Monday, February 2, 2015

Information Services: Concept, Need etc P- 05. Information Sources, Systems and Services

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 -

Information Services: Concept, Need etc

P- 05. Information Sources, Systems and Services *

By :R Arora,Paper Coordinator

 Video / Interactive Mode of Tutorial

Input Template for Content Writers (e-Text and Learn More) Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network

 1. Details of Module and its Structure Module Detail Subject Name Library & Information Science Paper Name Information Sources, Programs, Reference & Information Services Module Name/Title Information Services: Concept, Need, etc. Module Id Pre-requisites Objectives Keywords ,,, Structure of Module / Syllabus of a module (Define Topic / Sub-topic of module ) , , Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network 

2. 2. Development Team Role Name Affiliation National Coordinator Subject Coordinator Dr. Jagdish Arora, Director, INFLIBNET, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Paper Coordinator Dr Pawan Kumar Gupta Former Director, Rajasthan University Library, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur – 302004 Content Writer/Author (CW) Prof. R. S. R. Varalakshmi Head, Department of LIS, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur – 302004 Content Reviewer (CR) Dr Usha Pawan Former Head, Department of LIS, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur – 302004 Language Editor (LE) Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network TABLE OF CONTENTS 

1. Introduction 2. Information Services – Origins in libraries 2.1 Reference 2.2 Documentation 2.3. Information services 2.4. Online services 2.5. Growth of Information services in India 3. Changing practices of Information services 3.1 Sub-topic 1 3.2 Sub-topic 2 4. Current trends in information services Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network Information Services 1. Introduction Information is the basis of all communication. The intrinsic value of information lies in its transmission and utilization. However information is complex in nature as it is hidden in various forms and formats. The communication of information from the generation point to use point is a multistage process. The users would like to access information that should be relevant to the context, accurate for the purpose, complete for the problem and reliable. Therefore libraries are acting as channels to bridge the gap between the static information and dynamic user and facilitate continuous flow of relevant information to the users. While studying the information communication you might have studied about the barriers to communication like exponential growth, time, space, culture, language etc. To overcome each barrier different types of information services have been introduced from time to time by libraries. Suseela Kumar observed that “A reader may need a specific type of information for a specific purpose. The number of documents are produced is very large, so large that it is impossible for the reader to keep track of its information” Hence the library’s / librarians’ main function is to provide the ‘connecting link’ between the reader and the book and set the ideas, information and knowledge in motion. For this purpose the LIS professionals have developed the various services with information retrieval as motto. The definition given by A. L. A. Glossary of Library Terms will enable you to understand the concept more clearly. According to it, service means “An agency which supplies information especially current data, in easily available form, not readily available otherwise”. So the libraries are the agencies that provide services for its members. The ‘service’ component develops high degree of rapport between library staff and users. The information services as you observe in libraries today were redesigned and reoriented from time to time suitable to user demands. Indeed the concept of information services has a long history that can be traced back from 19th century reference service to the present digital services. In the following paragraphs you can have an overview of the trends in the development of information services. 2. Evolution of concept of information service The concept of information service has its roots in the ‘personal assistance’ offered in the public libraries of U.S.A. Later various services have emerged under the umbrella term ‘information services. The growth of the concept is presented under reference, documentation, information, and online services. 2.1. Reference service: In the earliest period the function of the libraries was to collect and preserve reading material. The scholar knows most of the books and the authors in his subject as the publications are limited hence no expectation for assistance from the librarian for information gathering or access. After inventing the printing press there was gradual growth in publication activity and the libraries collections were increased significantly. It was no longer possible for the scholars to locate the book and or information without assistance from the librarians. The initial stages of personal assistance were rudimentary and quite peripheral to the library’s main function of acquisition, arrangement, and supply until the emergence of reference service Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network in the last quarter of 19th century. According to ‘World Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science (1980) “Reference service had its beginning in the last quarter of 19th century. By the time of World War II, most of its basic forms and techniques had been developed. Most historians of reference service find it convenient to begin with Samuel Swett Green’s 1876 paper, “Personal relations between Librarians and Readers” at a conference in Philadelphia. Until that time, the predominant view of the function of library service emphasized the acquisition and organization of library materials, and the library clientele were expected to use the material independently. Green, on the other hand, pointed that library users were unskilled in using the catalogue to find materials and lacked knowledge necessary to select the material appropriate to their needs. Personal assistance to such users would benefit them and would result in their taking a more positive view of the library.” Green’s observations and suggestions were made with reference to public libraries. The idea got momentum with acceptance by eminent personalities like Melvil Dewey who advocated the concept of reference service. Thus the concepts of ‘aid to reader’ and ‘assistance to reader’ were initiated and by 1890 the terms were replaced by ‘reference work’. Early part of 20th century witnessed the establishment of separate reference departments in libraries with trained staff for the purpose. Public libraries in USA have drawn the attention of the government and the public, introducing noteworthy services like ‘special publics’, ‘bibliotherapy’ etc.

