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Libraries in Digital Era

Libraries in Digital Era

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Libraries in 21st century will be increasingly user centered information centers. There will be a need to enhance not only user services but also the house keeping services jobs. This book is designed and prepared, within the parameters of needs of future library services for the users. It explores scope for libraries to adopt the new and emerging information technologies. The book covers topic of new publishing trends, cloud computing, digital preservation, application of artificial intelligence, information gateway, e-books etc. The implied objective of the book is to inform about the present status of the libraries and draw the picture of future libraries." 

Libraries have existed since approximately 2600 BCE as an archive of recorded knowledge. From tablets and scrolls to bound books, they have cataloged resources and served as a locus of knowledge. Today, with the digitization of content and the ubiquity of the internet, information is no longer confined to printed materials accessible only in a single, physical location. Libraries are reinventing themselves as content becomes more accessible online and their role becomes less about housing tomes and more about connecting learners and constructing knowledge. Libraries across the world, including the greatest academic libraries, are undergoing considerable transformational change as a result of the digital disruption, which society is now experiencing. In just the last two decades relatively new but now ubiquitous digital technologies have developed to allow for global access to information, enormous and economical storage of information and new modes of discovering and sharing knowledge. At the same time the publishing world has consolidated globally leading to more aggressive library economics that require new strategies for acquisition of essential library materials. But most importantly, the use patterns of library clients have been changing dramatically. Physical book borrowing by going to the library has declined sharply, while ‘any place any time’ access to the digital collections provided by the library has soared.

The traditional library was firmly rooted in the physical transfer of information and knowledge. People came to the physical space to specifically look at a physical item. Libraries have for long played a central role in the lives of universities, in supporting learning, teaching and research. Since universities themselves vary considerably in the nature, range and scale of their activities, it is not surprising that their libraries too come in many different shapes and sizes. Along with the rest of the higher education sector, however, all of them have experienced over the past decade a period of unprecedented change. They have transformed their operations as they have responded to the opportunities of the digital revolution, and further challenges lie ahead. The fundamental changes that underlie the ways in which much information is now created, modified, disseminated, and accessed offer both opportunities and challenges for libraries and public access to information. Across the globe, college and university libraries are changing. By blending traditional book collections with new technologies and a sharper focus on collaborative learning, libraries are transforming the ways we learn and conduct research. A library for the 21st century must support the digital expectations of scholars and students, provide flexible spaces for both solitary study and collaborative work, and offer students an array of academic support services. The present book titled “Libraries in Digital Era”, has comprehensively covered various spheres of discussions pertaining to new age, i.e. digital age, libraries. Various interesting chapter contributions from various intellectuals in the field of library profession belonging to reputed institutions. The chapter contributions have largely focused on those issues, which libraries of today are dealing with or planning to adapt themselves. These contributed chapters cover topics related to digital preservation, digitization, RFID, web 3.0, social networking, intelligent library system, information gateway, scientometrics, digital literacy in rural areas, modern libraries, e-content, e-books, data curation, big data, etc. I, sincerely, thank all the contributors for their meaningful contribution in this book and anticipate their continued future endeavours in the respective areas.

Dr.M.S. Rana, M.L.I.Sc., Ph.D. in Library & Information Science, is an alumnus of Rajasthan Univerisity, Jaipur. He has earned Fulbright Professional Fellowship in Library and Information Science -1997. He has specialized knowledge in computer application, networking etc. from di erent countries. He devoted his time in Librarianship and writing. He has attended many national and international seminars, conferences and symposiums and contributed papers to various journals of national and international repute. He has several books to his credit.

Dr Rana got many awards like that Master Moatilal Sanghi Best Librarian Award for 2012 by the Sanmaati Pustkalay, Jaipur, S.M. Ganguly-IASLIC Award for the Librarian of the Year- 2004 by the Indian Association for Library and Information Centers (IASLIC), Asha-Hemendra Panwar Award for Outstanding Performance-2000 by the Wildlife Institute of India, (Ministry of Environment & forests, GOI), ILA-Kaula Best Librarian Award-1995 by the Indian Library Association (ILA). Currently, Dr. Rana is working as University Librarian, HNB Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar, Uttrakhand.