National General Educational Electronic Library: A New Impetus for the Development of Information and Library Interaction
23 February 2023
The practice of international experience suggests that a good supply of high-quality information-library services to the public generates and meets their interests in science, education, information, and culture. Up-to-date information and communication technology must be efficiently utilised in the information-library supply system.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is now conducting planned and systematic work in its library system on the following topics as part of the implementation of decisions mandated by the government: sustaining the expansion of the literature fund; implementing cutting-edge technologies in the library field; enhancing people’s access to information. In addition, as part of the government’s decision, a project was being carried out to equip users in all regions with the ability to search, read and download information resources via the Internet. Users are allowed to access electronic databases of dissertation, scholarly reports of research projects funded by budget funds, databases of invention, scientific breakthroughs, and permits to link organisations to foreign scientific and educational databases maintained by world publishers and information aggregators.
The National Library of Uzbekistan endeavors to organise and preserve universal access that is important to science, education, and socially significant information. To achieve this goal, the project ‘National General Educational Electronic Library’ (NEEL) was implemented in 2018, which helps to preserve important national information resources of the country, ensures the exchange and use of data among libraries, and most importantly, enhances access to various scientific and cultural information for all segments of the population, which is key to the growth of national socio-economic development.
The project was carried out by the LG CNS Company (South Korea) with financial support from the Fund for Economic Development and Cooperation of the Republic of Korea.
This initiative had a social component and was implemented in order to meet the intellectual needs of the younger generation, preserve, and strengthen cultural, spiritual, and moral values, develop the education system and self-education of students of educational institutions and the population.
In this regard, in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. PP-4354 “on further improvement of information and library services for the population of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, the National General Educational Electronic Library Centre was established as a structural unit of the National Library of Uzbekistan which is in charge of the organisational management of the Electronic Library.
The centre offers the following services:
- scanning and digitising;
- processing of digital materials;
- multimedia studio; and
- Technical and technological assistance.
The goal of the NEEL project was to create a system to deliver the following:
- centralised platform for electronic information and library resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
- coordination of filling processes and activities for the electronic libraries;
- organisation of modern forms of storage, processing, and provision of scientific educational resources in the systems of education, science, and culture;
- Access through a consolidated electronic catalogue to information stored in various information-library institutions for a wide range of users.
Users can get essential information through utilising a specifically designed Internet site (portal), which searches the databases of 20 leading information-library organisations, the ZiyoNET resource, and the National Library of Uzbekistan:
- Academy of Sciences’ Fundamental Library;
- State Scientific Medical Library;
- Republican Scientific and Pedagogical Library;
- Information Resource Centre of the National University of Uzbekistan;
- Information Resource Centre of the Tashkent State Technical University;
- Information Resource Centre of the Tashkent University of Information Technologies;
- Information-library centres of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city. (14 libraries in total)
The project was implemented in the building of the National Library of Uzbekistan. It consists of two centres – the Centre for Scanning and Digitisation of Information Resources and the Centre for Multimedia Information Resources with the necessary technological equipment, server and software, hardware, and technical tools which is integrated with the Automated Information-Library System of the National Library of Uzbekistan “UZNEL” (hereinafter referred to as AIBS).
The following goals of the project have been met:
- Safeguarding significant publications and national information sources;
- providing and using data across libraries;
- providing information services to diverse population segments.
With a consolidated catalogue with full-text databases, it is possible to:
- establish a single service space for searching resources and ordering books;
- increase user service infrastructure;
- raise the level of public information-library services and broaden public access to the facilities of information-resource centres based on contemporary information-communication technology;
- fully meet the intellectual demands of the public and students that contribute to the development of the educational system as well as their self-education;
- establish a fund for electronic resources based on the production of electronic copies of printed materials, ensuring the security of unique information resources and the stock of national printed publications;
- coordinate the mutual use and systematisation of electronic and information-library resources on the basis of the creation of a nationwide electronic catalogue and a resource base of educational information resources;
- broaden the scope of information-library services offered, particularly those relating to the preparation, presentation, and quick delivery of various types of information, both internal and external, without reference to departmental, territorial, or state location;
- Provide methodological support in the selection of unique resources from a variety of sources, both internal and external, in diverse disciplines of knowledge in order to satisfy the needs of users.
To solve problematic tasks, the NEEL project purchased equipment and implemented software for the centralised creation of information-library resources in the republic. To download full-text digitised documents, the system is additionally connected to a server data storage system with more than 20 servers, SAN (Storage Area Network) storage with a capacity of 30 TB, and NAS (Network Attached Storage) storage with a capacity of 600 TB.
The Multimedia Information Resources Centre and the Information Resources Scanning and Digitisation Centre digitise materials for all educational institutions of the country, as well as for other users with an extensive paper fund, if necessary.
The digitisation centre has more than 80 scanners for digitisation printed publications of various sizes, including A0, A1, A2, and A3.
