The information technology (IT) has almost converted the entire world into a global village. The revolution in the IT sector is influencing the information industry at its peak and revolutionized the concept of print media into digital media. The new generation user likes to use and read from the Computer, Kindle, Tablet, Mobile phone etc. Time is a big factor for each modern person, they dont like spending much of their time in coming and going to market/book stall for a document like books, periodicals, old question paper etc.
But digitization will help them to access from home with the same cost and sometimes free of cost. All the libraries are spending much of its budget by maintaining a huge physical collection in a usable form and these collections demand a huge physical space. Therefore Digitization can overcome all the drawbacks of the traditional library.
Digitization is the conversion of materials or print media into electronic form for creating a digital collection.
It is one of the methods for managing information resources in the new information age. Digitization means creating a digital version of physical things such as paper document, microfilm images, photographs, sounds and more. So, its simply converting and representing something which is non-digital into a digital format which can be used further by a computer system for various possible reasons. Digitization is a method of preservation which is now a global phenomenon and also the new trend for managing a library collection especially among academic libraries. Analog media includes books, journal articles, microfilm, photos, audio and video, etc.
Flexibility is one of the main properties of digital information. By the method of digitization technique many number of identical copies can be created from an analog/printed file. As the digital file doesnt decay so it can be used for future use. Moreover, digital information can be made accessible from remote location simultaneously by a large number of users. Digitization is the method of converting the content of physical media into digital format. In most of the libraries, digitization normally results in documents which are accessible from the web site of a library and thus on the Internet. Optical scanners and digital cameras are used to digitize images by converting them into bitmaps. However, it is also possible to digitize sound, video, graphics, animations, etc.
Witten and David (2003) defined digitization as the process in which the traditional library materials which are in the form of books and papers are converted to the electronic form where they can be stored and manipulated by a computer.
Ding, Choo Ming (2000) has elaborated the works of Getz (1997), Line (1996) and Mckinley (1997) on the advantages of digitization. They maintained that:
Digitization means no new buildings are required; information sharing can be boost up and repetition of collections is reduced.
Digitization leads to the development of internet use in digitalized based libraries. As internet is now the preferred form of publication and dissemination.
Digital materials can be sorted, retrieved and transmitted easily and quickly.
Access to electronic information is cheaper than its print counterpart when all the files are stored in an electronic warehouse with appropriate facilities and equipment.
Digital texts can be linked, which makes it more interactive; besides, it enhances the retrieval of more information.
The advantages of digitization in general are many and varied. Some of which are described below:
The digital file placed on the internet can be accessed from any part of the world practically without any loss of time.
The document can be accessed 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
Any number of copies can be made from the digitized content easily in a short time at little or reasonable cost.
A personal computer with internet connection is enough to access the documents from home without visiting the library.
The digitized content can be downloaded on paper, magnetic as well as optical media.
A rare or less known document may find numerous users from all over the globe, the moment it finds a place in the internet.
Digitization has some additional advantages such as, they are easier to access remotely, they offer more powerful searching and browsing facilities and they serve as a foundation for new value added services. In context where the collections are rare and unique, the digitization also serves as a preservation tool. Digitization is the tool for library sector for automation, modernization and networking of the libraries.
1.2 Research Questions
A different type of research questions arises when we talk about digitization of question papers. Some of them are:
a) Old Question Papers are Difficult to Locate: Generally, the library preserves the examination question papers and they are kept in the reference section of the library to be consulted by the user. However, at any moment of time if a user approaches the library, he/she cannot find all the question papers pertinent to a subject of study.
b) Question papers may be deteriorate by various factors (Environmental & Biological): In the library different types of deterioration of the paper based materials are reflected in wear and tear, shrinkage, cracks, brittleness, warping, hole, dust and dirt accumulation etc.
c) Generally question papers are not found in book stall: The examination question papers are not available in a bookstall so, students generally depend on their senior class or the library.
d) Digital documents are more interesting for the new generation users: With the development of IT sector, the interest of the students have shifted from traditional to digital. The new generation student likes to read from the computer or mobile phone screen. The students can share the digitized examination question papers to others without any efforts.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The study is driven with the following objectives:
To scan the old examination question papers of the Higher Secondary Programme of Assam Higher Secondary Education Council.
To upload the scanned examination question papers in the Assam Library Associations website.
To make students aware about the existence of the old examination question papers in the website of Assam Library Association.
To collect feedback from the students on the Examination Question Papers website of Assam Library Association.
To make the website popular among the students.
To enhance preservation of the question papers for the academic purpose.
To reduce the expenditure and to save the time of the students.
To make efficient workflow and satisfaction of the students.
To provide 24?7 hours accessibility from remote area.
1.4 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is:
To bring the old question papers in one platform.
To make the question paper easily available for the students.
To make the Assam Library Association website popular among the students.
On the basis of the above objectives of the study, the following methodologies are adopted, viz.
Interview to collect the required data related to the topic
At first the topic is searched in the available literature as well as over the internet. After the literature search a standard questionnaire is prepared in the Google form. The questionnaire is send to students of different classes having different subject course of various colleges and data are collected. The data are collected in the Google form and have been tabulated and analyzed using MS-Word. Some of the data are collected over phone following Interview methods.
The dissertation will contain the following chapters as given bellow:
Chapter-1: Introduction: This chapter includes the general introduction to the topic, Objectives of the study, Methodology followed and Chapterisation.
Chapter-2: Literature Search: In this chapter includes the relevant documents related to this topic along with the web articles. The great emphasis has been laid on the review of literature that is directly related to the study.
Chapter-3: Digitization: An Overview: This chapters gives an introduction on concepts of digitization, history of digitization, definition, Tools and Technique of digitization, types of scanners, Process of digitization, types of digitization advantages and disadvantages of digitization etc.
Chapter-4: Data Analysis and Interpretation: This chapter includes the analysis of data about digitization of old higher secondary question papers of Assam Higher Secondary Education Council. The data are presented systematically with the help of tables and graphs.
Chapter-5: Findings, Suggestion and Conclusion: This chapter includes the findings, suggestions and conclusions.
At the end of the chapters the references of the consulted documents are given. All the documents including the web articles are also included. APA citation style has been followed to cite and arrange the references. After that the questionnaire is given at the end.
Digitization is an important aspect of academic libraries in this 21st century. As user demand grows for digitization of print materials, the academic library will have to pay close and careful attention to the changing information needs of students. Users have relied mainly on their college library or the seniors but every time they will not get what they wanted so, digitization of the question papers are must for this. There is an imperative need to digitize and preserve the information so that the future generation can get benefits of it. Digitization of question papers will help the students for their future study and for knowing what the probable questions for the examinations are.