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3.1.1 Introduction:
Library automation is inevitable in this age of information and information
technologies. Library automation is the use of automatic and semi automatic data
processing machines to perform such traditional activities as acquisition, cataloguing
and circulation. Library automation may thus be distinguished from related fields such
as information retrieval, automatic indexing and abstracting and automatic textual
analysis. The term automation is defined in Encyclopaedia o f Computer Science as In
business world, the words automation and computer are often used synonymously"
(Red, 1992). Automation is defined as ‘the technique of making an apparatus, or a
system operate automatically’ (Sehgal and Behl, 1996). According to the Encyclopaedic
Dictionary o f Library Science automation is ‘the technology concerned with the design
and development of the process and system that minimizes the necessity of human
intervention in their operation’ (Ishvari et. al., 1993). According to the Encyclopaedia
Americana, automation may be defined as any continuous integrated operation of a
producing system that uses electronic computer on related equipment to regulate and
coordinate quantity and quality of what is produced. Automation is automatic control o f

an apparatus, process or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place
of human organs or observation efforts or decision (Webster Dictionary, 1966).

The word automation was first introduced by D. S. Harder in 1936. He defined

automation as the automatic handling o f parts between progressive production process.

London Goodman (1956) defined automation as the technology o f automatic working in

which the handling method, the processes and the design o f process material are

integrated to utilize as is economically justifiable in mechanization o f thought and effort

in order to achieve an automatic and in some cases a self regulating chain o f processes.

In the opinion o f Bhattacharya ‘there are certain activities traditionally associated with

libraries such as acquisition, serial control, cataloguing and circulation. Today the term

library automation is used extensively to refer primarily to the use o f computers to

perform some o f the traditional library activities mentioned above. Though computers

play the primary role in library automation today, yet the roles played by

telecommunication technology and reprographic technology are o f great significance

because o f the extent of support they offer to library automation’ (Kumar, 1987).

Library automation may be defined in simple sense as ‘a process of

mechanization of library operations which are o f routine and repetitive nature.

Computerization o f library house keeping operation, predominance o f computerization

is known as library automation. Computer is the most sophisticated electronic device

invented by human being for processing enormous amount o f raw data into meaningful

and useful form o f information with speed, accuracy and reliability’ (Bhargava, 1989).

Currently, library automation is defined as the technologies used for collection,

processing, storage, retrieval, dissemination and transmission o f information at local,

regional and international level. Library automation can play a vital role for efficient

library automation and services, because it ensures the following: (Rao, 1996)

• Improvement o f control over collection.

• Effective control over the entire operation.

• Improvement o f the existing services as well as introduction o f new services.

• Sharing o f resources among various libraries in a region effectively.

• Avoiding duplication of work and

• Using the services of the existing staff.

Several factors, some social, some technological and some economical have

made it necessary to modernize the library activities. Enormous growth o f published,

unpublished and near published documents make it rather impossible for individuals,

individual libraries to collect everything that is useful to them. Existing manual

operations and services have their limitations in managing a library. Resource sharing

which means access to collection o f other libraries is difficult to operate manually.

Library automation results in speed, accuracy, efficiency, saving o f space, introduction

of new services, no duplication of work and so on (Lahkar, 1995).

There are many reasons why libraries decide to automate, the need for increased

productivity often combines with diminishing staff resources; edicts emanate from

senior management; inspiration wells up from library staffers; equipment becomes

available through default or serendipity; bandwagons are seen and leapt upon; the

Joneses are kept up with; and sometimes the library director attends a seminar and gets

enthused. None o f these motivating factors what and how to automate is carried forward

systematically and logically. The factors determining what and how to automate exist

for all libraries in a three-part context: first, the automation environment in which the

library operates, secondly, the assessed needs o f the library and its clientele, and lastly,

the cost consciousness of the library’s administration.

The automation environment affects the library’s decision-making processes in a

variety of ways. Many libraries operate in an environment in which they or their

organization already possess some computer capability. This capability typically might

include an in-house mainframe, an in-house minicomputer, time-shared services, word

processors, and/or microcomputers. In accounting terms, libraries are cost centers. It is

rare that a library makes a profit. Libraries serve a support function - whether to

students, professors, citizens (and, one would hope, voters), or line and staff personnel

in profit and non-profit organizations. As cost centres, libraries are usually under great

pressure to use whatever in-house computing resources are already available. After all, a

financial investment in computing capability has been made, and it is natural to want to

maximize use o f that investment. On the other hand, the library has probably already

had some bad experiences with existing computer systems, such as vanished

documentation, non-functional programs, disappearing data, additional (and expensive)

staff provisions, and low priority. As one librarian puts it, she was so low on the totem

pole in obtaining access to the computer centre, she had dirt in her ears. Librarians do,

however, tend to prefer services such as DIALOG, SDC, and BRS, and networks such

as OCLC and RLIN are heavily used by many libraries. Librarians are also natural-bom

net-workers. They talk to everybody, and they are accustomed to asking for help. They

have numerous local contacts, and they have no hesitation about calling around the

region or the country when they are looking for information. This makes them naturals

when it comes to dealing in an area (such as microcomputers) where word-of-mouth is

presently the primary information transfer medium (Chander Prakash, 2000).

3.1.2 L ibrary A utomation : A B rief H istory

Library automation refers to use o f computers in library work including services

Computers were engaged in library service in USA in 1950s in a very modest way. Dr

H P Luhn had organised computerized indexes in 1950s. Computers entered and found

some place in American libraries during this decade. However, their use and application

was very limited and restricted due to the high cost o f hardware and non-availability of

application software packages. During 1960s the cost of hardware came down and

appreciable attempts were made towards developing library application packages. This

led to increased use of computers in libraries and printing industries. In April 1960 the

American Chemical Society published its ‘chemical titles’ through computers. In this

decade, one o f the most significant developments in this direction was seen in MARC I.

In the year 1963 W K Gilbert prepared a report on computerization of Library of

Congress. On the basis o f this report the MARC I project was initiated in 1966, and the

work of brining out the Library o f Congress catalogue in Machine-readable catalogue

(MARC) form was started and completed. There was a heartening welcome of the tape

containing the catalogue. MEDLARS and INTREX projects are similar examples of

producing machine-readable catalogues. Now-a-days computers have become almost

essential components o f library work in developing countries.

The Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta was the first in India to install a

computer system in 1955, and to develop an indigenous computer in 1964. In India

computers were used in library work for the first time possibly by INSDOC by bringing

out the ‘roster of Indian scientific and technical translators’ with the help of computers.

INSDOC brought out the first union catalogue with the help o f computers under the title

‘regional union catalogue of scientific serials, Bombay Poona’ in 1973. In 1978

INSDOC initiated SDI service as a NISSAT project with Chemical Abstracts and

INSPEC databases, with the use of CAN/SDI software of IIT, Madras. In 1970’s many

libraries ventured in preparing computerized databases. Through the initiative and

financial support of NISSAT many library networks was initiated and are operative.

Notable of these networks are CALIBNET (Calcutta Library Network) DELNET (Delhi

Libraries Network), INFLIBNET (Information and Library Network), PUNENET (Pune

Library Network) etc. Some other notable networks are NICNET, INDONET, SERNET,

ERNET etc. Nowadays, many institutions such as DRTC, INSDOC, DESIDOC,

NISSAT etc are engaged in imparting training for computer application in library work

through regular, sponsored, and part time courses. The price of computer hardware and

software has come down considerably. Owing to these factors computers have became

popular with Indian libraries.

3.1.3 Indian S cenario of Library A utomation:

In view o f enormous capacity o f data storage, quick processing, access, retrieval,

dissemination o f information, library and information centre of our country have started

using computers for these activities.

In the beginning, computers were used by big academic institutions like DTs,

IIMs, and other national institutions like CSIR, INSDOC, NASSDOC, DRTC, DRDO,

BARC and other institutions o f higher learning o f national importance. The condition of

academic libraries, and information centre was very poor. Except a few Central

Universities like JNU, Hyderabad University, Pondicherry University, IGNOU, and

some state universities like Punjab University, University o f Mumbai, Cochin

University o f Science and Technology, Osmania University, few deemed universities

like Tata Institute o f Social Sciences etc. the use of information technology was not

evident before the 1990’s.

The new education policy, 1986 recommended the improvement o f library and

information centres of universities/institutions o f higher learning. It categorically

emphasized that information technology should be used in the libraries for providing

effective library and information services to the academic communities. Government of

India directed the UGC to constitute a committee to give recommendations for

modernization of university libraries and information centres. UGC recommended in

1992 accommodation o f a special paper in “Application o f Computer in Library

Activities” in Library and Information Science Courses in India.

