International Journal of Knowledge Content Development & Technology - Vol. 13 , No. 1

[ Article ]
International Journal of Knowledge Content Development & Technology - Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 41-68
ISSN: 2234-0068 (Print) 2287-187X (Online)
Print publication date Jun 2016
Received 01 Aug 2015 Revised 06 Oct 2015 Accepted 01 Nov 2015

Role of Database Management Systems in Selected Engineering Institutions of Andhra Pradesh: An Analytical Survey
Kutty Kumar*
*Assistant Professor, Library and Information Science, College of Veterinary Science, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, India (


This paper aims to analyze the function of database management systems from the perspective of librarians working in engineering institutions in Andhra Pradesh. Ninety-eight librarians from one hundred thirty engineering institutions participated in the study. The paper reveals that training by computer suppliers and software packages are the significant mode of acquiring DBMS skills by librarians; three-fourths of the librarians are postgraduate degree holders. Most colleges use database applications for automation purposes and content value. Electrical problems and untrained staff seem to be major constraints faced by respondents for managing library databases.

Keywords: Databases, Hardware, Software, Backup, Skills

1. Introduction

Libraries use Information Technology (IT) to automate an extensive range of administrative and technical processes, to build databases, OPACs, as well as networks, and to offer better services to their users. This widespread application of IT in libraries has created a need to reflect on all aspects of the present library environment. Computers are being used for routine housekeeping activities of the library, which saves the time of the end users as well as library professionals, avoids repetition of work and makes the library services smooth and effective (Sinha, 2000). Figure 1 represents the implications of DBMS in engineering college libraries.

Fig. 1. 
Significance of Database Management

Previous studies using seventy-six librarian subjects (Partridge et al., 2010), which explored the skills, knowledge and attributes required by the contemporary library and information professional in a world of ever changing technology, reported that personality traits, not just qualifications, would be critical to being a successful librarian or information worker in the future. Baro et al. (2013) investigated the achievements of librarians who attended a workshop on e-library services. They reported that the librarians who participated in the workshop were exposed to skills in areas such as database searching, using different search engines, using social media, knowledge of relevant websites, and knowledge of planning for e-libraries. According to the authors, acquiring such skills would enable the librarians to effectively use e-resources and train users on different search strategies.

Enormous studies done all over India on the impact of Information and Communication Technology in engineering institutions (Balu & Reddy, 2011; R. Kumar, 2012; Satpathy & Maharana, 2011; Ramasesh, Chowdappa, & Devi, 2012). The role of DBMS became inevitable in every academic institution, which ultimately transformed the job of a librarian into being an information-specialist. Very few studies made on DBMS in the point of view of librarian. Hence, the present study was carried out in selected institutions of Andhra Pradesh through the perspective of librarians. Librarians were questioned on various modes of acquiring DBMS skills and their application in the libraries. Their responses are analyzed and presented in this paper.

2. Review of Literature

Jean (2011) described the innovative blend of personalization and persuasive technology in the academic library database environment. The paper provided features and options within popular library databases.

Shiva (2005) studied the development of indigenous databases and their benefits for library users in libraries and information centers in the research and development institutions of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research of North India, and discussed the role of indigenous databases, their development and impact. The paper gave an overview of factors responsible for developing indigenous databases; perceptions of librarians towards them; database forms and formats; database development from a national perspective; database maintenance, services and marketing.

Venkata and Chandrasekhar (2003) discusses planning approaches adopted for IT implementation in Central University Libraries in India, It covers computers and software packages used, computerized library operations, development of databases, bibliographic standards used, computerized information services, and the level of participation in networks and computerized facilities offered to users, etc.

M. Kumar and Kumar (2010) presents a study on issues and strategies in digital library management. The author mentions the managerial issues and strategies needed to understand the function of digital libraries including hardware and software management, and preservation of materials. The author also points out the role of library information science (LIS) professionals in the information and communication technology (ICT) environment such as a collector of data and evaluator of information.

3. Objectives of the Study

The study aimed to look at the professional and educational implications of librarians who are strongly connected to support environments for academic libraries, particularly with regard to data management and information retrieval. Several academic librarians perceive that the institutions are increasing data management services in the library but they are constrained by gaps in staff skills, knowledge, confidence, and resourcing issues in dealing with these functions. The following are the objectives framed to seek out the areas of concern for the librarians, and the current state of data management in the libraries in order to recommend additional support that is necessary.

