Libraries race for digital transformation to promote reading culture

Libraries race for digital transformation which makes an important contribution to the development of reading culture and reading skills as well as building learning communities, learning societies, and lifelong learning with the orientation towards a smart education and a generation of digital citizens, said Head of the Education Department’s Ho Chi Minh City Digital Transformation Support and Consulting Center Ha Duy Binh.

Libraries race for digital transformation to promote reading culture ảnh 1 Students are reading books in their high school library
Regularly going to the General Science Library of Ho Chi Minh City with his friends, student Tran Minh Nam of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City said that he is paying attention to a digital library, also called an online library because he will continue studying after graduation. Digital libraries help him to save travel time and are a trend that needs to be updated with modern applications to meet the needs of readers.
Vietnamese Prime Minister issued a decision approving the Program on the digital transformation of the library industry to 2025, with orientation to 2030 on February 21, 2022. In which, the target by 2025, all public libraries will be invested by the State, together with the National Library, the public libraries of provinces and centrally-run cities, to complete and develop digital infrastructure, digital data, and interoperability for sharing resources and library information products according to functions.
Mr. Nguyen Si Dung, a member of the Prime Minister's Policy Advisory Board and former Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly's Office, said that if the implementation of the Prime Minister’s program on the digital transformation of the library sector is successfully done, the country will build a foundation for the preparation of the industrial revolution 4.0. Libraries play a very important role in accessing knowledge, one of the prerequisites for the country to move forward.
Mr. Ha Duy Binh said that in the era of technology 4.0 and digital transformation, it is easier than ever to apply technology to promote the goals and share knowledge of mankind. However, he complained that high school libraries have not been currently paid due attention and investment; therefore, it has not been satisfying the needs of teachers and students.
According to Mr. Binh, training quality in high school will be improved more if students can learn in the classroom, library, experimental facility, and real environment. In particular, a library plays an important role in training students' independence and creativity.
According to M.S. Ha Duy Binh, the education sector is taking heed of the application of information technology to innovate teaching and learning methods and the improvement of school libraries’ effectiveness. The sector has so far set various goals and key tasks.
Not only Mr. Ha Duy Binh but educationists and managers in the education sector also pay attention to a digital library because it is beneficial for students and teachers. Mr. Ha Than, General Director of Lac Viet Informatics Company, said that the application of technology has specific benefits such as finding a favorite book or owning it to read in just a few seconds. Unfinished book pages and text can be retrieved immediately without having to mark them up like a paper book or copy out passages if the owner allows it. In particular, digital books including audio, images, and movies allow readers to enlarge and reduce the text and images in a book.
In addition, e-books greatly reduce the cost of books by reducing paper, ink, transportation, storage, and space savings. Mr. Ha Than added that a single personal computer or mobile device can hold thousands of e-books; therefore, contributing to environmental protection. Especially publishing houses can expand their both domestic and global markets, books are immediately released to readers.
Currently, there has been supporting software for digital resource management for libraries such as DSPACE, Greenstone, Omeka, and Xerter. Especially, Vebrary electronic library, using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, is a radio identification technology to realize book borrowing/returning operations in the form of student card scanning or RFID scanning on the book. The Vebrary library is now ready to be integrated with smart hardware devices, bringing a variety of modern user experiences.
In addition to Windows and Linux platforms, the Vebrary electronic library is also available on Android and iOS operating system applications. It allows readers to look up documents and read e-books in the library, search for documents through the function to scan QR codes, register to borrow books in advance to actively borrow the desired documents, and check account information at the library including personal information, transaction history, look up information borrowed and returned a book.
Currently, the library system in many localities is carrying out digital transformation. However, it needs synchronous and stronger investment, especially the attention of leaders in provinces and cities, said Ms. Doan Quynh Dung, Deputy Director of the Library Department.

By Ho Son – Translated by Anh Quan

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