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Library Philosophy and Practice 2009

ISSN 1522-0222

Information Technology and Online Resources in Dental College Libraries of Haryana

Dr. Chetan Sharma
Assistant Librarian
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
Delhi, India

 

Introduction

Information technology (IT) is not a new concept. In the last decade, IT education and applications have continued to move forward. IT education in the state of Haryana has been enhanced and strengthened recently. Haryana is among the smallest states of India in both population and geography, but it is committed to providing every kind of education to its students. It is taking the lead in the field of medical education, with nine dental colleges. In medical and dental science, IT is essential. Library professionals working with medical organizations have a great challenge to fulfill the needs of demanding users for library and information service and resources. The use of IT is necessary to give access to e-resources. This study reflects the current state of the implementation of IT in dental libraries, and attempts to evaluate the current potential of special and academic libraries to provide access to scientific and research information.

Objectives

  • To study the IT infrastructures at dental college libraries of the Haryana State
  • To find and examine the patterns of use of IT by the respondents in their professional activities
  • To analyse respondents' perception of the appropriateness of different IT tools.
  • To study the problems faced by respondents in using IT infrastructure.
  • To study the obstacles and initiatives in implementing the IT infrastructure.

Previous Studies

A number of studies have been carried out on IT in universities and research organizations. Womboth and Abba (2008) found that The Federal University of Technology, Yola library has embraced ICT in its services. Catalogue cards are now produced by computer. FUTYLIS, locally developed software, is being used to prepare the library's OPAC. This is to be replaced by the more comprehensive ALICE FOR WINDOWS Software in order to completely offer online services. Out of the eight academic librarians, six are computer/Internet-literate. The library has seven computer operators. Saeed, et al., (2000) observe that availability of funds and lack of IT infrastructure were reported by a majority of the in university libraries of Pakistan. Similar results were found in a later study by Haider (2004). Ramzan (2004) reveals that 57 of out of 244 libraries did not any have any computers. The majority, 129 libraries, had fewer than 5 each, 48 had 5-20, and 10 libraries had more than 20 computers. Only 57 percent of academic and research libraries offered e-mail, and 53 percent had Internet access in their libraries. His studies also reveal a generally low level of IT knowledge among librarians. Askhita (2000) describes how since 1998, Al-Assad National Library has allowed its visitors to use the Internet, and has also published its online public access catalogue on an Internet-enabled server. He also advises that the Arab world should become involved in information production and e-commerce. Al-Zahrani (2000) says that Kuwait University library has introduced CD-ROM and Internet facility in its libraries. Similarly, University of Bahrain libraries have implemented an electronic check-out system, and are using CD-ROM databases. Taran and Gorman (1999) conclude state that many Vietnamese libraries now have basic IT hardware and software, and the telecommunications infrastructure has improved to the point that most libraries have reliable telephone links. Gorny and Jazdon (1997) recognize that the best developed IT infrastructure is found in academic libraries, while the situation is worse in special libraries, because of a lack of financial funds.

Methodology

A questionnaire was structured to collect the primary data. Visits were made to all the dental college libraries of Haryana, where the librarians were consulted. Information was also collected from the official documents of the colleges.

The study is limited to the dental college libraries of Haryana, which are listed in table 1.

College Abbreviation Courses offered
B.R.S Dental College, Panchkula BRSDC BDS
D.H.A Govt. Dental College, Rohtak DHADC BDS, MDS
Jan Nayak Choudhary Devi Lal Dental College, Sirsa DLDC BDS
Manav Rachna Dental College, Faridabad MRDC BDS
Maharishi Markandeshwar College of Dental Science & Research, Mullana (Ambala) MMDC BDS, MDS
P.D.M Dental College & Research Institute, Bahadurgarh PDMDC BDS
Shri Guru Gobind Singh Tercentenary Dental College , Budhera (Gurgaon) GGSDC BDS
Sudha Rastogi Dental College, Bhopani (Faridabad) SRDC BDS
Swami Devi Dayal Hospital & Dental College, Barwala (Pachkula) SDDDC BDS

Table 1

There are nine dental colleges in Harayana state. All offer a bachelor's degree in dental surgery (BDS). All are self-financed except DHADC. Only two colleges, DHADC and MMDC provide a master's degree in dental surgery (MDS).

