DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN AUTOMATED LIBRARY SYSTEM
1.1 LIBRARY SYSTEM
A library can be defined as a room or building where books are kept and referenced. It is an area of multifarious activity on book management. A library as a repository of knowledge, houses collections of books, both reference and general, technical reports, periodicals, journals, conference proceedings and the likes. Consequently, truth and knowledge can be found and acquired from the library through the aforementioned sources. The information contents of any of the collections can be recorded on microfilms, audiotapes, microchips and other materials traditionally kept in the library, which is charged with the responsibility of acquiring, organizing, maintaining, and judicial circulation of the books and other library materials through the various sections of the library, for efficient use of the library by the users.
The acquisition, cataloguing, bindery and circulation sections of the library undertake the acquiring, organizing, maintaining and circulation of the books/library materials respectively. When the library through the acquisition section of the library acquires a book, its record is taken and accession number is given to the book after which the book will be sent to cataloguing section of the library. Under this section, the book will be carefully studied and given catalogue number before it will be sent to circulation section of the library as the case may be. The circulation section is responsible for circulation or distribution of books.
This section also arranges the consulted books in the shelves.
There are other sections like reference section, which provides reference questions and bibliographic service, and serial section where periodical, journals and related materials are kept. The library also houses special collections and also operates circulation control in which books are lent to users. In fact it is indeed a place of multifarious activities on book management.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In human endeavors, there are a lot of developments, researches, and discoveries, which result in multifarious production of publications and library materials. These have brought increase in complexity of library system and its operations.
Based on these, a number of problems are facing the library systems, which include:
(i) Unnecessary delay in library processes.
(ii) High cost of staff recruitment and maintenance.
(iii) Error prone operations/processes.
(iv) Inefficiency in library operation.
(v) Too many paper work and replication of data on multiple pieces of paper.
(vi) Unreliable card catalogue system.
(vii) Mutilation of books by students i.e. students tear/hide books.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
There is hardly any aspect of human endeavor that is today not being assisted by computerization. The objective of this project: Design and Implementation of Online Library Services System with a reference to Caritas University Library. The application program developed in this research essentially monitors and keep records of the individual book movement together with the operations going on in various sections of the library particularly concerned with book control. These operations include book lending, returning of the borrowed books, reservation of books, acquisition processes, registration of users and other related activities in Library management system.
In this study therefore, the researchers hope to accomplish the following objectives:
To design a better way of avoiding loss of books in the library. To solve the problem of delay in locating books. Assist the Liberian to carry out library operations more effectively. Eliminate manual operations in the library. To achieve high efficiency in the library services.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This project looks into the processes involved in keeping tracks of the books in the library system. The researchers concentrated on the operations going on in the Acquisition, cataloging and most especially, circulation sections in the library.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study gave birth to a new system Online Library Services System) designed to bring efficiency in the library system operations. It will eliminate some of the problems associated with the old (manual) system of library management, which include cost of equipment and staff maintenance and also allow institutions to manage the affairs of libraries easily.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study will not look in detail into other sections of the library except the only three sections aforementioned. The intuitive works like reading of a
book before classification and technical work like ownership stamping conveyance of books etc, this section is not part of this study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
DESIGN: It is a detail plan or arrangement to achieve a particular purpose.
A SYSTEM: It is an assemblage of interrelated elements, which we find interesting to study. It could be a process, a machine or a program.
A PROGRAM: It is a set of instructions and procedures that tells the computer what to do.
AN APPLICATION: A program designed to perform particular tasks.
THE RESEARCHERS: This refers to the developers of the system in study (i.e. Richard).
THE USER: The user here refers to the library staff or the people who make use of the library. It also refers to the person who uses the program (e.g. library staff).
AUTOMATION/COMPUTERIZATION: It is a process of making a system to carry out its processes on its own. That without much helps from man.
MODULE: An independent unit that is part of a larger development. It is the same thing as sub-tasks.
VISUAL LIBRARY SYSTEM: It is an application or program designed by researchers to manage library operations. It is a program designed with a visual programming language in which the user will make use of a mouse in operating. It is event driven and objects appear in their visual forms to the user.