The introduction o f computers for library operations has brought revolutionary

changes and new dimension in the whole library and information management in India.

The government o f India has taken prime steps for computerization, automation and

networking o f library and information centres. A number o f national, regional, and city

library and information networks such as NICNET, INDONET, ADINET, CALIBNET,

DELNET, MALIBNET, ERNET etc. have emerged and found their way. In order to

join and effectively participate in these library networks, library and information centres

will have to be modernized and automated (Vashishith, 1994).

After recommendation of a high powered committee, UGC established

INFLIBNET Centre which is an inter-university centre with its headquarter at

Ahemadabad, for computerization, automation and networking of university libraries,

HTs, RECs, libraries o f institutions of national importance for resource sharing among

the libraries (Sinha and Satpathy, 1998). Till date 142 universities have been funded by

INFLIBNET, to create IT conscious environment in the libraries. Almost all university

libraries have taken steps to change over to automation. Some of them have folly

automated their activities and some others have started automating their library

activities. The Prime Minister of India has recently announced special grants for the

College libraries o f North East India and Jammu and Kashmir for purchasing SOUL

software for automating their libraries.

To cope with the changing environment library schools in India have introduced

papers on computer application in libraries in their academic programs. Besides this,

different organizations are organizing in-service training courses on computer

application to the working library professionals. As manpower development is one of

the important factors in this changing over to automated library system, training of

personnel is a must.

3.1.4 Need F or Library Automation:

The modem age is called the age o f science and technology. The library started

from paperless mode and is going towards the paperless functioning in future. The

tremendous growth in the different fields of knowledge has created a great difficulty to

have access to the desired literature with manually operated devices. The traditional

concept o f librarianship has changed due to the changing needs of the modem society

and constant development in the field o f science and technology. Today, every job

performed in the library needs automation for prompt result or action.

According to Prof. Alaka Buragohain (2001), the work and culture of

librarianship has radically changed in the present day environment o f information

revolution. Information revolution has taken place as information is made globally

accessible due to advancement achieved in foe field o f information technology.

Computer and communication systems make specific information globally retrievable

for any purpose with the help of software packages and online networking system;

library and information centres have been de-institutionalized.

This is the age o f computers. Computers have revolutionized all fields of

knowledge. It has been gradually weaving electronic webs in various parts o f the globe

for quite a few years now. Now it is being used extensively in libraries by developed

countries and in a limited scale in the third world countries. Today information

technology coupled with computer technology has conquered even space and time with

regard to dissemination o f information.

The need for automation is emphasized because of the following factors:

• Traditional methods for handling the information are inadequate. One is bulk

and growth rate of information.

• Difficult to update the information due to voluminous increase and rise in

the degree of specialization involved.

• Techniques are suggested for applying computers with its advantages of

speed, vast storage capacity and accuracy to library works.

• The need for cooperation and resource sharing and hope of achieving some

saving through automation made to switch over to automation.

• Operational advantages:

a. Offers flexibility

b. Speeds up processing

c. Greater accuracy, efficiency, consistency and improved work control.

d. Reduces repetitive clerical work.

e. Permits easy o f bibliographic control, checking and updating.

f. Permits improved budget control (Jagadesha and Mahesh, 1998).

3.1.5 Objectives O f L ibrary A utomation:

The problem o f information storage and retrieval has become progressively

more serious in recent years, especially in the areas o f technology and science, where

die volume o f data and information is increasing at an unprecedented, nearly

exponential rate. Keeping in view the tremendous flow o f information, to organize

information and to disseminate in systematic way computerization is the only answer.

Computer aided system is more convenient, more flexible and more comprehensive and

in the long run more economical.

The main objective of library computerization is basically to integrate all library

activities towards ensuring an easy and accurate retrieval o f information. Other

objectives of computerization are

• Computer systems alleviate the bottlenecks often encountered in the

circulation o f library materials. On-line searches, o f databases are made

possible, bibliographies are easily compiled and accuracy is guaranteed.

• To facilitate resource-sharing and cooperative agreement among libraries,

bibliographic data in machine-readable format are easily exchanged between

similar libraries locally and globally.

• To ensure speedy retrieval of information. A computer system can search

through thousands o f records in seconds and usually with instantaneous


• To ensure accuracy of information provided. When correct programs are in

place, accuracy o f information is guaranteed. Computer cannot get bored

through repetition, as is the case with manual system.

• To tap the advantages o f online access. If the system is in the form of LAN,

it is p o s s ib le f o r a r e s e a r c h o f f ic e r to s e a r c h th r o u g h th e lib r a r y c a ta lo g u e s

f r o m h is d e s k w ith o u t p h y s ic a l c o n ta c t w ith th e lib r a r y . T h is is a ls o

o b ta in a b le w ith a c o m p u te r s y s te m th a t h a s a W A N .

• T o im p r o v e te c h n ic a l p r o c e s s in g e f f ic ie n c y . R o u tin e lib r a r y a c tiv itie s lik e

a c q u is itio n , a c c e s s io n in g , c la s s if ic a tio n , c a ta lo g u in g a n d c ir c u la tio n a r e

c a r r ie d o u t m o r e e f f ic ie n tly w ith th e a id o f c o m p u te r .

• U p d a tin g c o m p u te r r e c o r d s is m u c h e a s ie r th a n u p d a tin g m a n u a l r e c o r d s .

• T o p u t lib r a r y s p a c e in to m o r e e f f ic ie n t u s e . M illio n s o f r e c o r d s c a n b e

s to r e d in a f e w d is k e tte s r e s u ltin g in s a v in g o f s p a c e .

• T o g e n e r a te r e p o r ts th r o u g h p r in t- o u ts , s u c h a s a lis t o f n a m e s a n d a d d r e s s e s

o f b o r r o w e r s h a v in g o v e r d u e b o o k s , is s u in g o u t o v e r d u e n o tic e s , e tc . a n d

• T o p r o m o te a n d im p r o v e b u d g e tin g , s ta f f s c h e d u lin g , c o lle c tio n a n a ly s e s a n d

d e v e lo p m e n t.

3.1.6 Basics O f Library Automation:

T h e u s e o f c o m p u te r b a s e d s y s te m in lib r a r ie s f o r a c c e s s in g in f o r m a tio n a n d

lib r a r y m a n a g e m e n t is k n o w n a s lib r a r y a u to m a tio n . T h e d e v e lo p m e n t o f lib r a r y

a u to m a tio n la r g e ly r e f le c ts th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f c o m p u te r te c h n o lo g y . L ib r a r y

a u to m a tio n c o n s is ts o f a p r o c e s s th r o u g h w h ic h a ll th e h o u s e k e e p in g o p e r a tio n s s u c h a s

a c q u is itio n , c a ta lo g u in g , s e r ia l c o n tr o l, c ir c u la tio n a n d in te r lib r a r y lo a n is c o m p u te r iz e d .

I n th e r e c e n t y e a r s th e a d v e n t o f m ic r o - c o m p u te r s a n d m a n y a p p lic a tio n s o f tw a r e

p a c k a g e s h a v e m a d e th e in f o r m a tio n p r o f e s s io n a ls to s w itc h o v e r to a u to m a tio n o f th e ir

lib r a r y r o u tin e s . D e p e n d in g o n th e ty p e o f lib r a r y a ll o r s o m e f u n c tio n s m a y b e

c o m p u te r iz e d a c c o r d in g to th e ir p r io r ity . C ir c u la tio n c o n tr o l m a y b e g iv e n f ir s t p r io r ity

in p u b lic lib r a r ie s w h ile s e r ia l c o n tr o l m a y b e g iv e n to p p r io r ity in s p e c ia l lib r a r ie s ,

similarly acquisition may be computerized first in university libraries. However,

cataloguing is important for any library and its computerization must be one o f the

ultimate aims o f automation.

3.1.7 Essentials For L ibrary A utomation:

The essential things for the automation o f a library are

• A good collection

• Finances

• Suitable computer hardware

• User friendly computer software

• Staff training

• User training

3.1.8 Factors B ehind Library Automation:

Some factors, which prompted automation o f library services, are given below-

• Computer is extremely fast in processing information and magnetic tape as

storage making reduce storage space.

• Many a time we require searching a database with a number o f keywords

with different combinations. This requirement makes a manual search very

complex and tedious. Such searches can easily be made on computerized

system by random accessing of information and rapid retrieval of

information by creating proper information database.

