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Prospects of digital library for developing countries: Applying Internet technology


Digital libraries are here to stay, and the conversion of traditional to digital is inevitable. It is a key technology for world especially for developing countries. They can assist human development by providing a non-commercial mechanism for distributing humanitarian information on topics such as health, agriculture, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and water supply (Witten I. H. 2002):. There are so many areas like ranging from disaster relief to medical education, also benefit from new methods of information distribution also covered by digital library in developing countries. Globalisation of the digital concept will not be possible until we overcome the technological gap between developed and developing countries.It is even more important than disseminating information originating in the developed world is the need to foster the ability for people in developing countries to build information collections locally. Outlines a broad range of issues and then goes on to describe how a freely available digital library system like “Greenstone” provides a flexible tool that helps meet some of these needs. Being “open source” software, Greenstone can be shaped by its users to meet new requirements. At last discuss the existing digital library and prospect of digital library in developing country especially Bangladesh.

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1.1 Introduction

Information sources accessed via the internet are ingredients of a digital library. Today, the network connects some information sources that are a mixture of publicly available information and private information shared by collaborators. They include reference volumes, books, journals, newspapers, national phone directories, sound and voice recordings, images, video clips, scientific data (raw data streams from instruments and processed information), and private information services such as stock market reports and private newsletters. In the developing country digital library is one of the most important things.

Digital or Virtual Library is being introduced to the library system worldwide. The increasing acceptance of Digital library might be due to the diverse information that they contain, the options for what they can include are virtually endless, as well as becoming more and more boundless as technology advances. Fabunmi (2009) The developed countries aim to develop Digital libraries mainly is for the high value placed on the availability of information. The concept of digital library was developed in USA with a view to solving the problem of expansion, disorder and inefficiency of information on the Internet.

Developing country is a term generally used to describe a nation with a low level of material well being. There is no single internationally-recognized definition of developed country, and the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries, with some developing countries having high average standards of living (Sheffrin 2003)

1.2 Research Methodology
1.2.1 Design of the Study

These research methods included with questionnaire system, interview system, and literature review. In this research we will discuss about the present condition of the digital library in developing countries by collecting information from secondary source like Journal, books, news searched by internet. However, we will explain why we should go ahead with digital library visited of paper based or manual library: we will discuss what its role in our social life, public access, ethical issues, open sources software.

To get these benefits we will explain about the platforms wherefrom distribution of digital libraries, access for readers, access for librarian, distance learning and so on can be achieved.

1.2.2 Methods of Primary Data collection

In this study research we will contact people and students who go to libraries and who use online libraries. The result of our research will be on the basis of our taking interviews, questionnaires, visiting local libraries etc. We will contact 200 such persons and divide into two sections: 1) Who came from developing countries and 2) Who came from European Union. We will also use hypothesis method to get approximate probability in our result. Thereafter we will explain in literature review about digital library which will help people to get more information about digital library.

The Questionnaire is the most effective method for this study to collect data for this research for the following reasons:

* The researcher shall conduct his survey covering 200 respondents. It will not be possible to conduct personal interviews because of time limitation. Therefore, questionnaire survey will be the most appropriate one for this study.

* Though the postal system of the country is good. Hence, postal survey will be too time consuming to be feasible for this study.

* Online survey in developing countries seems not so suitable for this study.

* In most of the studies conducted on the variables of the current study, the researchers used questionnaire survey for their studies.

1.2.3 Data Analysis

In this context of my research I will propose to do research based on university students and local people who use internet and library.

The proposed study is based on hypothesis. As a result, after collecting data we will use hypothesis method to identify whether the relationships exist between measured variables or not.

Besides we will make use of the following three data processing methods:

* Completeness [each question is answered]

* Accuracy[check for misleading answers]

* Uniformity

1.3 Objectives

* The main objectives of the study are as follows:

* To find out the lacking of library facilities especially as a digital library

* To find out the problems for not to develop any digital library in the country

* Suggest the way to develop a digital library consortium.

Chapter 2

2.1 Introduction

Although knowledge is critical for development, few developing countries are participating in the information revolution Just as industrialization and globalization have increased the gulf between haves and have-nots, [World Development Report: Knowledge for development. World Bank, 1998/99]. We identify four important areas where digital libraries can help bridge this gap, and then review pertinent technical issues. It has often been observed that technological advances in developing countries can leapfrog those in developed ones. We think digital libraries will provide another example, compensating for the failure of traditional distribution mechanisms to address local needs and get information where it is needed. Priorities there include health, food, housing, drinking water condition, transport condition etc. Though computers are not a priority, simple, reliable access to targeted information meeting these basic needs certainly is. Through Digital libraries computer professionals will get a shining opportunity to help overturn the negative impact (witten et al. Accessed on 2009)

2.2. Definition of digital library

There are some definition had been coated by Dr. T. B. Rajashekar of digital library:

i) According to Michael Lask ( 1997), Digital libraries are organized collections of digital information where it combine the structuring and gathering of information, which libraries and archives have always done, with the digital representation that computers have made possible.

