Generally, the paper 'National Libraries and Slow ICT Growth in Developing Nations" is a good example of a management case study. There is a general lagging behind of National Libraries in developing countries with the embracement of ICT facilities. National libraries are storehouses for information and failure to realize the opportunities that come along with information technology may cause a nation to experience what is known as the ‘ digital divide’ as it tends to lag behind the rest of the countries. Library technology is advancing at a dynamic speed such that ignoring it generally means lagging behind in the economic development of a nation.
Most government officials in developing countries fail to see the link between National Library services and their country's economic advancement. This poses a major hindrance to information technology in library services. Infrastructure comprising of telecommunication, road and transport and these are key to promoting innovative climates for automation of national libraries. Where this infrastructure lacks in any way, then ICT will not thrive well. The inclusion of the community views and needs in the implementation of ICT development is important as the community gets to own the implementation of the program as their varied needs are met. Funding is a major problem in the automation of National Libraries as it is costly to do the initial implementation, expansion and maintenance of the ICT facilities.
Where budgetary allocations are followed according to plan, internet initiatives become self-sustaining and reliable. Lack of ICT expertise in the library staff also deters automation as the workforce is afraid to embrace technology. It is vital to train staff and motivate them to acquire business professionalism that will give them the confidence to venture out and formulate policies on varied subjects in conjunction with government officers from different ministries.
A well trained and skilled workforce ensures that users receive satisfactory services that lead to national economic growth. Although automation may come along with changes in the organization structure of the library institution, training equips the staff to realize the benefits of automation and will not be resistant to change.
Alemna A., 1995, National Library and Information policies for Africa, Dominican University
Chisenga J.,2004, The use of ICTs in Africa Public Libraries – A survey of ten countries in Anglophone Africa, International Network for the availability of Scientific Publications (NASP)
Lor, P J., 2003, National Libraries and the digital divide, University of Pretoria