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As the education facilitators and students delve deeper into the realms of online education, digital libraries are taking a center stage. Education and reading go hand in hand, and when schools succeed in cultivating reading habits at the core of education among the students, an epitome of academic success can be reached. Therefore, libraries should become an integral part of students’ life and in this digital age, digital libraries or eLibraries take the place of physical libraries. But, with the increasing pressure on the educators to not only learn but ace digital education, it becomes difficult to set up an eLibrary for the schools.   

eLibrary and Its Expanse  

Digital libraries may sound tedious for some, but it is unlike its misconception, very simple, user friendly and made to make learning easy. The features of the digital library not only make accessibility of resources easier but promotes a habit of learning. Its interactive tools encourage the readers to keep coming back to reading. The resources match up with the interest of the users and thus make learning online a game-changer in the education sector. For education to move forward smoothly, books or study materials must match the students’ interests, and the digital library successfully does this with its many amazing features.   

Why Do Schools Need a Digital Library When Everything is Available Online?  

Yes, the internet indeed offers an exhaustive range of reading materials all for free for reading. However, it is not a complete or organized reading system that has inbuilt features that facilitate learning. It does give you the right exposure as it is not made to pull relevant and premium books that one should read for studying a subject. The search engines are only trained to crawl through the database and present information that is nearly relevant to what you are searching for. However, digital libraries are built to offer course relevant premium as well as free or informative materials for reading. Digital Libraries help students access educational books that adhere to the syllabus and read and re-read them for study. This is why digital libraries are booking. Moreover, they will soon dominate the literary space by fulfilling its aim of making education accessible to all.   

So, it is no more a mystery or a secret that digital libraries are booming and educational institutions should embrace the change. Many institutions, schools, colleges, and universities already have their digital libraries up and running. It won’t be much late when every school in any part of the world will have students reading and learning in digital libraries.   

Can Schools Set-up an eLibrary of their own?  

Yes, schools can very well have their on-premise digital library. But, for the schools to have a digital library on-premise, they have to take many efforts and spend a good deal of money. Any school can have this set-up lately, provided they are aware of the digital library must-haves and the cost affordability. Find out more about digital library must-have tools here.  

Here’s a detailed account of how to set up an eLibrary for schools.  

Infrastructure  

Unlike physical libraries, eLibraries have a different digital infrastructure that cannot be done by regular library professionals. The technology behind developing a digital library is too specialized for the librarians or any layman for that matter. The main requirement of setting up a digital library is relevant and quality content and accessibility to the relevant audience. In other words, providing the right content to the right user at the right time is the aim of the library and it should be developed by beginning from this perspective. Moreover, the information or the content should not be fragile and be able to bear the brunt of time. To put it simply. Digital library not only makes reading materials available online but preserve them for time immemorial.   

Easy User Interphase  

The next important aspect of the interphase is the user interphase. It should be designed from a reader’s perspective so that they find it easy to use and also get what they want at a fraction of a second. The format of the information should be easy to access and understand. These could be attained only with necessary technology links and well-built infrastructure.   

Audience Relevant content  

The information acquired, gathered, stored, retrieved or disseminated in the action of the digital library must be so relevant to the user, so that the information can find its user in a short period. So, there cannot be obstacles or delays in presenting the information that is being searched.   

Time-Saving  

The searching tool should be able to pull out the relevant results in a matter of seconds. For this, the qualitative index pattern must be used for framing keywords, search techniques must be easy, in such a way that the layman can easily retrieve information and the database must be regularly updated.  

The infrastructure of the e-Library for schools should be with the following perspectives at the core of the process:

  1. Ideology, Data Collection, Manuscript Creation, Literature Search  
  2. Acquisition  
  3. Cataloguing and Indexing  
  4. Preservation  
  5. Access  

So, the schools have to take all these into account and have a core team of experts to build the digital library infrastructure for them.   

Encryption and Security  

Some of the books are not available for reading online, these books need to be encrypted in a digital library. Encryption as we know is putting security to prevent any misuse of important resources. This is another important aspect of setting up a digital library that the schools have to take care of at regular intervals and keep updating their security. The publishers that publish these course books also ensure the security of the books with the help of intellectual property rights, IPR. In this aspect, encryption and security are vital aspects to take care of for legit e-libraries.   

Administration  

Digital Library management is different from physical library management. Here the librarian is tasked to play a dynamic role in facilitating easy access to electronic information. This could include abstracts, indexes, databases, sound and video recording in digital formats. Thus, the administrators of the digital library must strike a balanced combination of knowledge and skills.  

All these together make digital libraries on-premise for the schools a highly expensive deal. The schools not only have to put in labour charge, professionals charge but the infrastructure cost and also the continued cost of updating and securing the library on-premise.   

There Is a Better Solution with Mintbook  

Mintbook digital library for schools saves them all the hustle plus the cost of infrastructure, security and administration combined. It is an exhaustive library for schools that not only makes learning a joy ride for students but an easy set-up for schools. With a minimal subscription, the schools get the course-relevant library of eBooks and interactive resources that a student can easily access and can benefit hugely. The Mintbook digital library is packed with a pre-loaded school curriculum, competitive exam preparations, mock tests, Simulations, dictionaries, tech camps, DIY, Science Hacks and much more. So, the schools taking their first step in digital education should put the digital library by Mintbook on top of their list.   

Palak Arora

Palak Arora

I am a techie by heart and profession. Love to write on the cloud, digital, and edu-tech. A True Blue Bangalorean

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