31 August 2010, Tuesday, 13:00

Information technologies came to libraries

author: Mariat Artuhova

Informatization of libraries has become one of the most urgent problems nowadays. The engine of this process in our republic is the Ahmet Zeki Velidi National Library, which is the major library and information centre of the region.

According to the specialists, the main areas of library and information activity, such as stocking of library funds, cataloging, service to visitors, are already computerized there. The primary aim of computerization in the library is providing an access to the stocks on a new level, development of modern service forms based on use of the electronic catalogue, supplying information in electronic format.

The range of the library's activity can be evaluated in numbers: more than 53 thousand people made use of its services for the first half of the current year. 1700 thousand books were given to them; 74 thousand information requests were served. Both the traditional reference sources and electronic ones were used for that.

This year the National Library made a considerable investment in replacement of outdated models of computers and reproducing equipment. 485 rare and handwritten publications were digitized for six months, 58 of them are works of Velidi.

Another library to look up to is the Bashkir Specialized Library for the Blind. It is the only library in the Republic serving unique groups of users and providing free and equal access of population to information. Update of its site is going on now: the list of trial versions of audio books is enlarged; one may get acquainted with full texts of Zaman, the list of sound-recorded books and so on.

On the whole, as of the beginning of the second half of the current year, there are computers in 364 libraries. Their number grew by one third over the last year. Two hundred and two libraries have an access to the Internet, which is 35.8% more than last year.

The number of libraries having their own sites, rural libraries among them, is growing. Many people do not even imagine their life without the Internet now. They feel especially upset not about errors in information search and complexity of navigation in electronic catalogues of libraries, but about impossibility to get the full text of the document they have found.

In a word, nowadays libraries face a lot of problems, which need to be solved with the help of new technologies. These are major problems, as the library network of our republic is one of the largest in Russia. It includes more than four thousand libraries of different forms of ownership and departmental affiliation.