ii) Hurley (2002) said that “Digital libraries are different from traditional library in that they are designed to support the creation, maintenance, management, access to, and preservation of digital content.”

iii) Another definition by Harter (1997) is that “A Digital Library contains digital representations of the objects found in it – most understanding of the “Digital Library” probably also guesses that it will be accessible via the Internet, though not necessarily to everyone. He added a also that the only characteristic of it is that the idea of digitization on which there is universal agreement.”

iv) William Arms (2000) defined digital library is a managed collection of information, with associated services from where the information is stored in digital formats and accessible over a network. It has to be meant that a stream of data sent to earth from a satellite is not a library, but the same data, when organized systematically, becomes a digital library collection.”

v) Dr. T. B. Rajashekar also gives another definition from Witten and Bainbridge “a focused collection of digital objects, including text, video, and audio, along with methods for access and retrieval, and for selection, organization, and maintenance of the collection is called a Digital Library.”

In conclusion we can quote vast definition by Sun Microsystems.

“Digital library as the electronic extension of functions users typically perform and the resources they access in a traditional library.” In digital library Sun Microsystems characterized as the information resources can be translated into digital form, stored in multimedia repositories that is made available through Web-based services. It is very necessary in the growth of e-learning (or distance learning) as the virtual alternative to traditional school attendance. The advantages is as the number of student increasingly turns to off-campus alternatives for lifelong learning, the library must evolve to fit this new educational paradigm or become obsolete as students search for other ways to conveniently locate information resources anywhere, any time.

2.3. Definition of developing country

Developing countries has been described on the basis of high level of criteria. Among them the economic criteria have tended to dominate all the discussions. On the basis of this criterion the country who have High gross domestic product or GDP as describe as developed country on the other hand the country who have low gross domestic product they are called as Developing Country.

Another criterion is industrialization, the country who mainly secondary and tertiary activity is the major activity these countries are developed country and who have mostly depend on primary activity they are called as developing country.

Now a days a measure has been created with combination of national income, economic measures, life expectancy etc. is the Human Development Index where developed countries have the high rating and the developing nation have the low. Kofi Annan former Secretary General of the United Nations defined a developed country as follows. “A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment.

According to the united nation statistic division developed and developing are intended for statistical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.

Chapter 3

Digital Library
3.1 Definition

Collection of Information, resources, and services, and the structure in which it is housed that is accessible to public is called a Library: A digital library is a library in which collections are stored in digital formats and accessible by computers. The digital content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks.

Libraries aim at unrestricted access to content over computer and communication networks, and digitization may be taken as a visible proposition to enhance the shelf life of non-digital content by preservation apart from the virtue of increased and easy access, thereby furthering usage is called as Digital Library (DL). Concluded by Jeevan (2004)

1. Sherwell (1997) gives the following as the key characteristics of a true virtual library.

2. In a digital library there is no corresponding physical collection.

3. All the documents should be available in electronic formats.

4. Documents are not stored in any one location.

5. Accessibility of documents from any workstation.

6. Retrieval and deliverance of document as and when required.

7. Availability of effective searching and browsing facilities.

3.2. ExitingDigital Library System in Developing countries

Developing countries comprise a majority of the WTO membership. They are grouped as “developing countries” and “least developed countries”, There are no WTO definitions of “developed” and “developing” countries. Members announce for themselves whether they are “developed” or “developing” countries. However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries. About two thirds of the WTO’s around 150 members are developing countries. World Bank, July 2008. Geographic classifications and data reported for geographic regions are for low-income and middle-income economies, as defined by the World Bank. Total of 144 countries. WTO (2009). Mostly the developing countries are located in Africa, South Asia and Asian continent. Here we would like to discuss some of the leading countries digital library system.

3.2.1. In Africa

The open source Greenstone Digital Library (GSDL) software provides a unique resource to promote the development of DLs in Africa. In 2007 (Electronic Information for Libraries) was asked to execute the Greenstone Pilot Project in Southern Africa on behalf of the Koha Foundation (U.S.A.). In this way some of the African countries tries to set up digital libraries, but this quantities is too small according to the number of population of this area. Followings are some example of existing digital library progress in Africa.

Table 3.1: Internet Users and Population Statistics for Africa


Africa region

(2009 Est.)

Pop. %
in World

Internet Users,
Latest Data

(% Population)

Use Growth

% Users
in World

Total for Africa


14.6 %


6.7 %

1,359.9 %

3.9 %

Rest of world


85.4 %


27.7 %

349.7 %

96.1 %

World total


100.0 %


24.7 %

362.3 %

100.0 %


Ashcroft and Watts (2004) observed that Nigeria has an acute shortage of digital systems librarians, information and web technology literate staff in libraries to install and manage technology networks.

