THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) ON COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT IN THE DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ABRAKA. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION
1.1. Background to the Study
The importance of information as a vital resource in today’s society hardly needs emphasis as information brings people and thoughts together. It is the exchanges of ideas, news and data that make a society what it is. In the post-industrial society, it has been said that what counts is not raw muscle power or energy but information, and indeed the advanced economies of the world have already become information intensive (Dysart and Jones 2014). Consequently, large investments are being made in the Information Technology (IT) industry for the purpose of generating, processing and disseminating/transmitting information. IT can be used in libraries and information centres, in the context of Ranganathan’s fourth law ‘save the time of the reader/staff for many purposes. On the question of the impact of IT on library and information work, (Luijenijk, 2009),as early as 1985, drew attention to what he considers a significant change required in future systems design, as the present information systems have been designed for use by information professionals rather than users (Johnson, 2010). This, perhaps, is true in many libraries even today it becomes now imperative to design information systems for use by end-users, the primary clientele.
However, while libraries and information centres have risen to the occasion and are trying to adapt and adopt IT for their operations, they are being affected by a number of external forces-social, economic, political, technological and internal variables for a change. Thus, the challenge of change, the pressure for accountability, and the emergence of enterprise culture are emphasising the fact that library and information services need to be proactive rather than passive and hence, need to be positively and effectively managed. At this juncture, it may be useful to remember that four interrelated trends of IT-multiple IT, dispersing IT, accelerating IT, and pervasive IT — can alter, for example:
• Objectives and strategies—the nature of sources and services
• Operational structures—the ways in which service(s) are delivered (Line, 2011).
Recent advances in science and technology in general and developments in the field of information technology in particular have vastly influenced the concept of collection development and have brought in sweeping changes in information collection, storage and dissemination (Luijenijk, 2009). Factors like information explosion, budgetary constraints, complex requirements of users, rising cost of publications and other related factors as well as development of digital libraries, internet, e-mail, CD-ROM, electronic publishing etc., have forced the libraries and librarians to change the style and approach of their functioning. Libraries have slowly started giving importance to „accessing the other library’s collection‟ rather than mere possessing almost all documents on a given subject i.e., shifting from „owning‟ to „access‟ and „sharing‟.