Articles in E-Newsletter

Increase the value of library services:

Use of technology is spread just like mushroom in every walk of our life now-a-days and everyone almost feels really helpless whenever there is gap of these technologies in our day to day life’s routine work. Technology has also widened the scope of our working areas as well as level of thinking but, if we just have the glimpses of the days two decades ago in our mind, we hardly used to hear the terms like automation, digitization, content management system etc. Without the much use of technology also, library professionals were able to provide services to their library patrons effectively and the system used to be very strong those days from user satisfaction’s point of view. Those days it was really a tough task for any library to market their products & services as the medium of communication was not that much strong in comparison to what it is today. Even then, the libraries were able to disseminate information and assist in research and academic work by providing personalized services, customized services, evaluating different services etc.

I am trying to draw your attention towards value of library services in digital era……

We have been using technology to speed up our efficiency but have we ever thought about value of library services being provided? Does it reach to the society & its users successfully? and so on….If answer is ‘Yes’……then great and if ‘Not’…..we must think it over about how can it reach?

In my opinion, social media or networking has been playing a very effective role in maintaining public relations……it is working just like bridge between two ends.

In order to stay up-to-date in the socially networked environment and meet the growing needs of their users, libraries therefore need to adopt the new technologies and face the challenges for delivery of better services.

We all must actively respond to the popularity of social networking sites e.g. most popular facebook, twitter etc. and their expanding role in the creation, use, and sharing of information by engaging us as a central medium for interacting with library patrons and providing services to meet their information needs.

We all must follow the public conversations, posts, updates, and events of these key individuals, and offer advice, resources, and help. We all must act as an active participant of the social space and be able to identify the needs of the members of the library communities and must provide solutions by offering information, links to the websites that are relevant to their information needs; and even direct offers of help. There is an urgent need for libraries to adopt the new social networking tools in their services as a strategy for major change while promoting a role for library users in knowledge creation.

Libraries can connect their social networking sites with their library websites to links to their on-line public access catalog, chat reference pages, research guides, calendar of events, e-newsletter etc.

In order to increase the value of our library services, we must play the roles of the social networking librarian by:
understanding the nature of social networking sites, creating web page and content, establishing friendly user interface over the network, evaluating and applying information, assisting users by providing quality online library services.

Many thanks for reading my post with patience, hope it is useful….

DP Tripathi

Are we Information Literate to become Information Manager?

Believe it or not! Today we are talking and talking only about information, information explosion and its management and present situation has forced us to become information manager which is not at all an easy task. To become successful information manager, we are supposed to be information literate first which requires the understanding of the following in my opinion:

a. Information – why needed?

In order to become successful Information Manager, first we need to identify that information is really needed and we have to understand why information is needed, what, how much, what kind of information is really required and at the same time, we need to identify that information is spread in wide range of formats in different locations (geographically and virtually). And, the skill which we need to develop to articulate a particular question for fetching the information for specific research is very important.

We all know that information is not limited to the boundary and inside the boundary of wall but it is available on paper, digital files, and other media such as audio visuals or from different sources. It may or may not be easy to get information to fulfill the need for making a right decision for getting a right answer against right question but we need to develop this skill.

b. Available Resources – Understand:

An information manager is supposed to develop a skill to evaluate and identify what resources are available on particular topic or particular information and where we can locate them in order to access them. If found also, what type of resources and whether we can use for our purpose. We need to understand the different types of resources such as paper-based, electronic resources, digital resources etc. and when & how to use them considering the merits of types of resources and differences as well.

c. Find Information – How?

We may be having very good resources but we need to develop technique and at the same time of plan for using the available resources so that we can get best information for the best question. Information literate has to understand that searching should not only be the option to get information but also learn other techniques such as browsing, monitoring information resources etc. Generally, we may find information from the following methods such as:

i. Go through several resources

ii. Book Indexes given at the back

iii. Abstracting and Indexing Journals

iv. Use of RSS feed in order to get information from different sources

v. Active participation in forum, discussion list, e-mail alerts and bulletin boards etc.

vi. Bookmarking the address on Browser such as Mozilla, Chrome etc.

vii. Searching the information in search engines using Boolean Logic

viii. Develop the understanding to use relevant ranked searching

d. Evaluation of Results and Implementation

We need to develop skill to evaluate the obtained information for checking the accuracy and its value without biasness keeping the same in mind that the evaluation will not misguide or mislead with incomplete result. Many times it happens that we get information through search engines against our filled question, but we need to evaluate and understand whether the information is trustworthy then only information can help the researcher in right direction.

A prior knowledge of author, name of publisher, editor and series may help the researcher to reach the right destination with less effort.

e. Disseminate your search results (findings)

To become information literate, we need to develop the understanding to analyze the retrieved information to disseminate with accuracy. But before we leave the information for others to use, we need to understand the use of information in a responsible, sensitive and ethical manner. A proper respect to confidentially should be given and at the same time credit to the person who really owes the copyright. We also need to develop the ability to communicate in a manner which is appropriate to information, the user and present situation.

f. Manage your findings – How?

Finding is never easy against any question and it involves efforts and human interpretation at different stages to get right information for the right purpose. We need to develop the skill to manage the acquired information in most effective way with suitable methods and for that we will have to, sometimes, evaluate critically on our process and findings as well as sources from where we retrieved the information for using the findings and information at later stage. And for that we will have to think as follows:

i. Use of used resources in finding the information again

ii. Use file cabinets or proper shelves to managing physical resources

iii. Arrangement of emails with attachments

iv. Planning security and backup of information retrieved for re-locating and use

v. Getting updates in changes in documents where you retrieved information

vi. Use of Content Management System such as Joomla, Drupal etc. for information management

Thanks with regards,
DP Tripathi

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