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Purpose: This study aimed to examine the ICT facilities in the public libraries of Pakistan. The specific objectives were to see the status of ICT resources, check the ICT tools used in delivering services and identify the problems faced by the public libraries in developing ICT infrastructure.
Research Design and Methodology: All the public libraries of Pakistan, working under the administrative control of any directorate or department constituted the population of the study. The census-based approach was employed, and data was gathered from the heads of 119 public libraries. The collected data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23.
Results: It was found that most of the libraries did not have electronic information resources like e-books, theses and dissertations and access to the HEC database. The libraries had either deplorable or no IT infrastructure and lacked basic ICT devices and apparatus. A significant number of libraries did not use ICT applications for library services. The key problems identified by libraries in developing ICT infrastructure were limited human resources, insufficient IT literate staff, non-availability of technical support, lack of IT expertise among library users, non-availability of standard integrated library software, limited electronic resource, interrupted power supply and lack of financial resources.
Implications: The study's findings could be beneficial to the government and library authorities. The key point to be considered includes 1) LIS professionals and IT staff be recruited and trained regarding the applications of ICT in librarianship, 2) sufficient funds should be provided to develop ICT infrastructure 3) digital resources should be acquired, and 4) the librarians should have the power and freedom to spend the budget based on the users' needs.
Originality: The study is unique because this is the first study in the country to assess the ICT facilities of public libraries. It will fill the literature gap and guide the researchers to study public libraries across the country.
Keywords: ICT Infrastructure, ICT tools and applications, ICT Facilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Public Libraries, Pakistan