Discussion

Collections of the Dental College libraries
College Books Thesis & Dissertation E-Books E-Journals CD
BRSDC 3911 25 no no no
DHADC 880 30 no 20 no
DLDC 2423 no no no 30
MRDC 1113 no no no 50
MMDC 6373 no no 37 130
PDMDC 3004 no no no 161
GGSDC 5800 no 12 07 135
SRDC 4050 no no no 50
SDDDC 5225 no 25 13 157

Table 2

MMDC library has the largest collection, followed by GGSDC and SDDDC. Two-thirds of these libraries have fewer than 5,000 books. DHADC is the only government college in the group, and it has the lowest number of books. MMDC and DHADC have the largest collection of e-journals. A large majority have no collection of theses and dissertations.

Current periodicals
College Indian Foreign Total
BRSDC 10 12 22
DHADC no 14 14
DLDC 08 18 26
MRDC 09 10 19
MMDC 16 64 80
PDMDC 05 15 20
GGSDC 15 15 30
SRDC 06 09 15
SDDDC 16 13 29

Table 3

MMDC library has the largest collection of journals, with 80. The rest have around 30 titles, with the government college DHADC at the bottom with only 14.

Library Automation
College Year library established Year of automation Software Modules Automation Status
BRSDC 1992 no no no no
DHADC 1964 no no no no
DLDC 2005 2007 Lib. Mgt. System Circulation, Maintenance Acquisition, OPAC Partially
MRDC 2006 2006 Gaba Circulation, Maintenance Acquisition , OPAC Fully
MMDC Feb.2000 2007 SOUL Circulation, Maintenance Acquisition , OPAC Partially
PDMDC Sept.2006 no no no Proposed
GGSDC 2000 2001 In-House Circulation, Maintenance, OPAC Partially
SRDC Oct.2002 2001 In-House Circulation, Maintenance, OPAC Partially
SDDDC 2004 2003 Libzee Circulation, Maintenance Acquisition , OPAC Fully

Table 4

Only two of nine institutions are fully computerized, with four being partially computerized. DHADC has no automated services and none planned. This is a shocking outcome in the era of ICT, since new technologies are coming into existence very rapidly and older ones quickly becoming obsolete. Only MMDC library has standardized library software, i.e., SOUL, with the others surviving with locally-developed solutions.

Factors leading to automation
College Librarian's initiative Users Workload Management Improve in quality Minimize repetitive work
DLDC yes no no no no no
MRDC yes no no yes yes yes
MMDC yes no no yes yes no
GGSDC yes no no no yes yes
SRDC yes no no no yes no
SDDDC yes no no yes yes yes

Table 5

In all the six dental college libraries that are fully or partially automated, this is due to the initiative taken by the librarians. All the college libraries have implemented automation to improve the quality of the services except DLDC library. Along with the above factors, the managing authorities in MRDC, MMDC, and SDDDC were also willing to see the libraries automated. MRDC, GGSDC, and SDDDC libraries also implemented automation to minimize the repetitive work.

Steps in implementation
College Staff Training Seminars and Conferences on Library Automation Study Related Literature Visit Automated Libraries Discuss with Other Librarians
DLDC no no no no no
MRDC yes yes yes yes yes
MMDC yes yes no no no
GGSDC no yes yes yes yes
SRDC yes no no no no
SDDDC no yes yes yes yes

Table 6

A majority of the college librarians have attended seminars or conferences on automation before implementing it. MRDC, MMDC, and SRDC libraries sent their staffs for training. Library personnel at MRDC, GGSDC, and SDDDC have also taken some more steps to lead library automation, i.e., study related literature, visit automated libraries, discuss with other librarians.

E-Journal subscriptions
College Blackwell BDA Elsevier Springer Metaline NPG LWW Academic Prime
BRSDC no no no no no no no no no
DHADC yes no yes no no no yes no no
DLDC no no no no no no no no no
MRDC yes no yes no no no no no no
MMDC yes yes yes no no no no no no
PDMDC no no no no no no no no no
GGSDC yes no yes no no no no no no
SRDC yes no yes no no no no no no
SDDDC yes no no no no no no no yes

Table 7

BDA: British Dental Association; NPG: Nature Publishing Group; LWW: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

There are a number of online journal packages in the field of dental science, of which some popular packages have been listed in table 7. The libraries mainly subscribe to Blackwell and Elsevier. The absence of online journals in these libraries indicates that the level of research in these colleges is low.

Infrastructure
College Telephone Fax LCD Projector T.V.
BRSDC no no no no
DHADC yes no yes yes
DLDC no no yes no
MRDC yes no no no
MMDC yes yes no yes
PDMDC no yes no no
GGSDC yes no yes yes
SRDC no no no yes
SDDDC no no yes yes

Table 8

Less than half the libraries have telephones, and less that one fourth have faxing capability. The lack of these is a major barrier to communication. The same numbers have television and LCD projector, respectively. The dental college libraries of Haryana are facing a lack of basic facilities which needed in any library.

