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The impact of electronic resources on improving user satisfaction:a case study of aberdeen city central library reference unit.

Abstract

This research work is geared towards identifying the impact of electronic resources on users’ satisfaction. This research was carried out by means of proper investigation; using the Reference Services Unit of Aberdeen City Central library as a case study. In realising the aim of this research, the researcher was able to raise a number of research questions as a guide into the investigation.

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However, it should be noted that electronic resources constitutes one of the major information in the library today and this has been applauded by many of the prolific writers. It is made up of those information sources that are in electronic format; hence, its simplicity, mode of accessibility etc cannot be compared to any other sources like printed information. In all, any library irrespective of its purpose should incorporate electronic resources as efficient, effective and reliable sources of information. The era of total dependent on printed sources of information has been marred due to large volume of information resources that are growing at an incessant rate without control.

Chapter One

Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Several libraries exist in the world today and are usually established for particular purpose. Examples of libraries include: School libraries, public libraries, National libraries, special libraries and Academic libraries. They all worked to the realisation of their mission statement and goals at all times. However, for the purpose of this piece of research, the researcher dwells on public library system which is the subject of discussion (theme). Therefore, public library as it implies today has to do with tax-supported libraries serving the generality of the public without discrimination to age, race, sex, religion etc and its services are usually free of charge unless otherwise stipulated (Okoro 1999). They held in their collections, materials that represent all categories of people they are supposed to serve. This material collection include: Print and non-print materials. While print materials include monographs (books), Research papers, journal and newspaper publications etc. Non-print materials on the other hand constitute digital or electronic information resources in the library (Okoro 1999). The emergence of electronic information resources known as electronic resources has been applauded and given positive remark, high profile patronage due to its important contribution to learning, research and development. Electronic information resources need to be emphasised by any library whether public, academic, national or research institute due to its friendliness in bringing information resources close to the door steps of the library patron and information professionals. With a single mouse click, information resources abound in the internet; databases etc are being revealed and therefore are made handy for retrieval by the prospective users.

Electronic resources have constituted the major information materials in the world today due to its important. Using electronic information services will help facilitate information retrieval, searches and dissemination. However, the days of total dependency in paper records has given way for electronic information resources. Here, the researcher will look at the impact of all these electronic resources in satisfaction of users of the library with emphasis on the reference unit of the Central City Library, Aberdeen. Here, electronic resources are basically information resources provided in electronic form, and these include CD-ROMs, resources available on the internet such as e- journals, e-print, and other computer- based electronic networks (Klobas, 1995; Tsakonas and papatheodorou, 2006).

Analysing the view of the authors, it could be suggested that electronic resources has given wider access to information in public libraries, research centres etc in the efficient promotion of learning, teaching and development when compared to traditional print sources through the use of information and communications technologies(ICTs) by the library patrons.

’’The transition from print to electronic medium, apart from resulting in a growth of electronic information, has provided users with new tools and applications for information seeking and retrieval’’(Tsakonas and Papatheodorou 2006).

1.2 Background information to the study

The Aberdeen city central library was opened on July 1892 by Mr Andrew Carnegie on the 5th day of July 1892.A short publication titled ’A manual for readers’ which explained the overall purpose of establishing the library was produced by the then librarian known as Mr. Alexander Robertson. Several attempts was made to established a library for the city but all met with failure despite strong proposal put forward for the establishment of the library.

Prior to the meeting held in the music hall on the 25th march 1884, by Professor Alexander Bain, seconded by Baillie George Walker, a motion to erect a library was then successful.

Following this development, the director of the mechanic institute agreed to hand over their building and their library to the town council for the purpose of establishing a public library for the city.

Within a few short years, it was later discovered that the mechanic institution that serve the purpose of a public library could not meet up with the demand of the populace using the library; hence all effort were deployed towards erecting a new library building situated at Rosemount Viaduct(Henderson 1892).

The Reference library, a bright and airy library was opened its doors for library users on the 29th day of August, with about 500 volumes that comprises gazetteers, atlases, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc. All these were freely displayed on the shelves for the library users. Three (3) notable collections exist in the library like Walker music collection, Edmond collection of general literature and Croom Robertson collection respectively (Henderson 1892).

1.2.1 Statement of the problem

The aim of the researcher is to identify those information resources that can facilitate learning, research and development. Here, the researcher concern is basically those information bearing materials that comprises electronic resources. The use of these resources in public library, research centres and other educational institutions has been subjected to neglect due to heavy reliance of printed materials etc, despite the volume of useful information that is contain in this piece of resources. In other to effectively carry out the research, the researcher was ableto investigate those materials that form part of electronic resources in Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit.

1.2.2 Aim of the Research

The overall aim of this research is to identify the impact of electronic resources in ensuring library users satisfaction. The researcher however considered the Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit as a case study.

1.2.3 Objectives of the study

In order to realise the aim of the research, the researcher was able to investigate into those problems regarding electronic resources. These include:

To identify the type of resources that exists in the library

To ascertain the relevance of these resources to the library users

To identify the likely problems in the utilisation of electronic resources

To identify the impact of electronic resources in ensuring users satisfaction

To ascertain the relevance of electronic resources in world’s libraries

To proffer useful suggestion and recommendation where applicable to enhance and improve on the use of electronic resources among the public libraries.

1.2.4Research questions

What type of resources exists in the library?

What are the important of these resources to the library users?

What are the problems likely encountered in the use of electronicresources?

What are the impacts of electronic resources on users’ satisfaction?

What are the opinion of user and management regarding electronic resources?

What are the likely steps towards developing electronic resources?

1.2.5 Scope of the study

This research work will be limited to only Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit. This section of the library that bears the bulk of research materials in the library; both in print and electronic format etc. All information provided in this section, are made for consultation (items of information) rather than borrowed. However, all information in this section no matter the format are tagged as ’Reference only’.

1.2.6 Assumption of the study

The research will be guided by the following assumptions:

Electronic resources are part of library collections.

Electronic resources are so vital for efficient and effective service delivery.

The aim of electronic resources is to ensure satisfaction of library users.

Electronic resources can be held for a specific purpose, depending on the aim or purpose.

Electronic resources are vital to any library due to its durability.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Rationale for electronic resources

Electronic resources, retrieval and dissemination have been applauded by many prolific writers both regionally and globally due to its important in facilitating research and development among scholars. In some less developed countries today, interest has been shown in order to address the issue concerning electronic resources and its effectiveness in countries of the world (Watts and Ibegbulam, 2006; Lawal and Ani, 2007; Gbaje, 2007).However, in advance countries such as Poland, development of electronic resources has been tremendous as series of transformation has been witness. For Instance, In Poland, The technical Library of Lodz has subscribes in its collection, large numbers of electronic information resources since 1992; in the form of CD-ROMs; all retained in its database. Such materials like Earth Science, Engineering, Technology and applied science, physics, chemistry etc has been noted (Feret B.et.al. 2003).

Moreso, in 1990, polish libraries witness another development in area of electronic information resources which includes:

COMPENDEX-made up of multidisciplinary database that covers technology and engineering subjects.
An EEDISC database was also created with the sole aim of targeting professionals and those interested in the use of computers (Feret B.et.al. 2003).

