Saturday, November 29, 2014

The emergence of Hybrid Special Libraries

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

The emergence of Hybrid Special Libraries

P- 15. Special and Research Libraries *

By :malhan v,Paper Coordinator

1. Introduction

At the outset, this module has been designed to highlight several components such as, the concept of different types of libraries, what is hybrid library and special library, development of hybrid library and hybrid special library,  prerequisites of hybrid special library design, elements of hybrid special library design and services of hybrid special library. The topics and sub topics of the module have specially focused on evolution and expansion of hybrid library. The development of hybrid library will depends on the type of institution and rate of development varies from library to library. It has been observed for a decade that there has been a shift to more and more electronic resources, but hybrid library scenario is likely to be around for several more years (Oppenheim & Smithson, 1999).

After reading this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate your understanding about the evolution, expansion and multi-faceted dimensions of hybrid special library.

  • Categorically identify and select several facets and elements before getting started with the design of a hybrid special library.

  • Design and develop significant services of hybrid special library as per the users’ information needs.

2. 0 Types of Libraries

A library is organized and maintained by a public body, government, an institution, a corporation, or a private individual. At its core, the mission of any library is to facilitate user access to the resources contained in the library collection; however, the structure of the library differs based upon the unique needs of the patrons and the expectations of the library’s oversight organization.  As libraries have evolved, the concept of information environment has changed dramatically. There are several types of library environments: traditional ones, e.g., academic, public, school, special libraries, archives; and nontraditional ones, known variously as digital, electronic or virtual, and hybrid. 

2.1 Academic Libraries

Academic libraries are the nerve centers of academic institutions and support the information and research needs of their faculty, students and staff; their functions are directly associated with degree granting institutions of higher education. Primarily, these libraries serve two aspects of academic institutions: to support the school’s curriculum and to support the research of faculty and students. Moreover, some academic libraries also provide services to local community by the way of making materials available to local citizens.

The collection of an academic library includes books, periodicals, microforms, software, recordings, electronic formats, and multicultural materials. In the present electronic age, the resources are becoming entirely electronic thus the academic librarian is required to become proficient in searching these resources and teaching users to search these resources (electronic databases). It is also important for the academic librarian to provide proactive information services to the users, for example, developing the topical subject guides for various disciplines starting from Accounting to Women Studies. These guides usually prove to be a starting point of research (for their respective subjects) for the students and faculty. It is also interesting to note that that the websites of many academic libraries (including access to electronic databases, OPAC and subject guides) are available through various mobile modes, such as, smart phones and I-pad. Thus, the academic librarian has to keep up with the vibrant information needs of his/her patrons by being innovative in devising proactive information services.

2.2 School Libraries

Like academic libraries, school libraries serve the students, teachers and administrative staff of their schools. The school library encourages learners to be independent lifelong learners and promotes reading as a foundational skill for learning, personal growth and enjoyment (AASL, 2012). The school library provides informational, reference and recreational materials. Typically, the collection of a school library includes books and other information sources, ranging from the fictional to the documentary and from print to electronic. Moreover, the school library also provides access to online databases (through online hosts) and online reference resources; it serves as a place for students to do independent work, access internet, use computer and research materials. It is also an excellent place for hosting special events such as author visits, book talks, and book fairs.
In many schools, school libraries are staffed by librarians, teacher-librarians, or school library media specialists. The school librarian should be a professionally qualified staff member who would be competent in planning and teaching different information-handling skills to both teachers and students (IFLA, 2006). He is responsible for collection development, circulation and cataloging and also facilitates interlibrary loans, performs inventory and instructs in information literacy skills. The school librarian collaborates with classroom teachers to create independent learning by fostering students' research, information literacy, technology, and critical thinking skills. Thus, to sustain and increase knowledge and skills, the school administration should support for professional development of the school librarian.

2.3 Public Libraries

Unlike an academic or school library, the public library serves the information needs of lay public. Public library provides free and equal access to information to the general public. It is primarily established by state law, supported by taxes, governed by a board and open to all (Rubin, 2004, p. 284). The fundamental services of a public library are: circulation service, reference service, electronic reference service (online, e-mail, phone), reader’s advisory service (also offered by academic library), mobile library service, children’s library service, cataloging, OPAC, interlibrary loan, homework help, development and management of digital resources and periodicals and use of internet. Public Libraries also provide several free services such as providing free internet access, training in use of the Internet, conducting preschool story times (for infants, toddlers) to encourage early literacy, providing quiet study and work areas for students and professionals, or organizing book clubs (also provided in academic library) to encourage appreciation of literature in adults.

