Libraries Face the Future

By IGI Global on Sep 22, 2011
Librarians worldwide are increasingly adopting modern technologies to enhance the accessibility and reference value of their research collections. In IGI Global's latest release, E-Reference Context and Discoverability in Libraries, Sue Polanka of Wright State University, USA, discusses new ways that digitization is changing the modern library. "We are in the midst of a paradigm shift where publishers are focusing on a future with electronic content and full-text interfaces; classic reference sources are being transformed into online interactive products; the use of print continues to decline," writes Polanka in the Preface to her book. "Despite this relentless shift, some libraries cannot afford a complete transformation to e-reference and depend on print and free Web-based sources for added support."
However, in a recent article in IJDLS, two Nigerian authors argue that the technological gap between the developed and developing world creates a "digital divide" between these different areas. "The fear of some librarians in developing countries toward ICT is widening the digital divide," argue Professor Edwin I. Achugbue and Ph.D. student Sylvester O. Anie, in the 2nd Quarter issue of the International Journal of Digital Library Systems. "Africans should awake and take their stand to bridge the digital gap through training and acknowledgement of the benefits of digital library in e-learning," they argue in their article, " Attitudes of Librarians in Selected Nigerian Universities towards Digital Libraries in E-Learning."
Professor Achugbue and Mr. Anie surveyed 33 librarians from three Nigerian universities—Benson Idahosa University, Igbinedion University and University of Benin—regarding their attitudes toward the adoption of innovative communication technologies (ICT) and the digital library and e-learning. "Respondents were asked to rate their belief about digitalisation of library in e-learning applications to library practices on a 2-point scale: 2=Agree and 1=Disagree," write the authors. This paper explores "the attitudes of librarians towards digital libraries, advantages of digital libraries, and the types of e-learning that can be supported by digital libraries," they write.
The authors found that while these librarians displayed a generally positive attitude toward ICT, and that the greater the experience a librarian had with these technologies, or the more extensive his or her training, the more a librarian would favor digital libraries in e-learning.
In the forthcoming third quarter issue of IJDLS, two Nigerian professors from Delta State University will discuss the role of public libraries in bridging the digital divide.The International Journal of Digital Library Systems (IJDLS) covers the rapid acceleration of multimedia technology use in libraries across the globe. Through advanced research in multimedia storage and retrieval, this journal provides academicians, scientists, librarians, practitioners, and engineers with the latest findings and innovative technology solutions in digital library research, design, and applications.
To learn more about IJDLS, please visit
You can recommend this journal to your university librarian by visiting
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Library Information SystemsNewsletterDigital Divide & Developing CountriesDigital LibrariesApplied E-Learning

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