The wave of digitalization that began in the West has reached India, and it has done that with a bang. The spread of the Covid pandemic accelerated this development in the digital revolution, with schools, universities, research organizations and offices all shifting online. Now, distant and remote learning and working has become a reality. Almost all users of libraries, from students and researchers to casual readers are working from home and accessing resources online. This gives a lot of impetus to archival digitalization, or the conversion of manuscripts, research material and books online. It seems now that the future of India, like the world, is digital libraries and that physical libraries will turn into monuments and museums of erstwhile learning. Here’s what the future of digital libraries in India hope for us.

Removes the necessity for preservation

One of the major limitations of physical archives is the need for their preservation, and digitalization annihilates exactly that. This means that, when age old manuscripts are retrieved by literary historians, they aren’t exactly available in the best state. They might be torn, separated, with missing pages or otherwise. Even when literary historians assemble them in the best way possible, it is a task to keep them intact for years to come, without any of the material getting lost. If a transferring the data on to a computer an save the hassle, more efforts could be spent in the retrieval of other missing pieces.

Digital Libraries: Future Of Digital Libraries In India
Digital Libraries: Future Of Digital Libraries In India (Image 1)

Multimedia documents will become available

Archives are necessarily unimodal – they make use of printed or handwritten works. But with digitization of manuscripts, a multimedia format is usable, which would make understanding and comprehension much easier. For example, a book could use videos, audio, photography painting and words all in one. This allows the compiling of essential multimodal knowledge in one place. And this is exactly what future students and researchers will require, as the amount of information keeps accumulating. Having relevant work assembled in a single place will be a huge asset.

With digital libraries remote accessibility is possible

Perhaps the best thing about digital resources is that they are accessible to anyone over the world. The internet is a place where everyone in the world can virtually be present at the same time – it allows for the unification of the world. This is a huge advantage. Researches all across crib that they cannot have access to all the knowledge they need at once. This is because a single library cannot contain all the information required. Researchers would save a lot of time and effort if only a digital archive contained all information in every library of the world. There would be no hunt across places for information or libraries that have material you need. Indeed, via a digital archive, you would be able to access any material in any part of the world. We could eliminate the dispersal of information due to its physicality.

Development in technology enables circulation control

The future of libraries holds digitalization because advances in technology will presumably remove the limitations of digitization in the present day. Basically, today, it is a hassle to keep track of who’s accessing online and what purpose they’re using information for. Issues related to copyrights and intellectual property ensue. This is a huge drawback of not being able to accurately track the volume of activity. However, in the near future, it seems probably that this tracking will be easier due to developments in technology. In that case, control of circulation would be a cakewalk.

Digital Libraries: Future Of Digital Libraries In India
Digital Libraries: Future Of Digital Libraries In India (Image 2)

It aids referencing

One of the best parts about digital libraries is that it makes referencing super easy. This means that people quoting bibliographies can simply insert a link to the digital library. Then, people reading it can easily go to the link and access the material. The whole process of finding physical material, citing it, waiting for readers (from across the world) to access it becomes a whole lot simpler.

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