Furthermore, following the introduction of electronic resources in public libraries in Poland, digitalisation of library own collection has been established. Also, in 2003, implementation of a long term project which has caused a great interest known as ‘eBipol’ was introduced in libraries (Feret B et.al). With the development of electronic resources, series of transformation has taken place such as diskettes and compact discs available on chosen computers to website accessibility in range of subject etc (Feret B et.al 2003).

Edwards (2001) opined that providing access to information has traditionally been about buildings, based around institutions offering services to onsite users.’’ Building tomorrow’s library he emphasised, will not simply be a matter of installing rows of computers with internet access, hence our users will increasingly expect to be able to access materials from where they live and work; thus electronic information resources’’.

Analysing the view of the above author, it could be suggested that electronic resources if well implemented in a public library system will go a long way in making information bearing materials accessible to rural dwellers. For example, in United States of America, the availability of internet terminal in public libraries rise sharply between the period of 2000 and 2007, increasing approximately on a per capita basis (Henderson 2009). Moreso, in a survey carried out in 2000 by ’George D Elia and his colleague’, it was however reveal that the use of public library and internet was complementary (Elia et.al 2000).

Analysing the result of the above authors, it could be suggested that internet connectivity and access is vital for the smooth operation of public library services. In a similar development, a research conducted by the above author also reveal that ’’youth with internet access at home visited the library less frequently than those who do not have internet access at home’’(Elia et.al 2000).However, other studies has focus on the emergence of patrons dependant on public library online resources to engage in vital economic activities; hence it was reveal ’’that majority of American Retailers now require potential hourly employers to make application electronically and that most public libraries being only source of free internet access in their communities. Following this development, many job seekers who do not have internet access at home resort to the public library’’ (Henderson 2009).

Furthermore, the Director of the Developing Library Network (DELNET), New Delhi, also opined that ’’Our public library system in the country failed totally in bringing knowledge to the doorsteps of every individual’’,. In his word, ’’it is advisable for us to look at the problem afresh, especially when the computer and the new communication technologies have now become available to us at a minimal cost’’ (Kaul 2002).

Analysing the view of the author, it could be suggested that the purpose of establishing the public library services, is to provide knowledge to the wider public using the most efficient, effective and less affordable means available to them such as internet, computer, CD-ROMs, databases etc. Also, given the available resources within their reach, they will be in a position to serve their clientele better as well as evaluate their performance through library user’s feedback or responses.

Moreso, it could be suggested that with the introduction of useful technologies in the public library systems, they will be equipped in the provision of electronic resources, thereby sharing and evaluation of their resources. However, stressing on the important of electronic resources in the upliftment of learning, research and development, the Indian Institute of Technology (ITT) Kharagpur has made available monthly electronic SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information) services for the public library users(Arora and Agrawal 2003). This include: Current Contents on Diskette (CCOD) and bibliographic database subscription etc. In view of this development, the MHRD Technology (INDEST) association was established in the year 2003 for libraries of premier institutions and this has led to large volume of back issues of e-journal that could be accessed (Arora and Agrawal 2003).

Furthermore, scientific literatures has been transformed and held in digital format so as to facilitate its access at all times (Correia and Neto 2002).

Analysing the view of the above authors, it could be suggested that digital transformation of information materials; especially scientific literatures has made it easier and convenient to search and retrieve various information on them.

Also, in the area of digital transformation, Italy and Spain has undergone series of changes and development. Here, the development of digital libraries in Europe came as a result of two special programmes initiated by European Union. Between the period 1900 and 1998, full digitalisation of European Libraries has been actualised (Cordis.lu/libraries.com 2011) .This digital transformation was aimed at actualising the following:

To increase the performance and efficiency of content by means of processing techniques.
To ensure access to collections and materials of libraries, museums and archives.
The preservation of and access to multimedia content-electronic documents etc (Cordis.lu/ist/ka3.com 2011).

Also, another development witnessed in the digitalisation of European countries has to do with updating overview of archives in 27 countries comprising EU state members of Austria, Belgium, UK, Denmark, Greece, Finland, etc(Ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib.com 2011) This project however was aimed at building a comprehensive and interoperable European Infrastructure that should aid in quality of access and new services for all its beneficial members. In Italy for example, access to information and the development of digital collections could be seen as the most recent development regarding the new cooperation that exist between one library and another (PISTA 2005). Nevertheless, Italian libraries take part in project launched and managed by American institutions such as the library of congress and OCLC along side with other programmes such as CORC (Cooperative Online Resource Catalogue), Global Reference Network; all aim at setting up a global digital reference service, and Journal storage (PISTA 2005).

Furthermore, it was revealed ’’that more than 50% of the libraries (around 7,000) are completely automated and their online catalogues are rapidly growing at an annual rate of 30% while academic OPACs accounted for approximately 65% of the total’’ (PISTA 2005).

On the other hand, Spanish libraries have also witness series of development involving the public library system, national library, academic libraries.Besides, this development could be seen in the area of material collection and services, equipment, buildings, technologies, human resources and management (PISTA 2005). Nevertheless, the use of internet by public libraries has been tremendous in recent years. For example, in 2002, ’’a total of 2,043 public libraries had access to the internet (46% of the total).Out of these figure, 1552 offered public access to their users and 2,376,788 persons connected to the internet from the terminal and only about 162 libraries made charge for this services provided’’(PISTA 2005).

Moreso, ICT driven public libraries should serve as an intermediary culture with suitable awareness programs, thus enhancing library services, welfare and cultural integrated environment for the dissemination of information concerned with all aspects of human life (Miao 1998). Also, ‘‘Public libraries can act as an offline relay by downloading and sending network available information to those out of network reach , or by attracting people to nearby libraries to access the internet’’(Miao 1998).

Analysing the view of the above author, it could be suggested that public libraries should devise means of creating awareness on the availability and existence of information to the public, so as to bring information closer to the library users.

Furthermore, Public libraries also need to play a crucial role in both controlling and facilitating access to a giving number of local and remote electronic information sources and …’’in guiding users to find the most reliable and relevant information for their needs’’, ’’what has been called as the Librarian as ’knowledge navigator’ ’’(Shourine 2003).

Analysing the authors view, it could be suggested that public library services need to instruct library users on the use of e-mail, instruct on various search options, word processing and can also offer training session to their patrons on how to maximise and make good use of e-resources.

Also, an investigation into the development of electronic resources in China demonstrates ’’that the first phase of internal development took place between the year 1987 and 1983; in which a few scientific research institutions began accessing internet and establishing e-mail services between the academy institute through CHINAPAC; while the second phase started in 1994 with China actualising full implementation in the area of TCP/IP connections and therefore began offering full internet services especially in public and research libraries’’(LU et al.,2002).

Ellis and Oldman(2005) cited in ‘Library Management Journal’ (2008) demonstrates ’’that the extent to which information seeking behaviour of researchers in UK public libraries and the wider world has changed as a result of developing electronic information revolution’’. Their findings however reveal numerous electronic resources and also experiences of researchers using them.

Stressing on the view of the above authors, it could be suggested that electronic information resources has brought about efficient , fast, and reliable means of information searches and retrieval . It could also be suggested that a lot of information resources are available in an electronic format and these have awakened and ease the heavy reliance on printed document such as monograph, past dissertation, newspaper publication, pamphlet and magazines, etc. Nevertheless, information resources are also available on CD-ROMS, Online databases, e-books, e-journals etc.

