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Benefits to Target Audiences
The benefits that are foreseen to the different target audiences from the proposed network are as follows.
- Students across the universities and affiliated colleges have wider access to resources.
- E-content (created by faculty of University or other colleges or downloaded proactively by network staff from the web) can be put on the network and will become accessible to all students of the same subject across the network via the web.
- Research Scholars across the universities and affiliated colleges have wider access to resources. (Electronic Theses and dissertations and scholarly publications).
- They also have knowledge and access to resources across the network and beyond and can make their teaching materials (Lecture notes, Presentations etc.,) available to other teachers and students in the network and also benefit from that of others who contribute their teaching resources.
Libraries of Universities and Colleges
- The introduction of new technologies in libraries will open the doors to wider sources of information.
- Colleges (Liberal Arts and Science 93, Education 82, Fine Arts & Arts and Crafts 03, Uni-faculty institution 01, Approved Institutions 13) can begin to participate in cooperative arrangements that will enable wider access to electronic resources and reference materials in full text form for the benefit of students and faculty
- Better efficiencies because of automation
- Possibility for new services
- The union database that will be developed in the network will have better quality metadata, such data can be downloaded from free sources on the web.
- Libraries can simply share metadata instead of duplicating their work
- Costly resources are better possible to be shared.
- Training will be providing to library staff at Bharathidasan university and colleges will update skills to enable library staff to handle newer web-based technologies and resources for the benefit of the academic community.
Architecture and Objectives of the proposed Project
Though there is a wealth of resources on a host of subjects (in English, Tamil and other Languages) in Bharathidasan University Library and in the above Institution Libraries of BDU, the situation today is as follows:
- There has been no means, so far, for students, Research Scholars and faculty in these Institutions to benefit from the widely held collections.
- There is considerable avoidable duplication of resources since the BDU Libraries and other Libraries are not aware of the resources of each other.
- It has not been possible for the libraries to share expensive resources.
- Increasingly under financial pressure and acquisitions budgets in real terms are not able to cater to the demands of all categories of Users.
- Many of the professional’s staff requires to be retrained in using newer technologies, particularly Web Technologies (Library 2.0, Web 2.0) and how to utilize resources on the web for the benefit of Students, Research Scholars and Faculty.
- Not enough resources directly useful to the Students, Research Scholars and Faculty eg Courseware, Institutional Repositories, Electronic Theses and dissertations etc., are available to Students.
- Libraries both in BDU and the colleges require to embrace standards and technologies that are relevant to developing digital library paradigms. At present, there is poor understanding and use of contemporary metadata and interoperability Standards. (Z39.50, OAI PMH)
- Libraries have become marginalized due to the easy availability of resources on the web and the trend to use information that is easy to obtain rather than relevant and validated can be counter-productive to the development of a healthy and inquiring body of Students, Research Scholars and Faculty. Only Libraries with good collections and ensure that such a trend is reversed.
All the above mentioned factors require that System must be put in place to enable:
- Easy access to information resources available throughout the Libraries in Bharathidasan University and College Libraries.
- Not only easy access to metadata but also to the full text of important material like Electronic Theses and Dissertations and Scholarly Publications etc.,
- Easy access to E-content for Students, Research scholars and Faculty.
- Better Resource Sharing among the Libraries.