Fabunmi B.A. (2009) in his study coated about Ifidon and Okoli (2002) that they observed that the first and second generation universities that are those established between 1948 and 1970; and 1971 and 1979 respectively have completed their library buildings while the situation of the third generation universities i.e. those established between 1980 and 1983 is very bad. Ani (2005) had done a research with 22 university library in Nigeria and showed that 9 (sixty four percentages) of the libraries have related information infrastructures, twelve (eighty six percentages) are concerned in individual capability construction programmes, 11 (seventy nine percentages) insist that the level of support in terms of money for university libraries is very small.

Beside this some other countries has experiencing about digital library facilitated by greenstone. These are i) the University of Namibia (UNAM), ii) Bunda College Library in Malawi, iii) the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Library in Zimbabwe, iv)and the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Library and the Lesotho College of Education Library sharing responsibility in Lesotho.

3.2.2. In South Asia

South Asia typically consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Most of these countries are either developing or least developed country. Among these India and Sri Lanka are made a bit good advancement in Library and science technology. Other countries progress is not remarkable. In this study only present condition of the DL of India and Bangladesh will be followed up.


With an estimated population of 1.2 billion India is the world’s second most populous country. Culturally, linguistically and genetically diversification has given India a special geographical entity. India has made a huge progress in terms of increasing primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately two thirds of the population. Beside this it can be mentioned that 3 universities has ranked within 200 worlds leading university according to The Times. In spite of these it is not that much rich in digital library progress.

Some of the major initiatives on Digital Libraries in India are furnished below:

Table-3.2 Some National University Libraries Around South Asia





Jauharlal Nehru University, India




Bombay University, India




Chepauk Library, Madras University, India




Calcutta University, India




Punjub University, Pakistan




Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan




University of Colombo, Sri Lanka




Tribhuvan University, Nepal




University of Malaya Library, Malaysia




Dhaka University, Bangladesh




Bangladesh Agriculture University, Bangladesh




Source: Khan (2006)

3.2.3 In Asia

Table 3.3. Internet users and population statistics for Asia

Population, internet users, its growth in Asian countries and the world.


(2009 Est.)

% Pop.
of World

Internet Users,
Latest Data

(% Population)

User Growth
( 2000-2009 )

Users %
of World

Asia Only


56.3 %


18.5 %

516.1 %

42.2 %

Rest of the World


43.7 %


32.6 %

291,1 %

57.8 %



100.0 %


24.7 %

362.3 %

100.0 %


China, a unique alcove in the world’s political economy with its vast populace and large physical size is showing its powerful global presence that can be the general lessons for other developing countries.

During the past 50 years basic education in China has gained tremendous achievements. The government has claimed that the net enrolment rate of primary schools had reached 98.58%.

In recent years china has come into DL network. The National Library of China is involved in most of China’s national research programs on digital. The Chinese National Science Digital Library (CNSDL) and National Educational Digital Library (NEDL) have been completed and The National Digital Library of China, the Socialist Party Digital Library and the National Defense Industry Digital Library are in progress.

Information Collection institutions as libraries have accepted the concept of digital library (both in theory and practice). Many institutions attempted to construct digital libraries, especially in digital content production, for example, the National Library of China tried to do digitization of the Library’s traditional collections. China Central Television (CCTV) and China National Radio (CNR) created video and audio standards of collecting, cataloguing, searching and service to change the multi-media content into digital form.

Chinese introduced idea on digital library has being followed by the other nations (according to Chinese Officials). In the United State library system simple service model is followed, as ‘use by pay for all’ or ‘use free for all’. But China introduces a new diversified model which provides customized service. According to this model, customer can pay according to their necessity as for the whole or part of the content.

In recent years, Chinese universities use digital resources as references which are support by the CALIS. Most universities refer the digital resources as the main reference resources. China is expecting its development of digital library will influence the world with a remarkable sign.

3.3. Limitations of Existing Systems

Development of Digital libraries are depending on some factor like Literacy rate of the population, number of telephone connection and number co computer users and their connectivity with internet. Beside this the countries political will, capability of utilizing the fund allocated on infrastructure development, corruption etc. Developing countries are basically having all the problems. 3.5 shows the difference between developed and developing countries available option to setup the digital library. Mostly their literacy rate is not so high, and the literate persons are not very familiar with computer knowledge.

Also china who are growing as a developed country they have the limitation of internet facilities. They have some exemplary initiative but for the huge number population it is not enough. In India they are also trying the same way as China. Bangladesh and Nigeria are totally depending on the other donor agency to setup their education related infrastructure. These processes make them dependent and dawdling in the progress of Digital Library.

3.4. Conclusion

Existing situation of the digital library uses in the developing countries is varying in different places according to their education level, economic growth and total development progress. Among the selected countries China has done a very good improvement, India is also going to the level of upper class but Nigeria is now in the amateur level of digital world. Table … is showing the availability of basic factors for development of digital library in different countries of the world.