In another vein, Ali (2005) Cited in the ’Library Management Journal’ (2008) ’’that many research centres, mostly in area of science and technology libraries have developed and are providing electronic information services to their clientele; and his findings reveal that Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD) Library has the largest number of e-journals . The research also reveals some suggestion towards improving and developing electronic information resources to fulfil the information needs and requirements of users at the IIT Library, Delhi. These useful suggestions include:

Full text digitalisation of other resources along with the existing ones.
Retrospective conversion of information held in form of printed format.
User’s orientation on the need to access electronic resources and the benefit accruable in using and accessing electronic resources’’ (Ali 2005).

Furthermore, the development of electronic library in Malaysian libraries has been investigated upon; the development of USM online library started in 1996 and has grown rapidly in size by subscribing to more than 100 databases which is accessible to library clientele within and outside the library (Ramayah, 2006).

Analysing the author’s views, it will be quite imperative to suggest that the existence of electronic resources in public libraries has led to the sharing and distribution of knowledge between one library and another through online information resources. It can also be suggested that following the development of electronic information resources in the public library, a library that is located in a place example- Central Library ’Aberdeen’ can access what another library has in its collection without having to travel to have access to useful information.

However, due to the simplicity of electronic resources today in terms of application, public libraries, research institutions and other information centres, has come to embrace electronic resources and sometimes use the library from their desktop (Maughan 1999).Electronic resources such as electronic journals in full text databases are constituting a turn down in browsing titles, while searching by topic has improved greatly (Sathe, Tenopir and King 2002). However, most libraries have adopted full – text databases which facilitate searching for its users (Sathe, Tenopir and King 2002).

Based on the authors view, it could be suggested that downloaded information from electronic resources were dominant, both in e-book, e-journal and databases. With electronic journals, intra and inter communication is enhanced, sending and receiving of email messages within and outside the library is facilitated (Palmer and Sandler, 2003). Analysing the view of the above authors, it could be suggested that electronic resources today has been applauded due to the fact that it makes information to be easily updated and also ease searching effort among adult users, professional and scholars in their bid to access electronic resources in public libraries.

Graham (2003) cited in Library Management Journal (2003) demonstrates that high school students, couple with the undergraduate counterpart prefer to search the internet first for school-related tasks. Some of the users of internet resources believe that web searches have supported their research (Voorbij, 1999).

In a similar vein, electronic resources have also been commended, applauded by researchers as the main reasons for visiting the library (Waldman, 2003).

It is also worthy to emphasised that ’’researchers, both adult and student counterpart using the public libraries has resorted to variety of sources for articles, including print journals, electronic journals, web sites of professional organisation, email, author’s web sites-print serves as the major sources of information’’(Dillon and Hahn 2002;Tenopir and King 2002;Cochenour and Moot hart 2003).

Also, different categories of public library service users has embraced electronic information resources and thus has expressed dissatisfaction with library collections of printed journals, conference proceedings and books (Bancraft et.al. 1998).

On the other hand , electronic resources has brought about content personalisation among the library users, with each library users creating a common library thereby making useful selections and choices about their own personal library together with pre-selected e- journals, reference works, databases, websites and other vital information sources(Morgan 2002).

Following this development, user can also view different library provisions through a single window interface by configuring alerts and automatic updates and functionalities to add or erase resources of their will (Morgan 2002). Some of these essential services, characterised most of the libraries, especially advanced countries of the world; unlike the underdeveloped ones. In USA for example, the North Carolina State Libraries has developed a user driven, customisable information services provision making it possible for library users to create a portable web page, hence listing available information resources by telling a bit about him or her (Morgan 2002). This is usually possible with the help of a relational database of links to bibliographic databases, full –text databases, data sets, electronic text of all sorts, a set of scripts, etc. Also, mylibrary at Notre Dame Library, USA aims to clarify the issues involved in locating and accessing information, improved communication among library and patrons (Morgan 2002).

In the same vein, Builder at the public library services of Birmingham mostly targeted at seamless access to several information sources through similar interface were important resources are made available as per individual user needs through profiling (Morgan 2002); Moreso, mylibrary projects to personalise contents are also in practice in the public library of Cornell (Cohen et.al 2002), alongside the Virginia Commonwealth (Graphery 2002). However, current awareness service has been incorporated under the Uk e-lib programme for the benefit of library and information professionals (Newsagent.ukoln.ac.uk.com)

Nevertheless, their services are made up of current streams including metadata, where user’s interests are grouped by profiles which are then matched with incoming records and users alerted of items of likely interest by email (Tedd and Yeates 1998). Also, in order to embrace the new private content personalisation, De Monfort Library, Leicester, Uk attempts to develop a personal information scheme which acts as a front end to other electronic library system and manages users information needs(Zhao 1998), through personal Digital Library (PDL), under the support of ELINOR . In another vein, the hybrid Electronic Access and Delivery in the library Networked Environment project under UKs Electronic Libraries programme also explore potential of personalising user content (headline.ac.uk.com 2011).

The role of public libraries in maintaining balance between computer and internet usage has been commended by some notable writers. In 1993 for example, Vice president of America, ’Algore’ emphasised that public libraries could serve as a ’’safety net’’ in providing internet access (McClure 1994) while on the other hand, President Bill Clinton in his address to the union emphasised that, it was his ambition ’’to connect every classroom, every clinic, every library and hospital in America to a national information super-highway by the year 2000 ’’ (McClure, Bertot, and Zweizig, 1994). In line with the above assertions, it should be quite imperative to suggest that Aberdeen City Central library like other libraries of the world need to provide important library services to the entire people of the community. It could also be suggested that in order to meet up with the demands of the registered library users, the library administration should engage in efficient and reliable means of information system provision so as to meet up with the requirement of the users at all times. Nevertheless, this is ’’more important in an environment that is increasingly confronted with changes threatening their survival and development’’ (Snoj and Zdenka, 2001).

In another dimension, following the evolution of new information technologies today, public libraries should pursue its goal of quality service delivery through, mediated and electronic connections (Singh 2003).

Based on the view of the author, it could be suggested that public libraries need to go beyond the practice of provision of information in a printed format but should embraced electronic information resources in other to serve their clientele better. However, for an effective service delivery to be actualised, public libraries as well as other documentation centres should be pro-active and adopt management approach to their services (Snoj and Zdenka 2001).

Above all, in order to realised the stated objectives, a special consideration should be given to the development and validation of measure of library service quality at all times (Cook and Heath 2001; Cook and Thompson 2001; Thompson et.al 2003, Cook et.al 2004). Following the effort of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), today, a measure has been put in place to improve service quality in the public library sector and this in all has yielded result and attention in the last years(Cook and Heath 2001, Cook and Thompson 2001; Thompson et.al 2003).

Analysing the views of the above authors, it could be suggested that evaluation should serve as a means of measuring such services as being provided in the public libraries. Here, evaluation has been place on book issues while there is little evidence to consider the impact of those issues on the individual or community of users (Cook and Health 2001). In other words, ’’the service still tends to measure what is measurable and consequently miss what is important’’ (Toyne and Usherwood 2001).