• Computerized database can be accessed in interactive mode as per user


• Output in the form of a printed bibliography and multiple copies can be

o b ta in e d .

• A s in g le d a ta b a s e c a n p r o v id e a ll p o s s ib le c o m b in a tio n s o f s e r v ic e s to th e

u s e r s .

• D a ta b a s e c a n b e m a in ta in e d e ith e r o n s m a ll d is k p a c k s o r ta p e s a n d c a n b e

tr a n s p o r te d a t a v e r y lo w c o s t.

• H u m a n e r r o r s in r o u tin e o p e r a tio n s a r e m in im iz e d w h ic h le a d s to b e tte r

u tiliz a tio n o f h u m a n e f f ic ie n c y .

3.1.9 Steps For Library Automation;

D e c id in g to c o n s id e r c o m p u te r iz a tio n , f o r w h a te v e r r e a s o n s , is j u s t th e f ir s t s te p .

T h e n e x t s te p is to p e r f o r m a s y s te m a n a ly s is . H a v in g d e te r m in e d th e a c tiv itie s to b e

c o m p u te r iz e d f o r w e m u s t c a r r y o u t d e ta ile d e x a m in a tio n o f e a c h a c tiv ity .

• T o id e n tif y th e d a ta e le m e n ts

• T o c a lc u la te th e lo c a l s to r a g e c a p a c ity r e q u ir e d

• T o e n s u r e th a t th e s o f tw a r e ( to b e a c q u ir e d /d e v e lo p e d ) is a b le to h a n d le th e

s iz e , n u m b e r o f f ie ld s a n d th e r e c o r d s . T o e s tim a te th e b a c k u p s to r a g e

r e q u ir e d .

• T o id e n tif y th e v a r io u s f a c ilitie s to b e c o m p u te r iz e d

• T o id e n tif y th o s e d a ta e le m e n ts w h ic h a r e c o m m o n to s e v e r a l f u n c tio n s .

A c c o r d in g to p r e s e n t in v e s tig a tio n th e f o llo w in g s h o u ld b e th e s te p s f o r lib r a ry

a u to m a tio n o r c o m p u te r iz a tio n .

• F ir s tly s u r v e y a n d a n a ly s is o f th e e x is tin g s y s te m .

• D e c id in g w h ic h s e c tio n s a r e to b e a u to m a te d .

• A u to m a te d a c tiv itie s s h o u ld g o o n w ith o u t d is tu r b in g e x is tin g s y s te m .

• T h e m a n p o w e r r e s o u r c e s s h o u ld b e w e ll tr a in e d u p p h a s e b y p h a s e .

• The higher authority should look after the higher level o f management.

• The financial side should be accounted.

• Procuring the standard hardware and software equipments.

• Recurring budget should be in the master plan.

• Motivation o f the staff towards latest information technology.

3.1.10 M ethodology T o Be Followed D uring A utomation:

• Decide various functions o f each activity

• Identify the input requirements (data elements) for each of the functions.

• Identify the input in terms o f records, files and the media, also determine the

size o f the files.

• Identify the output required for each o f the functions.

• Identify the output in terms o f records, files and the media, also determine

the size of the files.

• Development o f programs (to get the desired output from the given input,

using the available hardware) or buying the commercial software to

computerize some or all functions of the activities to be computerized.

• Implementation and evaluation.

3.1.11 Problems Of L ibrary A utomation

• Lack of motivation towards latest information technology.

• Lack o f organization effort towards library.

• Lack o f fund.

• Lack o f trained personnel.

• Lack o f proper/standard technology.

• Ignorance of senior library staff about the technology.

• Lack of suitable library management software packages.

• Selection of appropriate software packages.

3.1.12 C omponents Of L ibrary A uto m atio n :

Careful planning is a critical step in automating library services. Several points

are to be taken into consideration before a library gets into automated activities.

(A) A im :

First Component of automation is its aim, the purpose, the reason why the set of

library activities are to be computerized. This aim will be the focal point for integrating

automation into the activities and for operating and managing the activities after


(B) P rocessing :

Second component is processing consisting of step by step operations performed

in an orderly and predetermined sequence on information materials or other items to

achieve desired result or service.

(C) C omputer System :

The third component is the computer system supporting the activities. The

supporting computer may be a micro computer, a mini computer or a mainframe. The

size depends upon the nature o f functions to be automated, the number o f functions to

be supported by the computer, the anticipated volume o f processing activity, the size of

the information files to be written in the machine storage and funds available to the

library. The computer must have the following capabilities:

• Sufficient memory to store a) the operating system, b) Application software,

c) Process the volume of work, d) Enable sufficient users to be online to it,

e) Capacity in future growth.

• The computer system should have sufficient auxiliary storage for all the files

essentials to the activities with capacity for future growth.

• Sufficient terminals and other devices, such as scanners and printers.

The location o f the computer can be in the library or outside the library.

(D) Computer Software:

The fourth component is the software supporting the activities o f the library.

Computer software is nothing but step by step instructions that command the machine to

perform its share in the processing. Software may be developed by a commercial vendor

or another library or it may be developed locally. The software supporting the libraiy

activities can be either stand alone or integrated. The stand alone software supports only

one automated activity such as acquisition, circulation etc. An integrated system covers

all the libraiy activities such as acquisition, circulation, cataloguing, serial control, etc.

and share common information and files,

(E) D ata Communication:

The fifth component is data communication. Through data communication,

command and information can flow from the computer system supporting the

automated activities to the points in the library where processing is required, event

though the main server is located in another part of the building or away from

the library.

(F) System D ocumentation:

The sixth component is documentation in the form o f memoranda, reports and

manuals. These are written descriptions of various aspects o f the automated activities to

be used by the library staff and others for training, references and quality control

purposes while operating, managing and maintaining the activities.

(G) HumanResources:
The seventh component is the human resources needed to share processing with

computer supporting the activities, provide management and leadership for the activities

and operate, manage and maintain the computer system supporting the activities. Staff is

needed to initiate processes, provide the computer with information to be processed, and

make decision during process steps and regarding services to be provided etc. apart

from attending to activities not supported by the computer system. Training is required

for the staff who handle the automated system.

(H) OtherResources:
The eight component is other resources such as information, equipment and

furniture, consumable supplies and monetary resources etc. Information can be viewed

as a non consumable resource utilized by an automated activity as it is operated,

(I) E n v ir o n m e n t :

Ninth and last component is environment. Automated activity must have

sufficient physical space to be performed efficiently and be provided with proper levels

of lighting, temperature, humidity, noise control and cleanliness etc. Any delay at this

stage will delay the vary installation o f the automation itself.

3.1.13 AreasOfAutomation:
Ranganathan’s five laws o f the library science stipulate that the documents of

the library should have maximum number o f users. With the application o f information

technology in the areas o f library and information centers there has been a tremendous

improvement in the library services offered by the library to the users.

Library automation usually covers all library house keeping functions such as

acquisition, cataloguing, circulation and serial control. In some libraries it has expanded

to the library management system to incorporate OP AC’s, CD-ROM networks, DTP,

Office automation etc.

(A) A cquisition:

Acquisition is an essential library operation, which is critical to the achievement

of library’s mission. It involves a great deal of detail and exacting paper work, material

handling in large quantity, reconciliation of orders, invoices and materials received,

fiscal control and so on. The acquisition system because of the need to keep a number of

rapidly changing files and detail accounting procedure lend itself to automation.

Automation benefits acquisitions through more accurate, timely and complete

records o f orders, orders status, fiscal data, vendors' directory and so on. It reduces

personnel time and efforts during form preparation and paper handling. Most important

benefit of computerization of acquisitions work is the powerful, cost effective,

monitoring capability it accords to library management. Thus computerized acquisition

system will help us to have speedier receipt o f materials as well as improved fund

control with maximum utilization of our meager financial resources.

(B) Cataloguing:

Cataloguing system is a traditional and fundamental activity practice among

libraries world over. Cataloguing systems, whether manual or automated, encompass

interrelated activities: descriptive cataloguing and production o f library catalogue. The

system maintained titles-in-process file o f all items that are accessioned. It also provides

the facility to provide Current Awareness Service (CAS) such as SDI, special

bibliographies and list of recent arrivals.

Computerized catalogue can be developed as a by-product o f book ordering

system. The advantage o f computerizing catalogue is that it provides facility to print

book catalogue o f various library units with the help o f high speed printers and can be

circulated among other branch libraries.