Table 3.6: Computer literacy around the world



(in million)

Literacy rate


No of telephone connection

(in 000)

No of cellular phone

(in 000)

No of computer users

(in 000)

No of internet users

(in 000)






































63.4 *





Source: (i) Competition Success Review Year book 2005.

(ii) Career and Competition Monthly

Chronicle: India 2005: A Handy Compendium of Statistics

(iii) Social Watch Report 2008:

(iv) Wikipedia. * Primary school going rate in Nigeria.

Chapter 4

Technical Issues of developing Digital Library
4.1 Understanding Meta-data Standards and its application

Metadata provides context for data. Metadata is used to facilitate the understanding, characteristics, and management usage of data. The metadata required for effective data management varies with the type of data and context of use. In a library, where the data is the content of the titles stocked, metadata about a title would typically include a description of the content, the author, the publication date and the physical location. Wikipedia (2009)

Metadata, is meant by “data about other data,” is a critical element for searching information through a database especially. To standardize the structure and content of indexing or cataloguing information is the function of metadata is. With the advent of digital libraries in western countries, efforts to create better information management systems and improve existing ones have resulted in multiple standards.

A brief summary of existing worldwide meta-data standards is as follows. The International Standards Organization’s (ISO) Metadata Working Group has a related standard, ISO 11179, Specification and Standardization of Data Elements. It may also be made available to private sectors, civil societies and citizens. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established the NCITS L8 (formerly X3L8), the National Committee on Information Technology Standards. The committee covers naming, identification, definitions, classification, and registration of metadata. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a major governing body of the Web has developed de facto standards including RDF (Resource Description Framework) and the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) specifications. PICS was originally intended to aid adults in controlling children’s access to the Internet. However, its standards are usually at a very general level over which meta-standards can be improvised. The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) has developed an NSDI metadata standard for spatial data. A software utility has also been developed by ISRO that allows agencies to populate their own metadata in the NSDI Metadata Standard format and then link it with the overall metadata server. Maps and satellite images made available through this facility will be used for decisions at the local, regional, state and central level planning, implementation of action plans, infrastructure development, disaster management support, and business development. 2 shows the metadata and other resources preserved in Digital library.

4.2. Making of Digital Library

DLs can be built with very few software toolkits. A few institutions investigated the approach to create software toolkits by a natural solution. Dienst is a DL developed at Cornell University. It’s tasks are clearly divided and specified by a protocol based on HTTP and eventually using XML. It can support distributed operation of the NCSTRL project. Alternative software, Repository-in-a-Box (NHSE, 2001) has been introduced by the University of Tennessee, as E-Prints software from the Southampton University (OpCit, 2001).

There is no doubt is that is the single most effective information dissemination tool in the world of current times. Undoubtly it was primarily possible because of the simplicity of the protocols it relies on and the hierarchical manner in which protocols such as HTTP (Fildinng, 1999 ) build on more fundamental protocols such as IP and TCP. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Its use for retrieving inter-linked resources led to the establishment of the World Wide Web. Basically, an HTTP client using for a request that a transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection to a particular port on a host. An HTTP server listening on that port waits for the client to send a request message.

For the Greenstone digital library software front end has been created with a beta release of the EmeraldView being completed.( emeraldview-front-end-to-greenstone-digital-library-software/). This front-end software were used for designing Greenstone digital library software. This front-end was written in PHP using the framework of codeIgniter that enables the greenstone library software protecting its files with this every one could run the normal or standard view of greenstone front-end.

Greenstone’s cryptic URLs of unusual size are a fail for user comprehensibility, search engine crawlers, bookmarking, etc. Though extensive customization of the display is possible, there are some stopping points where modification of the C++ source is required.

C++ Server Pages (CSP) allows developers to build Dynamic Web Pages and Web Apps by using C++. Existing C++ projects can be ported to the Web by simply including the C++ source code, or by importing the C++ libraries to CSP scripts. It is similar to ASP and JSP, but instead of VBScript, JScript, or Java it uses C++, giving an incredibly high processing performance to your web applications. It supports automatic script compilation and provides the developer with a complete Web programming framework. It works both with IIS and Apache.

Java Script:

* JavaScript is used in millions of Web pages to add functionality, validate forms, detect browsers, and much more. JavaScript is the most popular scripting language on the internet, and works in all major browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. JavaScript gives HTML designers a programming tool – HTML authors are normally not programmers, but JavaScript is a scripting language with a very simple syntax! Almost anyone can put small “snippets” of code into their HTML pages. JavaScript’s official name is ECMAScript. ( accessed on 2009)

* JavaScript can put dynamic text into an HTML page – A JavaScript statement like this: document.write(“<h1>” + name + “</h1>”) can write a variable text into an HTML page

* JavaScript can react to events – A JavaScript can be set to execute when something happens, like when a page has finished loading or when a user clicks on an HTML element

* JavaScript can read and write HTML elements – A JavaScript can read and change the content of an HTML element

* JavaScript can be used to validate data – A JavaScript can be used to validate form data before it is submitted to a server. This saves the server from extra processing

* JavaScript can be used to detect the visitor’s browser – A JavaScript can be used to detect the visitor’s browser, and – depending on the browser – load another page specifically designed for that browser

* JavaScript can be used to create cookies – A JavaScript can be used to store and retrieve information on the visitor’s computer.

