What next shall I do in Library?

 Generally, this question comes in mind when we finish one task and I believe this question must be taking place in every professional’s mind. Really, it is very tough task to decide what next I can do which will be beneficial for everyone.

Actually, in my opinion, we must sense the need of our library users and accordingly we should provide the services from library. I thought of sharing some of my experiences with young library professionals who have just started their career…hope it will be very useful for everyone.

1.      Library Automation:

This mechanism has reduced the work load of every professional in this digital era but now-a-days, the biggest problem is to choose the right library automation software. Actually, there are many good library automation software available in the market (Commercial and Open Source both). In my opinion, those libraries which are in primitive stage, they must go ahead with Open Source Technology such as Koha, NewGenLib, and Evergreen etc. which supports International Standards and later, if you are not satisfied with the current software’s functionality, very easily you can switch over to the Commercial Software or any other with all your bibliographical data in same condition.

Open Source Tools for Library Automation:

Koha, NewGenLib, Evergreen etc.

2.      Digitization:

A library can start this service for maintaining the Institutional Repository or managing the electronic documents with the help of open source technology such as DSpace, E-Print, and Greenstone etc. But In my opinion, DSpace will be suitable for all as it has some unique features which will be very effective for academic community as well as for working staff for both operation and dissemination of Information.

Tools for Digitization:

DSpace, Greenstone, e-Print and Fedora Project etc.

3.      Library Website

This is the best service & application for any library to dissemination information quickly. As web application can be accessed anytime from anywhere, every library must maintain library web page. Now the question is how to maintain and develop the website? Now-a-days, there are many open source content management system available using which anyone can develop a very good and attractive website for library. I have also developed many websites using Joomla, WordPress etc.


4.      e-Newsletter

This service can also be started in library which will be very effective for library to bring to the notice of all the library users about one month activity of library. This e-newsletter can be designed and published using many methods. But, I find easy to publish e-newsletter with Microsoft Publisher which is available in MS Office Package in every system now a days. This tool is very easy to use and publish the newsletter.


Tool to publish e-newsletter:

a.      Microsoft Publisher

b.      Adobe Photoshop etc.

5.      Information KIOSK

The users find very easy to get the information about library & its resources with this equipment. Generally, it costs approximately Rs. 140000/- It is available with different configuration such as Thin Client, Stand Alone etc. Develop the software your own for this and keep in front of main gate of library which will be very effective for dissemination of information.

Tools to develop program for Information KIOSK:

We can use HTML and Flash for developing the program for Information KIOSK. For more assistance, visit www.w3schools.com

6. Develop Android Application for Library

A library can develop an Android Application for its services which will also be very effective as keeping smartphone has become very easy for everyone so the users can be made aware about library services through smart phone.

Tools to develop android application:

7.      New Arrival

This service is very essential as it keeps every library users updated with the latest editions available in the library. Generating the list of new arrivals is very easy as ready option is available in almost every software now-a-days. If not, this can be generated manually based on the processed documents in technical section. Later, the same list can be sent to all members through mail. User likes this service very much as they get information about latest books.


8.      Photocopier with Smart Card:

This service can also be provided to the user with Smart Card facility. In this, users are given one smart card (just like an ATM Card) with an option to have balance in it. When users come to take photocopy, they first swap the card and deduct the amount equal to the calculation of pages for which photocopy is to be done. Then, system allows user to photocopy the document up to the limit already deducted from user’s account. In-case, user does not have sufficient balance then user can recharge it.

9.      User Education Program:

Every month, a user education program can be organized on library services and its resources. This service is very useful for making the students aware about library resources, how to use these and also about other services. This program generally must be provided according to the user’s requirement.

10.  Demonstration:

Most of the library users don’t understand the nature of resources available in the library especially e-resources. A demo can be very helpful for all the users who access e-resources.

Apart from all these, there are many services which can be provided to our users.

DP Tripathi
NIT Jalandhar