Digitized Collection in Higher Educational Institutions Around the Globe.

Author:Jabeen, Sumaira


Today, we are living in the age of Information Technology (IT). The storage and retrieval of information has taken various forms and formats like on-line databases, microfilm/fische, telecommunications facilities, videotext etc. Now, a modern library has to provide a package of many related services with the help of computer networking which enable the interlinking of libraries and information centers to pool resources and services irrespective of their physical location (Kumar, 2001). Even the information explosion can be faced only by the application of IT and networks in libraries. We see traffic jam sometimes on the networks because of user explosion. Data Traffic will be more than Voice Traffic on the telecommunication infrastructure. Now Chat Services or Video Conferencing is possible sitting in several countries. IT has an important role in library management (Jainamma, 2000). While as, increasing number of university and college libraries have started digitization programs and there are good reasons why they are doing so. First, we are in the middle of revolutionary change as to how ideas get published and distributed. Over 50 percent of scholarly publishing has gone digital and over 20 percent has gone open access (Craighton, 2013). Moreover, the main reasons to digitize are to enhance access and improve preservation. By digitizing their collections information become accessible that was previously only available to a select group of researchers. Digital projects allow users to search collections rapidly and comprehensively from anywhere at anytime (Smith, 1999). Infact digitization can be defined as the process of taking traditional library materials that are in form of books and papers and converting them to the electronic form where they can be stored and manipulated by a computer (Witten and David, 2003).Meanwhile in universities, digital libraries serve as gateways to information and knowledge offering essential support for teaching, learning and research. They provide access to the intellectual and scholarly output of the university community and play an important role in promoting the university to the rest of the world by exposing works to the wider community. Access to information and knowledge is made available through the ever-widening range of digital library resources and services, including full-text online databases, faculty research, classroom materials, multimedia digital resources, electronic journals, electronic books and digital libraries from all over the world Dadzie and Walt (2015). Although it is asserted by (Alhaji, 2008) that the needs for digital libraries become significant when we look for improved information sharing, improved and wider access of library materials, and improved preservation of the same. In addition to this the distance learning considers that the teacher and the students are separate in the spatial dimension and that this distance is filled by using technological resources (Casarotti, Filliponi, Pieti & Sartori, 2002). Distance learning, represents approaches that focus on opening access to education and training, freeing learners from the constraints of time and place. Distance learning offers flexible learning opportunities to individual and group learners. This is the most rapidly growing segment of education. The potential impact of distance learning on all education has been emphasized by the development of Internet-based technologies, particularly the World Wide Web. It can be described as learning involving implementation of information, computing and communications technology applications in more than one location (Webster & Hackley, 1997). Meanwhile, modern distance learning initially relied on the development of postal services in the 19th century and has been practiced at least since Isaac Pitman taught shorthand in Great Britain via correspondence in the 1840s (Moore & Kearsley, 2005).

Innovative forms of Distance Learning

The twentieth century saw the creation and evolution of technologies beyond imagination a century ago. The acceptance of these technologies has led to a new alternative for providing education and training...

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