The customization that is supported is via a system of micro-templates referred to as macros. This system is so heavily nested and cross-referenced that it is very difficult to conceptualize how any given page is generated.

4.2 Software Issues in Digital Library

Software is the most important part of developing DL.“Greenstone” is digital library software used for building and distributing digital library assortments and issuing it on the Internet or any removable device. Created and distributed by the New Zealand Digital Library Project, it incorporates functions like metadata, full text explores and recovery, diversified linguistic support, support for various document formats and management. Greenstone is open-source software, issued under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The aim of the software is to build a digital library for empowering users in all level of institution mainly in university libraries, government libraries and other government and non-government public service institutions.

4.4 Digital Rights Management

Given the vulnerability of materials accessible over the public access networks like the Internet, issues of IPR of material over the digital domain has become a serious concern. Digital Rights Management involves ways in which the digital library operators manage issues of IPR, those of ownership of material made available on the digital library, how one controls access to as well as dissemination of copyrighted material. Several methods of managing digital rights do exist nowadays from which one could choose to adopt the more convenient one for their purposes. Examples include,

(i) charging a fee for the use of material as part of a copyright fee if that is mandatory,

(ii) Act as a middleman for other libraries so as not to get involved in these issues and to let the source organization deal with its IPR.

(iii) Holding restricted access to resources using user authentification method for those paid/registered users. This can be enabled using magnetic swipe cards, biometric methods or simple online security software that pops a username/password dialog box

(iv) Withholding original material and sending photocopies to the addresses. Of course, this works only at a local level and also for only an automated library that provides access to its catalo online and allows requests for materials to be sent.

(v) Using logos, logotypes as watermarks to protect source ownership of the materials.

Chapter 5
Digital Library in South Asia: a case study Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the countries who lead the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the world. Bangladesh, with 133 million people, is an impoverished country in South Asia and it embodies all of the above characteristics and difficulties of a developing country. According to USAID (2007) “The Government has placed a high priority on it, particularly at the primary school level. Although official education statistics are unreliable, substantial progress has been made over the last 20 years. Enrolments have increased, the gender balance has improved, and public spending on education has expanded.” Among those who enter primary school, only 76% complete it. It takes them an average of 6.6 years to do so. Six percent of children do not enrol, and 25% of those who do drop out. That means nearly 30% of Bangladeshi children do not have a primary school education.

5.1 The Bangladesh Scenario

It is a small country with large population. At present the literacy rate of Bangladesh in urban area is 63.36% (15+) and in rural area it is 48.93(15+) (BBS, 2001). Major educational & Research Institution, Office, Organization Banks & Insurance companies etc. have their own libraries. In Bangladesh, the first public library was established through a private initiative in 1851, whereas the first public library through a government initiative was established in 1954 (opened to public in 1958). As of today, a total of 68 government public libraries and a total of 2,000 non -government public libraries are accessible to the users in the country.

5.2. University libraries in Bangladesh

Almost every university (both public and private) of Bangladesh has libraries of different types. There are 77 university in Bangladesh among them 54 are private. There are 56 University level institutions in Bangladesh. All these universities or institutions have libraries of their own. They have collaboration and relationships with foreign universities. Beside these, there are about 2200 university colleges, institutes and colleges and 600 organizations, ministries, directories and institutions which conducts researches and posses libraries of different types.

University of Dhaka is the first university in the country, which is established in 1920-1922. The first University library was also established with this establishment. The first private university library was established with the establishment of North South University (NSU) in 1993.

Bangladesh is a developing country with a very poor socio-economic condition. In every sector, poverty takes the major dominant role. The government of Bangladesh has formulated National strategy for Accelerated Poverty (PRSP) in 2005 (extended up to June). Planning Commission is preparing another PRSP. This project is accompanied by other les developed countries and is working with full strength to meet the challenges of millennium development goals (MDG).

It has been revealed that education sector is the driving sector in every part of the development. In Bangladesh it needs urgent attention according to the Millennium Development Goals (Midterm Bangladesh Progress Report 2007). People should be provided with huge amount of information in every sector to get inspiration, awareness and concepts. And for the development of the education sector, digital library can play a very critical role here. Recognizing the importance, efforts are being given for developing digital libraries in all universities, banks, foreign organizations and Government offices.

In connection with that, publication of journals, literatures, audiovisuals, records in the Government offices etc. has already started to use digitization methods. Different dialogues, seminars are taking place for popularizing the concept and methods at national and international level.

5.3. Public Libraries

Public libraries are the library for general people and setup by either Government or Non Government Organization (NGO) and also run by the Government Officials or the NGO officials or representatives. According to the administrative and management point of view, two types of public libraries can be found in Bangladesh.

