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Dear friends,

How to write a proposal for library automation?


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Dear Ms. Bijaylaxmi Bhattamishra,

Thanks for your post.

First, do a feasibility study & prepare a report.

If you have a Library Committee, first raise the issue to this forum. If the committee approves it  on principle, then:

Prepare a budgetary statement for the proposed automation project with indication of recurring expenditure (like AMC if any  etc.)

Approach your authority with the feasibility report & approval of Library Committee

Select Database; acquire it and install. Get yourself & your staff acquainted with its functioning.

If you need to outsource retro-conversion of the catalogues, ask for vendors' quotation and finalize the amount.

I have mentioned above the steps to be taken for not only for automation but they are also applicable for introduction of any new utility features.

Now, you can prepare a proposal  WITH JUSTIFICATIONS.Mention the Components of the Library activities you want to automate (like Acquisition, Circulation, OPAC or making institutional repository, digital Archive etc. etc.) Start with those which you need immediately with provisions for future expansions.

Highlight the advantages (like if you propose for webOPAC, mention the facilities of remote access; if you want institutional repository where you want to keep accessible soft copies of many 'sought after' materials like previous years' question papers, Model Answers, Institution's working papers for which your institute hold copyright etc.)

Now comes the financial aspect. mention it clearly enough. If possible, prepare a "cost-benefit analysis" statement; it will help you in getting quick approval. (For example, when I proposed to set up a "Dumb Lift" within the Library occupying  3 floors, I explained that the total cost requirement was less than just One year's salary of the lowest grade staff. This Cost-Benefit statement resulted quick approval!!)

I hope I could explain your issue.

Wish you all success in your effort.


Siddhartha S. Ray, Calcutta



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