Purpose The purpose of this paper is to advocate for change in academic library space assessment and use philosophy in favor of a more user-centered approach emphasizing space designed for and by users themselves. This goal is achieved by analyzing the implementation of a recent space assessment project at the University of Northern Colorado Libraries to investigate specific patterns of library space utilization. Design/methodology/approach This paper presents a case study for which data were collected through a multi-method approach, including flip chart and whiteboard questions, brief semi-structured “tabling” interviews, and more in-depth “roving” interviews. Findings The current library literature on space assessment does not encompass broader, more holistic approaches to how library space is used by students, faculty, staff and community users. The findings from this study highlight the diversity of ways patrons may use an academic library, many of which are related to academic work. However, visitors also come to the library for other purposes, such as socializing or attending an event. It is imperative that the space be adequately equipped to meet varied visitor needs and to create a welcoming environment for all patrons. Originality/value The paper has several implications for planning and managing the operations of medium-sized academic libraries. It contributes to the larger conversation in higher education about the importance of user research for enhancing visitor experience through data-informed decision-making. Furthermore, the project it details is not an isolated assessment effort but part of the library’s ongoing space assessment work.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the reading habit and attitude among rural communities in the low literacy rate areas in Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach Multi-stage cluster and simple random sampling were employed and 400 respondents who live nearby the rural library were selected. Findings Moderate levels of reading attitude were obtained from the result of the study, in which several variables produced a significant relationship in the reading attitude (education level, household income and time spent in reading). Practical implications Better understanding on the reading habit and attitude among rural communities could produce better information on the service provision towards the establishment of rural libraries in low literacy rate areas in Malaysia. This would also increase the utilisation of reading sources and services provided. Originality/value The paper provides better understanding on the reading habit and attitude among the rural communities in the low literacy rate areas in using the facilities provided by the rural libraries. The findings may be useful to the rural literacy and library development community in the developing countries.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to summarize a library use study of the central and community branches of a Canadian public library. An exit survey documented the in-branch activities of users as a part of a library strategic planning process. Survey results were used in combination with branch statistics, postal code circulation statistics, neighbourhood demographics and other data sources to document the in-library use of the two facilities. Design/methodology/approach Questionnaires were administered to library users 15 years of age or older at the exits of the central and community branches. The survey collected data on their activities and services used during their current visit. Additional sources such as branch-level statistics, furniture tally sheets, photographs, Canada Census data and circulation analysis by patron postal code and lending branch were used during the analysis stage. Findings Both branches are heavily used but in different ways. Branch circulation and gate count per square foot of floor space were high relative to other Canadian libraries. Patron visits to the community branch were short in duration, in line with previous public library studies. User visit duration and in-library activities within the main branch somewhat resembled those of the central branch of a larger library system but likely for different reasons. Research limitations/implications The study was exploratory. Data were collected during two coinciding days of library operation, a Thursday and a Saturday, and may not be representative of the underlying population. The study was limited in scope as it was a community service project for undergraduate university students. Practical implications Branch library use surveys, in combination with library statistics and demographics, can provide useful insights concerning in-library patron behaviour when the use of ethnographic techniques is not feasible. Originality/value The study explored differences and similarities in user behaviour in two types of library facilities, a central and a community branch. Few published studies make such a direct comparison. The study explored the perceived benefits received by patrons from public library use and incorporated branch statistics, circulation analysis and Census data.