1. Government and

2. Non-government public libraries.

Problems of Public Libraries in Bangladesh: In Bangladesh there is most common problems we have found that are as follows

1. The main problem is lack of educated stuff or librarian and their training facilities are also very negligible

2. Also there is poor in of gratitude of the stipulation of libraries. These are also affect on library services in a social environment.

3. The librarians status are very poor

4. In Bangladesh it is believed that it has technical backwardness

5. Most of the librarians are unskilled and shy.

6. Government does not allocate that much fund to improve its quality

7. There is a deficient in of proper planning

8. The country is so small according to its population that’s why it has scarcity of space and equipments to build a good quality library.

9. There be short of co-operation among the libraries and lack of cooperative strength of mind among the librarians and other stuff

10. Officials do not know the standards for public libraries

11. Lack of consistency in the pay scales of similar stuff, Poor gradation and irrational structure

12. Either international cooperation has denied in this sector or government could not manage it.

Primary data analysis:

A survey has been conducted with the library user in Bangladesh to find a relation ship with some analysis. To find a relationship with above analysis the researcher has done a survey conducting with the library user in Bangladesh. Following are the results of the survey:

i) Age group:

Mostly young people who goes to college or university they use library frequently. Their ages are in between 19-25. Following shows the age group of the respondent.

Age group










ii) Education level:

Mainly in Bangladesh library users are student among them most of the respondent are reading in undergraduate level. They usually come to library for preparing their studies. Post graduate holders are mainly using their office library for preparing official works or own academic works. Following shows the percentages of level of education.

Educational Level


Below secondary level


Higher secondary Level


Under Graduate


Post Graduate


iii) Library using duration:

Most of the respondent usually spends below 1 hour in the library in a day. That is for mainly reading newspaper and magazine. Other people who usually spend more than one hour they come to prepare their lessons.

Time to spend in library (per day)


Below 1 hour








iv) Which library are they using:

Nearly half of the respondents are using their own institutional library. Also a good number of people are using the public library. The users not only come to read in public library but they came to visit the library and its adjacent area which is also a famous tourist spot and also known as a leisure place.

Which library you usually go


Own Institute library


Public library


Organization library


Other institution library


v) Reasons for going to library:

All the student respondents come to prepare their lesson in the library and they feel comfort to read in library because it is a quite place and all the readers are in reading mode that makes a perfect condition for reading room. So many readers come to read and collect novel and story book, so many of them come to reading newspaper. Few of the respondents who are doing research they come to collect their research material.

Reasons for going to library


For preparing lesson


For collecting novel or story book


For news paper reading


For research


For other cultural activity


vi) Problems of the libraries:

The main problems identified by the users denoted as they have to wait for the return copy because most of the time popular books does not have enough copy. Second problem is the books and other products are not well arranged, so it takes long time to get a specific book or other products. The third problem that they identified that the stuffs are not qualified to help and also they do not know which books or journals goes where. Following shows the problems of the ordinary libraries denoted by the respondents.

Problems of the libraries


Not sufficient books


Books and journal are not well arranged


Copy missed


I have to wait until other borrower’s return


Stuffs are not educated enough to help


It is far from my resident


It takes too long to search a copy


vii) Problems of getting digital library in Bangladesh:

Bangladesh is a country of struggling people, where every body is doing hard work but some of the natural disadvantages and huge amount of population of this country makes it country of fighter (against natural calamity) but country of happiness. In spite of lack of money the people of this country shows their height level of hospitality. But to build the entire infrastructure need money. In this case respondents are indicating the problem of fund to build the infrastructure. That also leads the problem of getting high speed internet facilities. … shows the peoples comments about the problem insisting to get the digital libraries.

Problems of getting digital library in Bangladesh


It will need enough money that we do not have


It will need well equipped infrastructure


It will need high speed internet facilities


It may charge that we may not afford


We do not know about this properly

5.4 Conclusion

The most neglected field in Bangladesh is the library from the very beginning of library movement in Bangladesh. The librarian are not getting good support from the government for this reason, they are not active in their field. These problems hold back the regular development of libraries in Bangladesh. And also it should be mentioned that, these problems are not so serious that they cannot be resolved.