  • ➢ Trace the sources through which database skills are achieved by librarians who work in engineering colleges.
  • ➢ What kinds of ICT software/hardware are available in the library for information storage and retrieval?
  • ➢ Identify the various database applications provided in organizations for library administration.
  • ➢ Uncover the extent of backup facilities maintained by librarians in engineering colleges.
  • ➢ Find out the constraints encountered by librarians as they work with database management applications.

4. Limitation
  • ➢ The study was only conducted among librarians of engineering colleges, and other library staff was excluded.
  • ➢ Due to limited time and financial factors, the survey was carried out only for engineering educational institutions of Andhra Pradesh.
  • ➢ Since the study was based on database management in the library, only those colleges equipped with automation and digital library facilities were selected for the survey.
  • ➢ Those institutions established after 2010 lacked library infrastructure facilities (including digital libraries), and hence were eliminated from the survey.

5. Methodology

Data was collected using a structured questionnaire. One hundred thirty questionnaires were distributed to engineering colleges within the four zones of Andhra Pradesh. Each zone was comprised of three districts except Zone IV, which included four districts. Ten questionnaires were distributed randomly to engineering college libraries (that had digital library and automation services) in each district. Out of 130 questionnaires distributed, 98 were completely filled out and were qualified as valid, which constituted a 75.38% response rate. In this study, the response received for mode of acquiring DBMS skills was vigilantly analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software version 19 for statistical analysis of the data. Table 1 illustrates the zone wise distribution of districts (Saidul, 2013) and Figure 2, the sample size.

Table 1. 
Sample Size
S.No Zone District Questionnaires Distributed Questionnaires Received
1 Zone-I Srikakulam 10 (7.69) 4 (4.08)
2 Visakhapatnam 10 (7.69) 9 (9.18)
3 Vizianagaram 10 (7.69) 6 (6.12)
4 Zone-II East Godavari 10 (7.69) 8 (8.16)
5 West Godavari 10 (7.69) 8 (8.16)
6 Krishna 10 (7.69) 9 (9.18)
7 Zone-III Guntur 10 (7.69) 9 (9.18)
8 Prakasam 10 (7.69) 6 (6.12)
9 Nellore 10 (7.69) 7 (7.14)
10 Zone-IV Anantapur 10 (7.69) 7 (7.14)
11 Chittoor 10 (7.69) 9 (9.18)
12 Kadapa 10 (7.69) 8 (8.16)
13 Kurnool 10 (7.69) 8 (8.16)
Total 130 (100) 98 (100)
Response Rate 75.38%
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Fig. 2. 
Sample Size

6. Data Analysis and Interpretation

Analysis of data was divided into four sections. Part- A provides general information about the respondents. The criterion includes gender, age, educational qualification, and mode of acquiring database management skills. Part-B gives data on information and communication technology facilities available in the engineering college libraries included in the survey. Part- C reveals information about the application of database management in the college libraries using data collected under the following parameters: purpose of database, staff in-charge of database, storage file formats, and device used for data storage, preservation and backup techniques with which they were acquainted. Part - D indicates constraints faced by respondents in performing database management.

6.1 Part - A: General Information
6.1.1 Gender Wise

Librarianship (Yilmaz, 2012) is a professional career in which there are quantitatively more female workers than males however; library professionals, specifically female librarians (Irvine, 1985), have a negative image in popular culture. Even though studies show that males make up approximately 20% of library staff (Schott & Connor, 2010) Table 2 provides gender wise distribution of respondents, which show that among the total respondents of the survey, 81.33% were male while 18.37% were female.

Table 2. 
Gender Wise Distribution
S.No Gender Frequency
1 Male 80 (81.63)
2 Female 18 (18.37)
Total 98 (100.00)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.1.2 Age Wise

It should be noted from Table 3 that 39.80% of the respondents fall between the ages of 31-35, 21.43% are between 36-40 years of age and only 8.16% are below 30 years of age.

Table 3. 
Age Wise Distribution
S.No Age Frequency
1 Below 30 8 (8.16)
2 31-35 39 (39.80)
3 36-40 21 (21.43)
4 41-45 16 (16.33)
5 46 Above 14 (14.29)
Total 98 (100.00)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.1.3 Qualifications Wise

Studies have been conducted throughout the world on academic qualification of librarians (de Souza, 2006), in which being a LIS professional was considered as a significant criterion for social identity and professional visibility. Focusing on educational qualification, 64.29% are postgraduate degree holders, 28.57% have completed M. Phil, and 7.14% have attained a doctorate degree. The data is illustrated in Table 4. It is worth noting that the majority of librarians are postgraduate degree holders in the state of Andhra Pradesh, since the basic qualification for a librarian demands this.

