DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A MOBILE AND WEB APPLICATION FOR THE AUTOMATION OF LIBRARY TASK
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In our society today, the rate at which technology is growing is exponential and information is an important sign to a modernized library. The library is fast growing in use and the previous method of maintaining it is no longer dynamic and efficient. Application of modern techniques i.e. use of technology, has become absolutely indispensable for expeditious retrieval and dissemination of information and better service for the library users (students). A properly computerized library will help its users with quick and prompt services. Library automation refers to mechanization of library housekeeping operations predominantly by computerization. The most commonly known housekeeping operations are acquisition control (ordering, receiving, and invoicing materials), serial control (tracking magazine and newspaper holdings), cataloguing (classifying and indexing materials), and classification and circulation control (lending materials and receiving them back).
In the present time of information technology, it has been progressively felt that data is required and students must turn into the real center of consideration, to serve understudy better. Achievement of data administration will be more inclined to be accomplished by altering the administrations to meet the particular needs of an individual as opposed to attempting to adjust singular client to match with the yield of the data framework.
Libraries assume an indispensable part in the educational, industrial and innovative advancement of a nation. Advancement of the country relies on development information picked up by educationists, technologists, designers and researchers of the nation. Thus the part of libraries in Universities and instructive foundations is to attain a free stream of data from the purpose of era to the point of usage of data effectively and successfully. The present instructive arrangement stresses on study toward oneself, analyses, field study and research as opposed to classroom study. In this way, library needs to assume basic part in the advanced education to meet client prerequisites. Ideal utilization of library assets is conceivable through networks only.
The library is the heart of each educational establishment which inhales learning and data into the psyches of the understudies. The School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT) has a decently outfitted Library with a showy gathering of books, diaries, student project reports and different assets to serve the students.
The term library automation was fully used in the time past for housekeeping operations of the library. Today it has expanded its scope and also includes all those technologies which libraries and information centres use for collection, processing, storage, retrieval, dissemination, and transmission of all types of information at local, regional, national, and international level.
The Library automation web and android application will be built for the School of Information and Communication Technology in the Federal University of Technology, Minna Niger State.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
The School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT), Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna is currently running a manual library system. This e-library automation system is built to replace it. The manual library has several problems some of which are; damaged books, redundancies in cataloguing, misplacing of library books. Below are some problem faced by students and staffs
i. The paper where they record the student data or book data can get lost or damaged at any point in time.
ii. The problem of recording group of students, which leads to queue, delay in time (please come back tomorrow for registration).
iii. Little or no book security, which leads to borrowing and not returning of books
iv. The user of the traditional library needs to be at the library area physically which most times leads to congestion.
v. Inability for the library resources to be accessed 24/7.
vi. In a traditional library system, the library resources cannot be simultaneously used since a book has to be returned by the previous user who borrowed it before it can be issued to another user.
vii. Traditional libraries are limited by storage space.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study is to design and develop a mobile and web applications for the automation of library tasks to improve the quality, speed, cost and effectiveness of delivering these services for the School of Information and Communications Technology (SICT) library center.
To be specific, it attempted to satisfy the following objectives:
i. To design a system that will lessen the time and effort of the student in their transaction
ii. To quickly search for books needed by the student
iii. To quickly reserve books
iv. To keep track of student reading culture i.e. what they are reading, what they have read and so on.
v. To design a system that will enable student read resource, books, articles available in the library at their comfort with their smartphone, anytime anywhere.
vi. Provide a printing service where student can upload document for printing remotely
vii. To provide rich educational articles and journals for the students consumptions.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
In this study, an automated library (e-library) is developed for the School of Information and Communications Technology library of Federal University of Technology Minna (SICT FUT Minna) to aid efficient delivery of library services.
Without this system, the library will not be referenced as an advanced library, especially for the fact that it is situated in a university of technology. Also, it enables users use the library services from their smart phones. It provides a platform for students to train themselves before e-examination, reduce the rapid wear and tear of library resource, and provide a means of reading books online. Finally, it makes employees to be disciplined and in keeping track of payments and salary disseminated by the school to the library workers.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study includes the following:-
§ Searching and retrieval of library resource materials
§ Attractive output and input by providing a public interface for users.
§ Book reservation and borrowing
§ Remote document printing service
§ Online book reading and downloading
§ Article viewing and commenting
§ Design and implementation of a hybrid mobile application
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
The proposed system has the following limitations:
§ Client interface is just in English i.e. no other dialect alternative is accessible.
§ No guest is allowed without being registered in the system.
§ The working scheme is deployed locally on a machine in the Library premises.
§ The entire system is limited to just the School of Information and Communication Technology.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
§ Hybrid Mobile Application: is one that is composed with the same innovation utilized for sites and portable web executions, and that is facilitated or runs inside a local compartment on a cell phone. It is the marriage of web innovation and local execution.
§ E-examination: it is the use of computers to perform examination in place of the paper based examination.
§ Library: a library is a composed gathering of sources of data and comparative assets, made available to a characterized group for reference or obtaining/borrowing.
§ Automation: the procedure, method, or system of operating or directing a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
§ Information: it is a collection of facts or processed data that is useful.