Disaster and Digital Libraries in Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges

Disaster and Digital Libraries in Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges

Goodluck Ifijeh (Covenant University, Nigeria), Jerome Idiegbeyan-Ose (Covenant University, Nigeria), Chidi D. Isiakpona (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Julie Ilogho (Covenant University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8624-3.ch023
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Digital libraries have become a modern day phenomenon. Their roles in information generation,organization, dissemination and storage cannot be overemphasized. This chapter articulates the importance of digital libraries and the need to preserve them from disasters. It highlights the causes and effects of disasters in digital libraries. Prevention and management of disasters were also discussed. Issues and challenges around information and communication technology (ICT), that has direct bearings on digital libraries and disaster management in developing countries were raised. In addition, recommendations were made on how to improve on disaster prevention and control.
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Development is a major aspiration of every nation in today’s world of global competition. Pivotal to the attainment of development is the acquisition and utilization of required information; hence Isiakpona and Ifijeh (2012) posited that information is the driver of development. The availability and accessibility of information is the primary responsibility of libraries; it is in that light that we refer to the library as a storehouse of information. Ottong and Ottong (2013) opined that the library is an institution set up to support the tripartite functions of teaching, learning and research.

A library could also be seen as an institution concerned with the collection, processing, storage and dissemination of recorded information for the purpose of reading, study and consultation, in order to satisfy the varying information needs of its clientele. (Aina, 2004). Kargbo (2002) noted that “libraries are derivative agencies. They arise from particular needs within a society, and their types and functions reflect the diversity within the society.”

Since the turn of the 21st century, libraries have been drifting from the utilization of manual methods of operations to automated methods. The resources made available in the libraries are also being repackaged in virtual or electronic format. It is this drift that has brought about the concept of digital libraries (Ottong and Ottong, 2013).

Digital libraries carry out specialized library services and functions to its clientele through automated methods or machine readable formats. Nwalo (2011) described digital libraries as any of the following:

  • Collection of electronic journals and books

  • Repository of multimedia files

  • Archives of information created from local knowledge

  • Electronic version of libraries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Arson: Willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn a building or property, equipment and facility.

Disaster: A disaster is an event that leads to sudden removal of records and documents from accessibility and use in library. It is an occurrence that temporarily or permanently renders information contained in document inaccessible. It paralyzed service deliver in library and information centres.

Hacking: This can be simply described as a process of intruding or gaining improper, unauthorized and illegal access into a computer system.

Computer Security: This implies all legitimate means used to prevent and detect unauthorised access to a computer network.

Developing Country: A term generally used to describe a nation with low-level material wealth. Levels of development may vary, with some developing countries having average standards of living.

Data: These refer to quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, which may be stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.The singular form is datum.

Corruption: Corruption can simply be defined as process through which public officials break the law and compromise trust in pursuit of their private interest.

Digital Library: Digital library is the type of library where information resources are housed electronically and they are accessed and retrieved for use with the aid of computers and other ICT devices.

Digital Divide: Disparities in access to ICTs by People.The disparity could be within and between individuals,communities, urban and rural areas, regions, countries and continents.

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