In the contemporary times, public libraries are using web 2.0 (blogs, wikis, twitter, social networking sites etc) in various ways; it is enabling the libraries become a part of people’s everyday lives. The public libraries do replicate their traditional fun programs, story times, and reader’s advisory services through blogs and wikis for all age groups. Public librarians also create podcasts, screen casts, or videos of stories in the public domain, which allow children to benefit from story time anytime. Moreover, public librarians also make themselves available to patrons at their point of need by offering synchronous reference services, ranging from providing IM reference for a few hours a day to being part of a 24/7 chat reference cooperative (Farkas, 2007). 

2.4 Special libraries

However, Special libraries tend to contain a smaller, more specialized collection, serve a much narrower discipline or clientele than the other types of library mentioned; they consist of a very small and specialized staff and provide restricted access (not open to public).  They tend to be sponsored by private companies, government agencies, and organizations or associations to serve the specific information needs of their employees and members with the organization’s mission and goals in mind.  Some common types of special libraries often seen include law libraries, government libraries, Engineering libraries, medical libraries, corporate libraries, museum libraries or military libraries

2.5 Digital libraries

Lastly, Digital libraries have emerged as the proliferation of digital technologies has increased. The collections of Digital library are stored in digital formats and are generally made accessible through an online interface that allows the user to search the collection; it maintains procedures to select, organize, make available, and archive the information. They offer a wide variety of collections that are generally accessible online at anytime to anybody worldwide. The mission of most digital libraries is to increase accessibility to information resources. Some digital libraries and online library catalogs allow users to create their own tags to name and find content. Examples of digital libraries include cloud-based digital repositories likeInternet Archive (  and Hathi Trust( , both of which aim to preserve permanent access for researchers, scholars, historians and any other individual with Internet access.

3. 0 What is a special library

Special libraries are diverse and may exist in many types of organizations ranging in size from small operations administered by one person, to large institutions with their own buildings and hundreds of staff members. Special libraries have some the following characteristics: a focus on specialized information resources, usually of a limited subject scope; a focus on a specialized and limited clientele; and the delivery of specialized services to that clientele (Shumaker, 2009). There are three forces which contribute to the continuous growth in the number of special libraries: the rapid increase in the amount of information, continuing development in information technologies and recognition of how important information has become as an essential resource for organizational survival (Rubin, 2004, p.416).

Further, technological advances have transformed the special libraries from a finite collection of books, periodicals stored on shelves and almirahs to an infinite collection of information stored in bits and bytes. The contemporary special librarians use latest advances in computer and telecommunications technology in order to collect, monitor, organize, analyze, evaluate, package and disseminate resources and materials for their parent or client organizations. Today, special librarians have become more proactive than ever, they anticipate the information needs of their patrons and help meet their personal and professional objectives.  Additionally, special librarians also provide value added services. For example, they evaluate the wide variety of online databases available and determine which ones are the best for their users. They also evaluate the information with regards to its timeliness and accuracy (Bender, 2003, p.616). However, special librarians are also facing several challenges such as, scarce resources, defining and promoting their roles and consequent low customer awareness, lack of recognition of the value of special libraries, keeping up with how information is stored and located, copyright issues, the demands of individualized service and poor cooperation from management (Rubin, 2004, p. 418). 

3.1 Definition – Special Library and Hybrid library

ODLIS defines special library as “a library established and funded by a commercial firm, private association, government agency, nonprofit organization or special interest group to meet the information needs of its employees, members or staff in accordance with the organization’s mission and goals (Reitz, 2013). Shumaker (2009) mentions that the special library arose as a distinct type of library because organizations needed units to acquire the specialized information relevant to their activities, organize that information, and provide customized services to get it to the right people at the right time.

The term hybrid library has been used rather loosely in the literature – even as a synonym for digital libraries. It is a concept rather than an actual physical entity. Oppenheim & Smithson (1999) mentions that most libraries are hybrid; they deal with a variety of media and use common cataloguing and classification rules. The hybrid library is a cross-breed which aims to meet the needs of the new learning environment. It occupies both virtual space and physical space, and offers users access to a range of print and electronic resources (Garrod, 1999). Law (2003) mentions that a hybrid library “may be described as a physical library in which seamless, integrated access is provided to all the resources available to that library, irrespective of medium or location – sometimes known as a one-stop shop (p. 231).” He further highlight that hybrid library should provide access to many different types of media and integrate electronic services into a more coherent whole. Thus, the user would be presented with simple and unified access.   Rusbridge (1998) opines that the hybrid library should bring together all four kinds of resources: legacy resources, that is existing nondigital resources; traditional resources, that is, legacy resources which also exist in digitized form; new resources that are born digital; and future resources that will incorporate access methods.

