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Libraries are hub of knowledge mines. They are central and integral part of academic life; they are the heart of a university (Balaram, 2001). The primary function of the academic libraries is to serve users for meeting their best academic commitments. They are the channel for academicians to imparting education through means of teaching, learning and research. The education can also fundamentally be developed through optimal utilization of libraries and information services (Magara and Batambuze, 2009). The mode of education becomes liberal, affordable, universal and easy interface through the library system. Users able to search, access, retrieve and disseminate educational resources reside in both local and remote locations.
Academic libraries capture, preserve and disseminate information resources of scholarly interest. They become service-oriented segments mostly managed by their facilities such as LA, NI, CC, ER, MA and NS. Majority of academic libraries are being empowered and enriched today by these facilities. They help the users not only to locate and borrow physically available resources but also help them to browse and search catalogues, access databases, perform real-time interactions, avail electronic document deliver/inter-library loan, etc simultaneously. Therefore, the library facilities are invaluable for meeting the best academic and research needs.
Provision of multiple library facilities can have a strong impact on institutional outcomes. Correlation among the multiple library facilities is even more crucial and important for the libraries to know the strength and weakness of them respectively. Consequently, the academic libraries can plan and proceed for the further development of the institution as effective and productive as possible. Integration of these library facilities indicates the degree of proximity among them to make out the clear picture of relationship. However, the correlation among them is purely indicative. The idea of correlation was anticipated substantially before 1885 (MacKenzie, 1981). Francis Galton invented correlation, but Karl Pearson was chiefly responsible for its development and promotion as a scientific concept of universal significance (Aldrich, 1995). A strong correlation among the facilities shows the efficiency of the academic library system. It helps faculty, researchers and students in more productive way for excelling institutional progress. It also helps them in writing the lesson plans, grant proposals and research papers for fulfilling their academic achievements. Furthermore, it is helpful for not only to promote academic and scientific progress but also to improve the value and visibility of the institute. Therefore, this study has been conducted with an aim to determine the correlation among the facilities such as LA, NI, CI, ER, MA and NS of various NIT libraries across the country. These facilities are described briefly for this study as follows:
Library Automation (LA)
The LA refers to degree of computerization whether it is fully or partially or in the process. It consists of various integrated library software, installation and management of library software and module functionalities such as acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, serials control, stock-verification and article indexing.
Network Infrastructure (NI)
The NI encompasses of Local Area Network (LAN) whether it is a dedicated or a part of campus network, media used, spread of campus network, Internet connectivity and bandwidth etc.
Computer Infrastructure (CI)
The CI consists of hardware, software and electronic equipments (digital scanners, barcode scanners, printers, video players/recorders and television sets).
Electronic Resources (ER)
The electronic resources refer to information packages made available in digital format. These electronic resources consist of online journals databases (e-journals) searchable datasets (CD-ROM databases) learning resources (CD-ROM, audio/video cassettes), etc.
In considering the manpower, there are two categories, one is professionals who hold Library and Information Science (LISc) degree and their qualifications and second one is non-professionals those who are not having LISc degree.
Networked Services (NS)
NS are viewed as electronic information services that users’ able to access library resources residing both at local and remote site through a network media. Shim et al clearly indicate the definition of NS and their use in the library settings (Shim et al., 2001). In this study, the NS refer to all library transactions that users can do and services they can avail using computer and network technologies. The NS encompass electronic data interchange between publisher/suppliers for acquisition of library materials automated cataloguing for information search and retrieval, automated circulation for check-in, check-out, renewal, reservation, virtual reference for enquiring, electronic current awareness, online databases, Multimedia databases (CD-ROM, audio and video etc.), Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD), network communication services (Internet, e-mail, telephone, facsimile, video/teleconferencing and videotext/teletext), e-learning, e-publishing (e-news, blogs) Web-based document delivery, support services etc.