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NECOLIB Offers Demo on Koha Serials Control Module
1. E Learning Why, What and How2. E-Courseware : An overview3. E-Content Creation using Open Platform4. Creating Online Course synchronous with syllabus5. Registration of students & enrollment to specific course6. Uploading Study material in course (pdf, text, audio, video)7. Assignment Management
Assistant Professor (Physics)Assam University, Silchar
Apurba J Majumder
Assam University, Silchar
Purpose: The growing information needs of users because of inter-disciplinary nature of research, availability of documents in various formats, ever-increasing prices and inadequate budget have made financial management of the library a challenging task. The basic motive of this study is to evaluate various aspects of resource mobilisation and avenues of revenue generation by a university library. It aims to consider the various factors of fund generation to sustain in the curb of recession in libraries. The study also tries to suggest some important areas for proper access and optimum use of library resources, which will help the library to minimise the library budget and subsequently helping in revenue earning.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The study was initiated with consulting existing research documents on various areas of revenue generation, fund and resource mobilisation by a library. The researcher also tried to collect first hand data by sharing experience of senior library professionals. The various pros and cons also taken into consideration while making the inference.
Research Objective: Today financial resources are decreasing but specialization in various disciplines and emergence of new and inter disciplinary area of research has increased the complexity and tremendous pressure of users for better and quality services and resources are creating a tremendous pressure on librarians. This study is an effort to raise the issue and stimulate the library professions, how they can re-use strategically the available assets to earn some additional revenue for the library. Of course, the emerging new technologies and methods of management need to be considered more for the purpose of the study.
Findings: The study was an attempt to make an idea to propose the income avenues for university libraries. As the university library is non-profit organization that do not have any income of their own except the library fees and fines received from the student, it should always be kept in consideration that the present day's scenario of prices, service remunerations and programmes under operation should have relation with assistance allocation. This study can serve as a basic standard to the Library & Information Professionals to help themselves and the parent authority to sustain the challenge of fund crisis in the university library.
Originality/value – it is expected that the study will provide a useful podium for further research as well as usability among all type of libraries to be improved.
Keywords: Revenue generation, library resource mobilisation, library fund generation, Library recession, Re-engineering
Type: Proposal, Feasibility Study.
The economic recession has hit all sectors of our life as well as in the education sector. The education and research budget is shrinking day by day and consequently the library budget is also diminishing. Librarians are finding it tough to cope up with the requirement of the growing users with limited budget along with the overflow of information. Even, the funding agencies are also suggesting to generate own resources by academic bodies. As per the current trends Library is one of the softest areas which is on top priority in terms of curtailment by the authority whenever there is a fund crunch.
The university library is one of the major academic part and a good amount is spent for smooth running of the library by purchasing books and subscribing to the different journals for the users. The fund flow of the library must be seamless to maintain the good academic environment and also cater the need of the users with current and up-to-date resources as the main aim of the library is to satisfy their users needs. The modern day users want their documents to be in multiple formats, mostly electronic with remote access of the documents. The age old concept of printed book is accompanying with electronic documents and modern ICT enabled library services has to serve with the users to sustain in the modern IT trends with the recession. However, since last several years, the fund flow towards library has slowed down and the library administration has to face several difficulties in accommodating the services within that fund. As the Govt. funding is drying up gradually and UGC as well as University has no proper guidelines for yearly growth of collection development policy, minimum library services, the libraries must trace out ways to self-financing techniques to keep the services smooth running. Its need to be kept in mind that it is not advisable to stop users’ services for the want of funds. Therefore, the only option left is to mobilise existing library resources and up to date services with some revenue generation concept.
The university library derives funds through the university whose sources of financial support is government grants, student fees, private contributions and gifts, endowments, etc. The main and major part of source of funds is government grants and student fees, which account for about 90% of the total revenue of each university. The Govt of India as per its new IT and Academic policy emphasis more on e-resources subscription via consortia mode and too open access. The Cost vs Access analysis of the university libraries is not convincing due to various reasons need to study in other ways. But as the major fault planning is not comprehensive and in consortia mode the diversified resources are not properly used.
