Why Institutes Must Have a Digital Library to Help Their Students?

26 May 2023
library management system

Libraries are a repository of knowledge, enabling students to gain timely access to accurate information and key findings. No wonder they have been an integral part of the learning process and provide an appropriate medium for varied resources.

But the organisational task of libraries is time-consuming and exhausting; for instance, the physical aspects such as equipment, space, storage, racks or shelves full of books and other academic material.

Despite having a staff dedicated to executing all the administrative activities related to the library, it becomes an overwhelming process. So, integrating a digital library is the perfect solution that streamlines conventional library-related tasks. In effect, it makes it easier for students and team members to access information and automate operations respectively.

What is Digital Library?

A digital library is an online or digital collection of learning resources, such as documents, magazines, e-publications, e-books, journals, research papers, etc. As opposed to traditional physical libraries, institutes can store and arrange all the files in an online database. Furthermore, digital libraries are digitally storable on a disk, CD-ROM; sometimes institutes can also make it completely available on the internet.

Although there are certain limitations in terms of the updation process regarding CD-disk-based digital libraries, we can update the ones stored on the internet. Therefore, it becomes easy for students to access reading materials and updated reference documents.

Besides, there are many other benefits, making it essential for institutes to implement the digitisation process for libraries

5 Reasons Why Institutes Must Have a Digital Library

5 Reasons Why Institutes Must Have a Digital Library

1. Zero Physical Boundaries

What is the first thing comes to mind when someone says library? Be it the school/college library or the one located in the nearby area, one needs to make sure he/she visits it during official hours. But what if they suddenly need to borrow a specific book with relevant information that can be useful for a project?

Unfortunately, we cannot go to the physical libraries at our convenience because, like any other public facility, it operates at a specific time. Therefore, students are always cautious about checking the opening and closing hours before visiting the library. On the contrary, there are no time limitations with digital libraries.

When institutes incorporate a digital library, it provides the facility to access online materials anytime and anywhere. Moreover, they can use various reading materials for their assignment or project, including e-books, audiobooks, and videos. Plus, the availability of resources on preferred devices is one of the best advantages.

2. Instantaneous Access

Suppose a student requires a particular book on quantum physics, so the first thing he does is go to the science section of the library and proceed to search for the book. But he discovers that there are many physics books on the topic with varied writers. So, naturally, it takes a considerable time to find the book.

Given the huge collection of books, it can be a time-consuming process to find specific text material. Also, there is a chance that other students might have borrowed the same one, and there is no proper way to determine that. Librarians keep a record on registers to track the borrowing of books, making it difficult to confirm the instant availability of a particular material.

Fortunately, a digitised library system can save us from the laborious task of physically searching a book. Instead, the system has an in-built content search mechanism which makes it easy for students to easily obtain the book. All they need to do is put the keywords of the book title in the search section of the institute system. As a result, it becomes easy to get the right book from thousands of resources.

3. Automated Maintenance of Resources

The amount of time that goes into maintaining physical libraries is huge; the library staff and team members are especially under pressure to facilitate smooth service. Hence, they must stock the books and ensure that the borrowed materials have been returned. Most importantly, they need to keep a record, reflecting each and every detail, such as the dates of submission and book-borrowing.

In fact, institutes are well aware of the fault or inefficiencies in the pen-and-paper method of record-keeping. Additionally, the resources borrowed by the students get misplaced or deteriorated due to overuse. However, when institutes use advanced applications like the library management system, it automates the maintenance process.

Also, the content undergoes a digitisation process, making the resources available online, and there is no need to worry about preserving physical materials.

4. Real-time Interactions

The digital library offers multiple benefits apart from providing an easy online platform to gain and share knowledge. One of the most noteworthy advantages lies in the feature that allows users to raise an issue, allowing institutes to take appropriate action. For example, while accessing the system, they can interact with the administrator if they encounter technical issues.

Simultaneously, there are features that allow students to set up online communities, engage in solution-seeking processes and clarify their doubts.

5. Regular Updation of Information

With every passing year, scientists make new discoveries across various fields, including space, agriculture, climate, soil, life on Earth, etc. Unfortunately, collating evolving pieces of information and facts in physical format is not always feasible and convenient. That is why the digital library has become the most significant part of the education ecosystem.

Furthermore, NEP 2020 has highlighted the development of relevant and updated learning materials in school/college libraries. And strengthening of ICT, academic libraries, and appropriate learning tools will help to accomplish the policy’s aim.

In addition, the policy provides directives according to which institutes and all concerned agencies will develop standard content in all local and Indian languages. Also, public and private sector institutions will work to improve the quality of books.

To Wrap it Up,

Physical libraries have been a crucial part of education institutes for the longest time, but a lot of time and effort goes into their maintenance. Besides, students face issues related to issuing books and time limitations, and librarians encounter administration-related challenges. That is why a digital library is an appropriate solution because it provides complete automation and provides smooth and hassle-free service.

Gurudev Somani Author :

Gurudev Somani,

Academic Consultant

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