Table 4. 
Qualifications Wise Distribution
S.No Qualifications Frequency
1 Graduate 0
2 Post Graduate 63 (64.29)
3 M. Phil 28 (28.57)
4 PhD 7 (7.14)
Total 98 (100.00)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.1.4 Mode of Acquiring Database Management Skills

A number of studies were done with the goal of developing an education system for librarianship (Ritchie et al., 2010), their objectives were to determine the future skills, and knowledge necessary. Some of the drivers for changing the profession of librarianship rely on their ability to extract data from organizational databases, respond to academic questions (Casterella & Vijayasarathy, 2013) and support decision-making. Table 5 depicts various means of acquiring database management skills that the respondents have used.

Table 5. 
Various Means of Gaining Skills on DBMS
S.No Mode of acquiring DBMS Skills Yes No
1 Through Academic Education 23 (23.47) 75 (76.53)
2 Training by Suppliers of Computer and Software Packages 39 (39.80) 59 (60.20)
3 Attending Workshops, Seminar, etc. 19 (19.39) 79 (80.61)
4 Private Training Program 9 (9.18) 89 (90.82)
5 Online Course 8 (8.16) 90 (91.84)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

The majority of the librarians (39.80%) have acquired DBMS skills through training by suppliers of computers and software packages and through academic education (23.47%). Nowadays, courses on DBMS start in school as a vocational training course (Chia-Wen, Pei-Di, & Meng-Chuan, 2011). The vocational schools in Taiwan regard professional certifications as a badge of skills achievement. The teaching in this context usually focuses on how to help students enhance their professional skills and pass the certificate examinations, particularly as this relates to computer courses. The above table denotes that only 8.16% are aware of online courses. A cluster analysis was made for this parameter and a dendogram generated, which is shown in Figure 3.

Fig. 3. 
Dendrogram for Acquiring DBMS Skills Cluster Analysis for Mode of Acquiring Database Management Skills

The major purpose of Cluster Analysis is to group together a collection of objects (e.g. feedback from respondents) into “clusters” so that the objects in the clusters are “similar”. In terms of building prediction and classification models, cluster analysis (Thomas, 2010) can help the analyst identify groups of input variables that in turn can lead to different models for each group. Clustering became a popular software tool to enhance the significance of ranking by grouping items in a typically large list of results. Cluster analysis was based on variables with different scales of measurement across various disciplines worldwide (Chan, 2006; Moon et al., 2005; Hirakue, 2010; Ágústa, 2009; Karunanayake & Haruki, 2014; Bricker, 1991; Dutta, Majumder, & Sen, 2011; Perryman, 2009; Anuradha & Gopalan, 2007; Egea, González, & Menéndez, 2011; Nagata & Klopfer, 2011; Liao & Wen, 2007; Altingovde et al., 2008; Korenius et al., 2006; Kim, Song, & Koo, 2008; Shaw, 1993; Cassisi et al., 2013). The variables and variable codes considered for the cluster analysis representing the mode of acquiring database management skills are shown in Table 6.

Table 6. 
Mode of Acquiring DBMS Skills (Variables and Variable Codes)
S.No Variable Code Mode of Acquiring DBMS Skills
1 TAE Through Academic Education
2 TSCSP Training by Suppliers of Computer and Software Packages
3 AWS Attending Workshops and Seminar, etc.
4 PTP Private Training Programme
5 SS Self Study

The resulting Dendrogram shown as figure 3

Table 7 provides the results of cluster 1 that includes data on the least frequently attained mode of database management skills; in cluster 1, four variables are grouped as shown in the table. The ratio of agree and disagree is 0.17:1, which can be interpreted as self-study is the least frequent mode of acquiring DBMS skills.

Table 7. 
Cluster1- Least Frequently Used DBMS Skills
S.No Variable Code Variable Name Agree Disagree
1 TAE Through Academic Education 23 (23.47) 75 (76.53)
2 AWS Attending Workshops, Seminar, etc. 19 (19.39) 79 (80.61)
3 PTP Private Training Program 9 (9.18) 89 (90.82)
4 SS Self Study 8 (8.16) 90 (91.84)
Total 59 333
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Agree: 59 Disagree: 333
Agree Ratio: 59/98 = 0.60 Disagree Ratio: 333/98 = 3.39
Agree and Disagree Ratio (0.60:3.39) = 0.17:1

Table 8 gives information on the mode used most frequently to attain database management skills by librarians in the study. In cluster 2 which recorded only a single variable, the agree and disagree ratio was found to be 0.65:1, which can be interpreted that the training by suppliers of computer and software packages seems to be most commonly preferred method for obtaining DBMS skills.