(C) Circulation:

Circulation is a central and highly visible function o f a typical library.

Circulation encompasses all aspects o f patron loan processing and management,

including close reserve, holds, material booking and in-library use of the collection. It

provides the option to generate and print bar coded ID Cards with photographs o f the


Circulation, being essentially a clerical function o f keeping track of the

documents on loan, can be a candidate for computerization. Automated support for

circulation control vastly improves library’s ability to rapidly and accurately record the

loan transaction, to monitor these transactions, to record return o f lent items and to

support other related circulation functions.

(D) Serial C ontrol:

The term serial control refers to those tasks, which support the procurement and

management o f serials collections in a library. Serials management, an integral part of

library operations, has become increasingly complex over the years. Serial’s

management always has been an area that is labour intensive, demanding high degree of

attention to accuracy and details.

Computerization o f serials control system would certainly help us to handle

serials more easily, quickly and less expensively. This is particularly relevant, as serials

constitute major source o f information for library users. The procurement o f the same

journal at various units of the library system also makes the serial control system a

priority area for automation.

(E) Article Indexing System :

The article indexing system facilitates indexing and abstracting o f articles from

various journals, technical reports, conference proceedings, monographs, etc. It includes

scanning of articles, entry of citation, online searches of authors, keywords and even

word based free text searches. This system also provides periodic documentation lists,

personalized SDI, bibliographies on specific subject, etc.

(F) Information R etrieval System :

Information retrieval is a new concept as compared with others like cataloguing,

classification, etc. even though catalogues are examples o f an information retrieval

system. It deals with the techniques and processes o f representation, storage and

retrieving information pertaining to a set of items, which may be documents, serials,

microfiche, microfilm, etc. A number of users can simultaneously make inquiries via

remote terminals with the help o f information retrieval system. Its importance lay in the

demonstration of the potentialities o f the computer as an information storage and

retrieval device.

(G) OPAC System (O nline P ublic A ccess Catalogue):

OPAC system provides access to the library’s holding through various

catalogues and indexes such as the author catalogue, the title catalogue, the subject

catalogue, the classified catalogue, publishers index, conference place index and

KWIC/KWOC indexes. Combination searches using Boolean operators (AND; OR; and

NOT) that yield highly satisfying and precise results are also possible. OPAC system

also provides the facility to request acquisition of titles, to reserve materials and to send

personalized SDI, over due/recall/collect notices and messages by e-mail.

(H) W eb OPAC System :

WebOPAC system provides an advanced GUI (Graphical User Interface) to

enable searching o f the library databases through web browsers such as Netscape

Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer etc.

(I) Information S ervices:

The changing concept of the philosophy o f library services provide increasing

thrust on the speedy and easier dissemination of required information to the needy users.

Thus information storage and retrieval has become the top priority for library


The production services that are necessary for speedier dissemination of

information are -

• A database o f catalogue of books and other documents

• A database o f journals and other primary documents with detailed indexing

The services that can be offered from these databases are current awareness

bulletin covering primary documents, documentation bulletin covering books and other

documents and bibliographies and documentation lists on specific topics.


The term software stands for a set o f computer programs designed and developed

to accomplish tasks. Generally software is thought o f in terms o f programs, discrete

units of software which enable the computer to carry out a particular task. It contains a

complete and clear description of each task in terms o f available operations of the

computer. To be precise, software is a collection of programs to enhance the working

capability o f the hardware.

The importance o f software cannot be over emphasized because it is the

software, which supplies power o f the computer to the users problems. Its important

characteristic is that it can be easily altered to meet changing circumstances. Software

can be considered to be at three levels. The first and basic is the operating system,

which is the only language understandable to a computer. The second level is office suit

packages that are for performing the office activities. The third level is application

programs which are written in higher level languages, such as BASIC, FORTRAN,

PASCAL, COBOL, C, C++, etc.

Softwares are generally grouped into two categories: System Software and

Application Software.

System softwares are the programs designed to control the execution o f other

programs and to utilize hardware effectively. It is also known as operating system,

which are set of programs inbuilt computers to run the computer. It includes operating

systems, assemblers, compilers, interpreters and programs for controlling input/output

devices and utilities. It controls and facilitates other programs to use the hardware in

safe and control way. It monitors and controls hardware use. It also aids

application program.

When the computer is put on, the first thing that it needs is the operating system,

i.e., the software needed for running the computer. Operating system is an integrated set

of programs that is used to manage the various resources and overall operations of a

computer system. An operating system consists o f a set o f instructions that coordinates

all the activities o f the hardware devices. It also enables application software to be

executed. It is responsible for the smooth and efficient operations of the entire computer

system. The main functions o f the operating system are given bellow:

I nput /Output O perations :

The operating system is responsible for handling various types of inputs,

e.g., input from keyboard, input from mouse, etc. and various types of outputs in the

appropriate manner.

E xecution O f P rogram :

The operating system is responsible for executing various programs whether

user programs or system programs, i.e. special programs required for the machine


A llocation O f R esources :

This task aims at proper use of resources available. If multiple files are to be

printed then ‘who and in which order this task will take place?’ will be decided by the

operating system.

D etection O f E rrors :

The operating system is also responsible for detecting any type o f error that

occurs and then properly handling it.

Information A nd Resource Protection:

The operating system is responsible for ensuring that the information and

resources available on machine and used in the current way.

There are various types of operating systems available, but they may be from

various vendors’ and may be for various types of computers. They can be broadly

divided into the following types:

S ingle P rogram O perating System :

It is single user operating system. At any point of time only one user program

can be supported and executed.

Multi-program O perating System :

This system supports multi-programming i.e. more than one user can be

supported by it. Therefore, more than one user programs are loaded and active in the

main store at the same time.

Time Sharing Operating System :

This operating system uses the time sharing technique. Each active user program

is given a fair share o f CPU time, if the time elapses or on input/output operation is

requested, CPU shifts over to the next job waiting and the previous program put to wait

or handed over to input/output manager.

R eal T ime O perating System :

In this type of operating system the jobs have to be finished within the deadlines.

The performance o f the system is measured by its ability to complete its jobs within

the deadlines.

Micro-processing Operating System :

This system is capable of handling more than one processor as the work have to

be executed on more than one processor.

Some o f the popular operating systems are -

DOS (Disk Operating System):

Microsoft Corporation developed it as a single user operating system for the

personal computers. With the passage of time, DOS has under gone a number of

changes and up-gradation.

. Microsoft Windows:

Microsoft developed an operating system having a Graphical User Interface

(GUI) known as Windows. Three earlier versions o f Microsoft Windows were Windows

3.0, Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11. Windows 95 was specially developed as a true

multitasking operating system. It takes foll advantage of 32 bit processor and also has

the provision of networking and e-mail. Windows 98 is more efficient than

Windows 95. Integrated with Internet, it provides faster system startup and shutdown,

better file management and multimedia option. Microsoft Windows 2000 is a complete

multitasking operating system with GUI. Two o f its basic versions are Windows 2000

server and Windows 2000 professional. The latest version is Windows XP. Windows

NT is an operating system from Microsoft Corporation which is used for networking.


It is a powerful operating system capable o f handling a large number o f transactions in a

multi-user environment. It is also capable o f working with multiple CPU. UNIX has a

command like surface and that make it tough to use.


It is an operating system from IBM, designed to work with 32 bit

microprocessor. It enables users to simultaneously run a number of programs.

It has a GUI.


Linux has a UNIX like GUI. It is an open software that makes available its

source code to the users. This operating system offers two major advantages - users can

customize it to suit their specific need and it could be obtained free, thus representing a

virtual body blow to the high price line of Windows.


Compiler is a software that translates a program written in human oriented

language into the machine language that the computer executes directly. Every

programming language requires its own special compiler. Compilers are large programs

that reside permanently on secondary storage.


Interpreter reads, translates and execute source programs one line at a time.

Thus the translation into the machine language is performed by the interpreter while the

program is running.

Programming L anguage:

Programming languages provide a means for people to communicate with

computers. Since the advent of computers, many programming languages have been

developed, from assembly language to high level languages. There are four types of

programming languages - low level languages, assembly languages, high level

languages and very high level languages. Low level languages are also called as

machine languages. The set of instructions written in binary or decimal codes is called

low level language. Assembly languages make some concessions to the programs in that

they used mnemonic literal sequences to designate machine code and to reference

storage locations. In order to develop a program independently without any knowledge

of internal structure o f the computer, high level languages were developed. The high

level languages are program oriented instead of being machine oriented. Some

prominent high level languages are FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, PASCAL, PL/1 etc.