Chapter 6
Results and DiscussionS

6.1 Digital library development issues in developing countries:

There are umpteen numbers of problems for the Digital Library development in the developing countries. Some of the prominent and predominant among them include the following:

i. Lack of proper Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Digital Libraries demand cutting edge IT and Communication infrastructure such as:

a. High end and powerful Servers; Structured LAN with Broadband Intranet facilities, ideally optical fibre based Gigabit networks;

b. Required number of Workstations capable of providing online information services, computing and multimedia applications;

c. Internet connectivity with sufficient bandwidth, capable of meeting the informational and computational requirement of the user community. There are many more related facilities / services which are highly essential in an ideal digital library environment. It is observed that the ICT infrastructure in most of the Institutions / Organizations, barring exceptions, is not up to the desired level so as to run advanced digital library services to the optimum level.

ii. Lack of ICT Strategies and Policies: A vast majority of the libraries and the governing body do not have laid down policies on ICT panning and strategies to meet the challenges posed by the technology push, the information overload, as well as the demand pull from the users.

iii. Lack of Technical Skills: The Human Resources available in the libraries need time-to-time professional enrichment inputs and rigorous training on the latest technologies which are playing around in the new information environment. The kind of training programmes being imparted in developing countries at the moment is not able to meet the demand in terms of quantity as well as quality.

iv. Management Support for the provision of world class information systems, resources and services the libraries need the wholehearted support from the respective management. Institutional support in terms of proper funding, human resources and IT skills enrichment are prerequisites for the development and maintenance of state-of-art digital library systems and services.

v. Copyright / IPR Issues of copyright, intellectual property, and fair use concerns are posing unprecedented array of problems to the libraries and librarians are struggling to cope with all these related issues in the new digital information environment.

vi. Lack of sufficient funding Building and managing digital libraries involves huge financial resources. The budget allocation of most of the university libraries is not sufficient for the digital library research and development. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent on digital library research and development activities throughout the world. Digitizing the existing library materials also involves a huge expenditure.

vii. Software Development Large academic libraries may be able to develop their own software, perhaps in collaboration with university researchers and IT departments. But many libraries do not have the resources to build a complete solution, and a comprehensive commercial solution is often too expensive. Moreover, due to the various and expanding content and services, no single product can meet all the requirements of even a basic function of a digital library (Lund, 2001)

viii. Organization of collection Digital libraries is organized collections of information. Downloading information from the web and organizing them into focused collections and making the material more useful to others is a prime application area for digital libraries.

ix. Illegal and harmful materials Web information is a big portion of any digital library and some material in the web is illegal and harmful and clearly inappropriate for public presentation. Violence and pornography are two major issues in this aspect. It is difficult for our academic libraries to prevent the usages of those materials.

x. Cultural sensitivity Most digital information are produced by people from European and North American backgrounds, yet the majority of people in the world live in countries that have a different culture than them (Witten and Bainbridge, 2003).

6.2. SWOT analysis for prospect of digital library in developing country.



Historic Walled nation of achieving need

Huge number of worker;

United with the same socio economic group;

Proximity to Giant’s Causeway and Donegal;

Recent and current investment on telecommunication;

Good number of engineer and library science graduate.

Corruption in government sector;

Lack of fund;

Mixed marketing message;

Low income people ;

Lack of identification and welcome



The ability of the area to do any job with proper guidance by providing appropriate services in order to compete effectively with established country;

The overall level of popularity and demand from people ;

the level of political stability and perceived level of utilizing the fund;

6.3 Limitations of the study

The study will be restricted by a number of factors. Firstly, the research shall be limited only in a small area and with few libraries. Secondly, sample size is very small. There can be some reservations such as:

· The interview system can be dropped by person at any time.

· The collecting data might not be reliable.

· There are some costs to take interviews which can affect in collecting data.

· The methodology might not be perfect in this research.

6.4. Conclusions

Digital libraries are widen up the uses of modern days technology in a direction of social reformation by which it can be minimize a possible threat towards the commercialization of information that is practiced by the entertainment industries. These all are because of letting all the nation of the world is creating and broadcasting large information collections. When we concern about the developing world digital libraries may demonstrate to be an “exterminator app” for computer technology which is an appliance that makes an unremitting market for a showing potential but under-utilized technology. But dejectedly stated that the Internet does not really expand to developing countries, and the corresponding developing world is misplaced out on the atypical amount of basic, day after day all the information that the Web makes available and its giant persuade on promoting and internationalizing business opportunities. Very few inducements to create copies of the complete Web available locally for the reason that of its enormous size, fast change, and uncertain information value per gigabyte. Nevertheless, in exactly the same form, it is simple to deliver information collections on both the Web and, on removable media such as DVD or CD-ROM, indeed, the Greenstone software and other library software illustrated above allows one to create a complete, run able, self-installing can be done by only few mouse clicks.


Any (2005) Evolution of virtual libraries in Nigeria:myth or reality? Journal of Information Science Volume 31,Issue 1 (February 2005) table of contents Pages: 67 – 702005 ISSN: 0165-5515

Arms. W (2000): Digital Libraries. MIT Press. 2000.

Ashcroft, L. and Watts (2004) ICT Skills for Information Professionals in Developing Countries: Perspective from a Study of the Electronic Information Environment in Nigeria. Retrieved on 11/30/2006 from https://www/

Bernie Hurley, 2002) the Director for Library Technologies at U.C.Berkeley. Quoted in Digital library technology trends. Sun Microsystems. August 2002)

Fabunmi B.A. (2009) Challenges and Prospects of Virtual Libraries in Universities in Nigeria Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria European Journal of Scientific Research ISSN 1450-216X Vol.33 No.1 (2009), pp.202-208

Fielding, R., J. Gettys, J. Mogul, H. Frystyk, L. Masinter, P. Leach, and T. Berners-Lee. (1999). RFC2616: Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP 1.1, Network Working Group, June 1999. Available <>.

