the reference materials for use inside the library. 5. Circulation department of the library lends documents to identified users which ensure thorough scanning of the documents. 6. Access to online journals helps the researchers to absorb the newly generated idea in his field of research. 7. Current awareness services make the students, faculty members, & researchers conscious about the new trends in their field of specialization. 8. Though SDI is one form of CAS but it is designed to save the time of the researcher & put every newly obtained document in front of them to justify their relevancy. 9. In this age of knowledge explosion indexing & abstracting services assists the user to keep themselves in track of documents in their respective discipline. 10. Access to audio-visual materials amplifies the range of knowledge recording medium. 11. Library websites are playing a great role in terms of user orientation & customer relations. 12. Collection of MS & PhD theses of the former prominent students guides the follower. 13. In case the library lacks any particular document then it offers inter library loan which make sure that the user at least have not been deprived. 14. By sending an email users can get printed or electronic document delivery services without visiting the library. 15. Digital repositories of the library promote 24-hours remote access. 16. Access to subject gateways is provided to help library users discover high quality information on the internet in a quick & effective way.
  4. 4. 17. Libraries provide access to web based course materials to the learners & faculty members & thus contribute to open learning. 18. Availability of bibliographic databases in electronic form on CD-ROM or online, offers convenient, efficient & cost effective information retrieval.Logical analysis of the arguments: Now we will analyze the above arguments on the basis ofsome broad terms; 1. OPAC: OPAC provides access to the catalogue through a computer terminal. OPAC allows searching the entire catalogue online, conveniently & quickly, using one or more search criteria. One can for example, search by author, title, subject, keywords, call number or one or more of these combined together. OPAC even shows the current status of a book, whether it is loaned out, available on the shelf or lying elsewhere. If a user searches any document by title, he may find the search result of relevant items in the following form; Title: Reader in the Academic Library Author: Reynolds, Michael M. Call number: 025 RER Publisher: National Cash Register Co. Year: 1970 Available at: Central Library Details Apart from searching, OPAC allows remote users to avail certain online services like book reservations, loan request for postal loan, loan renewals, membership application, address change, suggesting books, etc. 2. Online Journal: Now a day, academic institutions are encouraging the students to read online journals & give the references of online journals in the class. As a result university libraries are providing link to online journals through their website for remote & multiple access. Users can access online journals through IP address. They can print &
  5. 5. CD-write the required online journal according to copyright act. Offline products such as CD-ROM/DVD are also available in the library.3. Virtual Reference Service: University libraries are now adopting asynchronous tools such as email, subject gateways, FAQs, & electronic libraries & interactive tools like chat rooms, virtual reference desk, & ask-me in order to provide virtual reference service. Ask-a-librarian allows the user to click on ask-a-librarian link to send a formatted query to the reference librarian. The reference librarian either provides an answer, link to resources or link to subject expert. Interactive tools now allow a reference interview online. In some university libraries, a reference librarian is available online to chat with library users for any query regarding library via instant message, which is possible due to Meebo software.4. CAS: University libraries are now compiling current awareness bulletins using predefined search strategy & running on the database either on CD-ROM or online periodically & getting the desired output.5. SDI: Some university libraries are now providing SDI services by forming group email. For example, those researchers, who are interested in ‘Library Automation’, can fill up a web form & be a member of ‘Library Automation Group’. Their common email address will be libraryautomation@yahoogroups.com . When library obtains any new information on that particular topic then an email is sent to every member of the group using the common email address.6. Lending: Document lending through circulation desk by using barcode technology ensures accuracy in issue, return, charging for over dues, user registration, renewal, overdue notice, & reservation etc.7. Website: Now-a-days, university libraries are maintaining website which inform the user about the libraries opening hours, facilities, policies & rules, history, resources & services etc. Other features of the library website are; Catalog search Advanced search Category search Online journal Service category Helpdesk Circulation Issue systemA large number of libraries now host their up-to-date holdings on their website & can besearched on internet.
  6. 6. 8. Web-based Course material: A large number of web based course ware & teaching aids are being developed to facilitate flexible open learning by many universities. As a result university libraries have adopted such course materials for their clients. 9. Audio-visual materials: The new multimedia of audio CD, video CD (VCD), & digital video disks (DVD), have the advantage of higher storage capacity, random access & longer life. Many university libraries allow their members to borrow these. 10. Inter-Library Loan: Resource sharing through inter-library loan is a necessity for the university libraries. It provides online access to the catalogue of other libraries database which is crucial to inter library lending. 11. Electronic Theses & Dissertations: A large number of university libraries have converted their theses & dissertation collection into digital format & have made it available on internet for remote & multiple access. 12. Digital Collection: University libraries are now acquiring digital resources which hold many advantages such as time & place convenience, ability to search directly on text, ability to link to further reading material, & ability to disseminate & share information.Dhaka University Library Perspective: Dhaka University library was established in 1921 as anintegral part of the Dhaka University. It is the oldest & largest library of the country. Since 1990the library has been using computer in its operational activities. It was 1998 when DhakaUniversity Library Automation Project was undertaken. As a part of this project GLAS softwarewas used for the automation of the library operation. Now-a-days, a new software is used forautomation under the DULAP project which is made by the local vendor. Students, facultymembers & researchers can search the library catalog online, through OPAC. Circulation, serialcontrols are still running manually. In spite of some limitations, DU library is trying it’s best toserve it’s users in the best possible way. Without the help of this library no researcher cancomplete their research work. So I can claim that partly it is true that, ‘the DU library is theheart of it’s parent body’.

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