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Library Philosophy and Practice 2008

ISSN 1522-0222

The Creation of a Multimedia Orientation to the Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi: A Systems Analysis

Dr. M. Madhusudhan
Lecturer (Senior)
Department of Library and Information Science
University of Delhi
Delhi, India

Ms. Reetu Verma
Library Retainer
Tata Consultancy Services
PTI Building
New Delhi, India

 

Introduction

The growth of information and communication technology has brought sweeping change. The emergence of an information society has put forth new challenges and responsibilities for students who want to join university courses. As a hub of information communication, the university will benefit from adopting new technology. It is expedient for the library and information science students to know the latest developments in their respective areas. Student orientation programs play a vital role in communication between the department and its students. Multimedia orientation programmes can instruct new and visiting students and external visitors about the department in an efficient and attractive way. This article is an outcome of the study made for designing the multimedia orientation of the Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi (DLIS).

Multimedia orientation programmes can be effective tools in overcoming geographical and language barriers. A proverb attributed to Confucius says, "Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand." We remember little of what we hear and little more of what we see. We remember more when we hear, see, and participate. Because of this, multimedia can be a powerful tool for teaching, learning, and information retrieval. Another proverb says that a picture is worth thousand words. Information that is presented using audio, video, and text is effective and interesting for viewers and conveys its message more effectively.

University of Delhi DLIS

The DLIS was instituted in 1946 and is part of the university's Faculty of Arts. The late Dr S.R. Ranganathan and the late Professor S. Das Gupta, both renowned librarians and teachers, took the initiative to establish this department. The department has been recognized as an Associated Project of UNESCO. For some time, it was the only department in the country that provided graduate degrees in library science, by offering, in addition to the BLISc degree, the MLISc, MPhil, and PhD. The department has played a significant role in library science education in the country as whole. Some 3,000 students have taken their degrees in library science from this department, of whom about 2,000 students obtained Postgraduate Diplomas/Bachelor's degrees; 922 took Master's; 78 and 44 took MPhil and PhD degrees, respectively. In 1949 it was the first in the whole of Europe and Asia to create a MLISc programme. The first PhD in library science was awarded in 1957. At that time, it was the only department in the whole of British Commonwealth offering a PhD in library science. In the late 1970s, it was the first to create an MPhil program in library science, and a paper on Computer Applications in Libraries at the Master's level was first introduced by the department in 1972.

Designing a Multimedia Orientation Programme

The multimedia orientation programme is designed to support the strategic plan, vision, and mission of the DLIS. It provides at a glimpse of who is who and what is what in the department. The presentation has been designed to provide minimum information to the user. The programme helps students learn independently. It is ready to use at any time, and users can refer whenever a need arises. It is interactive, hence the student can start anywhere and end anywhere. It furthers understanding with the use of image, animation, sound, and video.

Many students, research scholars, and teachers from other library schools in India and abroad visit the DLIS every year as part of an educational tour. The multimedia programme uses innovative and user-friendly means to orient visitors in a short time.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate and design a multimedia presentation to orient new and visiting students and faculty. It is time-consuming to explain to every student and faculty member about the history of the department, courses, services, etc. In order to reduce the burden on the staff in the department, the multimedia orientation programme was developed as a more effective means of conveying the handy information and will be included on the DLIS website as "Virtual DLIS" to cater to the information needs of online users.

Objectives of the Study

The study is aimed at creating a multimedia orientation that achieves the following objectives:

  • Orient new and visiting students of the department;
  • Help students become more aware of the department and its resources;
  • Help the students become more proficient in using the department, resources, and services;
  • Help students understand how information is organized in their field of interest;
  • Understand the procedures established by the department for using these facilities; and
  • Create and sustain interest in the user for better use of the department and its library

Methodology

Systems Analysis and Design (SAD) method is used for this project. The methodology is divided into four phases.

Preliminary Preparation
  • Study target audience
  • Locate, access, and analyze information on a selected topic.
  • Considered all possible information resources
  • Establish the exact destination or outcome of the project and evaluate knowledge
  • Thumbnail sketches are made as ideas are formed.
Designing and Planning
  • Creation of storyboard: the visual equivalent of a script, a collection of sketches of text, pictures, and special objects that will appear on each slide.
  • Determination of the path of presentation, interface, and interactive navigation.
  • Organization of notes to begin the form of a presentation. Note cards are helpful, because they provide easy access for visualization and re-arrangement.
  • Writing the headline text and basic outline of each slide.
  • Selecting appropriate colors, fonts, picture size, and sound.
Production and Preparation of Content

This phase is the production and content of the programme. Multimedia software Flash MX was used for the entire programme.

  • Preparation of format for presentation using authoring software
  • Development of slides with headline text, and determination of placement of imported objects.
  • Selection, acquiring, and production of graphics, sound, and special effects
  • Integrating graphics, sound, and special effects into authoring software.
  • Determination of timing between slides and for Flash Player.
Post-Production and Revision
  • Spell-checking content.
  • Checking slide sequence
  • Testing the slides.
  • Delivery of presentation to audience computer
  • Duplicating the presentation on CD-ROM.

Structure of Multimedia Presentation

The presentation is divided into 136 slides and lasts 13 minutes. The slides have information about the DLIS including history, courses offered, syllabi, faculty, classrooms, Information Technology (IT) facilities,Journal of Library and Information Science (JLIS), alumni, Delhi University Library Students' Association (DULSA), past heads of department, list of PhDs awarded, library resources and services, department offices and facilities, and the Five Laws of Library Science of S.R. Ranganathan. Selected examples follow:

Welcome to DLIS
Courses offered
Syllabi
Faculty
Classrooms
I T facilities
JLIS
DULSA
Library

Miscellaneous

Conclusion

There are some limits to the multimedia orientation in its present form. It is currently a linear multimedia presentation that allows the user to start at the beginning and run through to the end. Users cannot interact with the video. The presentation does not use much sound, and user controls are limited to play, stop, forward, and back. The multimedia presentation is limited to the DLIS. The multimedia presentation must be added to theDLIS website. The DLIS is recognized in India and abroad as a major centre of learning in the field of library science. The department seeks to make effective use of its resources. Educating students on the use of the department's resources helps fulfill that goal. The Multimedia Orientation Programme educates the user about the department in an efficient and effective way. The use of multimedia is emerging as a basic skill. Multimedia packages can help new students know about the department and also identify and consult the faculty. With current developments in information technology, online user orientation, i.e., a virtual department that is accessible from anywhere, is an achievable goal. Of course, no form of "virtual" orientation can replace a live human being. This project was not conceived to replace live department tours, but rather to supplement them. The web-based multimedia orientation will improve students' knowledge of the department and change the way in which physical orientation is handled.

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