Very high level languages are also called as fourth generation languages. These are

report generators, retrieval and update languages, decision support system tools,

graphics generators, application packages and application generators.

Application software refers to the class o f programs designed to make end users

better at performing tasks that would otherwise have to be done manually. Application

softwares are used in the computer to perform specific application that are developed on

any language. It comprises the procedures and instructions which enable computer

system to do what the user requires. The programs vary in size depending upon the job.

These are written by user himself or by software specialists. The programs are either

general or specific in purpose. The general purpose programs are useful to any users and

specific purpose programs are useful to specific users. There are a number of

applications programs designed to help the user to use the computer to accomplish some

tasks or the others. The most commonly used application software are - word

processors, spreadsheets, database management system, integrated software packages,

payroll and accounting packages, graphics packages, desktop publishing packages,

statistical packages, CAD software, decision support system, games, expert system,

communication, etc.

The softwares are also categorized, based on their functions, such as :

Basic So ftw are :

It is also referred to as utilities. Basic software packages are available for

performing operations such as data entry and validations, sorting and merging file and

editing data.

W ord Processing So ftw are :

It is one of the most widespread applications software types in use today to

manipulate text storage. Word processing programs allow interactive editing of

documents, without the need for extensive retyping.

D atabase M anagement System :

These are essentially programming frameworks, and can offer good storage and

retrieval systems. They are mainly intended for programmers to interact with and need a

programmer in order to make them usable to libraries. There are three types of DBMS

available to a micro computers which are file or data management system, Relational

DBMS and network and hierarchical DBMS. RDBM S provides the advantages o f

rapid access to file com ponents. RDBM S are so called because the data that

can be m anipulated are stored as relations, these relations are in the form o f

data tables in w hich the inform ation is arranged in row s and columns.

T ext R etrieval Packages :

Text retrieval comprises of storage and subsequent retrieval of records,

essentially textual rather than numerical, tabular or graphical. An important feature of

the package is user interfaces which allows non programmer to understand and use them

directly. Search and indexing facilities are the most important features o f this type of


Software for Searching Online R etrieval System and CD-ROM Databases:

Each of the major online systems has its own software which supports its

activities on a host computer. Many of these hosts have begun to offer private facilities

with the help o f which end users can exploit the sophisticated software developed by

supporting large databases with many searches. The type o f software generated in

association with online searching o f external databases, enables more economical access

to host systems. The availability of databases on CD-ROM media has influenced online

search activity to a considerable extent and obviated the expenditure associated

with communication.

L ibrary H ouse K eeping S oftware :


The market is flooded with a variety o f packages specially designed to support

library house keeping operations such as acquisitions, cataloguing, circulation control,

serials control, etc. Some of these are integrated packages covering many functions

while others concentrate on individual routines like cataloguing etc.

3.2.1 Automation Software Packages for Libraries and Information Centres:

A number of library software packages are presently available in the market for

handling library resources. Broadly they can be categorized into three categories:

• Library M anagement Functions: Acquisition, cataloging, circulation and serial


• M anagement Support Facilities: Statistics, MIS, accounting and budgetry control.

• Database and Inform ation Retrieval Functions: Database design, maintenance,

searching, generation of personalized SDI, catalogue cards, indexes and

bibliographies etc.

Libraries and information centers are using a wide variety o f library software for

housekeeping activities, i.e. acquisition, cataloguing, indexing, abstracting, and

circulation, information retrieval and services, i.e. OPAC, WebOPAC, CAS, and SDI

and other administrative activities, such as accounting and maintenance, etc.

The CDS/ISIS software developed by United Nations Educational Scientific and

Cultural Organization (UNESCO) predominates. This software is available at nominal

cost to computerize library activities from NISSAT/DSIR, New Delhi. The commercial

packages despite their higher costs are being increasingly used by libraries and

information centers i.e. LIBSYS, ALICE for Windows. There are some in-housed

created software packages being used in libraries. The DESIDOC, New Delhi for

example, use it SUCHDCA, the ENSDOC use it GRANTHALAYA, the IIT library

Kanpur, use it IIT-KLAS and so on.

Library software is a computer program designed to perform various

housekeeping functions o f a library. A modem library software package should have the

following features:

A. Prelim inary Features:

• Scope for proper training using the software.

• Documentation on a well designed manual.

B. General C haracter:

• Software should be integrated.

• It should be compatible to multiple platforms.

• Standard data format.

• Group work capabilities.

• User friendliness.

• Scope for OLE (Object Linking and Embedding).

• Windows based or GUI (Graphical Users Interface) based.

• Capacity to handle enormous records.

• Reliability.

• Scope for customization.

• Should give consistent result.

C. New Technologies:

• Network capability.

• Interface for Internet connection.

• Should have barcode, RFID, Smart card interfaces.

• Web based OPAC.

• Should use digital video camera for member’s photo generation.

D. Modules:

• Acquisition.

• Cataloguing.

• Circulation.

• Serial Control.


• Library Administration.

E. Security:

• Provision of login, and log off.

• Power out features.

• Extendibility o f software.

• Provision of export and import o f data.

F. Post installation support from the vendor.

3.2.2 S o ftw a r e Av a ila b il it y :

Software available for the libraries may be classified into 3 categories : in-house;

commercial and co-operative.

(A) I n-H ouse :

Parent organization in which the library is a part may have the computer

department and software specialists. In such cases, the library can use their services to

develop the required software. Presently, many Indian libraries are using such internally

developed softwares.

Software developed by in-house experts, are not usually developed scientifically

and tested by time in its use. But of course, the cost is low in the development of such


The general purpose software package like word processors and DBMS can be

used profitably in library and information work whenever a situations demanding their

needs arises (Saxena and Mehta, 1992).

(B) C o m m er c ia l ;

All the software packages are developed basically to suit the needs o f individual

libraries. Every library cannot make such an effort to develop their own software for the

obvious reasons such as lack of programmers in their organization for library

applications; long development time and high cost involved in such an experiment.

So libraries are going for commercially available software packages. Purchasing

software from a vendor can offer significant benefits to a library, especially in saving of

time and money. In most cases, the vendor, as a solution to a particular problem facing

several libraries, would develop a package. Many a time, the packages may incorporate

more sophistication over packages developed in-house. The major advantages of these

software packages are:

• No development time

• Can be implemented in a short period o f time

• *Software would have been already tested in other libraries

• Customization is possible as per requirement o f users

In case of software developed by commercial agencies, they are developed as a

result of team research and tested by time and most of these packages have general

application and are suitable for all types of libraries. But the cost is high in case of

commercially available library software packages.

(G) C o -operative ;

Several co-operative software development ventures were successful in

developed countries. The co-operative software system may work out to be cheap and

also provides an opportunity for interaction between the library professionals and

software engineers. But, it is difficult to predict the degree o f success o f such

co-operative ventures in the Indian context (Laxman Rao, 1993).

3.2.3 L ibrary S oftware Packages D eveloped In F oreign Countries:

The developed countries are in the forefront in the development of library

software packages. There are a number of library software packages developed during

1980's and 1990's which are being used in libraries internationally in library automation.

An account of such major library software packages are given below:

A) OASIS/Alice Packages:

These are two important packages developed by international group - Softlink

America and Softlink - Australia, This is introduced in India by the Softlink Asia Pvt.

Ltd, The OASIS package run under DOS platform and Alice run under Windows

platform. These packages are used in more than 7000 major libraries all over the world.

OASIS/Alice software packages perform various library functions like Management,

Acquisition, Circulation, On-line Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), periodical and

Journal Indexing, Stock verification etc.


The acronym CDS/ISIS stands for Computerised Documentation System

/Integrated Set o f Information System. It is a menu-driven generalized information

storage and retrieval system, designed specifically for computerized management of

databases. It has been designed and developed by UNESCO’s Division o f Software

Development Applications Office of Information Programs and Services. NISSAT is

the national distributor of this package in India.

NISSAT is also financing various organizations for imparting training programs

to library personnel in using this package. The software is highly useful and fast in

creating bibliographical databases for information storage and retrieval. But, the menus

provided in the software are not adequate for library house keeping operations.

Nevertheless, the software allows creation of additional menus for such operations

through writing programs in PASCAL language.