The hybrid library was defined by Pinfield (1998) as a library “on the continuum between the conventional and digital library, where electronic and paper based information sources are used alongside each other.” According to Rusbridge (1998), the hybrid library should be “designed to bring a range of technologies from different sources together in the context of a working library, and also to begin to explore integrated systems and services in both the electronic and print environments.” Thus, it can be easily concluded that hybrid library is a vision than a reality. It is not a fixed product but is a process which involves continual integration. “An important aspect of this integration of electronic resources with the aim of allowing users to access a variety of resources (perhaps simultaneously) through a single user interface (Pinfield, 1999).” No matter how each writer has defined the term ‘hybrid library’, all the writers voice that there is a need for integrated information. A standard interface should facilitate access to all information types. The hybrid library is a step on the road to the digital library, but the road may be a long one and the development of the new form should take account of traditional library collections.

4. Development of Hybrid library and hybrid special library

New information technologies have revolutionized information access and reduced the distinction between the physical library and virtual library and thus enabling the user to get information quickly and conveniently anytime-anywhere-anyplace. The key purpose of any library is to provide a quality service: access to relevant information, computers, information networks and software applications. These technologies are making it possible for libraries to provide a variety of library and information services to clientele. Today’s libraries are a combination of resources that include traditional print materials, but also e-books and e-journals, remote databases and electronic collections provided by outside vendors or developed internally. Such a library is somewhere between the traditional print-based library and the purely electronic library and is sometimes referred to as hybrid library (Rubin, 2004, p.96).
The term ‘hybrid library’ was introduced into general parlance by a call for demonstrator projects by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in March 1997. Five projects were funded: Agora, which is building a standards based broker system; BUILDER, which covers institutional issues; HEADLINE is about information landscapes and the set of resources of interest to the user; HYLIFE is about different client groups and types; MALIBU is about management implications and the development of models (Law, 2003). Further, the name hybrid library is intended to reflect the transitional state of the library, which today can neither be fully print nor fully digital. The hybrid library tries to use the technologies available to bring things together into a library reflecting the best of both worlds (Rusbridge, 1998).
Hybrid libraries are likely to persist for many years. Nonetheless, it is important to gain a solid understanding of digital libraries as they have become more and more prevalent. A digital library (DL) is collection of electronic resources that provides direct / indirect access to a systematically organized collection of digital objects. It is a combination that integrates multimedia databases with a user-friendly interface to provide users with a comprehensive library service.

It was further stated by  Eastwood & Tompson (2001) that Digital libraries can be visualized as consisting of OPACs and computer databases that replaced traditional card catalogues and augmented them with links between records ((e.g. a record for one book on a particular subject could be relationally linked to a list of records for books on that subject).  Greenstein (2000) states that digital libraries “create a digital library service environment, that is, a networked online information space in which users can discover, locate, acquire access to and increasingly, use information” (p. 290-291). Full-fledge digital library is unlikely to happen, especially when there are factors outside the control of libraries. The hybrid library is not only a transitional process to the complete virtual library but also an important stage in information provision (Oppenheim & Smithson, 1999, p. 109).
However, the objective of hybrid library is to support access to both the physical stock as well as the digital materials. The name hybrid library is intended to reflect the transitional state of the library, which today can neither be fully print nor fully digital. The hybrid library tries to use the technologies available to bring things together into a library reflecting the best of both worlds (Rusbridge,1998). In the hybrid library environment, the user should be presented with a coherent picture of what resources are available in paper or electronic format. Moreover, the integrated library system, dealing with a hybrid library collection, also holds document location tools to the print collection; the system essentially should be compatible with the digital collection management system (Eastwood & Tompson, 2001).