Hardware
College PCs Server UPS Printer Scanner Barcode Scanner
BRSDC 04 no 03 no no no
DHADC 04 01 01 01 02 no
DLDC 30 01 06 01 no no
MRDC 31 01 01 01 01 no
MMDC 05 01 04 01 01 no
PDMDC 05 no 05 01 01 no
GGSDC 19 01 22 02 02 no
SRDC 11 01 11 01 01 no
SDDDC 06 02 06 02 no 01

Table 9

MRDC and DLDC libraries have the largest number of PCs. GGSDC and SRDC are next, with BRSDC and DHADC at the bottom. All the libraries have their own server except BRSDC and PDMDC. All have printers except BRSDC.

Operating systems
College Windows 95 Windows 98 Windows 2000 Windows XP Windows Vista Unix Linux
BRSDC no yes no no no no no
DHADC no yes no no no no no
DLDC no no yes no no no no
MRDC no no no yes no no no
MMDC no no yes no no no no
PDMDC yes yes yes no no no no
GGSDC no yes yes no no no no
SRDC no yes no no no no no
SDDDC no no no yes no no no

Table 10

A majority of the libraries under study use Windows 98, while nearly half have implemented Windows 2000. Only MRDC and SDDDC have launched Windows XP.

LAN installed
College Institute Library
BRSDC no no
DHADC no yes
DLDC no no
MRDC no yes
MMDC yes yes
PDMDC yes yes
GGSDC no yes
SRDC no yes
SDDDC no yes

Table 11

Networking is essential to optimize the use of automated services. All the institutions have set up a LAN except BRSDC and DLDC. Only MMDC and PDMDC have established a LAN at campus level.

Internet connection
College Dial Up Leased Line Broad band
BRSDC no no no
DHADC no no yes
DLDC no no no
MRDC no yes no
MMDC no yes no
PDMDC no yes no
GGSDC yes no no
SRDC no yes no
SDDDC no yes no

Table 12

Slightly more than half the libraries have leased line Internet connectivity. DHADC has broadband access. BRSDC and DLDC do not have Internet connectivity.

Internet service provider
College ERNET VSNL ASIA NET BSNL AIRTEL RELIANCE GLIDE
BRSDC no no no no no no no
DHADC no no no yes no no no
DLDC no no no no no no no
MRDC no yes no  no no no
MMDC no no no no no no yes
PDMDC no no no yes no no no
GGSDC no no no no no yes no
SRDC no no no no no no yes
SDDDC no no no  no no yes

Table 13

One third of the libraries use GLIDE as an Internet service provider. Libraries of DHADC and PDMDC use BSNL, and MRDC uses VSNL.

Conclusion

Most of the dental college libraries in this study are in a beginning stage, and will continue to mature. There is an urgent need for improvement in the IT infrastructure. There is a clear lack of e-resources. Due to non-availability of any external financial aid and the self-financed nature of the institutions, there has always been a state of financial crisis in these libraries.

References

Al-Zahrani, R.S. (2000). Perceptions concerning Information Technology (IT) innovations and IT training in university libraries in Saudi Arabia. Florida State University, Tallahasee, FL, Doctoral dissertation. (Dissertation Abstracts International, Online)

Askhita, H. (2000). The Internet in Syria. Online Information Review 24 (2):144-9.

Górny, M., & Jazdon, A. (1997). The implementation of information technology projects in Polish research and academic libraries in the early 1990s: Questions of scope and effectiveness. Library Management 18 (6): 280-285.

Haider, S.J. (2004). Perspectives on coping with change: Issues facing university libraries in Pakistan. Journal of Academic Librarianship 30 (3): 229-36.

Ramzan, M. (2004). Levels of information technology (IT) applications in Muslim world libraries. Electronic Library 22 (3):274-80.

Saeed, H. (2000). Internet use in university libraries of Pakistan. Online Information Review 24 (2):154-60.

Tran, L.A., & Gorman, G.E. ( 1999). The implementation of information technology in Vietnamese libraries. Asian Libraries 8 (10): 380-395 .

Womboth, B.S.H., & Abba, T. (2008). The state of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigerian university libraries: The experience of Ibrahim Babangida Library, Federal University of Technology, Yola. Library Philosophy and Practice (December)

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