Information technology (IT) is playing a crucial role in contemporary society. It has transformed the whole world into a global village with a global economy, which is increasingly dependent on the creative management and distribution of information. Globalization of world economies has greatly enhanced the values of information to business organizations and has offered new business opportunities. Today, IT provides the communication and analytical. Power that organizations need for conducting trade and managing business at global level with much ea:,e. To coordinate their worldwide network of suppliers, distributors and consumers, organizations have developed global information systems that can track orders, deliveries, and payments round the clock. This has been possible because of the development of IT in its present form. In the broadest sense, information technology refers to both the hardware and software that are used to store, retrieve, and manipulate information. At the lowest level you have the servers each with an operating system. Installed on the servers are things like database and web serving software. The servers are connected to each other and .to users via a network infrastructure. And the users accessing these servers have their own hardware, operating systems, and software tools.
UNESCO defines IT as, "Scientific technological and engineering disciplines and the management techniques used in information handling and processing information, their interaction with man and machine and associated social, economic and cultural matters" .
Librarian's Glossary defines IT as," a development of information sources handled by computers and communication by electronic channels; database can thus be accessed telephone and television links and computer output can be transmitted in an electronic format directly to a remote receiver.
Glossary of Academic Information Technology Terms, San Diego State University Information Technology includes matters concerned with the furtherance of computer science and technology, design, development, installation and implementation of information systems and applications.
Kathleen Guinee wrote, "By information technology, I mean the tools we use to perform calculations, to store and manipulate text, and to communicate. Some of these twentieth century tools include: the adding machine, slide rule" and calculator for performing calculations, the typewriter and word processor for processing text, and the telephone, radio, and television for communicating.
Impact of information technology
The information technology has a wide ranging impact on library and information work. The electronic library is a storehouse of information, documents, audio-visual and graphic materials stored in a variety of media ranging from printed books, periodicals, poster and reports, microforms, slides, films, videos, audio disc, audio tapes, optical discs, magnetic tapes, floppy discs, etc. electronic library of the future is likely to be part of a network. An electronic library deals with both housekeeping operation like acquisitions, catalogue creation, circulation control, serial control, OP AC and the generation of management information and information retrieval system like external databases and associated services includes CAS, SDI etc.
New technologies can choose to attempt to emulate existing means of functioning or to offer a completely new means of operation. There is a tendency to start by emulating existing practices and thus we have the electronic mail system, the electronic journals, the library, the mail system, are all well understood by people using then.
Technologies, however, that go beyond the emulation of traditional approaches, offer some of the most existing prospects and...