However, despite all these neglect in public libraries, in terms of users evaluation, public libraries in UK and the rest of the world has continue to survive due to its importance in the upliftment of learning , research and development by the provision of essential library services to its users.(Goulding 2006).

Having considered the views of the above authors, it could be suggested that electronic resources should be given adequate consideration by any public library system due to its important in meeting up with library user’s expectations. In line with this development, it could also be suggested that libraries need to put up measures towards ensuring effective and efficient digitalisation of information resources in order to diversify their services and serve their patrons better.

2.2 Impact of electronic resources

The need for electronic resources cannot be under- estimated due to its important over the traditional print sources. A comparative study by a known researcher in the field of electronic resources management reveals that electronic resources would ease access to holdings, save time and financial resources and would solve problems connected with lack of space in research libraries (Ellis and Oldman, 2005).

Moreso, electronic resources have relative advantages of currency and being more up- to – date than their print counterparts. Hence, the development of electronic resources in libraries today involves two exceptional and major approaches, conversion of library resources into electronic form through computerisation (i.e. retrospective conversion of library catalogue and digitalisation (Ellis and Oldman, 2005; Lawal and Ani, 2007; Gbaje, 2007).

Analysing the view of the authors, it could be suggested that developing electronic information resources, couple with the introduction of ’’virtual library’ will ensure continuous provision of information to researchers seeking for useful information in public libraries; hence it becomes imperative to have printed materials in electronic (digital form). Also, it is vital to put in place an electronic communication for delivery of digitalised materials in the library (Ellis and Oldman, 2005). Digitalisation here involves the scanning of an original, once copyright has been cleared, and mounting the digitised texts onto the intranet or related electronic system for use by the researchers (Hardy et.al. 2002).

In view of the above authors, it could be suggested that an appropriate electronic infrastructure and electronic document delivery system will make information bearing resources, to be easily identified and accessible by the users within and outside the library unlike the traditional print sources. Nevertheless, with the computerisation of library services, users satisfaction is greatly enhance as information retrieval becomes easy, efficient and reliable.

In another vein, developing electronic information resources will encourage online direct subscription of electronic information resources like e-journals, databases, bibliographies via internet, CD – ROMs, etc (Gbaje 2007). The process of developing electronic resources involves acquisitions of electronic resources such as databases, e-books and journals through license and access to quality free web based resources (Gbaje 2007).

Analysing the views of the above author, it could be suggested that electronic resources have led to the acquisition of special skills and access to information using computer systems in the public library services. For example, In Aberdeen City Central Library, the reference Librarian however emphasised that ’’there has been heavy reliance on computer network in order to access information materials of various sources. In view of this development, the Central Library has been in partnership with ’Aberdeen College’ in the area of computer skills acquisition and training of both staff and users on the effective utilisation of electronic resources using appropriate method’’.

The continuous transformation which started in the 1990,s marked the development of electronic resources. Here, electronic databases came into existence and thus bring about so many developments in relation to the library. It has also constituted a barrier between the world of information and the Librarian due to the development of new information media. Also, electronic resources today has characterised the bulk of information sources in public library and academic library due to its important (Brophy 2002).

Some of the functions which electronic resources serve in a whole process include:

Full-text-delivering full-text articles from journals
Numerical evaluation statistical data.
Web pages informing about libraries and other institutions.
Reference and directories including addresses of businesses and institution serving information needs in general.
Catalogues providing information about collections in libraries and scientific research and educational centres (Brophy 2002).

Analysing the view of the above author, it could be suggested that electronic resources has contributed immensely to the development of public library through the realisation of government set programmes through its effort in facilitating and bridging the communication gap between administration and individual. Nevertheless, It could also be suggested that with electronic information services, useful information can be access remotely from any location and with faster and wider coverage; thus saving huge expense for the government and citizen at large.

It should be emphasis herein that the use of e-records in solving problems will reduce crises (Iwhiwhu, 2005). Stressing on the view of the author, it could be suggested that electronic resources have solved highly complicated issues in some governmental organisation due to its advantages. It has also helped in facilitating search result while accessing information materials. In view of this, it could also be suggested that records no matter the form it assume, should be given adequate consideration and allowed to live through their life cycle with capturing, classifying, storing, retrieval, retention and efficient planning; hence adoption of electronic records (e-records) created through modern IT are likely to become inaccessible in the future (Mnjama and Wamukoya 2007).

’’Furthermore, computerisation and internet have changed greatly in the image of public library; thus the library could no longer be seen ‘as solely a building’ that stores and provides printed material, but has become an information centre that can be utilised for 24hours a day’’ (Brophy 2002).

Also, it should be noted ’’that an electronic resources purchased by the library and those generally available via internet stop being a mere counterpart to printed versions. However, they will act as a supplement to multimedia information resources, owing to which it will not only be possible to read about the course and result of work, but also to view them in detail. Hence, users will be able to download scientific resources in a form most convenient for them and to use them by means of portable devices. On the other hand, library staff will become assistants to scientists and professional guides through the wealth of information available’’ (Brophy 2002).

2.2.1 Types of Electronic Resources

Online databases

Online database is a collection of e- books, e- journals by various publishers in the field of social sciences, humanities, natural sciences etc. Some of these resources are provided at no cost to libraries in developing countries, while others require some fee payable as subscription. However, access to these databases provides researchers with thousands of scholarly journals articles in one field of specialisation or research (Bozimo 2007) .

Digital information

Digital information implies digital conversion of library resources. It is a recent development thereby information materials in paper format etc are converted by machine into microfilm and other miniature form in order to have quick and easy access to them by electronic means. However, the advantages accrue from the world of digitalisation of research libraries, especially as regards to Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit in the provision of access to primary electronic sources from any remote geographic location is quite enormous. Nevertheless, as special and valuable collections are confined to certain institutions, researchers from different institution, research centres etc have to travel a long way to access the materials(Ellis and Oldman, 2005), Here, Ellis and Oldman(2005) cited in Journal of Library and Information Science’(2008) opined that ’’researchers from different institution further away from county such as Dundee, Aberdeen or Belfast, felt that digitised resources would allow them to get hold of materials more easily without problem, hence, most researchers are of the opinion that digitalization of certain materials in the library would be a huge benefit in terms of accessibility to relevant information’’.

Electronic journals

Following the development of internet, researchers and public library institutions have recognised the quality and capabilities of Information and communication technologies(ICT,s) as ’’effective means to exchange results from findings , to get around barriers by full transfer of intellectual property rights, from the author to publisher and to improve on the hitherto slow turnaround of traditional publishing’’(Correia and Neto, 2002).This development has therefore resulted to growing number of electronic journals, pre-print(e-print), archives, and electronic books. However, electronic journals relatively provide efficient access to information, hence they are easy to distribute to library clientele than the traditional print information.

CD-ROM databases

The introduction of CD-ROM has led to the use of e-journal collections in the reference library and an increase in the states of libraries (Oduwole, 2001). Here, CD-ROM databases allow users access to relevant databases without vigorous internet connectivity in libraries. It is therefore cost effective than online databases, as information can conveniently be accessed offline without paying for telecommunication fee. Besides, CD-ROM databases is of great value over print if the system is networked, as library patrons at their respective terminals could access information without coming to the library(Oduwole 2001).