C) ProCite 3.1 for Windows:

The ProCite 3.1 for Windows is a Reference database management system

developed by Personal Bibliographic Software Inc, Ann Arbor. As a reference database

management system it provides a number o f features. Through its available and

developing integration with word processors, it offers much needed functionally

supporting the generation in-text citation, footnotes and bibliographies.

This software maintains a World Wide Web site with information on its product.

As a Windows product, ProCite 3.1 makes excellent use o f graphical user interface. The

database screen can be customized to make information easy to find (Seghal, 1998).

D) Minisis:

This software is developed by International Development Centre (IDRC)

Canada. It works on HP 300 family of computers. It is a useful package for library work

including networking. It is an efficient application software package for big libraries. In

India this software can be had from Hewlett Packard India Ltd., Community Centre,

New Delhi.

E) Citation 7;

The Citation 7 is a data file manager and bibliographic citation generator. This

has developed by Noteoberon, New York. The main feature o f this software is that it

works from within Word Perfect for Windows and Microsoft Word and is accessed

from the tools menu o f these word processors. Another important feature of Citation 7 is

its capability of formatting the selected items in a data file into a desired

bibliographical format.

F) End Note Plus 2:

This is an enhanced reference database and bibliography manager. This software

has developed by Niles and Associates, Inc, Berkeley. It requires Windows 95 or

Windows NT as operating system. The End Note Plus 2 makes good use of the

graphical user interface. The user has the option of using menu bars or key-

combinations to perform various tasks within the program.

G) Consearch 3.0:

This is an Electronic Research and Utility for Windows. It was developed by

Management Information Technologies, Inc, Hauppauge, New York. Consearch runs on

Windows platform and it has good use of the graphical user interface.

H) Total Library Computerisation (TCL) Version 2:

This software package has developed by On Point, Inc, Washington DC for

automation o f small and medium sized libraries. TLC runs on single user and multi user

environment. TLC has basic library management modules for cataloguing, circulation,

serials control, acquisition etc.


The LIBRARY PROGRAM is a DOS based group of programs produced and

distributed by Microcomputer Business Systems o f Amity, Oregon. The major features

of the software include : provision for basic security through user account model;

adding a user’s name to the program and setting his or her password in an easy process;

and once a user is logged in, the program access is set and is not reset until the nex me
logs in. A limitation of the LIBRARY PROGRAM is that it does not offer On-1 .
Public Access Catalogue.

3 .2 .4 I n d i a n L i b r a r y S o f t w a r e P a c k a g e s :

There are a number of indigenous library packages developed h\ hhrar

professionals or computer experts for in-house use of library automation for spec f .
functions. Some agencies have developed library softwares on a commercial bav- .
general application in libraries. A brief account of commercially available hrar
software packages in India are given below.

Sanjay is an augmented version of CDS/ISIS is a generalized infonvamv
storage and retrieval software for the management of structured non-num.rx
databases. It cannot be used straightaway for the management of housekeepin..
operations. But the CDS/ISIS has provision for interfacing the necessary s o l w a r .

modules with it for covering the house keeping operations. Hence MSS A!
distributing agency in India for CDS/ISIS package, has become interested in genu c r
modules for library house keeping operations developed indigenously. So N1SS \
awarded a project to DESIDOC for the development of these additional motlu c
PASCAL. Accordingly DESIDOC has developed the additional modules for the hbr.ir
house keeping applications on CDS/ISIS. This package is called SANJAY (Sanu.
user guide, 1991). It is an integrated package that enhances the capabilities of Cl >s h i-
by interfacing Pascal programs. The Sanjay performs the library' management fun. n 1
such as Acquisition control, on-line catalogue management, Circulation eontr >. •

T h e m a in f e a tu r e s o f S a n ja y a r e a ) th e p a e k a g e is c a p a b le o f h a n d lin g n u m e r ic a l

o p e r a tio n s lik e c a lc u la tio n o f b u d g e tr y a llo c a tio n s a n d e x p e n d itu r e , b ) p r o v id e s lin k in g

o f tw o o r m o r e d a ta b a s e s f o r a s in g le a p p lic a tio n , lik e lin k in g a n a c q u is itio n s y s te m

w ith th e o n - lin e c a ta lo g u e a n d c ir c u la tio n s y s te m ; c ) th e in v e r te d f ile s a r e u p d a te d

a u to m a tic a lly w h e n e v e r a c h a n g e is m a d e in th e d a ta b a s e ; d ) it h a s a s e t o f 7 0 P a s c a l

p r o g r a m s a n d 2 5 s p e c ia l m e n u s ; e ) f a s te r r e s p o n s e tim e ; a n d f ) n e w m e n u s c a n b e

in s e r te d in b e tw e e n th e e x is tin g m e n u s w ith o u t a f f e c tin g th e ir f u n c tio n s .

T h is p a c k a g e w a s d e v e lo p e d b y L y b s y s C o r p o r a tio n , N e w D e lh i. I t is a fu lly

in te g r a te d m u lti- u s e r lib r a r y s y s te m d e s ig n e d to r u n o n a w id e s p e c tr u m o f

h a r d w a r e /s o f tw a r e p la tf o r m s in c lie n t s e r v e r e n v ir o n m e n t. I t is e a s y to o p e r a te a n d th e

lib r a r y s ta f f c a n b e g in to u s e it q u ic k ly w ith o u t m u c h c o m p u te r s k ills . I t e n s u r e s h ig h

p r o d u c tiv ity b e c a u s e o f m in im a l d a ta e n tr y r e q u ir e m e n ts , m a x im u m p o s s ib le in te g r a tio n

o f f u n c tio n s a n d p o w e r f u l s e a r c h a n d q u e r y f a c ilitie s . I t h a s its o w n c e n tr a liz e d

b ib lio g r a p h ic d a ta b a s e b a s e d o n A N S I Z 3 9 .5 0 f o r m a t. L I B S Y S s u p p o r ts a lm o s t a ll

a c tiv itie s r e la tin g to a c q u is itio n , c a ta lo g u in g , c ir c u la tio n a n d s e r ia ls c o n tr o l a n d h a s a

p o w e r f u l b u t a t th e s a m e tim e u s e r f r ie n d ly O P A C in te r f a c e ( L ib s y s : P a m p h le t, 2 0 0 3 ).

C ) Maitrayee:
T h is s o f tw a r e w a s d e v e lo p e d b y C o m p u te r M a in te n a n c e C o r p o r a tio n ( C M C ) fo r

C a lc u tta L ib r a r y N e tw o r k ( C A L I B N E T ) . T h is p r o v id e s f a c ilitie s f o r a ll jo b s r e la tin g to

h o u s e k e e p in g a n d in f o r m a tio n s to r a g e a n d r e tr ie v a l f u n c tio n s . T h is s o f tw a r e c a n b e

p u r c h a s e d f r o m C M C , C a lc u tta .

D) Wylisys:

Wylisys stands for Wipro Library System. It has developed by Wipro Computer

Ltd. It has facilities for housekeeping and information storage and retrieval functions. It

has not been developed folly.


Defence library Management System (DELMS) was developed by DESIDOC as

an in-house software package for library use. It has facilities for working on UNIX,

XENIX and DOS platforms.


This software was developed by INFLEBNET Centre, Ahemadabad. This

software was developed as a means to automate the documentary resources available in

all the university libraries and college libraries in India under the INFLIBNET program.

It is a library management software package, which provides the all library house

keeping facilities. Because o f some o f the problems the package could not be used by

librarians on a satisfactory level. So this package is not in vogue.


ARCHIVES is an integrated software package developed in multi user FOXPRO

based by Minifax Electronics Pvt. Ltd, Bombay. It is a comprehensive package offering

acquisition control, serial control, cataloguing, circulation control, information storage

and retrieval and SDI.


LIBMAN was developed by Datapro Consltancy Services, Pune. Creation of

database of books, members, issue and return, interlibrary loan, generation of overdue

lists, computerization o f figures, etc. are possible with this package.


It is a multi user, multilingual, user-friendly package available from Ivy Systems

Ltd, New Delhi. It facilitates house keeping operations such as acquisition control,

circulation control, cataloguing and on-line retrieval.


Librarian is library management software package developed by computer

professionals in consultation with experienced library professionals. It was developed

by Soft-Aid, Pune.


Libris is a comprehensive, user friendly and menu driven library software

package developed by Frontier Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Secunderabad. The

system covers all the functional activities such as acquisition, cataloguing, circulation,

serials control, enquires and library administration.