2. Literature search:
Resource mobilization is one of the important activities that will enable libraries to effectively utilize the available resources for effective provision of library and information service. ( Jilovsky, 2001)
The need to serve more and diverse functions has often brought pressure upon libraries and librarians to become more efficient and to find additional resources. The growing importance of fund-raising in libraries is evidenced by the increasing number of professional positions on library staff as well as development staff in academic institutions that are devoted to library fund-raising. (Burlingame, 1994)
Universities organize their fund-raising efforts in three basic ways—centralized, decentralized, and a combination of the two. The centralized development structure plans and executes the university’s fund-raising efforts from one office. Professional fund-raisers report directly to and are paid for by that office although they may work for one or more colleges, including the library. Decentralized development consists of constituent fundraisers who work in and report directly to a college or unit. They are hired and funded by the college or unit. At most public universities combinations of centralized and decentralized are the norm, with more decentralization emerging as the expectations and intensity of fundraising increases. (Dewey, 2006)
Basically, resource mobilization means-exhausting potential sources of assistance to finance a project or an activity. It is a process of developing, generating, and managing funds, information, goods, services, people and institutions to provide support to certain development. Proper and efficient resource generation strategies are essential and prerequisites to the development of library resource mobilization strategies. Resource mobilization is an entirely different set of functions that requires a different set of skills and capacities which college library must put effort on capacity building activities for its concerned officials and its library personnel. (Joute, 2014)
3. Conventional Sources of Fund:
3.1. Parent body: Funds received from the university budget form an important source of revenue for the libraries. In general, the library will not be concerned with the sources of university income, since it will receive the greater part of its own income from the university itself The University libraries get financial support from the universities out of their own funds and this fluids may be made directly to the library. UGC since its inception recognized the importance of University libraries and gave top priority for their development in the Five Year Plans. Besides providing financial assistance for books, building etc it provide leadership and forum for planning, discussion and action. (Patil, 2011)
3.2. Library fee: Libraries usually render their services on a non-profit basis. It is debatable that libraries can charge for their services, as charge on traditional services may deter use of library. Any fund generation from fee-based services is only restricted to only new services and the fund so generated should be considered as a supplementary fund. Normally, such (limited) funds are added to the general fund of the parent organisation for allocation through normal budgeting procedure.
3.3. Overdue fines: This is always a regular source of funds. Though imposing fine on users sometimes objectionable, but this is also mandatory to maintain the regular book in-out and book circulation and access to maximum users. However, nominal overdue charges (library fine), recovery charges for not returned books and charges for duplicate cards, etc. are well accepted in most circumstances.
4. Non-Conventional mode of earning:
It is not a very easy task to supplement the regular income source with an additional mobilised fund. The planning and execution must be very accurate and with proper vision. Initially, any new system will face objection from the system and the librarian has to take the challenge. Once the authority get convinced with the system of inflow of funds, the image of the Library & Librarian will grow eventually. The following are few prospects where a modern day university library may earn additional sum of money along with regular endowment fund from parent organisation.
4.1. Advanced Academic Service: The University library may offer some information service, referencing service, notes for the examination on payment basis for its students, faculty members or off campus academicians. The research scholars and faculty members are regular in need of such services and the library may out of the course of regular service may plan to start such services for the user and even extended to affiliated colleges and nearby academic institutes. The Printing and Photocopying services may be made available in the library, which in turn helps the library to generate some funds. The most important thing is that, this source is regular and also raise the status of the library in terms of service delivery. Increased use of a particular service and changed need among users provide clue for new services. Hence the primary motive of fee-based new services should not be generating profit or fund but gaining these intangible benefits.
4.2. Academic Program in distance learning mode: Library may offer some of the very popular professional courses like PGDLAN, PGDLIM under Distance Education, with practical exposure to Library Automation Practice. In India, only a few universities offer such courses viz University of Hyderabad, Punjab University, IGNOU, TISS, Mumbai etc. The courses are one year duration (two semesters). In most of the universities, the courses are run by Central Library where Dept of LIS does not exist (UOH). Library may also offer Certificate, Diploma in Library Science. The advantage of these courses is that the students can learn . Even, the library can offer training for NET/Set examination on payment basis.
