CENTRAL LIBRARY, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, WARANGAL
Whenever we need to check out new journals, research papers or our usual course textbooks, the library is our go-to place for it all. Ever wondered how the numerous books are managed by a handful of library staff or what the present system followed is to make our search easier and convenient? Well, News and Magazine Committee brings you a deeper insight into the functioning of library through a talk with Head Librarian Dr. K Veeranjaneyulu and Assistant Librarian G. Balakrishna. The conversation covered everything that one should know about the library in order to make the most of it. Also, we took this opportunity to address a few problems that students face on a regular basis. Here are the key aspects that we discussed in the interview.
With the present OPAC system, one can access the bibliographical information related to books only through the systems in the library. However, it is not supported by Windows and has not been updated since 2-3 years. So, the staff is trying to get new software called KOHA installed. The moment you enter the library, you can directly go and check if a book is present in the library on the OPAC system on the computers at the counter and know where that particular book is located — a hassle free experience.
Books returned by students are shifted to the stacks area and the next morning the books are sorted into their respective shelves by the library staff. To shift books into particular shelves, Dewey Decimal Classification system is used. There are 3 to 4 staff placed on the ground floor textbook section to check for misplaced books and sort it out. The staff here have more than ten years of experience and handle their tasks of keeping the books in order to the best of their capability. But as we know that students place the books in the wrong shelves very often, making it difficult to find them. Hence, generally the staff check some random racks once in a month thoroughly and find those books to place them in their appropriate shelves.
One can simply send an email request for a particular article they require and it will be arranged within a day. These books are arranged through inter library loan facility, available for students and faculty. We have access to approximately 9000 e-journals which many students are not aware of. It is also accessible through the library page and everyone within the institute’s IP range can have access. The Library is planning to make this facility available to people outside the institute also in the future through Remote Access System.
As per the Head Librarian, Library staff are aware of the conditions of computer systems in Digital Library, such as lack of a power backup facility, damaged UPS pins, some dysfunctional systems, etc., and thus are concentrating on improving the present state of Digital Library. Head Librarian, Dr. Dr. K Veeranjaneyulu said, “we are also requesting the administration for funds and they have responded positively and allocated the required funds. In coming days, we will establish all the requirements. We want to purchase UPS systems and computers. Presently, we have 25 working computers and we are trying to get 15 more. Some of the computers get damaged due to power cuts. We are also planning to get library open source software installed and include e-resources through INFLIBNET consortium or from direct subscription to IEEE, Oxford University, Web of Science, J-store, Springer, etc. The update of e-journals is always in action, is brought up to date in the library web page. We’re also trying to create a library app for which discussions are going on.”
In the near future, the Library is planning to implement RFID technology that uses KOHA open source software which is already in use in many IITs and NITs. Due to our very large book count, physical verification of each book is time consuming. This technology helps in monitoring the availability of books, issuing and renewal of books within a day. KOHA is a software which enables students to know whether a particular book is present in library or not, on their mobiles.
MISPLACING OF BOOKS:
As our conversation proceeded, misplacing of books did appear again for which the Head Librarian suggested, ”after usage, students can keep the books opposite to the shelf or on a nearby table so that they can be rearranged by the staff promptly. Technology will be introduced to ensure books are kept in their right place. Presently we are arranging them manually. We have enough staff to do it properly. Students are also not supposed to misplace the books.”
IMPROVEMENTS TO BE MADE:
And finally, we talked about the future plans for the library. “Smart library cards for students, digital library upgrade and infrastructural developments are in the list next to be sorted. We’re receiving a good support from the Administration and are positive in stating that within 2- 2 ½ years we will succeed in doing them,” said the Head Librarian.
“Sensitization workshops for each department will be organized to make people aware of the resources available at the library. Librarians and technical staff will be present to give information regarding the available e-resources to students as well as faculty. Now, we have a new regular librarian which we didn’t have for the past 2-3 years.”
“We’ve also requested the administration for installation of ACs in the general section. Property counters have also been requested for from the stores so that students do not misplace their belongings. Facilitating infrastructural requirements such as property counters, systems, etc is our priority, after which we will tackle technical aspects like library apps, smart library cards, etc. We are offering subscriptions to more than 10 journal databases and most of them are internationally recognized, and their information is available at NITW’s website, but most students are not aware of it. So, we are also planning to provide a proper library website for the sole purpose of sharing such information regarding the library.”
JOURNEY SO FAR:
“The Management has allocated required funds for computers within one day; a sign of their immense support. A request has been made to appoint library trainees. For the first time, five to six library trainees are being hired to support our students and staff. Also, library internships are coming to our college and they will be helping in strengthening our library services as well.”
Having said that, the Head Librarian did mention that carrying out these plans will take a few years and can see it happening with the support of student community and their patience.
NMC would like to thank Dr. K Veeranjaneyulu Sir, Head Librarian and G. Balakrishna Sir, Assistant Librarian for having this illuminating talk and wishes the very best for their future plans for the development of our library.