Role of Academic Libraries in Integrating National Development a Qualitative Study on Sri Lankan Context
Wijesekara, Pearl K.
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Academic libraries have the duties and privileges in countries' development by its multiple services delivered to the nation concerned. Earlier role of libraries was only providing information and help to retrieve information. Now the system of delivery of information and scope as well are being expanded. Even a man in the street is able to deliver information and retrieve information using electronic devices. At the same time, libraries have also expanded their systems amongst the ICT environment. Libraries are functioning as a cultural hub, as museum for preserving knowledge, outreach programme centre, social agency for integration and the like. But are these functions adequate and helpful to national development. While considering Sri Lankan academic libraries, it is inadequate compare to other developed countries. It is essential to see libraries' contribution to national development and find the ways to expand its services in integrating national development. Three objectives are designed as; to reveal whether academic libraries render services towards national development in Sri Lanka, to find the problem of inadequate services towards national development and to propose the possibility of new functions in order to facilitate national development. Qualitative research design is employed to conduct the study. No sampling techniques were employed as all librarians of the academic libraries are taken for collecting primary data. As a tool in-depth interview was applied. Primary and secondary data are manually analyzed using qualitative data analyzing method. It was found that academic libraries are mostly function and deliver services according to the circulars and ordinances of the governing bodies concerned. They don't directly to support for national development. The problem is that the assigned task is only satisfied by the librarians. Hence, it is vital to change the duties of the libraries by the governing body to deliver their duties directly towards national development in addition to the existing service. To achieve this task, the top management and governing body have to have wide discussion and do change in the existing system. This will bring changes in national development of the country as the libraries are considered as the core for all spheres of functions.
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