With the widespread penetration of technology in all aspects of life including modern day education, e-libraries have emerged as a widely accepted evolutionary successor and complement to traditional libraries.
In essence, digital libraries are getting popular as they onboard a host of advantages that empower universities to promote greater excellence among their researchers.
With the agile expansion of the information technology, and the multiplicity of its applications in academia, e-libraries or digital libraries are turning widely popular across universities globally.
Digital libraries essentially offer a vast collection of documents spanning magazines, articles, academic research, books, papers, sound files etc. organized in electronic formats. They extend tangible benefits in terms of enhancing both information availability and its efficient discovery.
In this blog, we look at the key benefits of modern e-libraries and how they help to enhance academic progress in universities.
Evolution of Libraries
In man’s quest for knowledge, there has been creation and accumulation of a tremendous quantum of knowledge across civilizations.
The way this information has been preserved and transmitted across generations has undergone massive evolution from being transmitted verbally to copies of text being maintained in handwritten manuscripts. This then moved over to print books. Over the years, it has further evolved to digital formats such as CDs and Library Software. Today, as modern technology is getting more advanced and sophisticated, e-libraries are being hosted on Cloud and are updated every single day, while being accessible from any computer with the user’s login credentials.
Here Are The Main Benefits of E-libraries in Universities
The growing popularity of e-libraries lies in the host of benefits they extend in terms of enhancing research at a university. Here are some of the most prominent benefits of e-libraries –
Access to Wider Choice of Resources – With no limitation of physical space, digital libraries permit expansion of the quantum of library resources that can be provided to students – both in textual and other formats. Hence, they offer a mechanism to store a lot more information and maintain it a lower cost.
Efficient Instant Informational Retrieval – With electronic libraries, manual search of content has been greatly minimized and has been replaced with e-search. This allows relevant content to be identified and delivered to researchers at great speed. Good, modern day e-libraries are equipped with intuitive discovery services available that allow users to perform sophisticated searches for a variety of their queries.
Improved Resource Preservation – Digital libraries are also largely popular as they offer an efficient mechanism to preserve information sources and prevent their loss, damage or theft.
Since digital files can be easily copied and replicated without error, making multiple copies helps to preserve them. Moreover, digital format permits students and researchers with access to those resources that were restricted earlier due to risks of damage or being misplaced. For instance, fragile photographs and other multimedia such as audio-cassette tapes that couldn’t be played often without damage.
Facility to Research Remotely– Physical libraries have been traditionally based out of a fixed location. During travel or times when one may not be able to visit the university, access to the library resources was completely cut off.
However, with e-libraries researchers get to access their desired content even from a remote location, and suffer no academic interruption due to external factors.
Round the Clock Access – Digital Libraries also extend the freedom to refer to library resources at anytime of the day. This means students need not wait for library hours during university timing to access the research they wish to. They get the freedom to read anytime as per their own convenience from their own web-enabled devices.
Simultaneous Multi Student Access – When library resources are available in digital formats, a single copy can be made accessible to multiple researchers at the same time. This ubiquity carves out a clear advantage as simultaneously different users can access the same content.
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