Tech Revolution: Transformation to digital learning within DU Central Library

In the heart of Bangladesh’s bustling capital, Dhaka stands a beacon of knowledge and innovation—the Dhaka University Central Library. This esteemed institution was established in 1921 with 60 teachers and 877 students under 12 departments of arts, science, and law faculties and a collection of about eighteen thousand books. It has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, embracing cutting-edge technology to redefine the library experience and propel its users into the digital frontier. Stepping into the Dhaka University Central Library is akin to entering a treasure trove of knowledge, where physical books and periodicals seamlessly blend with a vast array of digital resources. The library’s extensive digital collection, comprising over 50,000 e-books and 100,000 e-journals, offers users unparalleled access to a world of information, accessible from anywhere, anytime.

The system of book issue and return in libraries before the advent of technology was a manual process that relied on handwritten records and card catalogues. Patrons would browse the shelves or consult the card catalogue to find their desired books. They would then bring the selected books to the circulation desk and hand them to a librarian, who would verify their identity and record the patron’s information, the book’s details, and the due date in a handwritten ledger or issue card. The librarian would then stamp the due date on the book’s due date card or flyleaf and hand the stamped book, issue card, or ledger slip to the patron. When patrons returned the borrowed books, the librarian would identify the returned book and its due date, update the patron’s borrowing record and return date, inspect the returned book for any damage or overdue fines, and reshelve the returned book in its appropriate place on the shelves. Now the process of book issue and return has been transformed by technology. Patrons can now search for books online, check out books at self-checkout stations, and return books in book drop boxes. The system automatically calculates due dates and fines, and patrons receive email notifications when their books are returned.

Another addition is the E zone. The E-Zone is a designated area within the Dhaka University Central Library that provides access to a wide range of electronic resources and services. It offers access to electronic databases, online journals and articles, e-books and multimedia resources, computer access and printing facilities, and research support and training.

Dhaka University Central Library Orientation Programme 2022

Only this library has a department called Reprography, which stores all types of Bangladeshi newspapers in both online and hard copy. Dhaka University Central Library Reprography Department, which was earlier known as the Xerox Department Here, all daily newspapers are bound and stored online. A photocopying facility is also available here. First, the daily newspapers are collected. Then they are scanned with the help of a big scanner. After scanning, if any extra spots or colours appear, then those are edited and cleared. Newspapers use OCR (optical character recognition) to facilitate information retrieval. Finally, the newspapers are stored online with their own name, date, month, and year through Docudex software. Anyone can see and read those newspapers with the name and date of the particular newspaper. In addition, each magazine is also stored in hard copy. Here, various rare books and documents of Bengali literature and culture are preserved online. The Reprography Department is also responsible for maintaining the university’s archives. The archives contain a wide range of historical documents, including books, manuscripts, and photographs. The department provides access to the archives to researchers and students.

Dhaka University Central Library

The Dhaka University Central Library has achieved new heights through the integration and contribution of technology. The library is not being completely utilised in spite of all these advancements. “The use of technology in the library has enriched the knowledge base,” a management department student commented in response to this. “Not enough is being done with it. The primary cause of this is the pupils’ ignorance. The main reason for the decline in student library visits is that many students are unaware of the new resources available. The authorities ought to step up in this situation to improve the library’s interactions with the students. The Dhaka University Central Library has evolved into a storehouse of intelligent individuals thanks to the marriage of knowledge and technology. Given the close proximity of technology, let this library continue to grow with the coming generations.

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