UGC Digital Library Operation Manual
The emergence and dynamic growth of new technologies, particularly the Internet and the World Wide Web (www) have brought drastic changes in the creation, acquisition, organization, storage and delivery of information. Books, journals and other reading materials are now available in digital or electronic format. The proliferation of web-based full-text online resources has forced libraries and information providers to develop digital collections. In fact, e-resources have become an increasingly important component of building collection of modern libraries. University and research libraries are not aloof from this trend; rather these libraries, as learning hub of higher academic and research institutions, are always at the forefront of the adoption of latest innovations in managing and providing user-centred information services.
A number of digital library initiatives have been made so far in Bangladesh with a view to provide their users with access to a large number of scholarly electronic resources. The libraries, however, are facing a number of unique challenges including poor Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and the high cost associated with procurement, organization, management and dissemination of electronic resources. The University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh formed UGC Digital Library (UDL) in June 2012. UDL is hosted by the UGC of Bangladesh and is largely funded by the World Bank’s Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP). The main objective of the UDL is to build a consortium of the universities of Bangladesh (both public and private) under the umbrella of UGC and to support teaching, learning and research by facilitating online access to a high-quality and scholarly electronic resources to all member universities at substantially lower rates of subscription.
A consortium-based e-resources procurement and management requires some basic guidelines. The UGC Digital Library Operations Manual would provide guidelines for the staff of both UDL and member institutes/libraries of how to operate and maintain the consortia-owned electronic resources. Specifically, the manual would serve as a guide to the overall policies and procedures of UDL; a tool for staff members of UDL and participating libraries in the selection, procurement, management and services of e-resources; a training tool for new staff members in dealing with e-resources under consortia; a reference guide for librarians and information professionals around the world in choosing appropriate electronic resources, their subscription process including terms and conditions of agreement, negotiation, licensing, review/renewals, etc.; and a mechanism for reviewing and refining UDL’s current policies and procedures.