On average, it digitises from 80 to 120 printed materials per day, which are processed to form a full-fledged e-book for uploading to the library server and online access. Since 2019, 429,454 copies (i.e., 20,550,028 pages) have been digitised.
|Copies or pages for 2019||Copies or pages for 2020||Copies or pages for 2021||Copies or pages for 2022||Total number of copies and pages|
|Books of inventory||397/193,349||397/193,349|
|Services provided to businesses||633,790||13,720||145,684||793,194|
The Digitised Resource Processing Service is responsible for ensuring the quality processing of scanned resources. Over the past period, more than 9 million pages have been processed.
The multimedia studio organises the creation of educational audio-video content in multimedia format. For this purpose, there is a sound recording and video studio equipped with specialised equipment for editing. The studio allows you to create various educational and scientific information resources (films, audio books).
|SN||Item||2020||2021||The first half of 2022||Total number of recordings and films|
|1||The Record of audio books||17||32||18||67|
|2||Videos, interviews and conversations||16||12||11||39|
|3||Videos on the lives and works of famous writers||19||8||4||31|
|4||Book trailers, video textbooks, and presentations||33||42||3||78|
|5||Events, book exhibitions, videos, and interviews for the library portal||12||27||24||63|
|6||Download audio and media on http://media.natlib.uz/||37 videos
500 phonograph records
1760 phonograph records
|7||Putting video resources online https://www.youtube.com/user/natlibuz||61||92||24||177|
The development of electronic catalogues is prioritised, with a focus on a national, unified electronic information catalogue of all information-library institutions of the country. In this regard, a lot of work is being done to transit the presentation of bibliographic data to international standards. It is vital to alter the function of information-library organisations in order to achieve this. They must be transformed from being information repositories into places where people can access and disseminate information. In turn, the information that is stored in the repositories becomes a significant national information resource and a valuable commodity.
The number of bibliographic records exported from the UZNEL system to the SEC system of the Republican Center of the Electronic Union catalog from 2019 to 2022 is 366,953. All bibliographic records were downloaded from 14 regional information and library centers.
|Name of the regional information-library centre||Indicators of bibliographic records uploaded to the CEL system (catalog.unicat.uz)|
|2019||2020||2021||2022 In nine months|
|1||“BILIM” Information-Library Centre in Tashkent||28||6172||16,729||6,579|
|2||Tashkent Regional Information-Library Centre “Turon”||109||1,656||10,772||8,691|
|3||Andijan Regional Information-Library Centre named after Babur||500||8,641||7,215||6,825|
|4||Kashkadarya Regional Information-Library Centre named after Sayido Nasafi||17||154||11,237||2,128|
|5||Surkhandarya Regional Information-Library Centre named after Adib Sabir Termiz||1,003||7,877||19,902||9,342|
|6||Syrdarya Regional Information-Library Centre named after Alisher Navoi||4,296||18,441||18,475||9,770|
|7||Navoi Regional Information-Library Centre named after A. Kadiri||1,158||9,556||–|
|8||Samarkand Regional Information-Library Centre named after A. Pushkin||4,409||2,489||4,451||11,171|
|9||Jizzakh Regional Information-Library Centre named after Sharof Rashidov||2,118||5,430||13,494||6,316|
|10||Fergana Regional Information-Library Centre named after Ahmed al-Fargani||195||6||19,340||14,834|
|11||Bukhara Regional Information-Library Centre named after Abu Ali ibn Sina||2,851||1,941||3,192||13,438|
|12||Namangan Regional Information-Library Centre named after Nodirabegim||1,407||4,956||17,439||10,896|
|13||Information-Library Centre of the Republic of Karakalpakstan||–||5,697||7,050||7,107|
|14||Khorezm Regional Information-Library Centre named after Mahmud Zamahshari||1,360||10,991||8,462|
Also, for the functioning of the Electronic Library, the Integrated Information and Library System UZNEL was put into operation and the internet Portal was created to provide access to digital information.
The UZNEL system is an integrated digital library system that connects the National Library of Uzbekistan with 20 of the country’s top libraries through a single network.
The UZNEL system has become a new information and library system of the National Library of Uzbekistan, 14 information-library centres, 3 largest branch libraries of the country (State Scientific Medical Library, Fundamental Library of the Academy of Sciences, Republican Scientific Pedagogical Library), 3 leading libraries academic libraries of Universities Uzbekistan (Library of the National University of Uzbekistan, Library of the Tashkent University of Information Technologies, Library of the Tashkent State Technical University).
The UZNEL system has all the necessary functionality of information-library work and consists of the modules “Acquisition”, “Catalogue”, “Book lending” (also includes “User registration”) and the “Administrator” module:
- The “Acquisition” module. The Service for Acquisition of Information-Library Funds carries out the formation and systematic replenishment of the libraries’ information-library funds. It received 149,685 informational library materials (books, journals, newspapers, dissertations, abstracts and others) between 2019 and 2022
- The “Cataloguing” module. The UZNEL system enables the creation of metadata on the information and library resources of the National Library for their efficient search by users in the electronic catalogue. Specialists of the “Catalogisation and Systematisation” service constantly improve their level of knowledge to carry out work on the bibliographic processing of information-library resources. Since 2019, 18,409 bibliographic records have been created.