The Memex Library Management (Memlib) has developed by Memox Pvt. Ltd.,

Trivandrum. It is a Microsoft Windows based, application software which can run in a

single user or multi user environment. This software provides facilities for almost all

important functions in a library. This includes acquisition, processing, circulation,

serials control etc. Another important feature o f this software is its import facility of

CDS/ISIS database. Memlib on-line search facility provides for various options and

makes many selected jobs easy without browsing entire through the data and makes the

job very easy.

M) Kruger Library Manager:

It is a menu driven and user friendly software developed by Blitz Auto Visuals,

Pune. It is a complete library management package for on-line information. It runs on

PC XT/AT compatibles. It contains facilities for validation of data entry, circulation

control, catalogue card printing, information services, preparation of cards according to

AACR13, information search etc.

N) Trishna:

It was developed by NISTADS, New Delhi. Trishna is a version o f CDS/ISIS. It

supports data creation, storage and retrieval in Indian languages.

O) Ulysis:

Universal Library System (Ulysis) was developed by Wipro Information

Technology Ltd. The package is developed in C language. It is a frilly integrated system

taking care o f housekeeping and information storage and retrieval functions.


The SOUL (Software for University Libraries) is a library software package

developed by INFLIBNET Centre, Ahemadabad as a total solution for library

automation and management. The SOUL is designed using client server architecture,

which imparts extra strength to storage capacity and has multiple access to single

database, various levels o f security, backup and re-storage facilities etc. This software

was designed after a comprehensive study of different library related functions practiced

in university libraries. It has MS-SQL Server 6.5 RDMS as the back end. This user

friendly software is quite easy to work. The software contains modules viz. Acquisition,

Catalogue, Circulation, OPAC, Serial Control and Administration.

Q) PALMS (Prasad Automated L ibrary M anagement Systems) and CLMS

(Computerised L ibrary M anagement System):

Both packages were developed by Dr. R. C. Prasad, Scientist (Library and

Documentation, GBPIHED) and distributed by Nutan Software and Publishing, Almora,

U.P. Both are menu driven user friendly single and multi user networking package runs

under DOS environment. It is hoped that these packages are very useful to automate all

types of libraries, small or big. The packages will also useful to scientists/researchers in

maintaining the references related to the field o f research. The packages are used for

database management and for information services such as SDI, Current Awareness

Services and bibliographical services. Other features of the packages include report

generation, utilities and tools, automatic book number system, data protection, fast

speed, query facilities, compatibility with other software packages, etc.


This software was developed by SRA System Ltd., Imaging Division, Madras. It

is a comprehensive Document Image Management System which provides easy

methods for storage, sharing and retrieval of documents. It takes information from

various sources such as scanners, faxes, computer created documents and other ASC II

files. It supports various types o f storage media like Hard Discs, Optical Disks,

CD-ROMs and Juke Boxes. It uses an advanced Database Engine to store, retrieve

indices and provides multiple searching mechanism like Query Based Enquiry, wild

cards, Boolean operators and keywords.

S) TLMS (Total Library Management Software):

This package was developed by TRANCE group, Germany and marketed by

OPAC Infosys Pvt. Ltd., Pune. It is a folly integrated multi-user library system designed

to run on Windows. TLMS supports a series of activities, which the information centres

requires. Starting from a wide access to libraries worldwide over the Internet and the

Z39.50 system approved by Library o f Congress. It provides the basic facilities like

photo card identity generation. Cataloguing in various systems with compatible formats

like CCF, USMARC and now the ‘Indian UNIMARC’ as advised by the Central

Secretariat library, Ministry o f HRD, Dept, of Culture are built in. It has built in dual

barcode system supporting multiple barcode standard like ISBN. TLMS support all the

library activities to build a digital library. It provides OPAC and WebOPAC.

T) BookShelf Plus:

The BookShelf Plus has been developed by Adroit Systems and Solutions,

Guwahati. It is a user friendly multilingual, multi-user software package. The software

can cover all the functional activities such as acquisition, cataloguing, circulation etc.

with the help of its various modules.

U) ThirdEye Library Management:

ThirdEye Library Management was developed by ThirdEye Infosys Pvt. Ltd.,

Guwahati using MS Access as front end and MS Access database as back end. The

software contains modules viz. acquisition, membership, and reports to facilitate library

house operations.

V) GeoCreate Library Assistant:

GeoCreate Library Assistant is developed by GeoCreate Software Inc.,

Guwahati especially for College library. It is a multi-user package offering several

modules like Borrower list, Add Title, Remove Title, Borrower Control, Print Option,

Payment including fund control to perform various library house keeping activities.

W) Library Management Software (LMS):

Library Management Software (LMS) is developed by Director o f Technical

Education, Assam. There are seven modules in the LMS viz. registration, book, modify,

display, list, periodical and report/printing to perform various library house

keeping activities.

3.2.5 Software Development A t Institutional L evel :

INSDOC takes the credit for being the first institution to experiment with the

application of computer in the library sector. From the available literature, we can say

that during the first half o f 1960’s, INSDOC developed a software for the IBM 1620,

Model 1 computer to produce a union catalogue of scientific serials. Later, at the fag

end of the 1960’s, owing to some technical problems, INSDOC had to redesign the

entire project relating to the Union Catalogue and execute it on IBM 360 model 44

available at Delhi University. A software package o f 15 programs has been developed in

Fortran IV and PL/1 for complete processing o f data relating to National Union

Catalogue o f Scientific Serials (NUCOS). This effort was followed up by a series of

experiments at INSDOC regarding processing data relating to a Roster o f Indian

Translators, a production o f author and subject index o f Indian Science Abstracts, and

for producing similar other information products.

During the same period, Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC),

Bangalore conducted a series of experiments in Document Finding System (DFS).

Under the guidance and supervision o f Prof. A. Neelameghan this project was

accomplished and a set o f programs were developed and implemented on IBM 1401

computer system.

The effort made at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Bombay in

developing AFSARI software system in Cobol for the provision o f Current Awareness

Service and SDI and the effort at Tata Institute o f Fundamental Research (TIFR) for

developing a software for generating their library catalogue based on annual

acquisitions occupy important positions in the history o f library automation in India as

early contributions towards the subject.

There have been several attempts at the institutional level to develop software

for housekeeping operations in libraries such as acquisitions, serial control, circulation

and cataloguing. Major libraries like BHEL, Hyderabad; RRC, Kalpakkam; NAL,

Bangalore; ICRISAT, Hyderabad; LNSDOC, Delhi; TIFR, Bombay; DDL Chemicals,

Hyderabad; IIT, Dehradun and so on have worked in this direction. Though in literature

we find a descriptive account of number of systems, we hardly find any article, which is

evaluative in nature so as to indicate the extent of success or failure of these


More recently national and regional organization like DESIDOC, NISSAT,

DELNET have shown interest in assisting the libraries by sharing their expertise by way

o f involving themselves directly or indirectly in the development o f a software and

distributing it at an affordable price. SANJAY, MAITRAYEE, DELWINDOWS are the

examples o f die library software which have the support o f DESIDOC, NISSAT and

DELNET respectively. The small libraries in particular will greatly be benefited by this

gesture, as the software by these organizations is developed by experts in the field and

available at relatively low prices. DELWINDOWS on the other hand helps in the

creation of the bibliographic databases strictly according the USMARC format. It

provides a powerful but simple query system for retrieving the information.

3.2.6 Selection Of Software:

Although computer hardware is more expensive than software, software should

be selected first The hardware need depend upon the software’s design and complexity.

In other words, librarians should decide what they want to accomplish by automation,

select the software that can do the best, and then select the hardware capable of

operating the software. This is the most logical way to choose, and it can simplify the

choice of hardware by eliminating some brands and performance levels.

The librarians need a clear understanding of their particular library’s situation

when they choose library automation software. They should consider the specific

requirement o f their library system and buy software that meets all of these

requirements. But they should be careful not to purchase overprice software that

contains features that will never be used in their library. Librarians also need to

determine their long range plans and consider what software will best meet the future

demands o f their patrons and library. Increasingly, library automation system is

becoming a part of an infrastructure. Planning for library automation and purchasing

software should include an analysis of present and future opportunities for connectivity

to other resources. It is equally important when the librarians are discussing automation

with software suppliers, ask them about their future plans.

3.2.7 Criteria for Evaluation of Software Package for L ibrary U se :

Efficiency and Effectiveness o f automated library system more or less depend on

the library software. Following are the worth mentioning criteria while considering a


(A) U s e r F r ie n d l in e s s :

The term user-friendly may sound like a cliche, but it is extremely important. A

user-friendly program has a menu, that is, a list o f options that is displayed on the screen

and leads the patron through the program. ‘Help’ windows and prompts are like having

a librarian standing nearby; they assist when the patron is confused.

