- Library Scope
Computers have radically changed the way people learn and communicate with
each other, as well as the library itself.
The library differs little from other institutions and firms in the impact of computing technology on them. Changes are in the almost unlimited tracking of the availability of books: Whether a book has been issued or not is the work of moments, where before it would have entailed a long search through a card index.
The availability of learning resources has been massively expanded through access to the Internet, again facilitated by the use of computer technology.
- Library Limitations
Users of a paper based system become almost wholly reliant on the librarians, for all levels of service, whether they are enquiries about existing books, inter-library loans, or the availability of books. There is additionally no real involvement of a user in the entire process.
Researching which new books are required by users becomes very difficult, and again, labor intensive. Librarians must be consulted directly to find out the availability of a book since it may already be issued to some other library user.
Furthermore, acquiring hard data on user trends and interests within the library again becomes very hard with a paper based system. Forms will need to be designed, printed off and handed out. This is the kind of work that an online, library based survey would improve on hugely.