Purpose Since 2005, various public and private sector institutions have been offering a postgraduate degree in Library and Information Management (LIM) in Pakistan and a good number of professionals working in different sectors have got MPhil degree. However, locally, no study has been conducted to measure the impact of higher education on the job performance of information professionals (IPs) in any aspect. The purpose of this paper is to measure job performance of MPhil degree (18 years of education) holder IPs. Design/methodology/approach It is a quantitative study based on the theoretical framework of job performance comprised of its four constructs, i.e. task performance, contextual performance, counterproductive work behaviors (CWB) and adaptive performance. An adopted self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from professionals who have graduated from any LIM schools of the Punjab province with at least one-year work experience after completion of MPhil degrees. For the purpose of the present study, demographic information like age, job experience and library context was also asked about to explore their impact on job performance. Findings Findings revealed that MPhil degree has a significant positive impact on the job performance of IPs. The professionals reported a significant positive change in their CWB regarding experience after getting a degree. Furthermore, results revealed that professionals were capable of technical skills but needed training regarding time management, teamwork and improving emotional intelligence. Originality/value This is the first study reported from Pakistan on the subject. The results of the study may help the LIM schools to review their MPhil programs for the desired results. It may also help organizations to encourage their personnel for higher education.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the librarians’ quality of working life (QWL) in the Iranian public libraries. Design/methodology/approach The present study is an applied research in terms of purpose and an analytical survey in terms of data collection and analysis method. The Walton standard questionnaire was used as the data collection tool. The statistical population of this research consists of librarians in the Iranian public libraries. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in order to analyze the data. Findings The findings showed that the dimensions of organizational social integration, constitutionalism in the organization and the capacity for human development are at a good level; the dimensions of the environment opportunity for continued growth and security and safe and healthy work are at a moderate level. Finally, the dimensions of fair and adequate payment, social relevance of work life and total life space are at a weak level are shown. Originality/value The findings of the confirmed hypothesis indicated that the librarians at the Iranian public libraries have a desirable (high) QWL.
Purpose Through the case analysis of China’s digital library, the purpose of this paper is to make readers understand the development status, achievements and problems of China’s digital library. At the same time, it also enables readers to understand the common application forms of these modern information technologies in digital libraries, so as to provide a reference basis for the application of new technologies in other countries’ digital libraries. Design/methodology/approach On the basis of literature review, the authors have analyzed a conspicuous collection of related papers in order to make a comprehensive summary and elaboration on the present situation of modern information technology application in Chinese digital libraries. Findings This paper defines and analyses the concepts, contents and relationships of the three most important modern Big Data information technologies, and then completes the analysis of the current situation of the application of information technology in Chinese digital libraries. The block chain can achieve more accurate information collection, more secure information storage and more effective information dissemination. Artificial intelligence can improve the existing digital library service level in three aspects: resource construction, information organization and information service. Internet plus will help transform the traditional digital library business mode in order to adapt to the change of user-centered service. Originality/value This is among the first structured attempts of comprehensively and generally summarizing the application of modern information technology in Chinese digital libraries. It also contains an original exploration of the relationship between the main kinds of modern information technology. Based on this, a relatively complete application scenario and possible vision of modern information technology in digital library can be built.
Purpose Public libraries in the UK are increasingly expected to provide arts activities and events as part of their usual operations. The purpose of this paper is to summarise recent policy trends in this direction from both the perspective of libraries’ and the arts sector. A touring theatre project aimed at children and families is discussed in further detail to examine some of the outcomes of these policies. Design/methodology/approach The paper will present a brief history of policy developments and debate in this area. Mixed method findings from the research element of “Among Ideal Friends” will be discussed, having used surveys and interviews with audiences and librarians, geodemographic profiling, box office records and library card data. Findings Public funding across both libraries and the arts has decreased at a national and local level, though both sectors are encouraged to work together to share expertise and community knowledge. Research limitations/implications The primary funding for the project was an arts funding body. While a holistic approach to evaluation was taken, this limited any specific focus that might have been given to educational outcomes or cost-benefit analysis compared to other interventions. Practical implications Public libraries can see the results and challenges of a successful regional touring theatre project for consideration in their own activity planning, especially those related to families and younger users. Social implications Libraries and Arts organisations have different priorities in regards to these areas. Though co-operative, the situation is not without tension. The topic is illustrative of some wider debates around cultural value, everyday participation and cultural democracy. Originality/value This paper offers a timely discussion of cultural policy in relation to libraries, e.g. The Society of Chief Librarians “Universal Cultural Offer” (October 2017).
