The present paper explained about the techniques that have developed in Information Communication Technology and also described the applications of these techniques to libraries and information centres. The library professionals are in the state of confusion regarding the use and application of these technologies to their libraries.
They need knowledge and skills so as to apply these techniques to their libraries. For this purpose, the paper listed different areas and techniques such as Library Automation, Computer Software, Computer networking, Information collection, storage and retrieval in digital format, Virtual Technology, electronic information services etc in which the present library professionals need training. The paper concluded with the emphasis to train the library professionals using appropriate methods depending the extent of use of ICT in their libraries.Key Words: Training, Library Professionals, Information and Communication Technology.
Introduction:The impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) developed library science techniques, tools and functions. Printed documents are of no use in the forthcoming years. In library, Card Catalogue will also become obsolete in future. The emergence of ICT developed its applications to library in the form of computer networks, digital storage formats, institutional repositories, subject gateways, online information services, web technology and search technology and so on.Applications of ICT Techniques to Libraries:The Information and Communication Technology is a dynamic and its techniques and applications are developing at a faster rate.
Nadia Caidi1 stated that “there are big changes. Five or ten years ago, libraries were traditional places to read materials, to get some information. Now they are places to find information, act more and more like gatekeepers. Society is changing well: the users think more and more of reading as other than for leisure. They need specific information and more leaders.
Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the libraries have been integrated at the electronic frontier to facilitate rapid transfer of information on a global scale. Advances in Computer Storage and Telecommunication methods, online access to databases, electronic journals, electronic knowledge banks, direct document delivery, teletext, teleconferences, bulletin boards, CD-ROMs, networks etc., have been the revolutionary developments in the last two/ three decades that have brought a great change in communication, storing and handling of information.The digital or electronic resources are dynamic in nature to share information globally and there has been an increased scope for automated delivery mechanism. Libraries today are termed as Digital Libraries and Hybrid Libraries. Knowledge preservation and dissemination have rapidly changed.
Unlike simply providing access to holdings in print format, the electronic resources are procured to meet the information needs of the clientele. In the light of Information Bill 2002, it must be the fundamental professional concern of the Librarians to endeavour to predict, grasp, analyze and materialize such expectations and needs2.The ICT developments transformed and developed the library services as under:• Automation and Mechanization of every function of the libraries; • Compact Storage of Information, easy accessibility and faster communication; • Subject databases particularly from academic institutions: Increasing number of institutions, especially academic and research institutes are making databases in their specialized subject made available; • Automated Library Catalogue: Increasing numbers of libraries are making their Catalogue electronically available over the Internet which may extend the use of library resources. • List Serves and discussion groups on a wide variety of topics.
Participants have the opportunity to exchange and share current information; • Document Delivery Services may be provided electronically using Internet Technology;• Electronic Mails allow users to send messages or files to each other; • Commercial Information databases are available on the internet include, DIALOG, Lexis-Nexis, Dow Jones News/Retrieval and many others; • Telnet or remote login-allowing users to log into remote sites; • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) allowing users to access and retrieve files at remote sites; • Gopher- a text only, non-graphic method to receive internet documents, which have largely been intergenerated into the World Wide Web;• The World Wide Web allows users to jump from one resource to another in easier way, without going through gopher style menus; • Video-conferencing and Teleconferencing involves linking more than two users, so that participants from different places over the world can see each other and view presentations; • The Consortia like UGC-Infonet and INDEST provides the information through access to a large number of journals to academic libraries all over the India. Such services are enabled to economize the services from single platform, to avoid duplication of subscription, to strengthen the services of networking and encouraging research and development by providing information in easy accessible way. • Development of Institutional Repositories and Virtual Libraries. • Open Sources Movement, eprints, archives, etc.Training Needs of Library Professionals:The continually changing world of library and information management practices requires that modern library and information professionals continually update their skills through continuing education.
Educators say that the skills developed from a Master of Library and Information Science degree remain relevant for approximately five years. With the seemingly endless wave of information and other new technologies to consider, how are library and information professionals to keep up once their formal education is completed? Learning generates greater community and a sense of confidence for the community’s participants. The resulting strength of the community and its individuals yields advocates for change and experts in the value of the community3. Considering the developments in ICT, Ramzan4 studied the IT applications in libraries in Pakistan and the knowledge of librarians on IT applications.
According to him: o There is a need to provide sufficient hardware and software for library administration and user services and to subscribe to electronic databases for effective library services. o No library can function properly without an email and Internet connection in this information driven society. o Each graduating librarian must complete a certain period of internship before entering into the profession to gain necessary confidence and insight to the practical aspects of the librarianship.o A separate budget should be allocated for training whenever a new technology is acquired even if it is highly expensive. Librarians should initiate orientation programs for staff and users for newly implemented systems and technologies.
o IT should be a core component of formal library education (in Pakistan). Library schools need to upgrade their syllabi regularly according to the job market and future requirements.o The need was also determined for librarians to document their experiences and to subscribe to professional magazines to update their knowledge, to take part in professional activities, and to participate in Internet discussion groups. o More emphasis should be placed on improving librarians’ attitudes towards technology.
Librarians’ knowledge in IT, experience in computer use, level of awareness of technologies, recently in IT training are key factors impacting their attitudes towards IT. Library administrators need to address these factors while planning and implementing any IT based projects in Libraries.Considering the large volume of information generated and communicated through the web, there is confusion of getting accurate information for a specific need of the users. There is frequent and faster change in technological applications in information sector. The high rate of technological change within the information and library sector, the constantly changing demands of users and the ever increasing amount of information available, means that the staff needs to update and develop their professional skills5.
The Training programmes and Continuing Education Programmes help the information professionals to cope up with technological convergence (change). The Training programmes are designed with the aims to develop the skills of the library and information professionals.In developing skills for managing, creating and providing services in the digital environment, training and education will become ever more important. There will be increased need for educational organizations to inform students of the new realities and the new skills that they will need in the digital environment6.