The service for the formation of national bibliographic databases deals with the description of articles of periodicals in the UZNEL system (Module “Catalogisation” “Article Index”). For this, analytical, critical, artistic, technical, medical, socio-philosophical, political, and legal articles on topics of scientific importance are selected from the central newspapers and magazines published in the country, with 9,500 thousand entries (100 titles of periodicals) being created.
Since 2019, the storage service of the general fund and the service of storage of specialised funds and legal deposit began to accept information-library resources under the UZNEL program (“Catalogization” = “Bibliographic management” = “Transmission reception management” = “Reception for lending” = “General data “). According to this procedure, specialists of the services accepted books, abstracts, albums, musical and cartographic publications into the funds.
|The funds for the required copy||2,423||1,450||2,000|
Since 2020, the Cataloguing and Systematisation Service has given these services access to the bibliographic management of all bibliographic records in the program.
- The “Book Lending” module. The User Registration and Reference Service registers users in the library in the Book Loan module. Over the past period, more than 100,000 users have been registered in the UZNEL system. In total, more than 305,000 people signed up for the library.
The first half of 2022
Dispatch Service and Literature Issuance Department mainly provide services through the function “Receiving / issuing books”. Information-library resources were searched using various methods (author, title, keyword), selected according to their location in the fund, and supplied to the user in accordance with their demands. 2,232 orders from departments and 57,483 from reading rooms have been completed – this is 0.5% of the total number of orders that users have received. The reason for such a small number of electronic orders is that users search without registration, and orders are submitted to the departments of literature issuance in writing.
- The “Administrator” module. The Network Administration and Server Equipment Support Service operate the UZNEL programme for National Library and regional information-library centre staff. The technical and technological support service monitors the renewal of certificates, website domains, and also deals with statistics on the collection of user registration data (id-cards), data downloads (e-books).
Based on the requirements of modern readers and automated information library network (AILS) the efficiency of library has been increased, which enables:
- create and maintain a digital catalogue;
- automating the work of accounting for publications;
- automate the reader’s work;
- process inbound publications;
- acquisition of literature;
- offer reference and information services, particularly through the web portal; and
- interact with other international and national library systems.
At the initial stage, it was possible to quickly create a virtual union catalogue in Uzbekistan using the Discovery & Access Portal software. All resources of the National library of Uzbekistan and other libraries are collected in one central catalogue, which allows end users to search resources from a single location.
User service portal www.natlib.uz provides quick access to information resources with any user device, which allows serving users both inside the library and the entire population of the republic online.
The web portal provides nationwide access to facilitate the exchange of information resources via technologies, including:
Anywhere — the capacity to work and access services via the Internet from any location where you can establish a wired or wireless Internet connection.
Any Device — you can utilise a range of gadgets, including a computer, laptop, smartphone, etc.
Any Content — the search and management of any information resources, including full-text documents, images, video data, etc.
In the subsequent phase, other libraries were connected to the integrated library system of the National General Educational Network of the National Library. Additionally, these libraries were able to replace their own library systems with more recent, advanced ones. Consequently, the new integrated library system of the National Library of Uzbekistan supports multi-tenancy in order to reflect all the standards and workflows of the individual affiliated libraries.
The location and specialisation of reading rooms were both enhanced. This is based on international experience and user demands, particularly of young people. There is now Internet connection in every room, a multimedia area, and a dedicated electronic library room. A system for automating library processes has been introduced to ensure prompt search for information in local and remote access through the electronic catalogue of the National Library, which contains 600,000 records and 200,000 full-text electronic resources. Leading foreign experts were involved in the training programmes set up for library staff members to advance their careers.
It has been installed a modern method of informing users with the aid of interactive support tools that use visual and virtual information, active panels, and monitors for finding and retrieving information.
The project’s successful implementation was made feasible by the transportation and telecommunication network built during the country’s independent years, employing the most up-to-date information and communication technologies, and based on the digital hierarchy. It made sure that information libraries and information resource services based on contemporary information – communication technologies would continue to develop in a high-quality manner.
The accomplishment of this project helps:
- improving the information-library network’s structure while taking current needs into account;
- guaranteeing the operation of fundamentally new information centers dedicated to addressing the intellectual requirements of the younger generation;
- maintenance of moral, spiritual, and cultural values;
- laying the groundwork for more extensive and well-organized population information assistance.
The information-library system optimised the nation’s information and library systems across ministries and agencies in order to carry out these directives. It also considers the use of new work formats and procedures.
As a result, the National Library’s Electronic Library is crucial to the informational support of science and education. It makes it possible for everyone to freely access the findings of scientific research that are documented in articles, reports, publications, dissertations, reports, and other materials.
Contributed by Teshabayeva Umida Alimdjanovna, Director, National Library of Uzbekistan named after Alisher Navoi