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to indicate the place of assessment of the impact of libraries in the overall quality evaluation of these institutions. In the paper, an attempt has been made to separate the concepts of the impact and values of library services and, according to the designated scope, the most important areas of research, methods and indicators for the assessment of the impact of academic libraries were characterized. The focus was on the most important areas, i.e. on the impact of libraries on didactics and academic research, information literacy and on its assessment in the cultural and environmental aspect. Design/methodology/approach A literature-based overview of actual insights on tasks and areas, methods, indicators research on the impact of academic is provided. Findings The author has determined that the analysis of the impact of academic libraries can mainly concern the following areas: information (influence on didactics, research and information competence of users), cultural and environmental. That is why it is worth analyzing the most important methods and indicators of research on the impact of academic libraries in these areas. The best way to research the quality of libraries, and especially to determine its impact on users and the environment, is to use a mixed methodology – a whole set of quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques. Triangulation can involve the use of both qualitative and quantitative data or the use of multiple methods to develop one type of data. Research limitations/implications However, these methods were used to study the impact of academic libraries, whose results do not determine the financial value. Practical implications The paper shows the methods of research on the quality of the functioning of academic libraries with a special emphasis on the study of their impact on users and the social environment. Social implications The paper shows the methodology of determining the social role of academic libraries. Originality/value The paper intends to add to the body of knowledge about the research methodology for the impact of academic libraries.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyse the level of transparency of the libraries of Catalan universities that are members of the Consortium of University Services of Catalonia (CSUC). Design/methodology/approach The analysis involved reviewing the information available on the websites of the ten libraries belonging to CSUC. For each library’s website, the presence of 18 indicators was explored. These indicators had been defined by the Commitment and Transparency Foundation (Spain). Findings There is a notable difference between the level of transparency of Catalan universities and their libraries. Moreover, the universities’ culture of transparency is not reflected in that of the libraries. Four of the libraries can be considered transparent because they have accomplished from 12 to 18 indicators; three can be considered “translucent”, due to their indicators ranging from 11 to 7 points; and three are considered opaque as a result of obtaining from 1 to 5 indicators. Practical implications There is a need to review the volume and quality of information that can be consulted on library websites, considering that all services and entities funded with public money must inform citizens of the principles that govern their management and the results obtained. Originality/value The information regarding transparency is incomplete and should be organised with parameters that make it easier to find. Libraries that occupy the lowest positions in the ranking all belong to private universities. Their poor results are due to the lack of information justifying their management or providing information on how the service is organised. Some conclusions of this study are very similar to those of the study on Madrid’s Madroño Consortium (Pacios Lozano, 2016) which has been taken into account in this paper.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the management of institutional repository (IR) in Nigerian universities. Design/methodology/approach The study took the form of a descriptive survey, gathering data from academics and repository mangers from 15 universities that have their IR captured on OpenDOAR. Findings The results showed that most academics submit their work for archiving in IR, and the types of materials submitted are mostly journal articles and conference proceedings. Contents are archived, using self-archiving and mediated submission. Some universities do not provide support and motivation towards the research works of their staff. Practical implications The implication of the study lies in the adoption and implementation of the framework presented in this work to ensure the growth and sustainability of IR. Originality/value The study is based on the findings presented a framework to guide repository managers to ensure effective management of IR.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to look at organizational culture and knowledge sharing, and to explore how a leader fosters a culture of knowledge sharing in an information organization. Design/methodology/approach The literature survey is used. It indicates that little is known about how to foster a culture of knowledge sharing from a leadership perspective in an information organization. Findings This study finds that the main approaches that a leader need to use to foster a culture of knowledge sharing are to set the mission, short-term, middle-term and long-term goals and objectives of fostering a culture of knowledge sharing, master as many leadership styles as possible, adjust and choose a leadership style that is appropriate to fostering a culture of knowledge sharing in a given situation, lead by example, develop messaging, make a communication plan, reward and recognize knowledge-sharing behaviors and make knowledge management fun. Research limitations/implications The limitation is that this study is solely focused on the literature survey and opinions. Practical implications This paper provides a useful overview of the approaches used to foster a culture of knowledge sharing in an information organization. Originality/value The views, approaches and suggestions will be useful and valuable to improve the success of knowledge sharing in information organizations in the digital age.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to illustrate some methods to protect digital libraries using digital rights management (DRM) technologies and specifically the methods applied at the digital libraries of Jordan universities. Design/methodology/approach A descriptive research method has been used to examine the extent of DRM in digital libraries of universities in Jordan. Findings Majority of the universities in Jordan use different methods of protection including coding, identification, authenticity and digital watermark. However, methods including digital signature, digital fingerprint, copy detection systems and pay system have not been employed within Jordanian universities. The use of copyright management systems has been limited, which shows the weakness in the use of technological protection within the investigated libraries. Originality/value This study has shown contribution to the development of digital libraries that are based on the protection of new technology and are able to provide better services to users without concern about protecting publishers’ rights.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to propose an approach of quantitative assessment of academic value and demand of journals for a discipline. Design/methodology/approach This study defines relative citation rate (RCR) and utilization rate (UR) of journals cited by a discipline with a case of inorganic chemistry discipline in Jilin University, ranks the journals in decreasing order of RCR and UR, and analyzes the RCR and UR curves with mathematical statistics and physics. Findings The RCR and UR curves can be expressed as: RCR(n)=N1exp(−n/t(N1))+N2exp(−n/t(N2))=64.54exp(−n/1.98)+31.14exp(−n/23.11) and UR(n)=Y1exp(−n/t(Y1))+Y2exp(−n/t(Y2))=85.06exp(−n/108.6)+12.94exp(−n/705.8). The parameters t(N1), t(N2), t(Y1) and t(Y2) can be used to assess quantitatively academica value and demand of journal for a discipline and to determine core journals of the discipline. Research limitations/implications This approach is used to quantitatively assess academic value and demand of journals for a discipline. Practical implications This approach may provide useful information for journal management of library. Originality/value The present work is original.
