DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL LIBRARY SERVICES SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF CARITAS UNIVERSITY LIBRARY)
1.1 INSIGHT INTO LIBRARY SYSTEM
A library can be defined as a room or building where books are kept and referenced. It is an area of multifarious activity on book management. A library as a repository of knowledge, houses collections of books, both reference and general, technical reports, periodicals, journals, conference proceedings and the likes. Consequently, truth and knowledge can be found and acquired from the library through the aforementioned sources. The information contents of any of the collections can be recorded on microfilms, audiotapes, microchips and other materials traditionally kept in the library, which is charged with the responsibility of acquiring, organizing, maintaining, and judicial circulation of the books and other library materials through the various sections of the library, for efficient use of the library by the users.
The acquisition, cataloguing, bindery and circulation sections of the library undertake the acquiring, organizing, maintaining and circulation of the books/library materials respectively. When the library through the acquisition section of the library acquires a book, its record is taken and accession number is given to the book after which the book will be sent to cataloguing section of the library. Under this section, the book will be carefully studied and given catalogue number before it will be sent to circulation section of the library as the case may be. The circulation section is responsible for circulation or distribution of books.
This section also arranges the consulted books in the shelves.
There are other sections like reference section, which provides reference questions and bibliographic service, and serial section where periodical, journals and related materials are kept. The library also houses special collections and also operates circulation
control in which books are lent to users. In fact it is indeed a place of multifarious activities on book management.
1.2 HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF LIBRARY SYSTEM
Libraries originated with writing about 6000 years ago and that was when writing was being done using materials like bones, clay, wax, papyrus, metals, silk, leather, parchment, paper, and other available materials. Later, these materials were assembled together to form libraries.
Among the earliest libraries were ANCIENT LIBRARIES OF CLAY, which emerged in Iraq and other Mesopotamian region like Syria and Turkey. In these libraries, records were kept on clay tablets. Within that period were also ANCIENT LIBRARIES OF ANIMAL SKIN and ANCIENT LIBRARIES OF PAPYRUS of which Alexandria libraries in Egypt were the examples. These libraries invariably were connected with temples, for these institutions were the centers of the whole life of the whole communities.
Moreover, it is widely believed that the private and institutional libraries are traceable to Egypt and Greece respectively, and the emergence of public libraries started in Rome. Libraries studies was given a boost by Julius Caesar during the first century of the Roman especially with his conferment of the Franchise privilege on all foreign teachers of liberal education residing in Rome. However, it was Augustus, who succeeded Caesar that gave a greater impact to scholarship development. He founded the first public libraries in Rome (69 – 70 AD). He established a library in the temple of peace, which formed the nucleus of a school of higher learning at a later time.
The history of library development in Nigeria is of recent vintage. In fact, the earliest library in Nigeria was Tom Jones Library, which was established in 1910. That was the first public subscription library in Nigeria. The beginning of academic library was marked in Nigeria with the founding of Yaba Higher College in 1948. Later on the British council took over the library sense with the foundation of the first municipal council library in Lagos, and established British council libraries in various parts of the country.
Unfortunately, these became a great loss of library stock after the Nigerian Civil War, and the federal government then took it as part of its rehabilitation effort in promulgating the National Library’s decree of 1970, which provided for the branches to be set up in every state of the federation. Hence repealing the former National Library Act 1964. Within the first decade of its existence, the National Library has succeeded in stock over 75000 volumes, 2000 period leads, 150 Newspapers and became a depository for the United Nations Organization (UNO) and its agencies.
With the increase in establishment of universities all over the country, the government of Nigeria also sees the essence of providing library in every institution of learning. Now, Nigeria can boast of libraries in all the higher institutions of learning, almost all the academic establishments and even private and public establishments. There are also National and state libraries throughout the states of federation. But all these libraries have one problem in common; the backwardness in the automated library world.
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In human endeavors, there are a lot of developments, researches, and discoveries, which result in multifarious production of publications and library materials. These have brought increase in complexity of library system and its operations.
Based on these, a number of problems are facing the library systems, which include:
(i) Unnecessary delay in library processes.
(ii) High cost of staff recruitment and maintenance.
(iii) Error prone operations/processes.
(iv) Inefficiency in library operation.
(v) Too many paper work and replication of data on multiple pieces of paper.
(vi) Unreliable card catalogue system.
(vii) Mutilation of books by students i.e. students tear/hide books.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
There is hardly any aspect of human endeavor that is today not being assisted by computerization. The objective of this project: Design and Implementation of Digital Library Services System with a reference to Caritas University Library. The application program developed in this research essentially monitors and keep records of the individual book movement together with the operations going on in various sections of the library particularly concerned with book control. These operations include book lending, returning of the borrowed books, reservation of books, acquisition processes, registration of users and other related activities in Library management system.
In this study therefore, the researchers hope to accomplish the following objectives:
· To design a better way of avoiding loss of books in the library.
· To solve the problem of delay in locating books.
· Assist the Liberian to carry out library operations more effectively.
· Eliminate manual operations in the library.
· To achieve high efficiency in the library services.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This project looks into the processes involved in keeping tracks of the books in the library system. The researchers concentrated on the operations going on in the Acquisition, cataloging and most especially, circulation sections in the library.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study will not look in detail into other sections of the library except the only three sections aforementioned. The intuitive works like reading of a book before classification and technical work like ownership stamping conveyance of books etc, this section is not part of this study.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study gave birth to a new system Digital Library Services System) designed to bring efficiency in the library system operations. It will eliminate some of the problems associated with the old (manual) system of library management, which include cost of equipment and staff maintenance and also allow institutions to manage the affairs of libraries easily.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
DESIGN: It is a detail plan or arrangement to achieve a particular purpose.
A SYSTEM: It is an assemblage of interrelated elements, which we find interesting to study. It could be a process, a machine or a program.
A PROGRAM: It is a set of instructions and procedures that tells the computer what to do.
AN APPLICATION: A program designed to perform particular tasks.
THE RESEARCHERS: This refers to the developers of the system in study (i.e. Richard).
THE USER: The user here refers to the library staff or the people who make use of the library. It also refers to the person who uses the program (e.g. library staff).
AUTOMATION/COMPUTERIZATION: It is a process of making a system to carry out its processes on its own. That without much helps from man.
MODULE: An independent unit that is part of a larger development. It is the same thing as sub-tasks.
VISUAL LIBRARY SYSTEM: It is an application or program designed by researchers to manage library operations. It is a program designed with a visual programming language in which the user will make use of a mouse in operating. It is event driven and objects appear in their visual forms to the user.