Making Virtual Library Visible In The Information Age

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume VI, Issue III, March 2022 | ISSN 2454–6186

Making Virtual Library Visible In The Information Age

Ogbonnaya, Esther Abosede PhD
National Open University of Nigeria, Mushin Centre, Lagos.

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Purpose: This paper examined making virtual library visible in the information age and the features of the information age. It also highlighted the change in the role of library and library service providers as regards the visible presence of clientele in the library building. The introduction of information technology into information retrieval systems and radical referencing in the information age has broken down boundaries between information sources and users globally. This has necessitated the need for a visible virtual library to meet the information needs of the present-day library patrons located in different geographical locations around the globe. Crucial issues were considered in making virtual library visible in this paper.
Design/Methodology & Approach: The methodology adopted was a contextual analysis that involved the review of materials ranging from publications, textbooks, and the relevant internet sources.
Implication: Turning blind eyes to the imperative of making virtual libraries visible by the Library and Library Information System (LIS) professionals would render their functions ineffective and irrelevant in the present-day digital age.
Originality/Value: This paper concludes that making a virtual library visible in the information age is a necessity that would enable the library to meet the information needs of patrons in real-time using the present-day cutting-edge technology.
Keywords: Information age, Library, Visibility, Virtual Library
Paper Type: Conceptual research.

1. Libraries traditionally have played a significant role in education and giving access to information and knowledge to different users (clientele). The different libraries perform different functions for both potential and existing users. The vast information resources available in libraries ensure different access to scholarly information for the members of the community. According to Abdulsalami et al., (2013) libraries have acquired great importance in knowledge societies. Libraries which have been previously referred to as the purveyor of information, custodian of knowledge, and the house of learning plays a vital role in the development of any society by catering to the information needs of thousands of people within a particular community. The main goal of a library, therefore, is to acquire, process, organize, preserve and provide easy access to knowledge and information to patrons in the most convenient way. Information according to the Concise Oxford English dictionary (10th Edition, 2002) is “facts or knowledge provided or learned as a result of research or study conveyed or presented by a particular sequence of symbols, impulses e.t.c” Encarta dictionaries also defines “information as a definite knowledge acquired or supplied about something or somebody, gathered facts which are collected about a specific subject”. Information could therefore be any knowledge, facts/rumor available to a person for use. Hence, the need for the existence of libraries and the library services to bridge the gap between information sources and accessibility to the users. However, with the recent introduction of technology into information retrieval and dissemination, individuals have access more easily and on time. According to Leheman, (2011), the future of the library will be as a dynamic knowledge center where not only the librarian, the books (whether real or virtual), and the users engage in the interchange of ideas with the adoption of cutting edge information technology.
The interconnection of the world through the use of the internet and web has changed the fundamental roles, culture, and paradigm of libraries worldwide in the present day information age. The idea of the information age is heavily linked to the concept of a digital age or digital revolution and carries the ramification of a shift from traditional industry through the industrial revolution to an economy based around the manipulation of information with information technology (IT) and information and communications technology(ICT) gadgets. Consequently, library, library resources, and services have to adapt the information technology to remain relevant in providing satisfactory and efficient services to library patrons in today’s world information age.