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Cloud computing for college library automation: A Point of View


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This paper discuss the emerging technology cloud computing and its potential advantages for college libraries to automate their library services

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Cloud computing for college library automation: A Point of View

  1. 1. Can Cloud Computing help for Government Colleges to Automate their Libraries? A Point of View Vasantha Raju N.1andN.S.Harinarayana2 1 Librarian, Government First Grade College, Periyapatna 2Associate Professor, Department of Library & Information Science, University of Mysore, Mysore Cloud computing is a computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow centralized data storage and online access to computer services or resources. This paper discusses about the cloud computing architecture and how it can be used in automating college libraries in general and government colleges in particular. This paper subsequently discusses the current status of library automation in Government Colleges and potential advantagesof implementing cloud computing for automating libraries. Keywords: Cloud Computing, Library Automation, College Libraries, Government Colleges, Karnataka 1. INTRODUCTION Ever since Internet is introduced in 1960s, it has radically altered the information landscape. The subsequent development in web technologies in relation to data storage and access has provided unprecedented advantages for making information available ubiquitously. The huge success of some of the Internet applications such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other similar Web 2.0 product brought the issue of storing and accessing information in a virtualized environment to the forefront of technological debate. Today, the Internet applications that we use, for instance Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter are hosted in a cloud environment, which provides 24/7 access to these tools (Anderson &Rainie,2010). The success of these Internet applications in cloud environment has aroused interest in business enterprises and other non-profit institutions such as educational institutions for having huge data storage and accessing capabilities for deploying required IT services for their user base through virtual or cloud computing environment. Cloud computing is “a style of computing in which massively scalable and elastic IT- enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies” (Gartner Group, 2009 Cited in Goldner, 2010). Cloud computing help 1 Corresponding Author: Vasantha Raju N. Librarian, Government First Grade College, Periyapatna. E-Mail:
  2. 2. libraries to shift from running independent systems for automating libraries by installing costly hardware, software and other necessary systems to collaborative environment where a group of libraries utilize same applications for converting their library holdings without owning hardware, software and other necessary systems. Thus libraries can save duplication of work and huge amount of money. In other words data on cloud can be easily shared with other libraries or organizations. The need for local storage, maintenance and data backup is not necessary in cloud environment. Many college libraries in Karnataka have a similar holdings, thus by introducing cloud computing automation of libraries can be done in much efficient and easy way. “The potential for collaboration between libraries is truly revolutionary in a cloud environment” says Matthew Goldner (2011). This paper discusses some the issues with regard to present status of library automation and how cloud computing architecture can help in overcoming some of the impediments that are hindering the library automation at the government degree colleges. 2. PRESENT STATUS OF AUTOMATION OF GOVERNMENT DEGREE COLLEGE LIBRARIES Library automation refers to the use of computers to automate the typical procedures of libraries such as cataloging, acquisition, circulation, serial control and other library administrative functions (Wikipedia, 2012). Library automation has not been quite a success in government colleges across Karnataka. Previous studies have found that man power, financial support and infrastructural facilities were the major impediments for library automation (Samptha Kumar &Biradar, 2010; Balasubramanya&Guruprasad, 2011). The Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) has making all effort to implement ICTs in college libraries but it has not been very fruitful till to date. Now the technological developments have provided opportunities to overcome the problems such as, lack of infrastructure (in-terms of hardware requirements), man-power and financial constraints. Table -1 depicts the automation status in some of the government college libraries in Mysore.
  3. 3. Table 1. Present Status of Automation of Government College Libraries in Mysore District Name of the College Status of Automation Data Entry (retro- conversion) Data entry done by Software Used Sri.D.DevarajUrs Government First Grade College 75.00% Library staff EasyLib Maharani's Science College for Women 50.00% Software Agency Library Manager Maharani's Arts College for Women 50.00% Software Agency Library Manager Government First Grade College - Krishnarajanagar 50.00% Software Agency Library Manager Government First Grade College-Kuvempu Nagar 40.00% Software Agency Library Manager Government First Grade College – Heggadevanakote 35.00% Software Agency Library Manager Government First Grade College-Bannur No No No Government First Grade College-Bilikere No No No Government First Grade College-Hanagodu No No No Government College for Women- Hootagalli(Vijaynagar) No No No Government First Grade College- Nanjanagudu No No No