4.3. Short term Training Courses: Library may organise short term training courses on Library Management, Open Source Library Software (Digital Library Softwares, Library management software, CMS, OJS etc ). These types of programs are a good source for fund where expenditure is limited for organising the program. The central library may plan a year-long schedule. For this purpose, the hostel facility may be offered during vacations. These courses are very popular and are a good source of revenue. The Library may show the implementation steps to the participants and also practical knowledge will be imparted. The training of library staff who do not have basic library science background may also be organised by offering them to learn the library operations as hands on practice at university libraries. Inflibnet, Niscair etc are regularly offering library related courses.
4.4. Library Consultancy: The central Library may start paid consultancy for other libraries regarding library building planning, starting a new service, library automation, designing and establishing digital library, in-house training for library staff etc. This can became the major source of income for a librarian as well as the parent organisation. Even NAAC, NIRF, UGC also offers credit to the library & library staff offering consultancy service. The private service providers are earning huge money offering technical support services. Similarly, University libraries can also offer such payment based services to affiliated college library and other community libraries of the locality. In India NISCAIR, DELNET etc are offering such services and earning a handsome amount through this process. The library officers / senior professionals may also be deputed for conducting training at various academic institutes, affiliated colleges etc to train their library staff.
4.5. Digital archive for affiliated colleges: Most of the universities have digital library hosted in their servers. In this way, the digital library of affiliated colleges, private academic institutes can be hosted at University Library IDR Server (Dspace) with annual payment basis. Most of the colleges do not have sufficient funds and staff to establish and maintain their own repository. The space can be offered on lease [cloud services] which can be a major source of funds. The annual maintenance fee will also be an additional funding source. Even the Web-OPAC of colleges can also be hosted by Central Library.
4.6. Special Library Membership: University Library in intended to cater the regular users of that university including Staff, Student & Scholars. Generally, a university library offers complimentary access to other outside academicians for 1-2 days as a casual visitor. But, for prolonged and dedicated use of the library, associate membership for off campus academicians against payment of membership fee. A good number of visitors including faculty members and research scholars from other universities visit the university library regular basis to access the resources. Individual and Institutional membership may be offered.The paid access of subscribed E-resources can also be offered on hourly / per download basis along with printing facility.
4.7. Selling bibliographic Data: The library book database [available in online format] for local language books can be sold, as database for Indian Languages etc books are not readily available. The library data entry for retrospective conversion or regular database update is a huge task and in a college libraries it's to be done by the librarian himself The central library can even think of establishing an Z39.5 server for union catalogue of Libraries.
4.8. Selling old items: These is a good number of books available in our library, which are no longer being used by students due to out of syllabus or old edition. They may have been categorised as Passive Collection and later may be weeded out following the Govt norms. The library may plan to sell them at reduced cost to the general public and other libraries. IIT s are practising such procedure. Old newspaper, waste paper selling also gets little amount of fund.
Our prime duty is to provide services to the users. No doubt, regular budget flow is a major force for libraries to be run, but librarians also has to find ways to help the organisation also to manage the lowered rate of fund flow. The above points are just a guideline. The points to be analysed properly and feasibility study to be done before implementation. Long term planning is required and proper promotion/Advertisement is required for successful and quality output.
Fee-based new services are not only required to be carefully and strategically planned, avoiding duplicating local services or competing with other local information systems but also promoted with appropriate marketing methods. Pricing of these services is a tricky issue as professional research time, local interlibrary loan and document copying, verification of citation information, translation and other documentation services, copyright charges, taxes and tariffs, staff time, etc., are involved. In addition to extensive marketing and pricing structure, care should be taken not to violate lease agreements, licenses and copyright restrictions, service tax, etc.
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Date of Publish: 05-06-2020