Purpose Academia’s overwhelming reliance on non-tenure track, or contingent, faculty is a well-known fact. While the status and working conditions of contingent classroom faculty have been well studied and documented, the corresponding trend in academic libraries has not been explored as deeply. As this paper reviews the limited LIS literature on the subject, the purpose of this paper is to provide administrators and managers with a deeper understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of contingent appointments. It also offers strategies for fostering a workplace culture that recognizes contingent librarians’ contributions and promotes their professional growth. Design/methodology/approach An overview of scholarly and professional literature on contingent librarianship, this paper is based on published research studies and academic articles; given the prominence of anecdotal and personal writing on the subject, columns and first-person essays from trade publications, as well as library-related blogs and job search sites, are also included. Findings Contingent librarians have been a steady presence in academic libraries for the last few decades. The trend is continuing. There are specific practices that can be applied to effectively manage contingent librarians. Originality/value The paper offers academic library administrators and managers a concise yet comprehensive overview of the issues related to contingent appointments.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is the exploration of students’ preferred social media (SM) tools for receiving information about their academic library. The authors administered a questionnaire at their prospective institutions: the College of Staten Island (CSI), City University of New York, USA and the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in London, Ontario, Canada. The authors examine students’ preferences for various SM tools, and analyzed the types of information students expect from the library’s SM accounts. The authors argue that the library’s SM postings should be curated based on market research that provides a better understanding of the target audience. Design/methodology/approach The authors explore the SM preferences of students at their prospective institutions. The authors examine the SM channels students visit and the types of SM content they wish to seek out. The authors ran the authors’ study from September 1 through December 31, 2016. The authors used convenience sampling and a printed questionnaire to collect data from students in information literacy instruction sessions (n=633 at CSI, n=602 at UWO). Findings The authors found that more students (at both institutions) used Facebook and YouTube, as compared with other SM platforms. If they viewed their library’s SM accounts, students from both institutions preferred to read about news and current events, followed by announcements about new library services. Practical implications The authors illustrate that conducting market research helps SM managers understand their target audience. Market research is the key to successful SM management. It also helps in the development of a marketing plan and provides insights on students’ preferences regarding SM content. Originality/value This study compares students’ SM preferences across two academic institutions from two countries, the USA and Canada. The authors wished to investigate the similarities and differences among these students’ preferences.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to discover which social networking sites international students prefer for information dissemination activities. As more libraries experiment with social networking to inform and connect with students, there is a need to determine the effectiveness of this strategy for reaching international students. The paper seeks to address three questions: what social networking sites do international students prefer and why? Which sites do they use to socialise and which do they use to gather and distribute information? How can libraries leverage this information to enhance the international student experience?Design methodology approach - Information on social networking preferences and usage was gathered from 13 per cent of students at Bond University via an online survey.Findings - The findings confirm that for some international student populations, social networking preferences differentiated between the domestic students' preferences. In addition to social activities, international and domestic students are using particular social networking sites for a wide range of educational purposes, including group work and sharing and gathering information. Although Facebook is still the predominant choice for the majority of students, the findings suggest particular sites such as Twitter and YouTube should be considered by libraries as a means to engage both international and domestic students. Institutions with large Chinese student populations should consider the use of Renren.Originality value - As of yet there have been no studies that have investigated and compared international students' social networking preferences to domestic students. The study connects the findings to practical implications for academic library use of social networking sites.
