Self-Sustainability in Academic Libraries in the Digital Era

Self-Sustainability in Academic Libraries in the Digital Era

T. M. Kalpana (Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, India & Bharathiyar University, India) and S. Gopalakrishnan (National Institute of Fashion Technology, India)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4070-2.ch004


Libraries are storehouses of knowledge and act as disseminating agents for the knowledge producer because knowledge accrued from library is invariably implemented in creating new knowledge. The libraries are agents for knowledge collection, utilization, and dissemination. In all these processes, finance plays a major role. Shrinking budgets (Anna, 1994) and increases in available resources pressure collection development and the disseminating process. The strategies discussed in this chapter can to some extent help in sorting out this financial crisis depending on suitability and implementing standards. Library and information service is a noble service sector. It is not enough to concentrate on issues inside the library, but one needs to widen the service and address issues outside as well, factors like global warming, chronic health disorders, power shortage, diminishing funds, pollution, up to date literature collection, obsolete technologies, and so on.
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FEEL solutions to FEEL problems:

  • FEEL Solutions: Fund raising, Energy generation, Eco-friendly technologies, Literature through open archiving.

  • FEEL Problems: Financial crisis, Energy insufficiency, Environment debris, Literature crisis

Feel approach can solve problems related to finance, energy, environment, and literature, considering these as the major components for a well-established library. Solutions can be provided in the feel approach through fund raising, energy generation, eco friendly technologies and literature archiving from free open source as part of this model best suits in academic library environment.

Libraries are knowledge store houses changing evolutionarily to the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the information sharing world. But to cater this change, infrastructural facilities, investment, skilled professionals, orientation to users etc became qualitatively and quantitatively important. For all these implementations policy makers needs investment on recurring and nonrecurring basis. Due to various reasons like lack of skilled professionals, costly labour, war between nations, natural calamities, higher education policies, heavy investment in infrastructural facilities at national and global level either shrinks or restricts further extension on budgets.

Parallel to the macro problems micro constraints like increased publishing cost, different mode of collection development, variety in format of information, infrastructure requirements to administer different formats, increasing users’ knowledge creates stress in selection and development of collections in libraries.

To balance the problems taking initiatives becomes inevitable. Major problems can be addressed to a reasonable extent by creating sustainability from all angles. Study on self contentment will help library professionals in procurement process to greater extent making library user, management, and environment friendly.

Objective of self sustainability should be executed in 360 degrees of coverage making it more effective and raising satisfaction standards move higher in cost benefit analysis. Libraries should be eco friendly and not enough just users’ friendly because they not only stores knowledge and information, but it also stores dust and pollution. A poorly maintained library can cause chronic disease like throat ulcer, bronchitis, and dust allergy, emit green house gases. This pollution and emission can be reduced by implementing strategic planning in utilizing energy efficiently, implementation of technological advances in library environment, making library more informative with innovative thinking and giving library a new phase on sustainability.

Added objective of this chapter is fund generation through external sources. Emphasis on developing service model with income generation without affecting users like earning rent from scholarly advertising inside library, service extended to non members on payment basis, collection development through open source archiving, and lending seminar halls for educational programs making library as a service sector with fund raising efficiency and obtaining maximum sustainability.

This chapter also describes about pollution control using indoor plants; temperature control with green roofing; natural lighting through architectural design saving electricity on lighting and energy utilization from green, fossil free self generated, 0% emission solar power panels and wind energy structures. Self sufficient, energy efficient strategies, implemented in libraries around the world taken as preamble, advantages, further implementation techniques are discussed in this chapter helps to take library and environment a step head in development (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

The FEEL problems faced in libraries and FEEL solutions that can be suitably implemented in academic library environment


Academic Library

Libraries in older days considered as store house of books in chained shelves era. Later due to evolutionary changes around the world, Libraries were invariably also has to change itself from the shelves to user friendly library, digital library, virtual library and so on.

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