Government College for Women-Saligrama No No No Government First Grade College- Periyapatna No No No Government First Grade College- Siddartha Layout, Mysore No No No Government First Grade College- T.Narasipura No No No Government First Grade College- Ullahalli, Nanjangud No No No Government First Grade College for Women- Hunsur No No No Adopted from: “Problems in application of ICT in government colleges: A study of selected colleges in Mysore district” by P. Balasubramanya& D. S. Guruprasad, 2011, Paper presented at the National Conference on Managing College Libraries: Issues and Trends, JSS College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Mysore. It can be seen from Table 1 that, none of the government degree colleges in Mysore have successfully completed automation of library functions, only few colleges, have partially completed data entry of the manual cataloguing records. Major problems that these libraries have had in completing library automation in their respective libraries were lack of man power, lack of IT infrastructure and financial support. The software used for automating libraries was not supported in web environment. To overcome these problems in automating Government College libraries, one solution that we have now is ‘cloud computing’. Let us see, how cloud computing architecture can help college libraries to automate their libraries? 3. HOW CLOUD COMPUTING ARCHITECTURE CAN HELP COLLEGES TO AUTOMATE THEIR LIBRARIES?
  4. 4. The less dependency on infrastructure, avoiding duplication of work, integration of data and 24/7 access to data all have great potential in helping college libraries to automate library functions. Each of these functions is discussed succinctly in the following section. 3.1 Reduce dependency on infrastructure ( server and other hardware peripherals) As mentioned elsewhere in this paper that some of the impediments of automating college libraries were infrastructure, human resources and financial requirements. By using cloud computing, the required server and other hardware peripherals and software can be avoided. The service providers will provide data storage space required for hosting the software and also take care of the up gradation and maintenance of library management systems. The scalability of cloud computing help college libraries to pay for what they use rather investing huge capital amount for server and other hardware peripherals. For example, if a library use data storage space from service providers (e.g., Amazon EC2) only for that library entitle to pay the amount not for data storage systems (servers). 3.2 Duplication of work can be avoided One of the major advantage of cloud computing is the sharing of resources across libraries. Cloud computing is browser based technology. The data can be accessed ubiquitously and from anywhere. The data entered in library can be shared across other libraries. For instance, as we all familiar with Library of Congress (LoC) centralized library catalog which allow MARC record to be shared across member libraries. WorldCat is also best example of how OCLC member libraries involved in creating world union catalog. In a similar way, college libraries in Karnataka, by sharing their catalogues through cloud environment can reduce the duplication of work. Duplication of work thus reduces the man power requirement for automating library functions. 3.3Browser based technology (virtualization) 24/7 Access Cloud computing is based on browser based technology. Software, platforms on which applications are hosted can be accessed through web browsers. Content or information can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Since cloud computing is web-based model, if
  5. 5. any problem occurs at on-site, this can be rectified virtually without being present on- site for identifying problem. Thus work can be done quickly through Internet. 3.4Integration and exchange of data In cloud computing environment the integration of data across web applications are made simple. Library discovery tools can be enriched with integrating Google Book Search and Amazon web services. Data stored in one library can be shared with other libraries without much hassle. Text, multimedia and other interactive formats can be integrated and shared among web users. 4. CONCLUSION The cloud computing largely reduce the burden of having local hardware and software infrastructure, which is so far hindered the automation of library services in many of the college libraries in Karnataka or elsewhere. The paper showcases how library automation can be done without having in-house IT infrastructure to automate college libraries, which are very much in need of changing their outlook as the time evolves. REFERENCES Anderson, J. Q., &Rainie, L. (2010).The future of cloud computing. Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved from Balasubramanya, P., &Guruprasad, D.S. (2011, December).Problems in application of ICT in government colleges: A study of selected colleges in Mysore district. Paper presented at the National Conference on Managing College Libraries: Issues and Trends, JSS College of Arts, Commerce & Science, Mysore. Goldner, M. R. (2010). Winds of change: Libraries and cloud computing. Retrieved from Sampath Kumar, B. T., & Biradar, B. S. (2010). Use of ICT in college libraries in Karnataka, India: A survey. Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, 44(3), 271-282. Wikipedia, (2012).Library automation. Retrieved from Citation for this Article: Vasantha Raju, N., & Harinarayana, N.S. (2015). Can cloud computing help for government colleges to automate their libraries: A point of view. In Ganapathi Z. Shinde, Mallikarjun Angadi, Suresh Jange& Parashuram S. Kattimani (Eds). Emerging technologies and future of libraries (pp. 145-149). Delhi: Daya Publishing House. ISBN: 9789351246107