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The Library Then and Now: Its Importance and Relevance to the Present Generation


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presented at PAARL’s seminar outreach program on “The Essence of the Library as the Heart of an Educational Institution,” held at St. Augustine School, Iba, Zambales, Philippines on 2006 Sep 28

Published in: Education, Technology
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The Library Then and Now: Its Importance and Relevance to the Present Generation

  1. 1. The Library then and now: it s importance and relevance to the present-day generation by Fe Angela M. Verzosa
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>We live in an information society. </li></ul><ul><li>Information is our basic resource & product. </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology has wrought significant changes for all information-handling professions. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Libraries are user-centered organizations focused on patron satisfaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries value access to information as fundamental to education and research. </li></ul><ul><li>Up-to-date technology provides one of the best means to reach their goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology has brought significant changes to libraries. </li></ul>
  4. 4. This presentation… <ul><li>Discusses libraries then and now as an important resource </li></ul><ul><li>Presents the current or recent developments in library management </li></ul><ul><li>Explores the ethical dilemmas librarians face in relation to these current developments and discusses their ethical responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Recommends measures towards enhancing library resources to meet the challenges and opportunities of today’s libraries as resource centers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Today’s situation <ul><li>Old ways : preoccupation with volumes, cards, materials, facilities, procedures, clerical work, statistical output, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>traditional library functions: labelling, accessioning, sorting, typing, shelving, searching, & other manual activities </li></ul><ul><li>concept of ownership, autonomy, and self-sufficiency in libraries </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technology <ul><li>technologies are tools to make information- </li></ul><ul><li>handling easier, more efficient, and less </li></ul><ul><li>costly. </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies must be looked into as means </li></ul><ul><li>to an end --- not the end themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>The technological concerns are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economy </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. New Technologies <ul><li>CD Rom technology </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive Multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Online catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic mails and file transfers </li></ul><ul><li>Automation </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Digitization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from librarian….. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Impact of New Technologies <ul><li>to information intermediary </li></ul><ul><li>collection policies </li></ul><ul><li>budgeting & funding </li></ul><ul><li>acquisition methods </li></ul><ul><li>bibliographic control </li></ul><ul><li>cataloging processes </li></ul><ul><li>reference services </li></ul><ul><li>staffing </li></ul><ul><li>physical facilities </li></ul>
  9. 9. Current institutional goals <ul><li>Support instructional, curricular, and research needs of the faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Support informational, classroom, and general reading interests of the students </li></ul><ul><li>Fast delivery of information resources </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate access into other library collections </li></ul><ul><li>Support extension programs of the institution </li></ul>
  10. 10. Managing our collection faces a crisis... * reduction in expenditures due to price increases *diminished resources *aging of the collection *digital formats are not less expensive *resource-sharing may not solve the problem
  11. 11. Collection Development: recent developments <ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>academic budgets pay increasing homage to serials to the neglect of book purchases in spite of declining funds … </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Collection Development: recent developments <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>traditional concept of ownership is challenged by the idea of access (whether automated access to information or to information resources through document delivery or interlibrary lending) in lieu of ownership … </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Collection Development : recent developments emphasis is on intellectual content , rather than the traditional format
  14. 14. Collection Development: recent developments <ul><li>developing core collections rather than comprehensive holdings will dominate collection policies… </li></ul>
  15. 15. Collection Development : recent developments <ul><li>electronic networks such as the INTERNET are now a reality. Students and faculty are gaining access to a multitude of library catalogs worldwide. More capital funds are being re-channelled to buy computer equipment, licenses and access fees… </li></ul>
  16. 16. Collection Development: recent developments <ul><li>multimedia (interactive videos) and cd-rom technology are becoming more and more attractive than prints, because they present a better alternative to reading… </li></ul>
  17. 17. Interest in resource- sharing, collaborative purchasing, and cooperative collection has replaced the competitive instinct of librarians… Collection Development: recent developments
  18. 18. Ethical dilemmas <ul><li>Inescapable because of these interrelated developments </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians forced to make choices with limited resources </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse fair use doctrine and ignore copyright restrictions </li></ul>
  19. 19. Professional ethics <ul><li>important to librarianship because: </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics define our professional values and our professionalism, and inform library patrons about what we have to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics raise the standards of librarianship </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics demonstrate commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics raise the profile and importance of our profession. </li></ul><ul><li>But, in ever-changing times, ethical frameworks are likely to require adjustment; therefore, we must continue to discuss and revise our values accordingly. Such measures will ensure that we can continue to provide relevant services, and this in turn, will secure our futures. New discussions and dialogues will shape the future of Philippine librarianship. </li></ul>