2.2.2 Reference services and the Librarian

’’Reference services involve the interplay of three factors, the librarian, the users and reference source (Katz 1978). Here, the interaction with users has been viewed as one of the major functions of the Reference Librarian in any library. In other words, the Reference Librarian plays the role of an intermediary between the users (library audience) and the world of books and other resources in the library. Also, his skill in matching the right book with the right users will distinguish him as a reference librarian with excellence and vision’’ (Katz 1978).

Katz (1978) views the reader’s advisory services ’’as a functional role of the reference librarian in the library’’. He however emphasised that, ’’Services to humanity should be his watch words to enable him face the challenges of his functions. Moreso, the reference librarian should serves as a guide to readers that needs information constantly and will always be there when he is needed and should also assist in finding considerable amount of materials outside the reference collection or may suggest the right books as an aid in searching’’ (Katz 1978).

Reganathan (1970) on the other hand described reference services ’’as the establishment of contact between the reader and the book by personal services’’. He further stated that ’’the establishment of such contact is the only way available and effective method of discharging the function of converting the potential users into habitual users’’.

Lynch (1983) defined reference as ’’the personal assistance that is given by a librarian to the users; it could be referral to the likely sources of information itself needed by the users’’.

Green (1876) defined reference services as ’’the personal relation between librarian and reader’’.

Ezennia (1986) demonstrates that ’’it was the duty of Reference librarian to instruct readers on the use of books and libraries. With this notion, Reference librarian need to act as an instructor and a teacher, he pointed out that the Reference Librarian refers the users / readers to make use of indexes, encyclopaedia etc. Thus, he does by explaining to the user how to find information on these reference materials’’.

Nwalor (1991) pointed out that ’’Reference Librarian in dealing with his clientele in public library should bring about mutual understanding between the organisation and public through planned, deliberate and sustained efforts’’.

Rothstein (1876) represent reference services as ’’the personal assistance to user’’. He however shares the same view with Mary J.O Lynch (1983) ’’that reference services in the library are always a link to getting information need and giving feedback to the user no matter the source of information’’.

In sharing the view of the above author, Stebbing and Mohrhardt (1981) opined that ’’when persons understand each other or one another, interpersonal communication circuit is complete, these can be actualised through exchange of ideas and theories between them, thus, opinion and view point can be shared., experiences passed on, new insight, new hands, ideologies can be open up, progress and development are made possible, goodwill and rapport are straightened out mutually’’.

Above, reference librarian should exhibit some good qualities while carrying out his duties. Shores (1972) however listed some of the good qualities of a reference librarian to include: ’’Intelligence, accuracy, professional and subject knowledge, courtesy, tact, memory, mental curiosity, interest in people, perseverance, system, speed and patience’’. Moreso, in summarising these qualities, wyer stated:

’’If another summary statement is in order, it may be said that the

Reference Librarian must love Books, Folks and Order. His love for

Books should be contagious, making him quick to see and eager to

Embrace every opportunity to encourage and promote their use. It

Should be scholarly, not superficial; informed, not pretending. His

Love for folks may be accurately rendered by the term ’’social mindedness’’,

a blend of cooperativeness. He will be agreeable physically and personally, a sane, broad, vital and exceedingly curious person, keen to get to the heart of

a student problem’’(Wyer 1930,p.19)

Analysing the views of the above authors, it could be suggested that experience is the hall mark of any profession and this could mark ones level of competency and so therefore, the researcher was able to rely on the words of the reference librarian of Aberdeen City Central Library, in analysing and interpreting his results.

2.2.3 Users of reference services

Users of the reference services constitute adults, student, and professionals of different calibre who may wish to approach the library for a variety of purpose (Joseph 2003). Any library be it public, research centres, academic etc open for the business of the day to welcome different categories of users who might need some useful information to access. Due to the importance of reference services, it is usually given a separate department in any research centres. This section of the library is headed by a qualified librarian who is charged with the responsibility of answering reference questions or queries put to him by the prospective users (Okoro 1999).

2.2.4 Users satisfaction

Following the explosion and exponential increase in electronic resources today, it has become imperative for an effective means of information evaluation, retrieval and dissemination. The bulk of library services today focus on ensuring library users satisfaction and this cannot be neglected. Users satisfaction can be a viable means of measuring service effectiveness (Baroudi et.al; 1988; Corath and Mignen,1990;Ginzberg,1978 ;Hamilton and Chervany, 1981;Ives and Olson,1984;Powers and Dickson,1974).

Analysing the views of the above authors, it could be suggested that for the library users to derived the maximum satisfaction in the utilisation of electronic resources, the Reference librarian should play a vital role in ensuring that resources in electronic format is made available by his position as a ‘keeper of information’. Information resources are developed for maximum satisfaction of library users. However, the reference librarian should deploy all measures in ensuring that users get what they need at any given time .Here, frequent usage of information will go a long way in measuring the success of information system. User’s satisfaction has been widely employed in practice as a substitute measure of information system effectiveness (DeLone and McLean, 1992).

Furthermore, Neumann and Seger (1980) demonstrate that users perceived satisfaction in multiple aspects of the responses to the organisational effectiveness. In the view of the authors, satisfaction of library users should be the priority of any library as it will go a long way in justifying their goodwill. On the other hand, Powers and Dickson (1974) emphasised that user satisfaction was an essential factor for system success and viable indicator of system effectiveness (Baroudi et.al 1988, Igbaria and Nachman, 1990).

Analysing the view of the above author, it could be suggested that information system plays a vital role in user’s satisfaction. A good and reliable information provision may lead to positive changes while a negative one will undermine the information system in place; thereby constituting a set back towards library users satisfaction.

2.2.4 Access tools for electronic resources

The increase in the world of information today has made information accessibility difficult and cumbersome. Human knowledge can only retain pieces of information for a while; hence useful information therefore need to be stored, organised and reflect upon demand for future reference and research. However, in order to foster research, learning and development, information materials need to be classified, stored and retrieved from time –to- time using different access tools and these has been outline in this piece of research work. Although several attempts has been made by people to ensure proper organisation of their personal data using personal diaries, address books, electronic personal organisers. Etc, a lot need to be done to encourage wider information (Rowley and Richard 2008).

Catalogues and bibliographies

Catalogues offers the libraries the opportunity to list the documents in a collection or within a specified field. Catalogues are also used to list the print and electronic documents within a library collection with the aim of inventory and access. It is referred to as OPAC- Online public access catalogue. OPAC were the subject of important and extensive studies, as being observed by large of published work (Large and Behesht;, 1997). However, the advent of electronic resources has greatly influence patron’s use of OPAC in the search of information resources in the library (Yu and Young 2004).In the early years of OPAC no one doubt or challenged the value of the information it bears, but the situation has changed and frequently it basis is being questioned(Delsey, 2001).

Portal has been effectively utilised in public library services for quick and easy access to online information. It is made up wide range of information. In other words, it could be seen as a secure point of interaction with diverse information, business processes and people personalised to a user’s need and responsibilities (IBM, 2003).

Butters (2003) demonstrate and emphasised on the important features of portals which include:

Personalisation
Community communication
Wide ranges of utilities e.g. address book, book marks, currency calculator, maps, calendar etc.
Resource discovery including access to quality – assured resources to bibliographical databases, citation databases and electronic journals.

