Promoting Library Services by the Library Professionals among the Users in this Digital Era
(The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book)
Technology has become the key focus in our lives today. Indeed, so many aspects of our behavior are governed by the need to stay connected to the world through technology. Now, the college and university going students no longer want to visit the library for a few hours of quiet reading. Instead, they want a quick and technology-based solution to everything.
In this digital era, information seeking behavior is constantly changing and the younger generationwant current and latest information, means more interesting. This statement applies equally to the use of the library. Today, librarians facing challenges in making the young users aware about the latest library resources and services in the different ways. Different means through which this threat can be made as an opportunity. The opportunity is to use the library in a differently way will directly and indirectly promote the reading habits among the young generation.
We are living in the age of ICE (Information Communication Entertainment) where users want a fast, technology-based solutions to everything including in the use of the library. E-learners and traditional learners now have access to a universe of digital information through the information superhighway. This has thrown challenges to the librarians to re-evaluate the way they develop, manage, deliver and promote resources and services in digital form.
‘It is hard to imagine the evolution of books and libraries without technology’because library users no longer want to visit the library physically rather, they want to get things in their fingertips by clicking on the devices (similar to virtual library). Many times, they are reading while traveling from one place to others. There is a huge change in the information seeking behavior and the way information is accessed by them. To face the technological challenges, librarians play an important role. If students are not coming to the library, then the library should travel (Mobile Library) to them with the help of the technology which will indirectly help in promoting the reading habit among the youth. Librarians no longer can confine themselves to the physical library rather they need to invent new ideas which can address this issue which can help in promoting the library usage. As the English writer and poet Sidney Sheldon (1917-2007) said,
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life”.
Digital libraries are changing the concept of the librarian, their collection and services. Various new terms as digital libraries, digital librarian, libraries without walls, virtual libraries, hybrid libraries, electronic libraries, green libraries and online librarieshave emerged to describe the libraries of digital era. The aim of the library and information science profession has always been to provide the users the access to the required services at the right time.
“Dr. S. R. Ranganathan- The father of library and information science in India stated that, Librarianship is a noble profession. A librarian derives his joy by seeing the dawn of joy in the face of readers, helped by him to find the right book at the right time.”
LIS professional need vision for the modern professional skills and technological competencies in order to have bright future in the 21st century. So, the essential future vision of the academic library professional is to achieve the necessary information transformation and to face the digital informational needs of the users. Now, the role of the academic library professionals is totally changed in this digital environment, from librarian to information manager / knowledge manager. To satisfy the information need of users at maximum level is the main goal of the library. Establishing a digital library without refreshing the information technology and information retrieval skills of the academic library professionals is a difficult task. The adoption of the e-resources has made great advantage over the library services. In fact, most of the users are satisfied with such facilities since they can easily retrieve their required information within a short period of time.
Libraries are an integral part of the knowledge society that surrounds it. The library is first and foremost a service. Its primary mission is to support the learning, teaching and research activity in any situation. The explosion of coronavirus known as Covid-19 has thrown the world into terror and anxiety. Quarantine and lockdownlead to reducethe levels of physical activity and turn into online job system.Library professional also install different apps “zoomapp” found most popular app for online job purposes.
Library and information science/Information Management is the field of business. Many library professionals built a ‘winning library marketing plan’ for the purpose to share and promote their services very effectively. As, Dr. Haroon Idrees (Late) the expert oflibrary and information science field said:
“The field of library and information science/ information management are in the business of information”
We as library professionals cannot ignore the changing library environment, and need to adopt ourselves to the digital library era.