With the development of digital, there has been a massive growth of digital libraries. Currently, both colleges and universities adopt them as they allow people to access educational content 24/7, disintegrating the physical barriers.
Here below we have put together 5 benefits of digital libraries. However, before considering them, we should provide a definition of digital libraries.
Digital libraries are collections of documents such as books, articles, magazines, journals and multimedia files. These resources are available in an electronic format and accessible through the Internet or a digital support (e.g. CD-ROM disk or USB). As well as this, the information accessed through an internet connection is updated on a daily basis. Hence, the content is always new.
Institutions around the world have started converting their traditional documents into electronic formats such as HTML or PDF, which people can access online and printed if necessary.
After this brief introduction to digital libraries, we are now ready to look at their benefits!
A vast amount of choice
Digital libraries provide access to different multimedia content with an almost infinite number of resources and selections. One of the main limits of traditional libraries is the lack of physical space – books require a large storage space. On the contrary, thanks to the Internet, clouds store this content so as digital libraries overcome this limitation. Indeed, institutions can have more space and students can access an enormous amount of content easily and share it with peers, improving their learning experience.
Digital libraries are currently helping scientific society to store their research data, information and findings. Over the past years, when digital libraries did not exist, those data and information were usually lost or destroyed. However, with the development of online libraries, digital copies of these studies can be stored in a protected environment and be utilised by the next generations.
Instant and 24/7 access to the content
Digital libraries are accessible everywhere and at any time, as long as there is an Internet connection available. People can use their technological devices such as smartphones, tablet or PC to access the content. Therefore, students can consult a book or article whenever and wherever they want, without having to go to their nearest physical library.
Fighting against deterioration
Digital libraries are the solution to another problem – the content deterioration. This is a common issue of traditional libraries as many people share their content which is easily perishable. Students share fragile images and documents which are easily damageable and breakable. However, thanks to the content digitisation, students can consult content every time they want without worrying about damaging it.
An easier information retrieval
Over the years, online libraries have developed different search features which facilitate access to data collections, permitting students to accomplish sophisticated searches with different queries. Finally, as the digital collections are becoming bigger, the level of sophistication of the searching features is also improving exponentially.