The Library I Know: Then & Now

I can still remember to the time when I first used the library. It definitely wasn’t as techy as it is today. And yes, as a 90’s kid, I was able to experience the “manual” things before the digital and technological age took over.

I can still remember that huge wooden cabinet that stored all the catalog cards—our searching tool for finding library materials. Every drawer has cards which are sorted alphabetically and divided into three kinds: title card, author card and subject card. Usually, I would go for the subject cards because all the books in a particular subject are found there. Nowadays, there’s no need to search through the cards in that cabinet. With just a click of the mouse, the library’s database would instantly present hundreds to thousands of search results. It’s amazing how fast and convenient it is when looking for a book. Time is saved and thus, it is used more in reading the book.

I can also remember how borrowing books was done manually. Each one of us had library cards where these cards kept a record of all the books we borrowed. The librarian would manually write the due dates in the card and in the borrowed books. In the present, a book contains a barcode and it is scanned so that the system will process the checking out of books. The process now is convenient for both the librarian and library clients as it eases and speeds up the process of borrowing.

The library have definitely changed and improved in the present.

As I am sitting down here in the library, I can see how ICT or Information Communication Technology has affected our libraries today.

For example, instead of reading books, most of the students in my school, including myself, would prefer reading on our mobile devices, tablets and laptops. It is because reading nowadays isn’t only in paper but in digital formats where books are converted to ebooks.  The access and dissemination of information is also fast as people tend to use the Internet more rather than books in shelves to answer their questions. Also, with the advent of social media, as people are more active online, this has had businesses, educational institutions and even libraries to use it as a way to market and inform their resources to the public. In that regard, library services are now available online. Such services are online research assistance, online reference queries, library instructions, online catalogs and many more. Remote access to our libraries is possible too as we can access the library system and databases anytime and anywhere with our computers. What I mentioned are just a few of the developments that ICT has contributed to the field of library and information science.

With the advent of technology and all its advantages that comes along with it,  I believe that present libraries have still maintained its charm and atmosphere that attracts library clients as it did in the past. I look forward to the digital and technological development of the libraries in the near future as I will be soon entering the field as a librarian. With that, I hope I can apply my knowledge and skills in ICT efficiently and effectively in my field.