Purpose This paper analyzes project and portfolio management within a major research library, while it was undergoing a complete physical renovation and reinvention of programs and services. This is a complex, almost 100-million-dollar undertaking that implemented a project management (PM) methodology known as portfolio management. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the implementation and management of this process and provide a brief overview on project and portfolio management as a discipline. Additionally, it provides strengths and weaknesses as well as recommendations when implementing PM. Design/methodology/approach The analysis uses a qualitative research methodology case study with a theoretical foundation of inductive grounded theory. The case study is based primarily on seven interviews of project managers who are involved with the project. It also uses document analysis to assist in triangulating the findings and provide a contextual overview of a complex process. A number of themes emerged into overall categories and findings. Findings The key takeaways were the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the process. The strengths were improved communication and transparency, improved organization and documentation and formal decision-making process and resource allocation. The weaknesses were the hammer and the nail problem, the tools and paperwork, rigidity and the lack of agility within the process. This study also describes the process in detail and gives recommendations for improving the methods implemented in similar circumstances. Originality/value This paper analyzes strategic management concepts from an empirical grounded theory approach and real-world perspective with key recommendations.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of international library materials aid in primary schools and to outline obstacles to effective utilization for maximum literacy benefits among primary school children. Design/methodology/approach Data were gathered via interviews, observation, focus group discussions and document analyses. Findings Findings indicate that teachers were trained by Kenya National Library Services Kisii Branch staff on basics of library materials management before literacy materials were sent to the schools; teachers and pupils reported that development of vocabulary and better essay writing are some of the benefits of the donated materials; and culturally distanced materials and school dynamics impact negatively on the effective utilization of the donated library resources. Practical implications The authors recommend that donors work hand in hand with the Ministry of Education and other local stakeholders that it may be possible to address obstacles to proper and highly effective implementation of literacy empowerment projects. Originality/value The findings of this study are from original research and the implications must be treated as such.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to discuss a review of the literature on the value of public libraries and propose a preliminary value framework for the public library based on the results. The review was conducted and the framework was developed as part of a larger ongoing project exploring the value of California’s public libraries. Design/methodology/approach This paper is a literature review of approximately 130 international, national and local resources from 1998 to 2018. Findings were developed through an analysis and synthesis of the works as they relate to public libraries. Findings The themes that emerged from the exploration of studies fell into three intersecting categories: support for personal advancement; support for vulnerable populations; and support for community development. A wide variety of quantitative and qualitative methods have been employed in this area of research. Among the many ways to discuss value, the most appropriate for the user will always depend on the context for which the concept of value is being defined. Practical implications Practitioners may find the various definitions of value useful when sharing information about public libraries with decision makers and other stakeholder audiences and when designing service models and outcomes. Originality/value The authors believe this paper is the first to identify the emergence of a value framework for the public library based on a literature review exploring both the social and financial value of public libraries.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the perspectives and viewpoints of professional staff of the Sam Jonah Library in as much as the ethical aspects of their profession are concerned. The paper also seeks to determine the common ethical issues that confront these professionals and their default courses of action in dealing with these issues. Design/methodology/approach The descriptive survey design was used as the research methodology with the population of the study being all professional (post-graduate diploma and above) and para-professional (certificate, diploma and first degree) staff of the library. Due to the small number of professional staff (43) in the library, the census sampling technique was used. Findings Results indicated the existence of ethical dilemmas in the working lives of these professionals with guidance for dealing with these dilemmas emanating mostly from consultation of senior colleagues. Although the findings showed that the Ghana Library Association (GLA) had an ethics handbook, it was revealed that majority of the staff were not aware of its existence. It was also discovered that one of the major challenges of these professionals is the absence of a specific library code of ethics handbook to guide staff in case they are confronted with these ethical dilemmas. The study recommends a strong awareness creation initiative from the GLA to bring to the notice of members, the existence of a formal code of ethics document. Originality/value The paper provides information on specific ethical issues confronting staff of the library and their current modes of dealing with the dilemmas they encounter.