Digital Libraries Benefits Students and Teachers During COVID 19

by | Published on May 12, 2020 | Document Conversion / Scanning Services

Digital Libraries

Information and communication technology has revolutionized the concept of libraries. Digitization of books allows libraries to provide easy access to their resources, reduce the need for storage space, and protect rare books and documents. Today, digitization of library resources is created for diverse communities and in different fields like education, science, culture, health and so on. Digital libraries store magazine articles, books, papers, images, sound files and videos in electronic format and make the required material available on the Internet or on a digital support. These digital libraries have become a predominant mode of access to knowledge and learning. Most importantly, people can access digital resources easily irrespective of their location. A library planning to turn digital can do so efficiently by partnering with a professional document scanning company.

Today, with nationwide closure of schools and universities due to COVID-19, educational institutions are shifting to online courses and classes. Digital libraries have emerged as vital pathways to high-quality e-books, journals and educational content so that people can continue to read and learn without disruption.

For instance, to make it easier for students and teachers to access knowledge, Indiana University Libraries have expanded access to HathiTrust Digital Library, a non-profit collaborative repository of digital content. In 2008, as a part of a Big Ten Academic Alliance Partnership, the University underwent nationwide digitization, following a request from Google Books, sending huge volumes for digitization. With this project Indiana University became one of the founding members of the HathiTrust Digital Library, an online repository for academic and research libraries to archive and search the new digital resources. The HathiTrust Database has several millions of digital resources but only those in the public domain are fully accessible due to copyright concerns.

In March this year, Indiana University closed their physical libraries and stopped material circulation due to the pandemic. That opened doors to new opportunity for the HathiTrust Digital Library. The Emergency Temporary Access Service, or ETAS, allowed full text access for member libraries that faced unexpected or involuntary temporary disruption to print collection circulation. A doctoral candidate in anthropology, Thierry Veyrié, preparing to defend his dissertation in the fall, realized the value of this opportunity and accessed IU’s materials on HathiTrust. He gathered all of the books required for his research. He is also in search of other resources and he is grateful that HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service makes the materials accessible. The emergency access will continue until IU is able to start circulating the print collection materials preserved in the HathiTrust. According to Carolyn Walters, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries and member of the HathiTrust Board of Governors, 47 percent of the millions of books in the university’s catalog are now available through HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service for full-text reading access.

Yale Library announced their closure last month but they are offering online presence to meet increasing demand. Library staff is also working remotely to support online classes and research, and regular library services.

The library created a new webpage that summarizes their remotely-accessible resources. They have changed their online search tools to better facilitate accessing electronic texts and have doubled the live-chat hours of Ask Yale Library service from 45 hours a week to 91. With an emergency agreement with HathiTrust – a non-profit collaborative repository of digital content – Yale Library added five million eBooks to their online catalog.

Susan Gibbons, the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian and Vice Provost of Collections and Scholarly Communication, noted that at a time when the Yale community is scattered across the world, libraries play a critical role in maintaining academic continuity. The students, faculty members, and researchers have access to around 250,000 online journals, a thousand unique databases and nearly seven million eBooks.

Gibbons said that the transition to digital library was not smooth. The library invested a large amount of time and resources to digitize and preserve their materials. Yale Library’s digital collections are open to the general public and researchers across the world.

Digital libraries are a great resource for teachers and students to learn and gain knowledge without any disruption. A reliable provider of document scanning services can help with efficient digitization of library resources. With the use of advanced technology and software these companies assure timely and accurate conversion of library content at affordable prices. They have experienced and trained employees who ensure perfection in their work.

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