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The Face of Future Library

By Unpar Library Team

Amidst continuing advances in information technology (with wifi internet and e-books as well as open access resources  massively available), obviously the library can not survive only as a repository of books. When books are transformed into digital form, will thelibrary merely become a digital library repository manager ?.

It’s a challenge for libraries and librarians to always keep up with the demands of technological developments, which affect the existence and function of libraries. This is the direction that has been developed and will be continued at Parahyangan Catholic University’s Library (Unpar).

Developments in information technology have led conventional libraries into digital ones. The Library collection will gradually change to digital form, either scientific works of students and lecturers’ work. In addition, the collection of scientific papers, both derived from journals and scientific gatherings such as seminars, conferences, symposium, and the like can also be accessed online from the website addresses in line with the development of the Open Journal Systems (OJS).

The Digital Library Federation defines a digital library as a concept and practice: digital libraries are organizations that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to, interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and to ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities.

Apart from the digital form of the collection, the development of technology has also been applied to the administrative systems and services so users can search for desired resources by using the online catalogue that can be accessed via the intranet or internet. Information retrieval can be done anytime and anywhere. The use of technology in the digital library was developed into a self-service. The visiting Hour to the library is no longer limited by the operating hours, but can be visited 24 hours/7 days via the library’s website.

Changes in the forms of library into a  hybrid or digital library have an impact on the reduced storage space requirements for the collection of book shelves. However, this does not necessarily mean the library no longer needs space. Because all its areas in the libraries are then utilized as a learning space.

The needs for space in the library is becoming more widespread and varied because currently users not only require a reading room but also spaces for self-learning, group learning, even rooms for tutorials and room for recreation such as a home theater room, a mini studio in the library to facilitate the creation of materials for digital teaching / audio visual equipment. In fact some libraries are integrated with other services e.g galleries, museums or archives.

Currently, users usually come to the library to find information ( information consumer ). Consequently, the aim of users to come to the library is just to produce the information, taking advantage of access to information and facilities provided so users need to have the ability to access, evaluate, organize and use information in the process of learning, problem solving, make a decision in formal and informal learning contexts, homework and intra-learning. Librarians and libraries must be prepared to help users to become information producers , such as the availability of study rooms or discussion rooms and mini studios for creating audio and / or video.

Librarians should show a develop professionalism in the field of library science and information technology. Having a degree in library science is simply not enough,  they need to have other skills – multi and interdisciplinary skills – in anticipation of the changes that are bound to be occurring. In addition, having an active role in meeting the needs of users will make librarians have more in-depth and up-to-date knowledge.

In the future, the librarians can provide referrals or become a tutor for users to find the information needed. This can be accomplish through activities or training, special classes, or integrated or cooperation with the engineering courses of scientific writing.

 

Source: KOMPAS – Griya Science (February 23, 2016)