Library Buildings in E-Environment BY Dr. Lalitha Aswath Professor Dept. of Lib. & Information Science Bangalore University Bangalore
Introduction • Change – transition that occurs from one state to another • Librarianship – revolutionary change due to the impact of many extraneous developments. • Librarianship - has changed its focus due to these changes • Predicting the impact of change due to PEST climate on the future of librarianship
Cont.. • May be a futile exercise. • Decisions are to be made to commit our resources to new priorities of changing society. • Some have called it as ‘Age of unreason’ or chaos
Cont… • Major factors affected the changes in LIC’s are: • New technology – ‘new industries’ • Emergence - ‘world economy’ • Creation - ‘knowledge economy’ • Led to the creation of four walled libraries to wall less libraries
What change? • The role of the library is the same throughout history: to provide access to information • but on different premises and to different target groups. • From the medieval elitist library to the democratic, personal library with alert services and individual profiles. • The ‘access to information’-role will, in the future be maintained on a digital basis
Three major challenges in librarianship of the 21st century • To provide e-access to all relevant information and to integrate the access in everyday life. • To create a new library space -abandoning the store house as basic concept. • To develop new standards for the library profession - basically aiming at serving very different needs in a more pro active way.
One vision of the future library • Future libraries are Digital library - users may be served on a regular personal basis. • Emerging fields will be e-learning and e-publishing Primarily in the academic world. • E-reference and other support services with various expertise & profiles is a must. • Libraries tend to be service spots based on global networking .
What is left for the traditional library? • Only access to cultural heritage and longer linear texts….or? • Some Public libraries in the west provide e-access to music, videos, reference services, encyclopedia, dictionaries etc. • BL tried in Bangalore and failure. • And they present the cultural heritage, new books and other physical and virtual media. • And may be a space for learning and cultural events?? • And the librarian is the strongest asset??
Libraries can digitize articles and parts of books and send by e-mail directly to end-user. • National e-reference service, large number of special info-offers. • The ability to see possibilities, and to occupy a central place in future society. • That place has to be earned. It is librarians who must earn it.
So how do we earn a place? • The potential is to find within, the info, learning, cultural and social field, to work with new models. • Virtual access does (probably) not satisfy users. • We need places to meet, to get inspiration, to learn, to be entertained. • Libraries related to democracy and inclusion of citizens, spaces for all gateways to public information in new frames. • Centers for lifelong learning, economic & social development. • Cultural heritage and cultural activity in a cultural diversity.
Library buildings? • Impact of Information Technology on library operations and functions is tremendous and there is gradual change in the out look of libraries. • There was a discussion about – library buildings • “Dowe still need library buildings?” • Will library buildings survive the web? • Is there a future for the library as we know it? • Is there any research going on in this field?
Predictions of library thinkers Richard L.Walters in !980’s Fastest growing house hold types- Individual living / non family. 1 worker to 2 retirees. Machine set aside human beings. KIPS-Knowledge information processing merger of hard ware & soft ware will duplicate expert thought process answers by weighing alternatives (Artificial Intelligence) Thousands and millions go without jobs. Automation and foreign competition.
Predictions… Ken Dowlin in 1985- ventures 8 educated guesses- • General purpose interactive visual communication system by 2020- a major competitor to postal service. • Terminals will replace the telephone books. • Entertainment techg. Will continue to dominate homes. • E-books are to dominate traditional books. • Homes with computers/printers will retrieve information without going out.
Ken Dowlin… • Reference books will fade from the scene. • Most book stores stock only the best sellers. • Libs without technology be relegated to back waters. • Govt. role • Local, State & federal struggle to provide services with declining resources. • Large majority are for lower taxes. • Re-definition of lib-services Privatization / user fee.
Ken Dowlin…. • Any resource given away free is either misused/abused. • Every service Water, Power, transport, waste disposal, police….priced so also lib. • Future of the lib? Go back few years. • Much literature on closure of libs. • Paper less society Prophet Lancaster. - More paper, print usage. • Later wrote ‘ society choose to reject the transition’.
Carton Rochell (1980)…. • Office in the home theory by 2001 (working, shopping, reading, viewing moves etc.,) Allen Veaner (1981)…. • Spoke of disturbing changes like OPAC, E-pubg., distributed processing.. etc.,--which had changed the role of libns., if not libs. • Libns. are people Real, live, HB - are the patrons/ customers/ users/ clients.. etc. • i.e. Human factor people who make up our society & libs are about.
Allen….. • The human factor is the real future of libs/ libns./ libnship.- • Libs are characterized by continuing infusion of technology in all aspects of libnship. • Purpose of technology is to reduce/eliminate unwanted/ unnecessary human contact. • Libs are in essence, people serving people • Not just instns. serving people, instns. Serving instns.