 2.2. Documentation: The emergence of primary research findings in the form of journals and research reports and their phenomenal growth in 20th century lead the libraries to devise the new types of services It was the Second World War that necessitated speedy dissemination of information in education and scientific research. Consequently, the provision of assistance to the user was accepted as a central activity of the library. Listing of articles published in journals in narrow subject areas became a necessity to provide access to current information. Thus the concept of ‘Documentation’ was emerged. Its focus is on latest information published in primary information sources. Documentation is a process of collecting and subject classifying all the records of new observations and making them available at need to the discoverer and inventor (S.C. Bradford). According to S.R.Ranganathan it is promotion and practice of bringing into use nascent micro thought by a specialist, which is pin pointed, exhaustive and expeditious. However this service was confined in general to special libraries. 2.3. Information service: The growth of special libraries to disseminate scientific and technical information to scientists and researchers lead to the development of ‘information service’, an umbrella term that includes reference, alert, review, analysis and consolidation types of services. According to D.J.Foskett “It is mainly in scientific and industrial research that the “information service” or “information library” has developed most strikingly into its present characteristic form.” “While the major features of information services were developed by the mid-20th century, their particular concerns and activities are continually changing as user needs and information resources change.” (World Enc., 1980).  The services are provided in anticipation of an expressed need or in response to identified needs.  The services may range from directional, actual search for information, extraction and synthesis of information to delivery of information.  They gained significance as all other activities of library like selection, acquisition, technical processing and shelf arrangement are considered as means to make the services possible. Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network In a parallel development public libraries of the West began in 1970s Information and Referral services using unconventional resources like experts from the community, information relating to basic needs like food, health, housing, employment etc. (Enc. of LIS 25:222). 2.4. Online services: The application of computer to the problems of information storage, processing and retrieval had brought in revolutionary changes in the nature of information services especially in special and higher educational institution libraries. From 1960s the secondary sources like indexes and abstracts are made available as databases following MARC format. Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), the personalized service was introduced by H. P. Luhn of IBM in 1959. Similar service called as Current Awarenessto offer alerts at regular intervals in a subject had been developed. At present a variety of services are being offered online like virtual reference desk, bulletin board, e-mail, RSS, wikis, semantic web and ontology etc. “Online services provide an infrastructure in which subscribers can communicate with one another, either by exchanging e-mail messages or by participating in online conferences(forums). In addition, the service can connect users with an almost unlimited number of third-party information providers.” (Webopedia