Internet

Internet as one of the notable channel for accessing electronic resources has been applauded due to its important in the world of information today. Horrigan and Rainie (2006) demonstrate that internet can benefit people in everyday life by helping people to identify and solve major decisions.

Stressing on the view of the authors, it could be suggested that interacting with internet in the bid to search for information can create and boost social awareness on the part of the library users.

In other words, Informational uses of internet apart of having positive impact on the well being of the user, will help to raise social capital (Shah, Kwak and Holbert 2001).Also, the use of internet can slow down the time spend on social interactions(Nie and Erbring 2002;Nie and Hillygus 2002).

Despite the usefulness of internet as an access tool for electronic resources today, a lot of argument has been raised concerning the role of internet. Here, Vavrek (2000) emphasised that the ’’internet is encroaching on the role of the libraries as a provider of reader’sadvisory services, online databases and also current information’’.

Based on the author’s point of view, it could be suggested that the bulk of electronic resources could be access via internet using search engine such as google.com, mama.com, Firefox etc.

In view of recent advances in information and communications technologies (ICT, s), the internet has been effectively utilised as a multimedia for the development of electronic resources for quality learning, teaching and research among libraries. Also, ‘the internet’ is also very useful as a communication tool among library clientele; and it is the most effective and reliable means of electronic document delivery (Al Fadhli and Johnson, 2006).However Internet also presented the greatest opportunities and challenges to enable libraries to continue to be vital component in community development’’(Clifford 2003).

Intranet

’’Intranet could be seen as a private computer extension that makes use of protocol technologies to securely share any part of organisational information or operational systems within that organisation. Here, internet serves as a tool to deliver applications. For example, collaboration to facilitates working groups and teleconferencing. The scope of intranet depends on the size of the organisation and subsequently, the volume of information required ’’ (en.wikipedia.org, 2010).

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

The research is designed to ascertain the impact of electronic resources on improving user’s satisfaction: A case study of Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit. The research design adopted structured questionnaire to the library users and structured oral interview for the unit head of the department – ’Reference Librarian’. This in all helps the researcher in collecting useful data for analysis. The researcher adopted the qualitative method of data collection while presenting and interpreting ideas, fact and findings using simple tables to clarify issues arising from research questions raised.

3.2 Types of data Used

Data were collected in relation to the opinion of users of the library on their level of satisfaction in using electronic resources as well the role of reference librarian in ensuring adequate provision of these resources to library clientele. Also, Data requiring efficient use, impact of electronic resources and likely problems, recommendation etc, were also accessed.

Moreso, data from secondary materials about the experience and idea of some prolific writers on the research were also considered. Here, literature review has been given consideration in the cause of this piece of research due to its important in shaping the standard of the research. It should be emphasis ’’that all research requires conceptual bridges from what is already known, cognitive structures to guide data gathering and outlines for presenting interpretations to others’’ (Stake 1995). However, Literature Review will depend on the purpose and need for a particular research (Wilson 1994).

3.2.1 Instrument for data collection

The instruments used for data collection include questionnaire and structured oral-interview. Questionnaires were administered to the users of the reference services, so as to comment freely, regarding to the provision, access to electronic resources, likely problems etc.

On the other hand structured- oral Interview was schedule accordingly with the reference librarian in charge of the unit ’Mrs Susan Bell’, which afford the interviewee the opportunity to give direct meaning to probing questions.

3.2.2 Population and sample size

The population of the study comprises the users of the reference services, numbering 420 registered users, made up of student, adult and other professional users, including the reference librarian in charge of the reference unit, etc; while the sample size comprises of 210 registered users of the library. Users of the reference services were administered questionnaire to comment freely on the provision of electronic resources and its impact (level of satisfaction).

3.2.3 Method of data analysis

Having collected the data, the results were analysed using qualitative approach and statistical tables were appropriate has been utilised in clarifying issues arising from the research findings.

Here, qualitative methods of analysis could be referred to as descriptive and interpretations that are in narrative rather than numerical form. Also, Information can be generated from many sources: Structured and unstructured interviews, participant observation; hearing documents, records as well as unobtrusive data collection procedures of various kinds (Sanders, 1994).

Stressing on the views of the author regarding qualitative method of research, it could be suggested that qualitative method of data collection was adopted by the researcher in the cause of producing this piece of work due to its notable features in presenting of ideas and fact etc.

More importantly, qualitative methods are essential for any investigation that aimed at considering a wide range of different viewpoints, perspectives and options. The researcher adopted this method of data collection in order to seek the overall opinion of library users regarding the impact of electronic resources in ensuring satisfaction of their information needs (Sanders 1994).

Also, in support of qualitative method of research, a survey conducted by the Uk University library and Information Services Directors has been commendable in favour of qualitative research. One respondent emphasised that:

’’I would also love to have the time to put together focus groups/questionnaires especially for EIS. At the moment, we add short questions to our general LIS customer satisfaction survey. I would welcome standard format for such surveys as they would cut down my work considerably’’ (Thebridge et.al, 2002).

Quantitative methodology was not totally adopted as the best and only approach in the whole process of conducting the research work under study; given the objectives of the research. However social scientist has the opinion that both qualitative and quantitative approach to research has their different flaws but the only ’’rule’’ according to them ’’that survives goes’’ (Feyerand 1975).

Gorman and Clayton (2005) emphasis on the fundamental argument between the two methodologies and present a summary of qualitative and quantitative approaches to an inquiry. While quantitative methodology assumes the objectives reality of social facts; qualitative methodology on the other hand assumes social construction of reality (Gorman and Clayton).

Analysing the views of the author, it could be suggested that non-of the research methodology seems to be considered best but all depends on the interest which the research is meant to convey.

Here, quantitative research has to do with the ’’trinity of validity, reliability and generalisability’’ (Janesick 1994). Moreso, it is associated with the use of hypotheses (Lincoln and Guba 1985). However, the researcher considered the qualitative methodology more appropriate while carrying out his research because it combines both individual research participant, the researcher as research instrument and appropriate data collection method in a collaborative process; hence producing meaning from data and using that meaning to develop theory(Maykut and Morehouse 1994).

Therefore due to the element of survey in the research under study, the researcher was able to integrate quantitative approach to the research so as to fully explore his investigations. Here, survey involves information which can be analysed and patterns extracted and comparisons made (Bell 1999).

Based on the authors view, it could be suggested that qualitative research with its unique provisions will be of immense importance towards the realisation of the aim of the research by facilitating research, hence saving time and resources.

3.2.4 Limitations of the study

This research work titled ’the impact of electronic resources on improving users satisfaction: A case study of Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit’ was constraint by some factors which include:

Accessibility

Time

In the case of accessibility, permission has to be sought for before undertaking the research work. However, written approval from the supervisor introducing the purpose, and need for the research was given to the researcher for clarification. Also, all ethical issues were clarified before proceeding with the study to void infringement of any kind. Both the researcher and his supervisor clarified all ethical issues regarding to the research.

Time- The researcher devoted his time and effort as to gather and conduct interview regarding to his research. Series of appointment was made in scheduling interview and gathering other relevant information.