Greenstone library (accessed on 2009) https://digital library-software

Harter. S.P. (1997): Scholarly communication and the digital library: Problems and issues. Stephen P. Harter. (Journal of Digital Information. 1, 1; 1997)

Ian H. Witten, et al (accessed on 2009): The Promise of Digital Libraries in Developing Countries…/01IHW-ML-MF-DB-PromiseDL.pdf

ISO. (1994). ISO/IEC 7498-1:1994, Open Systems Interconnection Basic Reference Model: The Basic Model, International Organization for Standardization.

Jeevan V. K. J. (2004) Digital library development: identifying sources of content for developing countries with special reference to India. Science direct. Elsevier Ltd. 2004.

Khan.J.I. (2006) Technical Report 2006-02-02 Internetworking and Media Communications Research Laboratories Department of Computer Science, Kent State University

Lagos, C. and J. R. Davis. (1995). “Dienst – An Architecture for Distributed Document Libraries”, in Communications of the ACM, Vol 38, No 4, p. 47.

Lesk. M. (1997): Practical Digital Libraries. Morgan Kaufmann. 1997.

NHSE. (2001). Repository-in-a-Box. Website <>.

Optic. (2001). E-Prints. Website <>.

Sheffrin. S.M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp.471. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.

Sun Microsystems. ( 2002) : The Director for Library Technologies at U.C.Berkeley. Quoted in Digital library technology trends. Sun Microsystems. August 2002)

USAID (2007) Country report :Bangladesh, United States Agency for International Development, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Wikipedia 2009, Greenstein, Daniel I., Thorin, Suzanne Elizabeth. The Digital Library: A Biography. Digital Library Federation (2002) ISBN 1933645180. Accessed June 25, 2007.

WittenIan H. and Bainbridge. D (2003):. How to build a digital library. Morgan Kaufman Publishers, 2003. (page 6) WTO 2009…/2009_list_of_developing_countrie s%5b1%5d.pdf

Survey Questionnaire


1. Name:……………………………………………………………………………………………

2. Age :……………………………………………………………………………………………..

3. Education:……………………………………………………………………………………..

4. Occupation:…………………………………………………………………………………..

5. Time to spend in lesson or education per week……………Min/…………..Hour

6. Time to spend in library per week:……………………………..Min/…………..Hour

7. Which library you usually go.

i) Own Institute library

ii) Public library

iii) Organization library

iv) Other institution library

8. Highest distance you travel to go to library………………………………………

9. Reasons to go to library

i) For preparing lesson

ii) For collecting novel or story book

iii) For news paper reading

iv) For research

v) For other cultural activity

vi) For just to visit because its a quite place

10. Are you happy with the service provided by the library……Yes/No/Do not know

11. What are the problems of the library

i) Not sufficient books

ii) Books and journal are not well arranged

iii) Copy missed

iv) I have to wait until other borrower’s return

v) Stuffs are not educated enough to help

vi) It is far from my resident

vii) It takes too long to search a copy

12. Do you know anything about digital library?


13. If yes did you use it before?…..Yes/No

14. It yes what is the name of the digital library?………………………………………….

15. How did you fell to use it?……………………………………………………………………

16. Do you think we need digital library consortium?…………………………………….

17. What do you think about the constrains of getting digital library?

i) It will need enough money that we do not have

ii) It will need well equipped infrastructure

iii) It will need high speed internet facilities

iv) It may charge that we may not afford

v) We do not know about this properly

18. How do you think we can solve the problem?

i) Collecting money form the users

ii) Take loan from the donor agency

iii) Improving the ability of the technical people

iv) Taking initiative and commitment to finish the work

v) People awareness about the facilities of digital library

vi) Government budget allocation on this aspect

19. Do you think is it possible to establish digital library in Bangladesh?….yes/no

20. If yes how long it will take ?……………………………………………………………………

Important Websites

Indian libray who have DL

• ‘Archives of Indian Labour’ at the V.V. Giri Institute of Labour

( jnu.htm)

• Indian Institute of Science NCSI (

• Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (

• Search Digital Library SDL at DRTC Bangalore (

• Nalanda Digital library, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Calicut


• Vidyanidhi Project (

• Million Book Universal Digital library Project – Carnegie Mellon – IISc – ERNET


• India Gandhi Centre for the ARTS (IGNCA Digital Library) -(

• INDEST, Ministry of HRD, GOI (

• National Tuberculoses Institute (NTI), Bangalore (

• Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka (RGUHS)

• Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) –


• Indian School of Business (

• Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur


• Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (

• IITMK Trivandrum (

• National Chemical Laboratory (NCL, CSIR) – Digital Repository – (

• University of Hyderabad (


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