Cloud-Based Digital Library Era

Cloud-Based Digital Library Era

Ahmed Shawish (Ain Shams University, Egypt) and Maria Salama (British University in Egypt, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3914-8.ch061
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Rapid advances in information processing, storage, and communication technologies have revolutionized the role of the libraries. This chapter reviews the library services, problems and drivers of change from the classical form to the digital one. The chapter then focuses on the current cloud era. It comparatively covers the library cloud-based platforms, services, management systems, innovative products and opened environments in terms of their characteristics, added values, pros and cons. A comprehensive survey on the digital libraries in the cloud era is presented in this chapter.
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This section covers the library services along with their problems and the drives of change, as well as the related concepts of cloud computing.

1. Library Services

Libraries are information centers established in support of the mission of the host institutions, where they are located, to generate knowledge, equip people with knowledge in order to serve the society and advance the well being of mankind.

The primary objective of academic institutions of higher education is advancement of learning and acquisition of knowledge. Academic libraries are part of the university and its organizational culture. Whatever affects universities also has an impact on their libraries too. The role of university libraries is changing to provide the competitive advantage for the university. Academic libraries are the nerve centers of academic institutions and are mandated to support teaching, research and other academic programs.

Universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are faced with a challenge to create and disseminate knowledge to society. Traditionally, universities have been the sites of knowledge production, storage, dissemination and authorization. Universities need to share information and knowledge among the academic community within and outside the institution. Therefore, knowledge created in universities through research and teaching should be relevant to the society, and promoting knowledge as a major factor of business of the university and higher education institutions (Aswath & Gupta, 2009).

Library services include the following:

  • Online/offline access to digital information resources

  • Information retrieval

  • Database searching

  • Public access services

  • Electronic reference

  • Public relations services

  • Library promotion and marketing

  • E-publishing

  • Information literacy programs

  • Online circulation activities, such as electronic reserves

  • User services, and queries

  • Online access to library catalogues, databases and the Internet

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