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Application of Multimedia Technology in Libraries

Multimedia technology

Introduction of Multimedia

The application of Multimedia Technology in Libraries has exponentially grew in recent times. Multimedia Technolgy is one of the important components of Information Technology. It is used in Libraries and Information Centres to make the services more efficient. Its handling is not a matter of concern and dissemination of resources in multimedia format is done easily. Information Technology helped us to deal with the Information systems, Data Storage, Access, and retrieval process.

Multimedia Technology is a mixture of several forms like Text, Image, Visual, Graphics, Audio or Video, etc. So all these media are combined together and form Multimedia Technology. With the advancement of ICT,i.e. Information Communication Technology, Multimedia is used in almost sectors. In Libraries, multimedia plays a major role and it proved that it is very effective in education. As we are moving towards a paperless society and so multimedia helps to bring all forms on a single platform.

Meaning of Multimedia

The term Multimedia was coined by Bobb Goldstein. He used Multimedia in his show “Light Works at L’Qursin” at Southampton Long Island in July 1966. In late 1970, multimedia was used for presentation whuich was done with the help of a projector and having an audio track. In 1990 Computers were called Multimedia computers just because they had a CD-ROM drive. The Keyboard had a volume control and so-called multimedia Keyboard.

Multimedia Technology

Multimedia is the plural of medium, as lots of forms are incorporated together, which makes it a powerful medium. It is a combination of two terms multi and medium. It means multi forms of medium. We can say that by using multimedia, we can communicate visually and verbally. Multimedia is a boon for everybody and a great invention in the field of Information and technology. These days Multimedia is the name given for Digital Information. Digital information or multimedia is easily manipulated as required.

Components of Multimedia

One or more than one forms combined together to form a part of multimedia application.


Multiple fonts are used with the help of computers to create beautiful Texts. Their background is also changed, according to the theme. Thus it appears better than normal text.


These includes Images, pictures, graphs and charts.These things used in art works.These images create a fascinating material.


These include speeches, music, and sound. The application of audio in any content improvises it and thus liked by everyone.


These include video clips, animated clips, or any movies, which makes any application an excellent form, liked by everyone, and entertains them. These video clips are stored in different forms.

Classification of Multimedia

Interactive Multimedia

A multimedia application is that, where the users participate at every stage. He can comment and changes its features as required. Like Games, where a user plays along with that application.

Non Interactive Multimedia

It is just like presentation or movie where audience just watch.

Read Related Topic – How to use Library Automation Software.

Application of Multimedia in Libraries

Nowadays Multimedia resources are part of Library Collection. The acquisition of Non-Book materials has increased with times and given the name of Multimedia Collection. It is the integration of all the resources like Text, Image, Graphics, Animation, Audio, and Video. It has attracted the users of Libraries towards Multimedia Collection. The Librarians felt that these resources have led more users to the library.

Lots of Libraries are building their Multimedia Collections. These collections are in great demand. It helps in the education sector where the teacher likes to use it while teachings. These multimedia formats have a very positive impact on students’ mind.they are able to memorize for a longer period. Lancaster once told that there would be a virtual library. It means a library without four walls.

Multimedia Courses are available for students in CD formats. Magazines and Journals which are an important integral part of Libraries are now subscribed to in CD format or Online. You can read, view, and listen simultaneously on your computer. The biggest advantages that you are subscribing it Online and making it available on other terminals for users.they can access simultaneously at different terminals.

Multimedia Technology provided a platform where it can be easily disseminated in a networked environment. These days online courses are very popular where the teacher sends video clips where the teacher is seen teaching on the blackboard in a class.you can interact with them. Librarians are creating Blogs for the users where they get a list of E-resources on their subject. They send the list which is hypertext, it leads to HyperMedia information retrieval.

The users can get Multimedia collections available in digital formats in CVD formats or World Wide Web. Reference Collection available in Multimedia Format are:

Multimedia Encyclopedias

Encyclopædia Britannica

Microsoft Encarta Multimedia Encyclopedia

McGraw Hill Multimedia Encyclopedia Science Technology

National Geographic CD-ROM – Mammals: A Multimedia Encyclopedia

Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia

Multimedia Dictionaries

Dictionary of Multimedia and Internet Applications: A Guide for Developers and Users

Macmillan Dictionary

Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary

Other Application of Multimedia

1. Information System

2. DataBases

3. newsPapers

4. Entertainment

5.Geographical information systems

6. Engineering Designs

7.Archival Systems

8.Seminar,webinar and Workshops

9.Personal Communications like Email and Video conferencing

10.Kiosks for Libraries

11.Medical Information Systems

12.Multimedia Catalogues

13.Electronic Publishing

14.Self Learning Tools

Multimedia Technology

Advantages of Multimedia in Libraries

1.Multimedia creates 3D effects in Reference Tools

2.It helps in accessing information by providing searching options

3.It provides HD quality of videos and audios.

4. It provides animated information

5.It helps in sharing of resources

6.Multimedia resources are user friendly

7.It helps in keeping information for longer periods in our minds

8.it is interesting and captivating

9.Multimedia increases learning efficiency

Disadvantages of Multimedia in Libraries

1.To set up multimedia Library, Lots of money is required.Libraries have very less budget allotted.

2.Trained Staff is required to develop multimedia Library.

3.High Configuration systems required along with costly software required.

4.Converting into digital formats ,sometimes damage documents.

5.Storage problem also arises.The storage medium corrupts sometimes ,not able to read.


Applications of Multimedia Technology in Libraries has become necessary these days. Its use will increase more in the future. The new software is being made in all fields, especially Libraries are the most privileged sector to use Multimedia. Librarians are always ready to welcome all the technologies which increase the efficiency of Libraries.

Users also get attracted to Libraries as their requirements and needs are taken care of. They are given new services like multimedia resources are being made available to them. Multimedia is very useful for Libraries. It helps to improve the existing services.


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