Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Where do libraries stand in the 21st century?

Libraries find themselves on a sheer drop at the dawn of digital era. Other than storing, meticulously curating and circulating the books what are libraries for?Observed by someone who is from an earlier period and is unfamiliar with screens and devices and latest gadgets and technology libraries seem to be in decline. It is time for libraries to compensate for a shift and redefine their mission to provide access to the latest technology. But does that mean all the printed materials should be taken away from the library and only the digital contents should remain? In my opinion libraries should work as a bridge between digital and print media. It should make available to its patrons all the resources either printed or digital with in the library. According to a study conducted in the U.S on libraries, there are three types of patrons. Those who are completely ignorant and avoid new technologies. Those who learn about the technologies but not use it and those who learn and use technology efficiently. A library should cater to the needs of all these three types of patrons by transforming the broad spectrum of services from traditional to the most modern digital technologies. In a nut shell the libraries should provide a space to meet, collaborate, learn, research and share.

Research and scholarship is moving steadfast in the digital arena. The institutions and organizations which are involved in publication of these works should also evolve along with this.The emerging role of libraries, the different types of search engines, the continuing development of technology all have created a radical change in the role of organizations that play a major role in disseminating scholarly articles and other publications. Librarians are supposed to be ground keepers and gate keepers who guides patrons to access the information timely and accurately.

Non-librarian faculty members should appreciate the need for collaboration with librarians and libraries should should be viewed in a more wider perspective than traditional terms. There are seismic changes that have undergone in librarianship which is in accordance with technically skilled students, academics and research scholars. The key to moving towards success is to understand the users and their changing demands, experiment with new technologies and collaboration with subject specialists. It is not always easy to move on with changes that comes through collaboration but we cannot fully ignore these challenges as it will shut down the opportunity to disseminate information in a fruitful and effective way.

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Soar to heights you never imagined! “We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and inte...