Table 8. 
Cluster 2 Most Frequently Used DBMS Skills
S.No Variable Code Variable Name Agree Disagree
1 TSCSP Training by Suppliers of Computer and Software Packages 39 (39.80) 59 (60.20)
Total 39 59
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Agree: 39 Disagree: 59
Agree Ratio: 39/98 = 0.39 Disagree Ratio: 59/98 = 0.60
Agree and Disagree Ratio (0.39:0.60) = 0.65:1

6.2 Part - B: Information and Communication Technology Facilities
6.2.1 Existing Hardware Facilities

Fortunately, for libraries and librarians, electronic journal terminology and software are heading (Stankus, 1999) for at least a momentary plateau, in which certain terms and technologies will be accepted as standard. Clark (1989) describes some of the available software and hardware tools being used to develop a decision support system, which will be implemented on computers, and discusses activities supported by software including data entry, data coding, finding and combining data, and data compatibility. Hardware considerations include speed, storage capacity, and networking.

Table 9 provides information about hardware availability in the engineering colleges in the study and the ranks given them accordingly. It is obvious from the table that CD/DVD computers seem to be available in all of the libraries (100%). 88.78% libraries are provided with pen drives, and in 74.49% of the college libraries servers are available. Pen drives and servers attained second and third rankings respectively.

Table 9. 
Available Hardware Facilities
S.No Hardware Yes No Rank
1 Servers 73 (74.49) 25 (25.51) 3
2 Computers 98 (100.00) 0 (0.00) 1
3 Laptop 8 (8.16) 90 (91.84) 5
4 External Hard Disc 41 (41.84) 57 (58.16) 4
5 Think Client 18 (18.37) 80 (81.63) 5
6 Pen Drive 87 (88.78) 11 (11.22) 2
7 CD/DVD Drive 98 (100.00) 0 (0.00) 1
8 Others 4 (4.08) 94 (95.92) 6
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.2.2 Important Factors of Procuring Hardware

Udoh-Ilomechine (2011) investigated the criteria used in the selection of computer hardware and software in six university libraries in Nigeria. The study revealed that the respondents took into account factors such as memory, speed, capacity, durability, costs, reliability and standardization, brand and manufacturer, warranty, and scalability of the system before procuring computer hardware. The respondents also considered the reliability and record of accomplishment of the vendor, service and technical support, previews or sample sections, compatibility with other programs used, product cost, and data migration before procuring computer software. Table 10 reveals significant factors considered by respondents before procuring hardware amenities. The data gives you an idea that price (63.27%) is the most important criteria, followed by manufacturer’s warranty (54.08%). memory is taken into account by 52.04% of librarians.

Table 10. 
Important Factors of Procuring Hardware
S.No Factors Yes No
1 Memory 51 (52.04) 47 (47.96)
2 Speed 43 (43.88) 55 (56.12)
3 Capacity 38 (38.78) 60 (61.22)
4 Durability 44 (44.90) 54 (55.10)
5 Price 62 (63.27) 36 (36.73)
6 Reliability 29 (29.59) 69 (70.41)
7 Standardization 43 (43.88) 55 (56.12)
8 Brand 24 (24.49) 74 (75.51)
9 Manufacturer Warranty 53 (54.08) 45 (45.92)
10 Scalability 39 (39.80) 50 (51.02)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.2.3 Software Available

Data on software availability is given in Table 11 and ranks provided for the same. Studies report that the MySQL database management system (Dunlap, 2005) offers the combination ideal for developing reliable and scalable Web applications that can store, (Allison, 2012) access, and present information. By using existing SQL/database technology, not only are costs minimal for implementation of the new SQL extension, but users can seamlessly retrieve information (White, 2005) from the database. SQL is the language used by most databases (Wood & Ow, 2005) and advocated as a means to access specific Web data. Structured Query Language (SQL) is said to be relationally complete and used to express any query supported by predicate calculus. The above table shows that MySQL is used in the majority of the engineering college libraries (45.92%); hence MySQL received the ranking of first. Oracle (38.78%) and PostgreSQL (13.27%) secured the second and third rank respectively.

