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Rapid advances in information technologies have revolutionized the role of libraries. Digital Libraries actually redesigned from the Traditional library. These kinds of libraries provide services and product information to their subscribers online.
Digital library is the community-driven object. They grow with their subscribers and share valuable information with a nominal charge. If any digital library having 5000 subscribers and each subscriber give $1 to the library, then library worth is $5000 per month.
Traditional libraries are still handling cumbersome printed materials that are expensive and bulky. Information seekers are no longer satisfied with only printed materials. Demands for digital information increased exponentially in last few years.
A digital library is a collection of documents in the organized electronic form which is available on the Internet. It can be carried in form of CD-ROM (compact-disk read-only memory) disks, Pen drive or even into your smartphone.
A digital library or digital collection is an online database of digital objects. This collection can include text, still images, audio, video & other digital media formats.
The digital content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope and can be maintained by individuals or organizations. In addition to storing content, digital libraries provide means for organizing, searching, and retrieving the content contained in the collection.
Depending on the specific library, a user may be able to access magazine articles, books, papers, images, sound files, and videos.
Characteristics of Digital Libraries
- Digital library having low cost and High Returns as a point of Business views. ‘
- Build paperless society, which is obvious environment-friendly.
- Digital library collections contain permanent documents. The digital environment will enable quick handling and/or ephemeral information.
- Digital libraries based on digital technologies. The assumption that digital libraries will contain only digital materials may be wrong. Digital libraries are often used by individuals working alone.
- The physical boundaries of data have eliminated. Support for communications and collaboration is as important as information-seeking.
- Compression of data storage is enabling publication and storage of digital information. Telecommunications is facilitating the storage, retrieval, use, and exchange of digital resources.
Purpose of Digital Library
- Encourage cooperative efforts in research resource, computing, and communication networks.
- Systematic procedures to collect, store and organize information in digital form.
- Promote the efficient delivery of information which is pocket-friendly to all subscribers.
- Strengthen communication and collaboration with various educational institutions.
- Take a leadership role in the generation and dissemination of knowledge.
The function of Digital Library
- Access to primary information sources.
- Support multimedia content along with the text.
- Access to large amounts of information to users wherever they are and whenever they need it.
- Network accessibility on Intranet and Internet
- User-friendly interface
- Hypertext links for navigation
- Client-server architecture
- Integration with other digital libraries.
- Advanced search and retrieval.
- Digital Collection
- Systems function
- Telecommunication facility
- Human resources
Disadvantages of Digital Library
Digitization violates the copyright law as the thought content of one author. It can be transferred by other without his acknowledgment. So these issues need to overcome for digital libraries. Each author needs to ensure their content must not copy from your digital library. All content needs to protected by copywriting of the author.
Initial cost is high
The infrastructure cost of the digital library is bit high. But Return of your investment is also high. Hardware, Software, license, copy-writing and data security is the key investment areas.
Digital library will need high bandwidth for transfer of multimedia resources. But the bandwidth is decreasing day by day due to df over usage.
Finding the right material for a specific task becomes difficult sometimes. There are some hurdles with the larger volume of digital information.
Digital libraries cannot reproduce the environment of a traditional library. Many people find the printed material is to be easier than reading material on a computer screen.
Due to technological developments, a digital library can rapid become out-of-date. when we talk about facts, everything gonna outdated after a while.
Education / Eligibility
A master’s of library science (MLS) is required to work in a public or academic library according to the American Library Association. A candidate needs an MLS to work for a national collection or legal library.
A high school diploma or its equal education is the least requirement for obtaining a position as a clerical library assistant. Some digital libraries may be amenable to hiring and training high school students. An associate degree or a post-secondary certificate in library technology is usually for library technicians. Curriculum requirements generally include topics in automated services, acquisitions, cataloging principles and reference.
The Digital Library Research and Development department suggests that a digital librarian have the following qualitative requirements
They must thrive with ongoing change, be a constant self-educator, remain open to varying degrees of experimentation, take risks, learn from experience and have a sense of optimism of the potential in technology.
In addition, the person should love books reading. Library assistants should be computer literate and have good organizational abilities. Communication and interpersonal skills associated with any high public contact position also appreciated.
The job responsibilities of a digital librarian are quite similar to the traditional librarian. the person should be responsible for cataloging and by maintaining accurate records of the collection.
Librarian’s Day-to-day duties include planning and coordinating technical work and managing special projects. Librarian works closely with team mates, ensuring that all information shared with the public over the web is properly licensed, especially pieces donated or that are on loan to the library.
The digital librarian also monitors collection, budgets and expenditures. They are responsible for maintaining relationships with all vendors associated with the digital library. Additionally, a digital librarian also acts as a supervisor to junior staff and assists in hiring new personnel.
As many libraries and various collections begin to migrate material and make more information available to the public, the need for digital librarians will continue to grow. Candidates can inquire at the local public library, art gallery, museum or any other institute that maintains records and information for the purpose of sharing with the public. Many companies such as banks and financial services firms proactively seek digital librarians to assist in archiving information for historical purposes. Internet job banks may include positions for archivists or digital librarians.
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A digital librarian is an archivist responsible for the selection, acquisition, organization, accessibility and preservation of a digital library. A digital library exists in many different variations from the online local public library to an extensive collection of genealogy records. These new digital libraries allow the public access to materials and collections otherwise not available with the click of the mouse or the invention of the Internet. The digital librarian oversees all aspects of managing the library or collection website.
P.S.- As a Digital librarian, You can offer relevant courses and programs to your subscribers by the trained mentor as an affiliate partner.