Attitude of people- Most library users that were administered questionnaire embrace it with welcome development while considering the relevant of the research and progression of student. On the other hand, some of the users felt indifferent in completing their questionnaire due to ignorant or lack of basic knowledge as to the use of such information.

Lack of Library Orientation- Some users is quite reluctant to use reference services or to approach the reference services Librarian for help.

CHAPTER FOUR

4.1 Presentation of results

For easy analysis and clarity of fact, the researcher was able to conduct his research and presented his findings in a tabular form where necessary for easy understanding and interpretation of findings. This comprises data and findings related to the impact of electronic information resources in ensuring library users satisfaction. Part A of the analysis comprises of the Interview conducted with the Reference Librarian of the Aberdeen City Central Library ‘Mrs Susan Bell’ who commented on the effort of the Library Management towards the upliftment of research, provision of information materials for the sole satisfaction of their clientele from time -to -time.

Furthermore, parts B of the analysis are made up of responses from Library users who constitute the library patron of the Aberdeen City Central Library. Here, users satisfaction were given adequate priority in the cause of this investigation; as all effort and activities of any library be it public or private institutions libraries are focus on ensuring users satisfaction at all times , thus constituting the overall reasons for operating a library.

PART A

LIBRARY MANAGEMENT

Here, findings from the interview conducted by researcher will be reviewed for clarity and easy interpretations of data where appropriate.

(I) How long have you worked in the Library?

In an Interview with the Unit Head of Reference Services Mrs Susan Bell, she however emphasised that ’’not less than 18years experience has been acquired in the library profession’’. Stressing on the above assertion from the unit head, it could be suggested that the reference librarian has spent considerable number of years in the field of Librarianship as a profession; thus marked her level of competency rating in her field. In answer to some of the questions put to him as the Reference Librarian and in matching his skills with the qualities expected of a good Reference Librarian, Shores (1972) however listed some of the good qualities of a reference librarian to include: ’’Intelligence, accuracy, professional and subject knowledge, courtesy, tact, memory, mental curiosity, interest in people, perseverance, system, speed and patience’’. Moreso, in summarising these qualities, wyer stated:

’’If another summary statement is in order, it may be said that the

Reference Librarian must love Books, Folks and Order. His love for

Books should be contagious, making him quick to see and eager to

Embrace every opportunity to encourage and promote their use. It

Should be scholarly, not superficial; informed, not pretending. His

Love for folks may be accurately rendered by the term ’’social mindedness’’,

a blend of cooperativeness. He will be agreeable physically and personally, a sane, broad, vital and exceedingly curious person, keen to get to the heart of

a student problem’’(Wyer 1930)

Analysing the views of the above authors, it could be suggested that experience is the hall mark of any profession and from the responses gathered, it could also be suggested that the ’Reference Librarian’ of the Aberdeen City Central Library’ Mrs Susan Bell’ must have gathered enough experience in the cause of his career, hence put him in a qualifying position to comment freely on the positive and negative side of electronic information resources. Due to his background knowledge, the researcher was able to rely on his information for the result presented.

(2) Who are your library users?

A question was raised to ascertain the relevant categories of people who visit the reference section of the Aberdeen City Central Library. Here, the reference Librarian demonstrated that ’’the Library is made up of different group of users not only in the city of but also other neighbouring city of Aberdeen such as Inverness, Perth, Inverurie, Dundee etc. Who occasionally visit the library for a particular purposes’’. It was also reveal in the cause of the interview that ’’the bulk of Library users are mostly adults who read for leisure, student and school children who use the library for their given homework or assignment. Others include: Professional users, researchers who might visit the library for a variety of purposes either for research, reading, studying towards promotional exams as need arises. Also, other non- users of reference services might exist for a variety of purpose’’.

TABLE A (I)

Library UsersAdults

Student/Pupils

Professional Researchers

Others

31(14.76%)72(34.29%)98(46.66%)9(4.29%)

From the table given above, it should be clearly observed that 31(14.76%) of the library population comprises adult who use the library for reading (leisure), while 72(34.29%) on the other hand ,are made of student/pupils who reads for academic work, 98(46.66%) are mostly professional users/ researchers who visit the library for a variety of purpose while the remaining 9(4.29%) constitute of the outside users who may use the library for a particular purpose from time to time when the needs call for.

(3) What kind of electronic resources do you hold as your collection?

Here, a question was put forward to the Reference Librarian Mrs Susan Bell to comment on the type of electronic resources that exist in his library. She emphasised that ’’several information resources are abound in the database of the library and are mostly accessed by electronic means. These include:

Credo reference – Credo reference enable users to find authoritative answers fast. It features content from hundreds of reference books in a broad range of subjects.

Market line – This has to do with a comprehensive collection of company, industry, financial, product and country information, research and data extending across every major marketplace and industry.

Info4local gov.com- This is made up of portal of core UK technical standards including certain BSI British Standards, documents and laws.

Kompass- Kompass comprises an online directory of business information for buyers and suppliers of industrial products and services. Worldwide, it has details of 2million companies in 75 countries in addition to information that bothers on trade and executive names. Over 41,000 UK companies are listed including trade names and filed accounts of firms that provide an industrial service.

NewsUK – This provides access to 68 national and regional newspapers and selective magazines. Tiles include the Press and journal, Scotsman, The Herald and The Economist. Also, Back issues can as well be searched and regular special reports on current issues are also available.

The 19th Century British Library Newspapers-This collection contains full runs of 48 newspapers especially selected by the British Library to best represent nineteenth century Britain and also includes the Aberdeen Journal.

Careers Europe- Exodus from Career Europe serves as a gateway for anyone wishing to study, work, train, take time out or live outside the UK.

The Scotsman Archive- This searches all editions from 1817 to 1950. All Scottish significant moment, historical occurrences or events, etc are listed in this archive.

Gazetteers- All researches that bother on holiday, country information, health issues, visas, resorts and hotel reviews etc, are made known using via gazetteers.

Hoover’s Online- Hover online houses over 38 million global business records, family tree information and company profiles. Also includes in depth financial and competitor information.

Scran-This provides access to quality images, sounds, movies and learning resources. There are over 300,000 images from Scottish and UK libraries, museums, galleries and archives.

The Times- The time digital archives enable one to have access to 200 years of the London Times from 1785 to 1985.

Specialist Info.com- Information here amount to 37,000 general practitioners and over 34,000 consultants within the UK. Also has a listing of Charity and support Group websites.

Which?- Is a popular online magazine made up of over 700 reports .Prices and best buyers are usually updated monthly in most of the popular areas.

Funderfinder- Guide to sources of funding, use people in need (PIN) to find funding for individuals and groups in need (GIN) for organisations. Recently, users can now have access to them remotely.

Eisodos- unlike Careers Europe, eisodos provides information for refugees, asylum seekers, EU migrants and for those advising these groups. This information is available in 23 different languages etc’’ (IS DATABASE 2010).

TABLE A (II)

Type of ResourcesOnline Databases

Digital Information

Electronics Journals

CD-Rom Databases

Audio-Visual

65(30.95%)48(22.86%)37(17.62%)31(14.76%)29(13.81%)

From the table above and given the population, sample size of 210 registered users of the reference services of the Library were drawn and utilised in the derivation of the following level of percentage. 65(30.95%) of the library electronic resources are mostly online database made up of e-books, e-journals etc.While 48(22.86%) are digital information, 37(17.62%) accounted for electronic journals, CD-ROM Databases accounted for 31(14.76%) and the remaining 29(13.81%) of the collection are made up of Audio- Visual collections.