Table 11. 
Available Software Facilities
S.No Software Yes No Rank
1 Oracle 38 (38.78) 60 (61.22) 2
2 MySQL 45 (45.92) 53 (54.08) 1
3 PostgreSQL 13 (13.27) 85 (86.73) 3
4 RDM Server 2 (2.04) 96 (97.96) 4
5 Dbase 1 (1.02) 97 (98.98) 5
6 IBM DB2 1 (1.02) 97 (98.98) 6
7 Others 2 (2.04) 96 (97.96) 6
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Table 12 denotes essential factors for decisions regarding software acquisition. 65.31% respondents look at product cost, 63.27% of librarians rely on service and technical support, while 53.06% of the respondents consider compatibility with other programs.

Table 12. 
Important Factors of Procuring Software
S.No Factors Yes No
1 Track Record of the Vendor 49 (50.00) 49 (50.00)
2 Service and Technical Support 62 (63.27) 36 (36.73)
3 Previews or Sample Sections 38 (38.78) 60 (61.22)
4 Compatibility with Other Programs Being Used 52 (53.06) 46 (46.94)
5 Product Cost 64 (65.31) 34 (34.69)
6 Data Migration 41 (41.84) 57 (58.16)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.3 Part-C: Application of Database Management

Automation in academic libraries (Stuart, 1990) is essential for the development of library databases, access to subjects in relation to external developments, and to improved user service. A question put to users to determine the purpose of using a database, found, as listed in table 13, that 92.86% of librarians use a database for automation while 16.33% rely on a digital library. Various aspects of library automation like circulation, retro-conversion, serial control, information retrieval and dissemination, current awareness of services, selective dissemination of information, bibliographical services, and on-line search of databases seem to be the major criteria for librarians to procure a database; hence, automation is ranked first.

Table 13. 
Purpose of Using Database
S.No Purpose Yes No Rank
1 Automation 91 (92.86) 7 (7.14) 1
2 Digital Library 16 (16.33) 82 (83.67) 2
3 Others 2 (2.04) 96 (97.96) 3
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

It can be noted from Table 14 that 29.59% of librarians adopted a database protocol through oral statements, 19.39% submitted a proposal, while only 16.33% provided a written protocol on DBMS.

Table 14. 
Have You Adopted Any Database Management Strategy / Protocol?
S.No Purpose Yes No
1 Written 16 (16.33) 82 (83.67)
2 Orally 29 (29.59) 69 (70.41)
3 Proposed 19 (19.39) 79 (80.61)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

It is very clear from Table 15 that 75.51% of librarians are in-charge of databases, while 16.33% of system administrators/IT managers take responsibility over management of databases.

Table 15. 
Concerned Staff for Database Management
S.No In- charge of DBMS Yes No
1 Librarian 74 (75.51) 24 (24.49)
2 Library Staff 8 (8.16) 90 (91.84)
3 System administrator/IT Manager 16 (16.33) 82 (83.67)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Respondents responses concerning the criteria of preference for a database for library administration are provided in Table 16. 90.82% of the librarians preferred a database for content value, while 65.31% used databases for archival purposes.

Table 16. 
Criteria for Preferring Database for Library Administration
S.No In- charge of DBMS Yes No
1 Archival Value 64 (65.31) 34 (34.69)
2 Content Value 89 (90.82) 9 (9.18)
3 Rare Data 19 (19.39) 79 (80.61)
4 Frequency of Change 23 (23.47) 75 (76.53)
5 Other 8 (8.16) 90 (91.84)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Chester (2006) discusses the ways to archive electronic files for long-term access. The study offers some solutions to the problem of preserving important electronic information. The authors present some formats in which files are converted. They include text format (Scholtes, 2007) particularly for alphanumeric information, XML format, still image formats such as TIFF, and mixed text and picture formats such as HTML, PDF, and JPEG2000. Table 17 gives information about various data storing file formats employed in libraries. Almost all the respondents (100%) are acquainted with the MS-Word file format, 77.55% of the data is stored using the MS-Excel format while 70.41% of the data is stored using the PDF format.

Table 17. 
Data Storing File Formats
S.No In- charge of DBMS Yes No
1 Word 98 (100.00) 0 (0.00)
2 Excel 76 (77.55) 22 (22.45)
3 ASCII 32 (32.65) 66 (67.35)
4 PDF 69 (70.41) 29 (29.59)
5 MPEG-4 9 (9.18) 89 (90.82)
6 TIFF 1 (1.02) 97 (98.98)
7 JPEG 38 (38.78) 60 (61.22)
8 Others 3 (3.06) 95 (96.94)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

A radar graph, sometimes called a star or spider graph, is laid out in a circular fashion, rather than the more common (Nancy, 2005; Chambers et al., 1983; Jamali et al., 2014) linear arrangement. As represented in Figure 4, a radar graph consists of axis lines that start in the center of a circle and extend to its periphery. Each axis can represent an independent measure related to data storing file format. This spider chart represents the zone wise distribution versus various data storing file formats used by the engineering colleges in the study. Figure 4 explains that the MS-word, MS-Excel, ASCII, and PDF file formats are the most used by engineering college librarians of Zone IV and the JPEG format is employed in libraries of Zone III.