Further, Eastwood & Tompson (2001) opined that “almost all special libraries can be considered as supporting local hybrid library architecture. In such a library the collection consists of materials in a variety of paper-based and digital formats, and there is an attempt to provide the users an integrated interface, usually web-based, to locate any item in the collection, irregardless of format.” They further emphasized that several hybrid special libraries have built their digital material collections to supplement their physical collections. More documents every day are becoming available digitally, largely through consortia and initiative collections. Additionally, hybrid special libraries often combine Internet and intranet resources and access. They provide access within and beyond the parent organization and thus make some resources being intranet-only accessible. Pillai (2001) argued that hybrid special library provides appropriate range of heterogeneous information services (both print and electronic) to the user in a consistent and integrated way via a single interface.

Today, libraries are undergoing transformation; one of the most significant changes carried out fast and efficiently was the updation of online public access catalogues (OPACs). Initially, OPACs were just a simple automated catalogue; afterwards they diversified and became available within a library system, and finally they have become accessible through the internet anywhere in the world. In a typical hybrid special library, the search string on the OPAC should result in a list of relevant document regardless of format. Thus, the user would not have to search separately for print or electronic resources. As Pinfield (1998) rightly pointed out that the search results should encourage users to look at the best source for their needs regardless of its format. However, it is also important to consider whether the OPAC of the hybrid special library provides access to information to only affiliate users or to non-affiliate users also. Moreover, the library also has to draw guidelines for ‘how to browse electronic resources’; will it be through access to another library’s content server or will consortium patrons have direct access to all consortium electronic resources (  Elm & Trump, 2001).

5. Prerequisites of Hybrid Special library Design

Many special libraries are currently supporting the ‘hybrid’ setup with the popular notion that ‘the hard copy material will continue to be used, in varying degrees for a very long time.’ They still need to manage with hybrid library collections for substantial amount of time (Eastwood & Tompson 2001). Some of the prerequisites for designing the hybrid special library are:

  • The library's collections should be accessible to all its users throughout the campus as well as from home. Emphasis should be on accessibility, not on making all resources available to the public at large.

  • Information should be retrieved using the OPAC. Whether the material requested is a book, a movie, a database, graphic image, or an electronic journal, the catalogue should be the place to find it. The capacity and the ability of the catalogue to retrieve all kinds of material should be enlarged (Marcas, 2000).

  • The user should be able to access the books, digital copies of physical information resources and other physical information resources in the library’s collections.

  • The user should be able to access online information resources which the library is licensed to access on behalf of its users, including full-text databases, union catalogues, indexing and abstracting services; encyclopedias and other reference tools.

  • The user should be able to access information resources freely available on the Internet (Pearce, 2000).

6.0 Elements of Hybrid Special Library Design

Leggate (1998) argued that there are a few elements which are to be considered while planning a strategy for hybrid special library design and organization: 

6.1 Configurable entry-level menu for all applications

The library homepage should be the gateway to all digital resources. A hybrid special library should customize its website through simple hypertext menu for several bibliographic and full-text databases. The users should be able to approach entry-level menus with information requirements ranging from the simple to the complex, and with knowledge of subject area or information sources in a subject area varying from minimal to extensive. For example National Library of Medicine enables the user to access the ‘TOXNET’ Database on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and toxic releases (NLM, 2013). This database facilitate the user to search several of toxicology databases (ChemIDplus, HSDB, TOXLINE etc) through a single search  bar simultaneously; this page also offers additional resources and support pages, See Fig 1.
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6.2 Compatible User Interface

A graphical user interface should be adopted by hybrid special library, which uses the windows or web interface formats familiar to many people. The user interface of the library should be straightforward and informative for all levels of computer users. Once users get deeper into the digital services offered, a varying level of service, such as, basic and advance searching can be given. Additionally, users should be provided with easy to understand instructions along with the computer interface. Moreover, it is also recommended that the library should design multidisciplinary user interfaces for different electronic databases. The users may not like to search all the databases of the library and would prefer to be able to choose the most relevant databases. Rather, the users want librarian to choose the most appropriate ones for them.

6.3 Integration

In a hybrid special library, the functional Integration should allow a user  to move from one resource to another without the need to exit one application and then to locate and enter another. For example, while searching king’s Library catalogue (California, USA)  for the search term, ‘Hybrid library’, the results yielded an article from the Journal of the Medical Library Association. This article is hyperlinked from the bibliographic record to the full text. See Fig 2.
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6.4 Links between electronic and paper collections