 2.5. Growth of Information Services in India In India the concept of ‘service’ to reader was late compared to the western world of libraries. S. R. Ranganathan started reference service in Madras University in 1926 and in 1937 the post of reference librarian was created at Madras University. In order to meet the changing information requirements, especially the scientists, documentation service was introduced after Second World War. This was a phenomenon of special libraries / information centres and other types of libraries continued with traditional reference services. The establishment of National Documentation Centres like INSDOC, NASSDOC, SENDOC, DESIDOC etc.; NISSAT; and U.G.C. National Information Centres like NCSI, Bangalore; NIC for Humanities and LIS at SNDT, Mumbai; NIC for Social Sciences at M. S. University, Baroda (Ceased their existence after INFLIBNET) facilitated implementation of variety of information services to users of specialized subject areas working in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), Research and Development Units of research and industrial organizations. At present INFLIBNET (1990) caters to the information requirements of HEIs while the networks like CSIRNET, DELNET, DRONA meets the user needs of specific subjects.

 3. Changing practices of Information services The provision of information services depends on two important factors:  The nature of information sources that keeps on changing from clay tablets, to digital tablets.  The nature of user information in terms of their approach, need, demand and seeking behavior that keeps on changing in relation to the work on hand. Therefore the essential objective of information service is identifying the user’s need, selecting information resources to meet that need and assisting the user in finding and using those resources. Though there is no change in the objective of service the process of serving users underwent significant changes. The following paragraphs explain briefly the changing patterns of information services. Basically the reference service has a gradual growth as reader’s advisory (1920s), instruction / guidance and information search and retrieval. Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network  Reader’s advisory to assist the readers in selecting the ‘best’ books;  Instruction services to improve reading habits and search capabilities among the users especially in public and academic libraries;  Provision of information / answer to reference query (short range reference) with reference interview as a tool to assess the need; literature search and retrieval (long range reference) depending on the nature of question (1930s)  Compilation of subject bibliographies as an extension of long range reference  Alerting services, in anticipation of user requirements, through bulletins, lists, routing of documents (1960s)  Delivery of information through borrowing, reprography and translation. The pattern was initiated in public and academic libraries and in fact even today it is visible in majority of these libraries. However remarkable changes are evident in special libraries that centered on current literature in specific subject areas. They have adopted different mechanisms to offer services to target groups after assessing their information requirements. S.Seetharama has listed some of the basic mechanisms and the corresponding services provided by an information centre of a research / scientific / industrial organizations as follows: Mechanism Service