Fig. 4. 
Rating Data Storing File Format by Zone Wise Distribution

In the present scenario, the nature and evolution (Malinconico, 1980) of direct access mass storage devices (Kadyszewski, 1977) are matters of particular concern. Studies that have been done focusing on the data storage devices (Veaner, 1983; Templeton, 1976) like CD-ROM and floppy discs indicate that CDs (Ryan, 1993) and floppies have a significant (Anderson & Spike, 2007) impact on centralized depositories, especially as librarians attempt to adapt to the demands of CD-ROM technology. When librarians were queried about the level of contentment with data storage devices their responses, as indicated in table 18, indicated that librarians are more content with computers (62.24%) and pen- drive (39.80%), than the other methods.

Table 18. 
Contentment Level of Data Storage Devices
S.No Data Storage Devices Excellent Good Satisfactory Poor No Comments
1 Servers 23 (23.47) 51 (52.04) 17 (17.35) 5 (5.10) 2 (2.04)
2 Computers 31 (31.63) 61 (62.24) 5 (5.10) 1 (1.02) 0 (0.00)
3 Laptop 2 (2.04) 6 (6.12) 0 (0.00) 0 (0.00) 0 (0.00)
4 External Hardisc 19 (19.39) 22 (22.45) 0 (0.00) 0 (0.00) 0 (0.00)
5 Cloud Storage 8 (8.16) 10 (10.20) 0 (0.00) 0 (0.00) 0 (0.00)
6 Pen Drive 26 (26.53) 39 (39.80) 19 (19.39) 2 (2.04) 1 (1.02)
7 CD/DVD 9 (9.18) 31 (31.63) 39 (39.80) 10 (10.20) 9 (9.18)
8 Others 1 (1.02) 1 (1.02) 1 (1.02) 0 (0.00) 1 (1.02)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

6.3.1 Database Backup

The concept of data integrity in databases (Gross, 1998) is as old as data storage. Various methods have been adopted to check the corruption of data, but they all fall fundamentally into three categories: backup, validation, and security. The following section features the backup practices used in the engineering colleges of Andhra Pradesh in the study.

Studies done on data backup, suggest that institutions (Byers, 2007) must check their backups regularly and determine how often critical data changes to establish the frequency of the backup schedule. It is clear from Table 19 that 62.24% of librarians do backups everyday and 21.43% do them once a week.

Table 19. 
Frequency of Obtaining Backup
S.No Frequency Yes No
1 Immediately 0 (0.00) 98 (100.00)
2 Every Day 61 (62.24) 37 (37.76)
3 Once in a Week 21 (21.43) 77 (78.57)
4 Once in a Month 10 (10.20) 88 (89.90)
5 Once in a Year 6 (6.12) 92 (93.88)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Different methods have been adopted for database backup. Lohman et al. (1976) described a differential database representation that was shown to be an efficient method for storing large and volatile databases. The technique confines database modifications to a relatively small area of physical storage, and as a result offers two significant operational advantages. First, because the reference point for the database is inherently static, it can be simple and efficiently stored. Moreover, since all modifications to the database are physically localized, the processes of backup and recovery (Breeding, 2010) are relatively fast and inexpensive. With the focus on this type of backup, Table 20 reveals that 68.37% practice manual backup and 19.39% adopt automatic backup.

Table 20. 
Frequency of Obtaining Backup
S.No Backup Method Yes No
1 Full Backup 8 (8.16) 90 (91.84)
2 Incremental Backup 4 (4.08) 94 (95.92)
3 Automatic Backup 19 (19.39) 79 (80.61)
4 Manual Backup 67 (68.37) 31 (31.63)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Table 21 gives information regarding post backup practice processes. It was determined that 58.16% practice preservation of data while 17.35% adopt restoration processes.

