The importance of University Libraries
Utilizing library resources polishes students’ academic skills and critical thinking; it makes them read like a detective and write like reporters. Having good investigative ability develops the reader’s sense of sensibility and positive argumentation in real life. People inclined to benefit themselves from library resources are better at analyzing and evaluating, can better produce descriptive and critical writing.
Using library resources also refines your approach of carrying out effective searches, enabling you to explore the tools for staying up to date with research and developing your profile which allows you to connect with others who share similar interests.
Library fulfils the role as the central core of the university, despite the diversion from print toward electronic resources. It contributes directly to the institution’s mission and equips the students with the required knowledge and skills for maximizing their employability.
The digital library trend since the last decade has directly impacted the productivity of universities. This makes access to quality e-content possible 24/7 to academics and students, despite building closing hours, which eventually facilitates the faster searching of books and journals in their free time.
There are considerable economic benefits to university libraries, as accessing the books through the library (instead of via other routes) saves much time and resources. In addition, good quality library resources contribute to the prestige of the institution and facilitate the enhancement of knowledge for students. The quality of research work is also affected by the library facility. The usage of library resources and e-journals is positively correlated with research grants, contracts income, PhD awards and published papers.
The library is far beyond a repository of knowledge. For students, it is a service centre to their experience of institution and learning. It serves as an essential point of continuity and a bond between students and their strive for flourishing in academics. Nowadays, the librarians contribute as student advisors, helping to drive convergence between library resources and the support services available for students or staff members.
Quality of library is essential for prospective students as it adds up in pupil satisfaction to help them be self-directed learners. The students who directly utilize library resources get the advantage of higher academic outcomes as compare to others. In addition, the teaching and supporting facilities in libraries increase the ratio of employability of university’s graduates because the ability to manage information and technology using complex forms or e-resources effectively is highly sought-after by employers.
Types of Libraries
- Academic libraries :
Learning and education taking precedence over everything else, educational institutions started appearing first and libraries later. Academic libraries are a vital part of schools, colleges and universities, and professional and research institutions to promote systematic learning. Academic libraries assume the responsibility to provide access to informational sources from which learning and teaching can flourish.
- Public libraries :
The large-scale production of books, fast-changing living conditions, and increased literacy level has had a cumulative impact on society.
The combined forces of neo political thoughts, democratic aspirations of people in social, literary and cultural fields led to the creation of awareness in the public of the need to have accessible reading facilities. With the demand for libraries to read and borrow books, a public library movement had started, pursued mainly by an intellectual community. A public library system with central and branch libraries was designed and developed through the legislation route and financed by governments. Public libraries, thus created, were distinct from other types of libraries having a clear responsibility and authority to serve the general needs generally supported by public funds.
- Special Libraries:
Several industrial enterprises were established by rapid industrial developments catalyzed by innovations in scientific and technological research in the post-industrial era. This created a big demand for specialized literature for mass-scale industrial production of goods and services. Consequently, business and commercial activities flourished. Thus, emerged the need for special libraries. Special libraries are intended to serve a particular institution with a specific role to play, and they are mainly “one subject” libraries. For example, they can serve a hospital, or law practice, or industrial company. They also vary in size, depending in part on the size of the institution they serve
- Government Libraries:
Beginning from the twentieth century, the responsibility of governments increased in several areas of national growth and development for the welfare of the people. This again created the need for library support for various types of information to deal with different ministries and departments of governments. So naturally, government ministries and departments organized libraries to meet their functional requirements, distinctly different from other libraries.
- National Libraries:
All these new developments led to the need to publish a variety of documents reflecting the intellectual, scientific, literary and cultural activities of a country. These noteworthy features were the causes for creating national libraries, particularly in western countries, symbolizing their culture and literary heritage to be preserved for posterity. But now, following the trend and fulfilling necessity, national libraries are in every country.
Previously we have seen that libraries differ in the type of user base they serve. Besides, we should note that libraries also differ in the kinds of publication media of resources in their collections. Accordingly, we have libraries with a different type of library models such as the following :
- Physical library :
A physical library (traditional library) is viewed as a learning place that houses a collection of books, periodicals, newspapers and other publications in electronic media and used for education, learning and awareness,
Physical libraries exist in various sizes ranging from single room size libraries to multi-room multi-floor libraries.
- Electronic library :
A library that comprises collections of “born digital “electronic resources” is called an electrical library.
As books evolved into the electronic world, libraries have emerged as electronic. It includes electronic media such as computer discs, CDs, online books etc. We use electronic media to store information in digital format. We make a distinction between electronic, digital and virtual libraries in terms of the mode used to store collections in electronic media and how technical services function,
The term electronic doesn’t encompass resources such as digital versions.
- Digital library :
The term digital library is more inclusive; it covers mixed collections of digitized material with physical counterparts plus born-digital electronic collections. Users can access articles, magazines, papers, books, sound files, images and videos.
The use of a digital library is enhanced by a broadband connection such as modem, cable or DSL. Dial-up links are used to access documents of all kinds, including simple ones, complex files or having images and videos. Moreover, internet-based libraries are adaptable, and this emerging technology is not less than a great asset for us in this era.
Collections that create digital versions of physical materials through the digitalization process are called digital collections.
- Virtual Library :
Libraries aggregate the distributed content from various digital and electronic libraries in a virtual space using computer networks. Virtual libraries have no physical counterparts (such as DVD, CD etc.).
- Hybrid Library :
The sources that hybrid libraries hold in their collections are in print and electronic and digital format. It is about creating a single user interface to access all types of resources in various forms.
HEC Digital Library
HEC libraries have been at the forefront of stepping into digital resources. To promote learning among the masses, the Punjab government established 151 brilliant digital libraries. The project comprised three targets, i.e., to give access to information in institutions, providing reading material through public libraries, and preserving and giving access to indigenous knowledge, including books, articles, journals, or any other kind of knowledge sharing area.
Students can get access to this treasure of information resources from anywhere through the internet, free of charge.
HEC project of the digital library includes a well-optimized digital library of e-journals. Databases, digital press clippings, documentaries, video lectures relevant to the text, online Pakistan periodical index, interactive e-resources and DVDs, and general subjects in the form of PDF documents.
The goal is to improve access to required usable information resources and improve the quality of higher education to provide greater access to information, provide all kinds of educational reading material, and preserve scholarly articles for students.
HEC Digital Library provides researchers with access to the international scholarly literature on the internet, providing access to high-quality peer-reviewed databases, articles, journals, databases and e-books across a wide range of disciplines.
Which digital libraries are there in Pakistan?
Mentioned below are the names of digital libraries available in Pakistan :
- Springer Link
- Taylor and francis (T&F)
- ASTM International
- PQDT Open
All subject fields are covered in above mentioned digital libraries including and highlight The importance of University Libraries
- Advanced Automation
- Accounting and finance
- Business Ethics and Law
- Computational Mathematics
- Electronics Manufacture and Packaging
- Enterprise and Innovation
- Health Care
- Human Resource Management
- Industry and Public Sector Management
- Information and Knowledge Management
- International Business
- Learning and Development
- Library and Information Studies
- Management Science/Management Studies
- Managing Quality
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Operations and Logistics Management
- Organization Studies
- Performance Management and Measurement
- Built Environment
- Tourism and Hospitality
- Politics and Policy
- Sociology and Anthropology
- Language and Linguistics
- Library and information science
- Behavioral sciences
- Media culture and communication studies
- Business management and economics
- Criminology and law
- Politics, international relations and Area studies
- Public health and social care
- Agriculture, Aquaculture & Food Science