 1. Reference/ Referral Reference service
 2. Announcement Current Awareness Services 

3. Accretion Indexing and abstracting services 

4. Evaluation State-of-the-art report,/Trend Report, Critical Compilation and Reviews etc

 5. Document access Reprographic and translation services.

 6. Promotion / Liaison Liaison services; Technical enquiry service
. According to Seetharama the first four mechanisms generate information services while the last two mechanism lead to support services. Thus in the traditional library structure there has been paradigm shift in the services offered from basic advisory to that of critical compilations. There is also wide variation regarding the service practices depending on the nature of users and their information requirements. In India special libraries are the privileged lot, which have been implementing variety of documentation and information services from 1960s onwards. 4. Current trends in information services The Information services have undergone a shift in role from 1990s with the introduction of information and communication technologies. The trend is towards access management rather than information acquisition and distribution. Wide variety of computer based bibliographic and full text databases, and the means for searching the databases at any time in an interactive mode has brought metamorphic changes in the library environment and the information services. The functional changes in libraries can be represented pictographically as follows: Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network Functional changes in library environment Print Digital Online access Facilitator Aggregator Knowledge manager Digital librarian Web based Discriminated Marketing Consumer More information Browse shelves or Remote access Library Services Collections Librarian Users User: The users in contemporary digital environment do not need a mediator or librarian to search information on their behalf; instead they can access information, as end users, in an interactive mode. Now first search for information is not in the library but on the internet. Users are making use of search engine to locate information rather than seeking help from the librarian. Collections: In a traditional library the librarians had clear idea about the type of collection to be maintained but in the digital environment it is not so. The increasing penetration of the Internet in information storage and handling is significantly changing reading patterns and reading behavior. More and more e-resources are being made available than ever before in different forms or types. They include: E-Books; E-Journals; E-Zine; E-Thesis and dissertation (ETD); E-News Papers; EReference books; CD-ROMs; Data bases. The noteworthy point here is majority of them are accessible to users without any mediation of the library / librarian. Information services: The benefits of information services lie in that they can help users to get the right information and thereby enhance their understanding and application. Libraries in India generally offer the conventional information services such as loan, reference, user orientation, current awareness and photocopying. The services are primarily on demand and occasionally alert type and based on print collections. Traditionally, library information services were limited to the materials that a library owned. Now electronic means of communication are changing the mechanism of information services. According to Drotner (2005) “The challenge facing the physical libraries is intensified by the fact that many traditional services performed there are taken over by users of the virtual libraries. When the majority of mundane services leave the physical library – and the librarian’s desk – then librarians in the physical library can downplay their functions in favour of virtual services; or they can redefine their role from access and individual service provision to users and facilitator of more sustained collective learning processes.” Library Science Management of Library and Information Network Network The academic libraries are witnessing the advantage of library 2.0 and moving into library 3.0 arena. The library 1.0 is computer based and 2.0 offers use of dynamic contents, blogs, social networks, tagging, wikis, podcasts, and mashup technologies on web. However the information is scattered and unorganized all over the web. Now, Web 3.0 is prominently based up on organizing this scattered or unorganized information. The application of semantic technologies and ontology will be the key aspects in this third generation of web. Now the information services are a blend of traditional and electronic. The libraries are continuing the traditional services like keeping bibliographic track of the status of all accessions either in print or e- format; reference; current awareness and retrospective searches; specialized bibliographic consultation and support; Indexing and abstracting databases; delivery of full-text (print / electronic). In addition they are able to offer a new series of services to their traditional service base for the following reasons:  The digital environment supports the libraries to integrate its services and bridge gap between electronic resources and netizens  Now the user as well as the library professionals can use bibliographic tools like web OPACs, search engines, subject directories, subject gateways that permit easy searching and browsing  The traditional services can be modified into embedded information literacy training modules to assist in information seeking; open access institutional repositories; webliographies, value added aggregator services.  A variety of new products and services like Library 2.0 and Library 3.0 based services can be promoted Consequence to these developments the existing services are either modified or replaced with modern services. Traditional Digital environment User education Information literacy Subject bibliographies Webliographies Reference service Virtual / Digital reference Indexing and abstracting Aggregator services Advanced search Digital repositories, archives Conclusion: The information services are of recent origin compared to the technical processing tools like classification schemes and catalogue codes. However they underwent significant changes from the status of ‘personal assistance to reader’ to the present web-based information services. Both traditional and Web based services are important to satisfy user information requirements. Therefore the present information services are blend of conventional and digital services. 


 Starting Character Term Defination Related Term Information transfer Transmission of information from generation point to use point Communication barriers Anything that interfers transfer of information from sender to receiver Value added The information acquired is analysed and repackaged for easy access and assimilation Databases Full-text, Bibliographic, or secondary databases like indexes and abstracts. Online service Web based information services Web Links and References Web links Drotner, Kirsten (2005). Library innovation for the knowledge society. Scandinavian Public Library Quarterly, vol. 38 (2). (accessed on 6th October, 2013) World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Chicago, ALA, 1980. Foskett, D. J. Information Services in Libraries. Delhi, Akashdeep Publishing House, 1992. Seetharama, S. Planning of Library and Information Systems and Services. 

Bangalore, DRTC, ISIS, 1985. Suseela Kumar. Reference service in the modern world. In The changing concept of reference service. (Sarada Ranganathan Lecture series 7). Bangalore, Sarada Ranganathan Endowment in Library and Information Science, 1972. Delhi, Vikas Publishing, 1974. Sharma J. S. and Grover, D. R. Reference service and sources of information. Delhi, Ess Ess Pub., 1987

No comments: