The Role Of Digital Library in Modern Education

Digital libraries are now an integral part of education, particularly in universities and colleges. The biggest advantage of a digital library is that they allow us to access assistance from sites such as as information and technology comes together. As stated by Charles Ross, a writing expert at Affordable Papers which offers cheap essay services: ‘The beauty of this is that it enables students to access information and relevant content from anywhere for their academic writing.’ It is clear to see therefore that the biggest plus point of this is that this means physical barriers can be eradicated. This is simply one positive of digital libraries in modern education and below we will take a look at the role of digital libraries as well as the other reasons why teachers and parents should encourage the use of digital libraries for all learners.

Digital Libraries explained

Before we take a look at the role and advantages of a digital library, we will outline what a digital library actually is. The best way to view a digital library is to see it as a collection of information.  This information can include papers, books, articles, video, images, and even sound files which are available electronically. These resources are organized and available online. The advantage of a digital library VS something similar to a CD-ROM of information is that a digital library can be frequently updated. Around the world, many educational establishments have started the job of moving all books, textbooks, and physical educational material to electronic versions. Therefore, this digital information can now often be found in a PDF format or may be available in HTML. This means that the information can still be printed if required.

We will now take a look at the role of the digital library in modern education and the clear benefits they have.

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Quick and easy access to content

Providing that you have a connection to the internet, it is possible to access a digital library at any moment in time and from anywhere. All that is required is a device such as a laptop, smartphone, or even a tablet. The biggest advantage of this is that students are able to access online videos, images, and books at the click of the button and do not have to wait to go to the traditional library.   Ultimately, this means students are able to access any information that they need instantly, whether they are at home or at school.

Digital libraries make it easier to retrieve information

There are lots of different search features that have been developed for digital libraries, for example, truncation, proximity operators, and boolean. All of these help towards accessing data and information. Search engine technology has also made it easy for anyone to use a digital library, even if they are not up to date with technology. As the information stored in digital libraries continues to grow, the sophistication of these search features also continues to develop.

Digital libraries offer more choice

A digital library can provide students access to a wide range of content, to the point where there are in fact too many resources to choose from. The biggest issue of a traditional library is that they require space, which is taken up by books etc. In a physical library, people also have to walk around looking for what they require. The advantage of a digital library, therefore, is that cloud storage and the internet eradicates this issue and subsequently opens up easier access to more information, enhancing a student’s learning. Students can also share any content or knowledge that they locate online with their peers, which improves education for all.

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Digital libraries prevent damage and deterioration

When things such as audio recordings and books can be stored digitally, the issue related to damage and deterioration is resolved. In the past, vinyl records or cassette tapes may have been used by thousands of students which leaves them susceptible to damage. The same goes for fragile documents or photographs which again could be damaged when they pass through many hands. Now that we can digitize these materials, students can access whatever they need in digital format i.e. online textbooks, digital imagery, or MP3s, without the worry of damage or deterioration.

Digital libraries help to store a legacy for future generations

If we consider the Scientific Society, for example, a digital library acts as a storage device for all the research data, findings, and information that they have collated. In the past, there was always the worry that this information may get lost or even destroyed. So, thankfully now, the digital library enables copies of any research or studies to be protected and stored so that a legacy of information can be safely kept for future generations.

The shortcomings of digital libraries

Although it is clear to see the role of the digital library in modern education and the benefit they bring, there are some disadvantages of the digital library. Below we will take a look at some of these:

  • Initial cost. The cost of the infrastructure of a digital library i.e. the hardware and the software is high.
  • The environment. Many of us still prefer to read print on paper as opposed to a screen, so a digital library cannot recreate the environment which we associate with a traditional library.
  • Difficulty locating information. As there is more information available in a digital library, this can actually be a disadvantage. It can make it harder to locate the exact material that you are looking for when there is more information to work through.
  • Bandwidth. Digital libraries need high bandwidth in order to send the information required. However, over-usage is affecting bandwidth which means it continues to decrease each day.
  • Access speed. Each day, more and more people connect to the internet and the side effect of this is that it affects access speed. Technology will need to continue to develop in order to prevent access to information from becoming more difficult.
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