While designing a hybrid special library it is important to have an integrated approach to the organisation of both electronic and paper resources. Many times the outcome of an electronic search is that the reader requires an access to a physical item whether book, photocopy, offprint, manuscript, museum artifact or recording but, sometimes the stock exist only in paper form. A balance therefore has to be struck between the user coming to the library, the paper coming to the user, or an electronic version of the paper coming to the user. To build this model we have to view electronic and paper resources together rather than separately, and adopt a common approach to guiding the user to either. For example, the SJSU’s king library search interface has adopted a common approach to guide the user to either electronic or paper resource for an article in the journal: Scandinavian public library quarterly. The interface points the user to use either electronic version or the paper version of the article. See Fig 3 

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6.5 Creation of Common schemes for digital objects

In order to aid seamless searching in a hybrid special library, it is important to develop internal database structure. Common schemes for naming of digital objects have to be established and these schemes should be linked to “protocols for object transmission, metadata and object type classifications” (Lynch and Garcia-Molina, 1995). The standard document-naming scheme would enhance the usage of library collections and would aid resource sharing, linking between different libraries’ integrating library systems and would propagate future developments. 

6.6 Uniform Resource Names / Persistent Identifiers

According to the document naming conventions given by Library of congress, naming the documents are a crucial aspect of design, because it involved the syntax of a name by which a document is referenced. The standards were developed by the Internet Engineering Task force (IETF) for naming conventions, called Uniform resource Name (URN), Uniform Resource Identification and Uniform Resource locators.  URNs were developed with intention to provide a globally unique, location independent identifier that can be used for identification of the resource, and to thus facilitate access to both metadata about it and to the resource itself. One important part of the URN was the Naming Authority (NA), and this authority would have responsibility of maintaining the names in its domain. For URNs to work, it is required that that the institutions should reach consensus on naming conventions (Library of Congress, 2006). There are several real-world practicalities that suggest that this vision of uniform resource name is achievable only in limited fashion. Jantz and Giarlo (2005) argued that there is an approach available today that allow us to get started with the process of providing persistent identifiers, such as, the CNRI Handle.

CNRI Handle: The Handle System (component of Corporation of National Research Initiative) provides efficient, extensible, and secure resolution services for unique and persistent identifiers of digital objects. A digital object may incorporate not only informational elements, i.e., a digitized version of a paper, movie or sound recording, but also the unique identifier of the digital object and other metadata about the digital object. The Handle System includes an open set of protocols, a namespace, and a reference implementation of the protocols. The protocols enable a distributed computer system to store identifiers, known as handles, of arbitrary resources and resolve those handles into the information necessary to locate, access, contact, authenticate, or otherwise make use of the resources (CNRI, 2013). The CNRI Handle syntax is of the following form: prefix/suffix where the prefix (e.g. 1782.3) is assigned by the CNRI Global Registry and thus is globally unique. The suffix can be any user-assigned character string. For example, inRutgers University community repository, a string is chosen with the following syntax: [collection]. [format].[unique-id within RU namespace]. An example, embedded within a URL, is shown below (Jantz & Giarlo, 2005). 

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The article is about 2 photographs with captions that appeared in the 'Morning Journal' article, 'Picture from the Hightstown Colony' by A. Litwin.

Moreover, in order to integrate the disparate resources into a hybrid library, it is important to make the catalogue as web accessible and as a common entry point. While designing hybrid library all electronic items should be catalogued in a regular manner just as are the physical items. If an item exists in both paper and electronic form, only one record should be made, containing information about both material types. Moreover, Eastwood & Tompson (2001) argued that “A user of a hybrid library should not recognize a difference in formats, especially when searching for relevant materials. A search string should result in a list of relevant documents regardless of format, as opposed to the user needing to search separately for print or electronic resources.” The list of retrieved articles from a specific search should include links to full-text articles and ‘At THE LIBRARY’ field in order to in indicate if the library holds the paper journal.

However, the technical architecture and linking of different formats should be transparent to the user. For example, thecatalogue of Getty Research Institute (California, USA) vividly gave a feel of ‘seamless searching’ and ‘access’ in the hybrid environment. While searching this catalog with the search term  “web 2.0 libraries”, the search results were books (5), journals (2) and text resources (1) [see left side of Fig 4]. The search results could be narrowed by ‘Refine my results’ options given on the left side of the screen of Fig .4. Some of its facets includes: availability of the item, Collections, Authors, Subjects, Form / Genre and Creation Dates. On the top of Fig 4, you would see that the search results were categorized as: ‘GRI resources’, ‘e-resources’ and ‘all resources’. On clicking the option ‘All resources’, it can be observed that the search results are far more in number than under the option ‘GRI resources’[See Fig 5]. Similarly, on the left side of the screen of Fig 5, the ‘Refine my results’, would give much wider range of the options (such as, availability, collections Authors, Subjects, Form / Genre, format, languages and Creation Dates) and sub-options (such as, under availability, the sub-options are: availability in the library, available online, peer-reviewed journals). The sub-options also included a greater number of search results. For example, sub-options of ‘availability’ includes: ‘availability in the library (2), available online (8099) and Peer-reviewed journals (4197).  
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Fig 4