  20. 20. What are our ethical responsibilities? <ul><li>Be honest in giving available alternatives to gaining access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Be wise consumers of information products </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage technical innovations that benefit information users </li></ul><ul><li>Promote awareness to the importance of open access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Observe and implement judiciously laws and standards of professional practice </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>review present status of collection </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>assess strengths and weaknesses </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>identify unmet and emerging needs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>list priorities for acquisition </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Know what the library needs …
  22. 22. <ul><li>Developing core collections rather than comprehensive holdings is a priority. </li></ul><ul><li>Care should taken in updating. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis is on intellectual content , rather than the traditional format </li></ul><ul><li>Use shelf behavior and circulation usage to determine usefulness. </li></ul>Know how to keep collection current and useful…
  23. 23. <ul><li>Formulate short and long–term plans for collection development </li></ul><ul><li>Information should be collected in the most appropriate format. Usefulness, not format, is the deciding factor in acquisition. </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate information on new materials for selection to clientele before acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>match funds with needs </li></ul><ul><li>set limits on spending </li></ul>Enhancing your library resources
  24. 24. <ul><li>Identification/selection of materials thru review sites and websites of vendors, publishers, traditional booksellers, libraries, academic institutions, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Web harvesting </li></ul><ul><li>Archiving web resources </li></ul><ul><li>Indexing archived documents </li></ul>Developing Online Collections
  25. 25. Resource-sharing, collaborative purchasing, and cooperative collection present alternatives to enhance collections, reduce not only acquisition costs. Enhancing with shared collections...
  26. 26. Resource-sharing <ul><li>the goal of many consortia is cooperative collection development. </li></ul><ul><li>by knowing their strengths/weaknesses, libraries could take advantage of the strengths and work together to cover the weaknesses. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Benefits from Shared Collections <ul><li>Enhance library resources and services </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the breadth </li></ul><ul><li>and depth of collections </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce unnecessary </li></ul><ul><li>duplication </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce costs and space requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize their use </li></ul>
  28. 28. Acquiring gifts and donations <ul><li>Manuscript collections and rare books </li></ul><ul><li>Local studies material </li></ul><ul><li>Personal/family papers </li></ul><ul><li>Periodical/serial titles of general interest </li></ul><ul><li>Reference material of timeless value </li></ul>
  29. 29. An Action Agenda to Meet the Challenges of Technology <ul><li>Redefine the role (image) of librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade librarians’ professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Improve recruiting </li></ul><ul><li>Update curriculum of graduate education </li></ul><ul><li>Restructure library management (from hierarchical to team structure) </li></ul><ul><li>Redesign library work </li></ul><ul><li>Reinvent the library </li></ul>
  30. 30. Image-building <ul><li>adopting the faculty-researcher model </li></ul><ul><li> knowledge-navigators </li></ul><ul><li> resource managers </li></ul><ul><li>diversifying from collection development to library management systems </li></ul><ul><li>design, and </li></ul><ul><li>research and publications </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  31. 31. Upgrade librarian’s professionalism *delegating non-professional work to support staff increasing pay scale *continuing education *self-renewal
  32. 32. Improve recruiting *HIRE PROFESSIONALS: systems managers, media specialists, programmers, archivists, documentalists *REQUIRE MLS as entry point, and * HIRE ONLY LICENSED LIBRARIANS
  33. 33. UPDATE CURRICULUM Of GRADUATE EDUCATION produce management-minded librarians with special skills in computing, multimedia, and archival documentation work .
  34. 34. RESTRUCTURE library management *developing participatory management style *evolving semi-autonomous workgroups *reducing the number/ level of supervisors
  35. 35. redesign library work * create semiautonomous depts *review job functions with emphasis on flexibility *adopt flexitime schedules
  36. 36. reinvent the library wall-less hi-tech people- centered proactive
  37. 37. Summary & Recommendations <ul><li>Collection Development should undergo review to ensure acquisition, weeding and retention policies are unbiased and customer-focused, so that library users have access to current, relevant and authoritative information in their preferred format. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine storage conditions of the existing book stock . Provisions must made to store rare materials in conditions that will ensure preservation and a longer shelf life, whilst maintaining ease of access for library users. </li></ul><ul><li>With regard to the general book collection, cataloging and classification standards and procedures should be continuously reassessed to ensure that classification is in line with twenty-first-century thinking, which, consequently, should facilitate browsing. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Conclusion <ul><li>Libraries are key partners in higher education, critical to the ability of academic institutions to succeed in teaching and learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries will also continue to be important sources for the support and promotion of new developments in librarianship. </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in the library environment, such as technological innovations and legal limitations on the use of information, will continue to offer opportunities for librarians to gain and apply new knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, the expertise that librarians have developed in organizing, providing access to, and preserving information will become more important than ever. </li></ul><ul><li>The librarian of the future will have more opportunities to support learning, enhance teaching, and improve research, providing services to the users of today as well as anticipating the needs of the users of tomorrow. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Parting words… <ul><li>The ultimate test of a good library is whether the materials are available to those who need them, when and where they are needed (effectiveness), the manner in which they are made available (efficiency), and at what cost (economy). </li></ul>