Table 21. 
Processes Performed in Post Backup Practices
S.No Process Yes No
1 Tagging 7 (7.14) 91 (92.96)
2 Classification 6 (6.12) 92 (93.88)
3 Verification 3 (3.06) 95 (96.94)
4 Authentication 8 (8.16) 87 (88.78)
5 Restoration 17 (17.35) 78 (79.59)
6 Preservation 57 (58.16) 41 (41.84)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

Even though digitization is not a preservation technique, digitized materials (Palmer, 2008) still need to be protected from adversity caused by a technical or organizational collapse. The study emphasizes the demand for abundant storage and redundant backup routines in digital environments. Steps taken by respondents for preserving database backup are provided in Table 22. 43.88% have opted for cleaning the storage media, while 31.63% store databases in secure and clean environments. For proper backup and safety, it is necessary to take precautions during backup. Some safety measures suggested below might help in maintaining database backup:

Table 22. 
Steps Taken for Preservation of Database Backup
S.No Strategy Yes No
1 Store in Secure & Proper Environment 31 (31.63) 67 (68.37)
2 Auditing 13 (13.27) 85 (86.73)
3 Migration/Refreshment 9 (9.18) 89 (90.82)
4 Replication 2 (2.04) 96 (97.96)
5 Cleaning of Storage Media 43 (43.88) 55 (56.12)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

  • ➢ UPS should be on.
  • ➢ All files should be closed during backup.
  • ➢ Enough storage space should be available on storage media.
  • ➢ Sequential monitoring of backup should be ensured.
  • ➢ There should be proper network connectivity.
  • ➢ Backup should be done during downtime.
  • ➢ Anti-virus software should be installed and updated regularly.
6.4 Part-D: Constraints

Studies indicate that a library with limited staff, funding, and systems development resources (Piorun & Palmer, 2007) can initiate and support a digital library. Facilitators to success include clear lines of authority, a strong champion, and the appropriate technology for the project. In the context of what is happening in India, libraries are still in the process (Rajesh, 2003) of the automation and digitization of their resources; however, the following table presents some of the hindrances faced by the respondents while managing database in their respective libraries.

Constraints faced by librarians during database management are illustrated in Table 23. Electricity problems (65.31%) were found to be the foremost issue. Additionally 50% of the respondents felt that poor ICT knowledge among staff was the key problem. Constraints are depicted through the radar plot (Figure 5).

Fig. 5. 
Rating Constraints by Zone Wise Distribution

The above figure explains that librarians of Zone-II face more constraints in database management with huge data and security issues in the library and electricity problems. Engineering college librarians of Zone-III encounter issues with networking and untrained library staff with the most frequency.

Table 23. 
S.No Constraints Yes No
1 Huge Data for Maintenance and Backup 31 (31.63) 67 (68.37)
2 Lack of ICT Resources 16 (16.33) 82 (83.67)
3 Lack of Networking 38 (38.78) 60 (61.22)
4 Poor ICT Knowledge and Skills among some Staff 49 (50.00) 49 (50.00)
5 Lack of Security in Library 19 (19.39) 79 (80.61)
6 Electricity Problem 64 (65.31) 34 (34.39)
7 Software Version Compatibility 41 (41.84) 57 (58.16)
8 Post Backup Issues 33 (33.67) 65 (66.33)
(Figures in Parentheses indicate percentage)

7. Conclusion

Librarians are perfectly poised to combine sound pedagogy with their expert knowledge of available digital resources to promote adult achievement in technology education. The most preferred way to obtain needed materials when failing to find information that is required is to approach a librarian directly (Noh et al., 2011). Librarians instruct their communities in the areas of internet searching, electronic database use, and personal computing skills. Many of the information seekers are adults, including other library staff members, community members, and non-traditional students. It is clear from the article that some aspects and components of Database Management Systems are complex and difficult. The librarian has to both learn them thoroughly and familiarize other library staff with them. To overcome the problem we suggest:

  • ➢ Online training and orientation of library staff
  • ➢ Asking the vendors to supply material in an easy format.
  • ➢ Learning programs conducted by library associations, which include digital resources that provide opportunities for library professionals to make connections and form relationships across the boundaries of discipline, skill, nationality, and background.
  • ➢ By incorporating an eclectic assortment (Lawson, 2005) of digital resources into computer/internet-related training, the organization ensures that librarians will be better able to connect what they have learned in life and are implement it in the library.

The survey showed that none of the library staff had any formal education and training in online searching. Most have learned it on the job, and have learned by trial and error methods. The staff has little time to train themselves, nor do database providers. Database providers generally supply a slide show rather than hands-on training. With regard to staff education and training, the individuals require a broader understanding of the latest research in different disciplines, scholarly landscape, and technology.

