Where is Science Information Heading? The Present State and the Development of Science Information in Technical University Libraries
Iwona Sójkowska and Filip Podgórski
In the past few years, scientific information and the services it offers have undergone a rapid transformation, which has given them a new form and quality. The development of sciences, particularly computer science and computer technology, as well as the popularization of the Internet, have brought about a change in the quality of information and the ways of acquiring and distributing knowledge. Electronic information shared over the Internet has become predominant in the world of science.
This paper presents the evolution of information services in the Library of the Technical University of Łódź over the last few years, starting with the classic definition and the theoretical assumptions of science information, which describe it as information about and for science. It also discusses in detail the means and methods of gaining information resources, the ways of distributing information, and the role of science information centre staff as managers of information, responsible for the whole process of gaining and sharing electronic sources of knowledge.
Computerization and the Internet have changed the image of the library. The library is no longer associated solely with a building that stores and provides printed material, but has become an information centre that can be used 24 hours a day.
This paper predicts further developments in scientific information provided in electronic form. Electronic resources purchased by the Library and those generally available on the Internet will become equally valuable and will soon stop being a mere counterpart to printed versions. They will be supplemented with multimedia materials, owing to which it will not only be possible to read about the course and results of work, but also to view them in detail. Users will be able to download scientific resources in a form most convenient for them and to use them by means of portable devices. We will also see a rapid development of elaborate platforms which will integrate materials from all available sources. Systematic cooperation with academic staff and searching for the latest information on a given subject will soon become the main responsibility of any scientific information centre. Library staff will become assistants to scientists and professional guides through the wealth of information available.