(B) I n t e g r a t io n :

Integrated programs work together to provide a complete automated system. In

computer technology, they share databases. For example, a patron using integrated

catalog and circulation programs can find out whether the collection includes the

material wanted and whether it is on the shelf, lent out, or on reserve. Integration

usually is not a problem if library buys all their software programs (means complete

software) from one supplier. If library is planning to automate in phases, it should be

ascertained that programs purchased later can be integrated with existing programs.

(C) I n t e r n a t io n a l B ib l io g r a p h ic F o r m a t :

Industry standards (IS) are useful guides, and for library software, the industry

standards are the Library o f Congress’s Machine Readable Catalog - MARC, MARC’s

microcomputer format; the micro-computer Library Interchange Format - MICROLIF;

and the new, post 1991 Format - USMAR/MICROLIF protocol. Programs that meet

these standards allow librarians to store and fully develop catalogue records. All

software should meet CCF, MARC and MICROLIF standards.

The followings are the self-testing criteria for software selection procedure:

• Which functions are to be automated and in what priority?

• What are the academic standards, skill levels, and information requirements of

the patrons?

• How big is the library (collection size and number of patrons)?

• What is the level o f circulation and how it is busy?

• Is the library growing and if so how fast?

• Will the software be able to develop with the library?

• Is the software capable o f taking part in on-line networking?

• Is the software supplier a dependable, growing company that develops new


• What can be afforded, and what return will be provided on investment?

• Is the software providing single user or multi-user environment?

For identifying, evaluating and selecting packaged software for library the

following criteria suggested by Garoogian may be adopted (Laxman Rao, 1993).

• First make yourself'clear o f your short term and long term needs o f which you

intend to buy a software. Develop functional specifications o f each job that you

want to do with the software.

• Make a survey of the suitable packages in use for envisaged tasks by consulting

relevant directories and writing to the library and create a short list of

appropriate basis o f its specifications and capabilities and seek clarification from

th e v e n d o r . T h e e x p e r ie n c e o f th e lib r a r y m a y b e r e lie d u p o n m o r e th a n th e

a s s u r a n c e o f a le s p e o p le . R e v ie w jo u r n a ls m a y a ls o b e e x a m in e d .

• T h e r e p u ta tio n o f th e f ir m m a y a ls o b e c o n s id e r e d w h ile b u y in g a s o f tw a r e . I t is

p r o b a b ly w o r th p a y in g a b it m o r e f o r a s o f tw a r e p a c k a g e f r o m r e s p e c ta b le f ir m

w h ic h is le s s lik e ly to h a v e ‘b u g s ’ a n d m o r e lik e ly to b e u n k n o w n id e n tif ie r .

• A s o f tw a r e m u s t h a v e c o m p a tib ility to th e c o m p u te r s o n w h ic h it h a s to ru n .

S o m e p a c k a g e s u s e a s p e c ia l p e r ip h e r a l d e v ic e s lik e m o d e m , h a r d d is k , e tc . A

f e w o th e r s a r e d e s ig n e d to b e u s e d w ith D B M S o r s p r e a d s h e e ts . W h ile b u y in g a

s o f tw a r e th e c o n c e r n e d lib r a r y s h o u ld v e r if y w h e th e r a n y c o m p a n io n

p r o g r a m m e r s ) o r s p e c ia l d e v ic e s /h a r d w a r e a r e r e q u ir e d o r n o t.

• T h e s o f tw a r e m u s t b e f le x ib le e n o u g h to w o r k w ith b o th f ix e d a n d v a r ia b le

le n g th r e c o r d s . I t m u s t a ls o m e e t a lim its s e t f o r f ile s iz e , r e c o r d s iz e , f ie ld s iz e ,

e tc .

• It s h o u ld b e u s e r f r ie n d ly s o th a t it c a n b e u s e d b y p e o p le w ith little o r n o

k n o w le d g e o f c o m p u te r .

• T h e s o f tw a r e p a c k a g e m u s t h a v e g o o d d o c u m e n ta tio n to in c lu d e s y s te m a n d r u n

le v e l n a r r a tiv e d e s c r ip tio n , s y s te m lo g ic a n d lo g ic a l f lo w c h a r ts , in p u t a n d o u tp u t

a n d f ile d e s c r ip tio n a n d la y o u ts , o p e r a tin g in s tr u c tio n s a n d in p u t p r e p a r a tio n s

in s tr u c tio n s .

• T h e v e n d o r m u s t s u p p o r t in s ta lla tio n a n d p r o v id e tr a in in g to o p e r a tin g p e r s o n n e l

a n d u s e r .

• A s th e s o f tw a r e p a c k a g e s g e t u p d a te d , v e n d o r m u s t n o tif y n e w f e a tu r e s a n d

im p r o v e m e n ts .

• I m p o r ta n t th a n a ll th e a b o v e c r ite r ia is th e c o s t i f th e p a c k a g e is w ith in b u d g e te d

a m o u n t a n d w h ic h s h o u ld in c lu d e v e n d o r ’s c h a r g e f o r tr a in in g , in s ta lla tio n ,

m a in te n a n c e a n d u p d a tin g . B u y in g a p a c k a g e s o f tw a r e a r is e s m a n y r is k s . B u t b y

c a r e f u l s tu d y o f n e e d s a n d e v a lu a tin g th e a v a ila b le s o f tw a r e p a c k a g e s , i t is

p o s s ib le to f in d a r ig h t p a c k a g e .

T h e c o m p u te r iz e d lib r a r y s y s te m m a y a f f e c t p o s itiv e ly o r n e g a tiv e ly th e

e f f ic ie n c y o f a lib r a r y b e c a u s e o f th e p a r tic u la r lib r a r y s o f tw a r e p a c k a g e u s e d b y th e

lib r a ry . H e n c e a n o b je c tiv e a s s e s s m e n t o r e v a lu a tio n o f th e p a c k a g e s is r e q u ir e d in

c h o o s in g a p a r tic u la r s o f tw a r e f o r a u to m a tio n . G e n e r a l g u id e lin e s f o r th e s e le c tio n o f a

c o m m e r c ia lly a v a ila b le s o f tw a r e p a c k a g e s a r e th e f o llo w in g :

• T o lo c a te a n d e v a lu a te a k n o w le d g e a b le d e a le r o r s a le p e r s o n .

• T o e x a m in e th o r o u g h ly d o c u m e n ta tio n o f th e s o f tw a r e .

• P r o p e r a r r a n g e m e n t f o r a d e m o n s tr a tio n o f th e s o f tw a r e .

• S e lf p r e p a r a tio n b e f o r e d e m o n s tr a tio n .

• T o p u t th e p r o g r a m th r o u g h its p a c e s .

• T o e v a lu a te th e q u a lity o f th e s u p p o r t th a t c a n b e e x p e c te d f r o m d e a le r o r v e n d o r

( M a lw a d , 1 9 9 5 ).

A s o f tw a r e c o m p a n y th a t is c h o s e n s h o u ld b e a b le to a s s is t th e lib r a r y b e f o r e ,

d u r in g a n d a f te r th e p u r c h a s e . T h e f o llo w in g in f o r m a tio n s h o u ld b e o b ta in e d f r o m th e

s u p p lie r a n d th e s u p p lie r ’s c u r r e n t c u s to m e r s :

• A r e th e p r o d u c ts a n d s e r v ic e s g u a r a n te e d , w h a t a r e th e g u a r a n te e ’s d e ta ils ?

• Is th e r e a c h a n g e f o r a f te r - s a le s u p p o r t a n d i f s o , h o w m u c h ?

• A r e th e a c c o u n t s p e c ia lis ts a n d te c h n ic ia n s k n o w le d g e a b le a n d h e lp f u l?

1 0 4
Is support and training available when needed?

Does support include toll-free assistance?

Is the software upgradable?

Each o f the library software has its own strengths and weaknesses. So before

selecting the software, library should access the software to see whether it suits their

working environment. Before purchasing a software it is always a good idea to scan

through the literature about that software, to have an interaction with other libraries

which are using that software, to request the supplier to provide a detailed

demonstration of the software and to make a comprehensive pre-installation evaluation

of that software. The evaluation process should start with a detailed look at the problems

software has to tackle and proceed through a technical evaluation of the packages,

testing and negotiation over maintenance and service.