Koya University Electronic Library Houses more than 70, 000 Books

Koya University Electronic Library Houses more than 70, 000 Books, and have had Thousands of Visitors within Last 11 Months. Koya University Central Library is situated inside the University Park in the heart of the Koya University Campus. It is one of the first buildings within the campus which opened its door to its users and beneficiaries in the autumn of 2006. It owns tens of rare manuscripts and books which constitute Koya University's whole academic collection. In terms of administrative hierarchy, the library is under the Vice President for Scientific and Higher Education Affairs of the university.

The University Library is the main centre for resources and academic cooperation and communication movement. With Dr. Dilan Rustom's assuming responsibility as the Vice President for Scientific and Higher Education Affairs in February 2012, and through the collective efforts of the staff, the cornerstone of the long-term strategic infrastructure for e-library all the university institutions was laid in order to provide access to all information in a practical and transparent way. In Dr. Dilan's opinion, the library is the centre for continuous academic development and it plays an important role in the academic process. Hence, the library has been the starting point of the Koya University's strategic plan.
The obstacles that hindered the project at the beginning were lack of funds and experienced staff to implement the project of electronic enabled library at Koya University. Thanks to Dr. Dilan's efforts who put several months of hard work into establishing the 'Koha' Open Source Integrated Library System, which is used by the most advanced universities worldwide. He trained himself and at the same time trained a number of the university library staff at no cost. At that time, the Koha System did not exist in the Kurdistan Region or even in Iraq. At present, some universities have installed the system at a high cost in order to improve and electronize their libraries' management systems.
Today, with the constant and collective efforts of the library staff and under the careful and constant supervision of the library's faithful director, Mr. Kakakhan Nasradin, the project is progressing. Reporting on the status of the library and as indication of progress, the Director of the Koya University Central Library stated, "During the last 11 months more than 13000 teachers and students have visited the library."
During a visit by Koya University Newsletter to Koya University Central Library, Mr. Kakakhan stated, "We are pleased with such follow-up visits to the library in order to monitor its progress and inform others about its status."
With regard to the mechanism of using the electronic library, Mr. Kakakhan said, "All the books of the library will be entered into the system and users will be able to identify the books they want to borrow online, and upon coming to the library, they can proceed to the respective stack area to take the books of their choice without any search, and this is an important step in the process of making electoric libraries in the Kurdistan region."  "Dr. Dilan has referred to the fact that the project has reached its present status through the efforts of the staff without any cost; however, the system is in need of professional and experienced staff and this requires the university to allocate a special budget to train the staff and to maintain the system and make it more effective," Mr. Kakakhan added.
Later, expressing great enthusiasm, Mr. Kakakhan, talked about the library's organizational structure and said, "The library is divided into several halls and sections, including the Science Hall for keeping scientific resources and books, The Law and Shari'a Hall for the law and Shari'a resources and books, the Arts Hall containing the literary and social resources and a special hall for keeping reference materials which are not allowed to be borrowed or taken out but can only be used inside the library, in addition to the Theses and Dissertations Hall, and the Internet Hall."  He further said, "The Vice President for Scientific and Higher Education Affairs has made arrangements and trained necessary staff to digitize all the theses and dissertations of Koya University (i.e. making them available in electronic format) starting from 2003." "We hope the work will be accomplished by the beginning of 2015," Mr. Kakakhan added.
The Director of the Koya University Central Library also discussed their needs and problems stating "One of our problems is absence of an appropriate building as the current building is in bad condition. We ask the Presidency of Koya University to include in its new plan, the construction of a new building with state-of-the-art facilities."  He also referred to the problem of lack of staff and staff retention issues saying, "Currently, the library has 30 staff, but most of them are not from Koya and work in the library on temporary basis; and after they gain the job skills and experience, they want to be transferred to their hometowns. We have asked for the appointment of some permanent specialist staff in the library in order to make full use of their capacity," Mr. Kakakhan further added.
The Director of the Library also mentioned "Since Dr. Dilan's assuming responsibility as the Vice President for the Scientific and Higher Education Affairs, he has issued a decision for extending the working hours of the library. Accordingly, it opens from 8:30 a.m. to 18:00? p.m. because the library, as Dr. Dilan believes, is the main centre of the university for knowledge and for building and maintaining social and academic relations; it also enhances the academic status of the university."
In an interview with Dr. Dilan, he explained that in 2013 he had submitted a draft proposal to the Council of the University in regard to changing the University Library to become a Library and Museum and obtained agreement on that. Since then the Koya University Library and Museum has been receiving visitors and many guests from the university visit the museum. The museum works as a bridge that links the inside community of the university with the outside community and it is supervised by a joint committee from Koya City and Koya University personalities.
The Koya University Central Library and Museum was established in 2003, soon after the establishment of Koya University. It owns more than 70 thousand resources and books. At present two teams are working in it in the morning and evening shifts and the library opens from 8:30 a.m to 6:00 p.m.
Dr. Dilan Majeed Rustom, the Vice President for Scientific and Higher Education Affairs, and Mr. Kakakhan Nasradin, The Director of the Koya University Library and Museum appreciate the efforts of the Koya University Library and Museum staff, in particular, the technical staff of the 'Koha' system for their efforts in making e-library the Koya University Library.


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