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Fig 5

7. Services of Hybrid Special Library

Special library users have a number of different information requirements with respect to their age, stage of career and stage in research process. In a hybrid library system, users have to deal with a combination of old usage habits and the need to acquire new technical skills. Moreover, there are many different generations of users, such as, ‘Net generation’ and older generation. ‘Net generation’ is very comfortable with technology and is the dominant user type in the future; these users expect hybrid digital services to be available all the time, 24/7. Thus, these users (local or remote) expect a high level of information services to be designed and provided. The typical services of hybrid special library would be:

  • Books / E-books
  • Journals / E journals
  • Full text databases
  • Bibliographic databases
  • Dissertations & theses
  • Video lectures 
  • Hybrid Reference Services (one-on-one / electronic)
  • Electronic Information Services
  • Document Delivery Services / E-Document Delivery Services
  • End-Users Training Services
  • Document Scanning Services
  • E-Book Reserve Service
  • Interlibrary Loan / E-Interlibrary Loan Services
  • Printing Services
  • Photocopying Services
  • Digitization Services
  • Microfilming Services
  • Television Services
  • Telephone Services
  • Faxing Services

8. Functional Hybrid Special Libraries – Indian Scene

The following list of hybrid special libraries is not exhaustive, rather indicative:

  1. National Science Library (under the aegis of NISCAIR)
  2. Central Library of IIT Kharagpur (under the aegis of IIT Kharagpur)
  3. IIPA Library (under the aegis of IIPA, New Delhi)
  4. Scientific Information and Resource Center library (under the aegis of TIFR)
  5. Sir Dorabji Tata Memorial Library (under the aegis of TISS)
  6. Vikram Sarabhai Library (under the aegis of IIM Ahmadabad)
  7. Central Library of IIT Delhi (under the aegis of IIT Delhi)
  8. ISI-BC Library of ISI Bangalore (under the aegis of ISI Bangalore)
  9. NIO Library (under the aegis of National Institute of Oceanography, Goa)
  10. Bose Intitute Library (under the aegis of Bose Institute, Kolkata)

9. Conclusion

The concept of the hybrid library came into being as a result of the changing nature of library collections and refers to a library on the continuum between the conventional and digital library, where electronic and paper-based information sources are used alongside each other (Rusbridge, 1998). The Hybrid library can be viewed as an entity which is reaffirming the library’s traditional roles in an electronic environment. The scientific literature gives a clear indication that special libraries are likely to remain ‘hybrid’ for the foreseeable future. The hybrid special library is a crossbreed and seems to be more versatile and resilient. In order to reasonably implement a functional hybrid special library the information professionals should play a pivotal role in developing a more navigable and tailorable hybrid information environment for the users.

Overall, the hybrid special library has the potential to impact positively on the services delivered by Information professionals. In order to actualize this, the hybrid library should have a flexible management which should instill multi-skilled teams of information professionals who can effectively collaborate on the delivery of resources and services. They should also solicit users’ feedback, and develop user-centric services and keep pace with the evolving technology. Hence, they would be able to maintain the library’s mission in a continually evolving hybrid environment.

10. Summary

This module is an introduction of the hybrid library and hybrid special library. The hybrid library is generally defined as a library in which electronic and print-based sources of information are made available together in an integrated way for consultation by users, local and remote. Primarily, the module traces briefly the origin, growth and development of hybrid special library, more particularly, it examines the evolution of the concept of hybrid special library. It further discusses the prerequisites of hybrid special library design such as, The library's collections should be accessible to all its users anytime anywhere, and the user should be able to access information resources freely available on the Internet. Furthermore, the module covers the basic elements of Hybrid special library design such as, configurable entry-level menu for all applications, compatible user interface, integration, creation of common schemes for digital objects, and uniform resource names. Additionally, it also highlights various services provided by hybrid special library such as, full text databases, hybrid reference services, interlibrary loan, and digitization services. The module ends with the list of certain significant hybrid special libraries of India.

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