Impact of Internet on Library Operations and Services: a Critical Study of Some Public and Private University Libraries in Dhaka City

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Chapter 1
Introduction and methodology

This is an age of information and communication technology (ICT), where information is power and an essential basis of human progress. A library as the heart of an academic institution store, compile and provide information to users as when necessary. “Internet”, the epoch making creation of modern science, has extended this effort a lot which has crossed the boundaries of a library, a state, a country and even a continent. It has opened up a new horizon in library functioning and mark up a new dimension in resource sharing. The application of internet in library services dates back a decade in Bangladesh. To what extent the internet applications support the library services. What are its impact on the attitude and information seeking behavior of the user groups? To what extent does it influence the information professionals’ in house keeping and information communication activities in Bangladesh? This study will try to find out the answers these questions as a whole.

At present, information seems to have supremacy over everything. But information has no value unless is used. The creation, procurement, organization, dissemination and fullest use of information have become a vital path of development of a country and society. The existing gap between developed and developing nations is the difference of their reliance uses of information resources, technology and passive attitude towards information resources. It is generalized fact that a country, which is rich in information, is rich in economic sphere too because, information is a vital commodity for trade, which has to have access in all markets and not to terrified but should be “free to flow” in international markets. By this time, one of the hallmark developments of information society is “Information Economy”, which implies the information related income sector and employment. In this regard, the national, sociological and economic development of a developing country like Bangladesh can not be thought without the effective use and support of information. A number of interrelated factors such as quantitative growth of information, inadequate finance, escalating cost of documents, diversified and limitless information demand of the user community, etc. have created a great challenge for information professionals especially in the third world countries.

The beginning of the 21st century witnessed a phenomenon viz. ‘Information Explosion’ or ‘Information Flood’ due to exponential growth of information which puts the users in a state of anxiety. With the rapid advances in computing and telecommunication media, the massive use of modern technologies on explosive growth in world literature is being observed. Modern libraries and information centers are not aloof from these technological trends. Really, the technological revolution has forced the libraries to up to date their role as information generating, repacking and diffusing centre. They are forced to serve their role of information gathering, processing and administering. So the traditional tools and techniques in providing library services have become effective or less effective due to voluminous growth of literature. The role of library is challenging one in modern time when manual efforts have failed to cope with the demand. A researcher, a user or scientist wants information immediately without wasting his/her time, expects immediate response irrespective of the size and nature of the collection. New trends in higher education have resulted in new concept of service on academic libraries. Simultaneously, the traditional perception of academic libraries is changing, as they becoming gateways to information resources worldwide. Any academic library especially university library essentially has to depend on the speed and efficiency of its library and information services. No academic institution achieves its objectives effectively and efficiently without the proper...
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