Automation & Digitization

Library is a growing organism. As the technology changes in the field of information storage and retrieval, the user need is also changing. So there should be shift of library services and management system which will incorporate the future need of the user. As it is stated in the background part, the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) library is one of the few libraries that house relatively comprehensive publications on humanities and the social sciences. It collects materials written on Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. The library is frequently visited by domestic and foreign researchers.

The information supply in the IES library is mostly constrained by the major factors listed below:

  • Redundancy of works because of the manual housekeeping operations of the library.
  • Traditional and poor finding systems of the library materials (i.e. manual catalog cards).
  • Poor user satisfaction and time consuming service of the library.
  • Traditional and Poor bibliographic control of up-to-date materials in the library.
  • Lack of sharing of library recourses in the network.
  • Inadequate and poor quality information services.

Hence, to solve the above mentioned problems, the IES academic librarians have started converting the manual library system into an automated one .The automated system can easily and timely perform a computerized and integrated library housekeeping functions, i.e. acquisition, technical processing, circulation, cataloguing, serial control, online public access catalogue, administration, etc.

The software that we have chosen for the automation of the library operations is KOHA. KOHA provides an integrated library management system developed by Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications Ltd, New Zealand. It is open source software under GNU public license; it is a library and collection management system

Library Automation has become necessity in today’s environment to perform the library activities more efficiently, effectively and quickly. The following are the benefits.

  1. For users
    • Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC http://ieslib.aau.edu.et), with search facility by author, title, publisher, subject, keyword, accession number, ISBN/ISSN is possible.
    • Facilitate wider, faster and deeper access to information
    • Increase the retrievability of the resources
    • Facilitate sharing of the resources among various libraries
    • High level of satisfaction
  2. For librarian
    • Easy searching, browsing, editing, reviewing, deleting and printing of data from database.
    • Achieving a new level of library management.
    • Improving the existing services and to introduce new services.
    • Improving control over collection.
    • Avoiding the duplication of work.
    • Makes it possible the exporting and importing of data.
    • Report generation in different forms, including statistical reports.
    • Preparation of mailing list.