Allen.. • That means libs. & libns should be in close touch with what is happening among people they employ & they serve. • What is happening is change in demography ( Individual instead of family)- Life styles, work styles, values, attitudes, motivators, incentives …etc., • Post industrial society to K- society people want change & choice in every thing they do- work, life, play, shop…etc., • Demographic front - Women working, Values & attitudes (Individual preferences) Small family norms.
Allen…. • The youth of 60’s &70’s are mainstream adults of 80’s &90’s. • Their perception of settled, comfortable, confined to adventurous& diverse. • Life styles & work styles are changing. • Sitting in front of PC at home, doing office work / at office playing a video game. So also in libs, schools, factory.. etc., • What age? Gender?...etc., doesn't matter.
Allen.. • Libs in response to these changes will determine their level of success as providers of information / service. • Values & standards are inner directed not influenced by tradition/stds. & not just by material gains • Work should be meaningful / fulfilling/ committed to human relations. • The information market place -> have well informed citizens not loyal to 1 instn./subt..
Allen… • Choices are more willing to be educated, not willing to dictated,tolerated. • Demand for quality, convenience, direct, honest service. • Successful lib service in the past was based on a degree on convenience, but now future is based on to a larger degree on convenience ( geographic, speed, accessibility, quality, flexibility.. etc.,) • In this changing environment who will survive? • Large, small, regionally, nationally based, product based.. etc.,?
Allen.. • Key is not size /location, but the compatible services offered 24/7. • What the library staff are to do ? • Practices / policies are to be individualized • Workers are as vital as any technology, constant skill up gradation – needed, • Old organizations were deeply hierarchical
Allen.. • New organizations are much flatter • People with much diverse skills are needed , specialists. • All these changes are being taken place with in the library – • How are we going to manage this ?
Organization of information • Beginning of 1930’s- S.R.R- decomposing of subject in different facets-PMEST • CRG –explored the most helpful way of sorting subjects. • Resulted in main purpose of classification. * order K in a systematic way * bring relation in helpful sequence * provide order to access on shelves via catalog * provide exact location on shelf.
E-Environment • There is huge amount of disorganized information-search engines provide access- results are different- there is no cohesion ( on the fly) • Call no’s- = to URL’s • People think that classn. And indexing Belongs to obsolete world • But it is not so- we are still v.relavent.
Cont.. * Even in Internet era if it has to thrive- something like classn. Is needed. • Technology is a tool – - It is the people, their attitude, acceptance of change is primary, technology simply enables * Technology’s Prowess and progress –has led to predict the demise of libs. & origin of DL’s & VL’s
Cont.. • But time and again librarians have proved to be irreplaceable and continue to exist in future • For instance: Internet • Information on the I.Net is limited Ex: Google Book Search - can’t be provided free on the net -copy right issue of authors/ pubrs.
Cont.. • Internet and DL’s –No -understanding • I.Net is largely a source of information and also a tool – • Largely unpublished inform, produced by organizations, individuals and business firms etc., • DL’s are collections of pubd. Material via rigorous processing with limited access ( Only members)
Cont.. • One might use I.Net search engines to find informn in DL’s , are on-line and in a lib. But need registration to use. • Internet is not free – Project Gutenberg boasts availability and downloadable e.books – it is just a tip of the ice berg • Digitization is for preservation and not for destruction of traditional libs.
Cont.. • Libs- Oxford, uni. Of Michigan, NY P L, Uni.of Cali. Have joined hands with GBS project • They may digitize their collection but can’t put on I.net freely. • It is for survival – remember What Daniel Greenstein ( Uni. Of Cali.) said about Hurricane Katrina – “ Vulnerability of Cultural disaster”
To Summarize.. • Libraries are not just books/ jols, but they are systems • Technology integrates in to this system see lib racks -- lib databases lib catgs – lib OPACs But guiding users to information sources is the primary duty of the librarians, whether it book form of e. form
Cont.. • Librarians are privileged to learn most advanced technology to help users. • The hype that printed books will give way for E.books is just a hype like many such hypes • Paper usage is not doomed - they are better accepted and more convenient to use. So Trad. Libs. And E. Lib’s are to co-exist.
Literature growth • 1980-1990 - 778 publications • 2000 to Nov 2009 -958 publications • Let go of the idea of the library as a building; • The ‘library’ is the network of librarians. • Even if all print items have been digitized, print items will still be wanted for a number of reasons: research, art • Different functions, like archives, museums, etc. and still be named “libraries”.
What change is expected of Library buildings? • Library buildings can transform into • universities; meeting places and study facilities, including free wifi areas • Public libraries; can shift focus to becoming centers of discovery and (educational) gaming. Anything is possible
libraries obey the same laws of historical development as any other social institution or phenomenon. • The way that information is found and processed is determined, or at least influenced, by the status of technological development. • And it is not to say that all development is technology driven!
Conclusion • Do we still need library buildings? • Will library buildings survive the web? • Is there a future for the library as we know it? • Is there any research going on in this field? • Yes, it is still a great place for study and research.
Cont.. • Technology/ any other development is a human creation and not HUMANS ARE TECHNOLOGY CREATED