1.1     Preamble

The library is the heart
of any academic institution and is concerned with the communication of
knowledge. Library is a
service oriented institution. Library has played an
important role in all academic activities. Academic work is supported by
the library. Library services are one of the most widely used and accepted in
the modern society. Library has also played an
important role in the cultural, political, economical and social development of
the society. Libraries are to be considered as the most important resource
existing to support teaching-learning processing in institutions of higher
education. The library is an indispensable agency for imparting higher
education to the people and capable of enabling them to learn more and more. It
enhances the spirit of learning throughout life. The main purpose of the
libraries is to provide relevant and up-to-date information resources and
services with a view to satisfying the growing information needs and
requirements of the users. The concept of a library is an institution
where a user can consult and acquire desired information under a single roof.

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Dr. C. D. Deshmukh formerly chairman of the University Grant
Commission (U.G.C.) once said that if the teachers are the head, students are the
body, and then the library is the heart and soul of the institution concerned.

Libraries have played an important key
role in the acquisition, technical processing, preservation and dissemination
of information and knowledge. In conventional meaning, library is a collection
of books house used for the reading or the study, or the building or room in which
such a books collection is kept. A library is a collection of printed or
written materials arranged or organized for the purpose of study and research
or general reading or both. Libraries collect, stock, process, organize,
disseminate and distribute the information/ knowledge to the users. It is a reservoir of knowledge and information. Knowledge
and information are really valuable to handle and manage for all the libraries,
academic institutions and the human development,

According to Dr. S. R. Rangnathan (1989), father of library
science described “A library is a public institution or establishment charged
with the care of a collection of books and the duty of making them accessible
to those who require the use them and the task of converting every person in
its neighborhood into a habitual library goer and reader of books.”

Thus, a library is considered
as a public institution, which is also expected the potential readers into
actual readers. A library is expected to be the instrument of instruction and
should support the objectives of the educational institution. Library must
become a part and parcel of the teaching and learning process. This is also
concept of a modern library. The word ‘Library’ can also be referred to as
collection of books and knowledge centre. In the 21st century, it is
considered as an information resource centre for the colleges as well as the
communities concerned. Naturally, the original work of the library is to meet the
needs and requirements of the users towards study, reading and research. A good
library is an asset of the academic institution. Therefore, it must be
well-equipped with books, journals, magazines, and various other references
sources, required for the users. The scope of all the libraries is not equally equal, because
they procure, organize and preserve the information resources in view of the
needs of their works. Libraries are largely different due to the peculiar
requirements of the users to be served. Libraries may be divided on the basis
of their importance, the purpose of their uses and the use kinds of their major
collections etc.

1.2               Role of Libraries in Higher Education

Education is the acquisition
of the art of utilization of knowledge. The main role of education is to build
character, increase strength of mind and expand intellect. A
library is an essential prerequisite for successful implementation of higher
educational programs. No formal educational program can be successful without the
help and cooperation of library.

role of the library can be defined within the framework of the mission of the
higher education and a library development programme can be undertaken accordingly.
Library plays an important role to educate the literate,
provide opportunities for continuing higher education to the educated and
dispel their ignorance. Another important role played by the library is the
communicator between the teacher and the students. Library is a media centre
with learning environment artfully designed to have stimulating and enriching
effect upon students. During the stage of higher education, the focal point of
learning should gradually shift from classroom teaching to the library.
Provision of suitable library facilities helps the potential energy of users
for reading, constructive thinking and making them disciplined and respectful. A
well-equipped and well-managed library is the foundation of modern educational
structure. Indeed, the college library has all along played a prominent role in
the promotion of all the objectives of higher education. This educational role
of the library has assumed greater importance and new dimensions today in the
context of various developments, especially the phenomenal growth of information
and knowledge and introduction of information technology.

the words of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, “Libraries are not
more store houses, they are rich springs from which knowledge flows out to
irrigate field of education and culture.”

The fundamental role of the university/
college library in higher education is educational. It should not be operated
as a mere storehouse of books attached to a reading room, but as a dynamic
instrument of education.

The role of the library can be defined
within the framework of the college mission and a library development programme
can be undertaken accordingly and is emphasized in different reports brought
out by various library and educational commissions in India and abroad. A
university/ college library is established with the intention of aiding in
successful accomplishment of the objectives such as teaching, research,
publication programmes, etc. In modern education system, the university/
college library has important responsibilities.

library plays an important role in the present education system. It is the
responsibility of the library to collect, preserve, organize and disseminate
all kinds of reading materials for the purpose of profound use by the readers
of an educational institution to which it is concerned. Library is a mirror
that reflects the culture and activity of the educational institution and it
measures up the standards of the institution. Therefore, the library is said to
be the heart of the educational institution.

Library performs a crucial role in the
educational process. A library should play a pivotal role through the following
supportive functions viz. perspective plan, implementation of the plan,
collection development, easy accessibility, freedom, user orientation,
accountability vs. assessment.

The importance of the library’s role in
imparting and disseminating knowledge has been enhanced by developments in
continuing education, distance education and the Open University education system
in higher education. The university / college libraries have assumed even
greater importance in a country like India where the majority of students
cannot purchase the most essential books.


1.3              Importance of Libraries in Higher

role of a library in the education process at any level, especially at the
college level for the overall development of students such as personality,
skills, communication, career and creativity etc. is very significant. So a
well organized library is essential for the teaching-learning process done in a
college, especially when the emphasis is shifted from classroom teaching to
learning centered process. The quality of education is greatly linked with
libraries. The information collected and disseminated by libraries decides the
quality of teaching and learning process in a college. Library is like a
storehouse of knowledge. Without a library a college will not be complete. It
is very essential to the education and college system. A pivotal role played by
the libraries, it is one of the factors which helps in the development of a
society or an even a civilization. It caters to the knowledge thirsty minds of
thousands of people. Libraries are an integral part of the education system and
one is incomplete without the other.

functions of an academic library is to create and maintain collections in all
formats that supports the curricula and mission its college / university /
research institution. As the name suggest academic libraries are involved in providing
support for research and educational activities in universities, institutions,
and other academic organizations. It involves content development, acquisition,
technical services, etc.

libraries classified into three different types: school, college and university
library. With this aim in view, management of all educational institutions need
to re-engineer libraries of their respective institutions. So that, librarians
and teachers enhance the academic functions of libraries and adequately contribute
to the complete academic programme. Academic libraries prime objective is to
meet the academic needs of the particular institution for which it is created
to serve.

Kothari Commission explains the importance of libraries in higher education as
follows “A collection of books, even a collection of good books, does not
constitute a ‘library’. Give enthusiastic teachers, ‘who teach with books’ and
librarians who can co-operate with them in converting the library into an
intellectual workshop, even a comparatively small collection of sensitivity
chosen books may work wonders in the life of students without such a staff, the
most luxurious building or extensive book collection may have no effect at

importance of a library in education from the cradle to the grave and from the
primary stage to the highest stage of learning, library serves as an unfailing
companion. Every educational programme must be preceded by the provision of
library services if the national expenditure on formal education is to be
utilized and justified in a proper manner. The aims and methods mentioned above
from the kernel of the philosophy of education and library service. The
colleges and college libraries are playing their role in shaping the fate of
the nation, being the first door step to the higher education in the country. A
modern college in India must have a well-planned and functional library so that
it becomes an intellectual hub of the institution for both the students and the
teachers. Libraries are thus, the key stone in the higher education
architecture. Their needs and importance have further increased in the present
information age. The library consists of the trio i.e. the books, the readers
and the librarian.

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