Library Automation

Preamble

               1940 was the time when libraries have seen semi-mechanical applications in libraries and with this Library Automation process were initiated.   These applications were found in the form of edge-notched cards, optical coincidence, and peek-a-boo cards etc.  with this the library automation journey was started and punched cards, data processing units, first generation computers CD-Roms, Optical Disks and now with the information explosion use of Internet are few tools have been using by Information manages to ease out routing process in and around library.

 History

              1940 was the time when libraries have seen semi-mechanical applications in libraries and with this Library Automation process were initiated.   These applications were found in the form of edge-notched cards, optical coincidence, and peek-a-boo cards etc.  with this the library automation journey was started and punched cards, data processing units, first generation computers CD-Roms, Optical Disks and now with the information explosion use of Internet are few tools have been using by Information manages to ease out routing process in and around library.
          The term ‘Automation’ was coined initially by Dr. D.S. Harder in 1936. In the words of Dr. Harder, “Automation is the automatic handling of parts between progressive production processes in relation to engineering industries”. Actually, the origin of Automation word can be seen from the Greek word, ‘Automose’ which means anything carries the power of spontaneous motion or self-movement. 

        

book wheel

Book Wheel

 With the amalgamation of Information Technology in the library environment, slowly and gradually, library manual activities also replaced by computerised form. But if we see the history, way back in 1588, in France, there was a BOOK WHEEL available for library readers. With the help of a paddle of this instrument, readers turn their reading table. After passing of two and half centuries, in 1863, another model of Library Automation can be seen in the form of ‘Book Indicator’. In order to facilitate the circulation desk activities, this instrument was devised by Albert Cotgreave. With the help of miniature books, this instrument shows the status of books in the library, i.e. whether the book is on the shelf, issued or overdue.
 But these are not alone instances of Library Automation, there are countless more which are not recorded in books.
book indicator-page-001

Book Indicator

Library Automation history shown officially work started in somewhere in 1930 with the invention of Punched Card system. With the beginning of 1940s, computer system started to use for automation of various library operations. The library automation journey got major kick-start when some special libraries of USA started automation of library house-keeping activities. Furthermore with the availability of microcomputers in libraries in 1980s, the library automation process proceeded at the speed of rocket. 

 

 

        

             

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