A Computer- Based Library and Information Management System for the National Library Service of Malawi : A Plan and Strategy for Implementation

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


This document discuss e s the need for augmenting and extending application of computer systems in library, documentation and information institutions in Malawi with p a rticular reference to the National Library Service (NLS). Background i nformation on the NLS system in terms of its e stablishment, structure, resources and services is also provided. Development s in Information Technology (IT) applications to library and information systems are highlighted emphasizing the expanding capacity of computer systems, data transmission systems and networking including Local Area Networks that are finding wider use in Africa. The existing information systems and services in Africa are reviewed including the existing networks which can promote cooperation among information institutions, transfer and sharing of information resources in the continent. Application of computers to Information Storage Retrieval and Dissemination (ISRD) is discussed with particular reference information services to the that can areas of library benefit from IT. and The general conclusion is that computers improve management and facilitate information handling activities.As a pre-planning requirement, a detailed analysis and evaluation of the NLS was carried out and the findings documented in this thesis. Included is also a survey of application of computers in library and informat ion institutions in Malawi, revealing an encouraging take- off of the technology in the field. Types of computers, peripherals, application softwares and their use are discussed and this has formed the basis for a proposal for the new system in the NLS. Based on the ongoing IT developments in libraries and information systems in the country and the problems being faced in the use of computer systems, a survey of selected computer vendor organizations is also documented forming the basis and criteria for system choice. Proposals on requirements for a new computer based system for the NLS and the design of prototype databases using micro CDS/ISIS version 3.0, are presented. Such a system will improve management and facilitate NLS operations, and introduction of user-oriented services such as SOI services, current awareness services, referral services, etc. Criteria for choice of computer system and phases of system implementation such as installation, retrospective conversion of card catalogue to machine readable form, etc, are outlined. Conclusions and recommendations based on the research are presented in chapter nine.



Computer- Based Library and Information Management