When it comes to picking a college or a university, people don’t go there just to get by. They seek a higher-level education that would help them become top-notch professionals able to compete on the job market. It is no easy thing and is usually accompanied by tons of information to learn and plenty of skills to master.
With books and copyright protected materials being so insanely costly, it is reasonable that university libraries are the most obvious and optimal option to go to for reading or ongoing research. Traditionally, a library was the place where students could find the most relevant information on their topic of interest, get help from a librarian, as well as connect and collaborate with other like-minded learners in silence and with full concentration.
In the digital world, however, the informational field changes so quickly that traditional paper media can no longer cover the needs of university students in full. Every day, there are new scientific discoveries, research papers, and tech innovations emerging in the field, and it is important to stay tuned if you want to keep up with the time. That’s why having decent ICT equipment is so crucial for university libraries.
Unfortunately, insufficient funding and poor maintenance often pose a problem and hedge the educational way with difficulties such as lack of access to the most up-to-date researches and papers, the problem of obsolete and ineffective learning materials, as well as unreasonable
media-related spending among students. In this article, we decided to draw public attention to the importance of building a conducive educational environment for university students through equipping libraries with ICT and explain why it may be important.
What is ICT?
Information and Communication Technologies, or ICT, is a generic term that names the whole set of technologies and software used for the collection, analysis, storage, and distribution of information. In the library realm, these include computers, printers, scanners, software and devices that ensure internet connection, online databases, video conferencing tools, and a number of other modern technologies that provide speedy and efficient access to information.
Their functions are many. ICT help libraries to digitalize thousands of paper books increasing the number of simultaneous readers to infinity. Or, on the contrary, allow students to print out the information for reading and make handouts. Finally, technologies make it possible to look over materials from the past in digit, read over the most recent academic works online, as well as collaborate with other students, authors, or university libraries, which makes informational exchange not only efficient but also fun.
This takes us to the undeniable benefits students can have in an ICT-equipped university library.
The Benefits of Applying ICT in University Libraries
Years of digitalization has proven that learning can be ten times more effective when computer technologies accompany it. Paper books are incredible, but when it comes to data search, international collaboration, or simply staying in informational trend, ICTs are second to none. They analyze millions of bits of information in seconds and can find a required paragraph, resource, or commentary in no time, saving days of useless search that used to come with book-related research and helping to filter information students have to process.
Students are especially overloaded these days; the world changes too fast; it’s important to receive relevant information fast, and difficult university assignments don’t make their life any easier. Often, they have to study at night or while at work. Digital libraries are the digital era’s way to be always in time. They provide access to almost any information anytime and anywhere as long as you have an internet-connected device. ICT-equipped libraries are the answer to inaccessibility. Even students who are not technically equipped can learn the information they need, and by printing it out – anytime and anywhere.
Additionally, ICT in university libraries improve the financial situation of students. Regardless of how expensive digital resources are these days, it is necessary to keep up with innovations and discoveries in the field you are studying – both for a student’s academic progress and for their future success in a professional arena. ICT-equipped libraries help to avoid unreasonable expenses and provide access to the required sources to larger audiences. This means that students can invest their vacant funds into a skill-boosting course or into traveling, for example.
Finally, a library with implemented ICT can turn into a hub where university students gather for communication and collaboration in an effective and contemporary manner. This means they can
utilize digital resources for their research, connect with other students across the world, or even discuss the first-hand experience with famous scientists and academicians.
Furthermore, it could have solved a pressing issue of academic cheating. Most often students address to outsource professionals because they lack time and resources to complete their assignments. Even the allegedly simplest narrative essay papers require some knowledge and experience in writing and storytelling. However, ICT-equipped libraries can provide students with enough technologies and software to collect, analyze, and utilize the necessary information fast and effectively, while their fellow students
can help by sharing their life experiences or their take on the subject or work.
We’ve crossed the line when learning could be effective and time-relevant with paper media only. Today, when there are so many journals, news resources, and academic papers available in the digital arena only, studying without technological leg-up is equal to heresy.
On the other hand, technologies often cost the earth and hardly any student can afford a tech- supplied headquarters for their personal learning purposes. However, an ICT- equipped university library seems a very reasonable and cost-efficient way to allow more students to have
access to the most recent information.
Furthermore, a tech-supplied library is far more than just a data source – it’s a communication and collaboration center for all students. It’s clear that universities should reconsider their financial decisions in favor of library technological equipment. This would have improved student academic potential, as well as a library’s efficiency in general.