Evolution of Library: A Technological Change

Evolution of Library: A Technological Change

In every organization, technological up gradation or changes take place at regular intervals to keep up with the needs of the employees and customer. The example selected for technological change is a scenario which is common in most of the organizations.

Library is common in all organizations from academic to corporate, as it can be considered as the knowledge house for any organization. The technology change situation in a library is discussed based on the experience accumulated during my academics. Since, in no single institution, I have come across the change in technology but have seen different technology use in different organizations. So, this study is based on a hypothetical situation created in which a library in an organization is undergoing a technology change.

The situation is such that the library containing thousands of books with large number of regular users is managed by only one person. The whole system is operated manually as a result several issues are possible. One of the main issues from the perspectives of the user is the time spent to get a book from the library. They must go to the library and personally check out from the book list available at library if the book is available in the library and then search for it in the library. The effort of coming to the library is wasted if it is found that book is not there in the library, which can be due to the prior issue of the book by some other user or non-availability of that book in the library. Other issues which may arise will be from the librarian perspective. According to the librarian perspective, it will be difficult to manage the library when majority of the time is spent in performing the transaction with users. It will be time consuming in determining the book listed in library book list is referenced to which person and for what duration if the card system is practiced as the librarian have to determine if that card is present or not. Such activities will leave very little or no time for the librarian to perform other activities like adding new books to the stock, procuring new books, repairing the existing books and assuring that the books are arranged properly.

In such a system technology change is needed, which reduce the time for the users to determine the availability of the books of their choice. The technology on the other hand should also reduce the transaction time for the librarian so that they can have more time to address other issues. One such technology change which is prevalent in IIT-Bombay library is the bar coding of the books and online update of the book status. Availability of the online book status of the books will allow the user to determine if the book of interest is available for issue or if it has been already issued and the issuer’s information. This will reduce the time of both the users as well as the librarian as user does not have to go to the library every time for the book, have to go only when book of interest is available. Librarian will not always have to provide the issued information individually to every user, reducing the time significantly. Barcode based issuance of books can be automatically get updated, hence the time spent on the book issue transaction will be almost negligible, as user can operate the barcode machine itself and can self-issue the books.       

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