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[ About the author ]

Dr. Kutty. Kumar, Ph.D is presently working as Assistant Professor, Library and Information Science in Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, College of Veterinary Science, Proddatur. His research focuses on Digital Library Initiatives in Engineering Educational Institutions in Rayalaseema Region of Andhra Pradesh. He has 16 years experience in librarianship in both Engineering and Medical Educational Institutions. Around 51 articles were published in peer reviewed journals, 28 conference proceedings (both National and International) and had attended about 14 workshops and seminars. His subjects of interest include Digital Library, Web Technology, Cloud Computing, Data Mining and Computer Networks.

[Appendix] Questionnaire
Role of Database Management Systems in Selected Engineering Institutions of Andhra Pradesh: An Analytical Survey
Dear Library Professionals,

The following survey conducted to know

  • ➢ The source of acquiring Database management skills by Librarians in Andhra Pradesh
  • ➢ Find out the preferred applications of Database Management in Library by Librarians in Andhra Pradesh.

Please make it convenient to answer the following simple questions and Tick (✓) in the relevant box, which will hardly take 5 min to complete. I guarantee strict confidentiality to your identity and information provided.

Part - A: Demographical Information

Kindly provide your personal details.
1 Name :
2 Gender :
3 Age :
4 Qualifications :
5. Please Selected the Following Mode of Acquiring Database Management Skills
S.No Mode of Acquiring DBMS Skills Yes No
1 Through Academic Education
2 Training by Suppliers of Computer and Software Packages
3 Attending Workshops, Seminar, etc.
4 Private Training Programme
5 Online Course

Part - B: Information and Communication Technology Facilities

1. What are the Accessible Hardware Available in your Library?
S.No Hardware Yes No
1 Servers
2 Computers
3 Laptop
4 External Hardisc
5 Think Client
6 Pen Drive
8 Others

1.1 What are the Important Factors for Procuring Hardware?
S.No Factors Yes No
1 Memory
2 Speed
3 Capacity
4 Durability
5 Price
6 Reliability
7 Standardization
8 Brand
9 Manufacture Warranty
10 Scalability

2. Which is the Accessible Software among the Following in the Library?
S.No Software Yes No
1 Oracle
3 PostgreSQL
4 RDM Server
5 Dbase
7 Others

2.1 What are the Important Factors for Procuring Software?
S.No Factors Yes No
1 Track Record of the Vendor
2 Service and Technical Support
3 Previews or Sample Sections
4 Compatibility with other Programs Being Used
5 Product Cost
6 Data Migration

Part-C: Application of Database Management

1. What is the Purpose of Using Database?
S.No Purpose Yes No
1 Automation
2 Digital Library
3 Others

2. Have You Adopted Any Database Management Strategy / Protocol?
S.No Strategy / Protocol Yes No
1 Written
2 Orally
3 Proposed

3. Who is a Concerned Staff for Database Management?
S.No In- charge of DBMS Yes No
1 Librarian
2 Library Staff
3 System Administrator/IT Manager

4. What are the Criteria for Preferring Database for Library Administration?
S.No Criteria Yes No
1 Archival Value
2 Content Value
3 Rare Data
4 Frequency of Change
5 Other

5. What are the Preferred Data Storing File Formats?
S.No File Formats Yes No
1 Word
2 Excel
5 MPEG-4
8 Others

6. Please State the Contentment Level of Data Storage Devices.
S.No Data Storage Devices Excellent Good Satisfactory Poor No Comments
1 Servers
2 Computers
3 Laptop
4 External Hardisc
5 Cloud Storage
6 Pen Drive
8 Others

7. How Frequently is Backup Obtained?
S.No Frequency Yes No
1 Immediately
2 Every Day
3 Once in a Week
4 Once in a Month
5 Once in a Year

8. What is the Type of Backup Method Followed?
S.No Backup Method Yes No
1 Full Backup
2 Incremental Backup
3 Automatic Backup
4 Manual Backup

9. Which among the Following Processes Performed in Post Backup Practices?
S.No Software Yes No
1 Tagging
2 Classification
3 Verification
4 Authentication
5 Restoration
6 Preservation

10. What are the Steps Taken for Preservation of Database Backup?
S.No Strategy Yes No
1 Store in Secure & Proper Environment
2 Auditing
3 Migration/Refreshment
4 Replication
5 Cleaning of Storage Media

Part-D: What are the Major Constraints Encountered During Database Management?

S.No Constraints Yes No
1 Huge No of Data for Maintance and Backup
2 Lack of ICT Resources
3 Lack of Networking
4 Poor ICT Knowledge and Skills among Some Staff
5 Insecurity in Library
6 Electricity Problem
7 Software Version Compatibility
8 Post Backup Issues

Thanks for your valuable response