(4) What are the impacts of these resources to the library users?

The researcher put forward a question requiring the positive impact of electronic resources in ensuring library users satisfaction. Here, the Reference Librarian emphasised ’’that electronic resources have facilitated library users search effort in their bid to search for useful information. Also, it has save a lot of time being wasted in browsing through a large volume of information which sometimes appears stressful. She however express that these materials in non-print format have saves the public library system the cost of duplicating information and also has helped the library to actualised space economy in relation to storage. According to the Librarian, material resources have been reviewed, updated and uploaded without difficulty due to its simplicity. Above all, she emphasised that users of the reference services unit has express delight in using electronic resources due to its currency, factual and time –saving’’.

(5) Are there any barrier in accessing electronic resources?

A question was asked to the Reference Librarian of Aberdeen City Central Library concerning any problem or barrier towards the use of electronic resources. She however express ’’that electronic resources has no restrictions of any form in terms of library users thus they are always available when needed or sought for. Also, because of its enrichment in knowledge and current information, anyone requiring their use is given access without barrier or restriction of any form. Finally, due to its friendliness, it has recorded noticeable remark and patronage among library users’’.

(6) Has it been so easy identifying and locating these resources?

Question regarding ease of identification, locating and retrieval of electronic resources was raised by the researcher hence requiring the Reference Librarian of the Aberdeen City Central Library to comment on the issue. The reference Librarian answered in affirmative ’’that electronic resources have been so easy to identify using modern technologies. According to the Librarian, past evidence from user’s feedbacks and suggestion revealed that electronic resources are easily accessible using variety of search options such as Indexes, Bibliographies, Opac, Databases, Intranet, etc’’.

(7) Are the users aware of the existence of these resources?

Here, question regarding users awareness was raised by the researcher and put forward to the Reference Librarian of the Aberdeen City Central Library to comment on the issue. She demonstrated ’’that the Library has deployed many avenues in reaching out to the public on the various activities and programme of the library’’.

Stressing on the need for library users orientation, she emphasised that the library has engaged and participated in education fair, exhibition etc to ensure maximum level of awareness in some of their services. Tracks in the form of handbills are being distributed as a means of library promotion’’.

(8) Has the users been able to help themselves in this regard?

To ascertain the level of user’s dependent on Reference Service Librarian, a question was put forward to the Reference Librarian of the Aberdeen City Central Library to expatiate on the issue. Here, the Reference Librarian stated ’’that the level of individual reference usage depends on the literacy level as some users help themselves without resorting to the reference librarian while others depend on the attention of the Reference Librarian while seeking for their information’’.

(9) What factors influence use of these resources?

Question relating to the factors that influence the application of electronic resources was also presented to the Reference Librarian for clarification. She however emphasised ’’that the single access point given to the City Library thus making it possible for some related materials to be only access on the library premises.

(10) Are there any other materials held outside electronic resources?

A question regarding to other materials held outside electronic resources was presented to the Reference Librarian in charge of the reference unit for clarification. She however emphasised ’’that several newspaper publications dated back to 1785-1985 like the Times Magazines, press Journals etc has also been microfilm and retain for research purposes’’.

(11) What method is use in retrieving these resources?

Question was also raised to ascertain the method used in retrieving electronic resources. Here, the Reference Librarian demonstrates ’’that computer network, index, Abstract, Bibliographies, has provided access tools for electronic information resources in the library’’.

(12) Are users satisfied using these resources at all times?

Following the high level of emphasis placed on user’s satisfaction by the researcher, question relating to users satisfaction was put forward to the Librarian. She however demonstrates ’’that the adoption of electronic resources in the City Central Library services has solved problem being encountered in the search for useful information by the library users. Also, it has saves users time and effort in approaching useful materials from the reference library’’.

PART B

LIBRARY USERS

This section deals with the Library users that patronised the library. Users constitute the main reasons for operation of library services. For the purpose of this research, emphasis was placed on the users of Reference services of Aberdeen City Central Library. Here, sample size of 210 regular users of reference services was drawn for analysis. Also, Opinion about the impact of electronic resources was sought for, recorded and result presented in a more convincing approach.

(1) Are you a regular user of this library?

Yes

No

183

27

(87.14%)

(12.86%)

TABLE B (1)

From the table given above, it should be noted that 183 of respondents representing (87.14%) gave clear evidence that they are regular users of the library. This put them in a better position to comment freely about the quality of reference services rendered in the library. Also, 27 out of 210 respondents representing (12.86%) emphasised ’’that although they occasionally use the Central Library Reference Services but they have been satisfied with the level of reference services provided.

Analysing the views of the users and also given by the statistical data obtained, it could be suggested that greater percentage of the respondents frequent the library on a regular basis and thus put them in a position to ascertain the relevant impact of electronic resources to their information needs.

(2) Do you locate and access electronic resources easily from the reference library?

TABLE B (II)

Yes

No

Indifferent

163

18

29

(77.62%)

(8.57%)

(13.81%)

Table B II above shows that 163 or 77.62% of the respondents has the opinion that they can easily locate and access electronic resources in the reference section of the library. On the other hand, 18 respondents representing 8.57% said that they find it difficult locating and accessing electronic resources while 29 respondents representing 13.81% of the respondents are indifferent to the question put forward to them either because of inexperience as to what the reference services are or not familiar with the questions raised.

Therefore since the greater percentage of the respondents are of the opinion that they access electronic resources easily, it could be suggested said that access to electronic resources are easy and convenient at any given time and it is the best option available for users who wish to explore the good will of the library in relation to information provision. It could be also suggested that electronic resources will make for efficiency in the utilisation of the library resources if the users are aware of their existence and also the management ensuring that having access to them are guaranteed without prohibitions of all form.

(3) How efficient is electronic resources regarding to your needs?

TABLE B (III)

Efficient

Inefficient

Indifferent

179

13

18

(85.24%)

(6.19%)

(8.57%)

Table (BIII) shows that 179 or (85.24%) of the respondents sees the library electronic resources as efficient to their information needs while 11 representing (6.19%) sees it as inefficient. On the other hand, (8.57%) representing 18 respondents are indifferent to the question asked. Therefore, it could be suggested that electronic resources is very efficient to the need of library users; with 179 respondents representing (85.24%),thus given the opinion that electronic resources are efficient and should be rely upon. Moreso, it can be suggested that electronic resources have been a notable tools towards enhancing learning, research and development; both in academic, national and public institutions; having recorded greater number of responses from the library users. Above all, with greater number of users given the opinion that electronic resources are efficient to their needs, it could be suggested that the management of Aberdeen City Central Library should deploy all measures towards ensuring adequate provision of electronic information resources ; thus given by the users opinion.

(4) Are you satisfied with the level of reference services rendered to you as a user?

Satisfied

Unsatisfied

Indifferent

181

9

20

(86.19%)

(4.29%)

(9.52%)

TABLE B (IV)

Table B (IV) shows that 181 representing 86.19% of the respondents said they are satisfied with the level of reference services rendered to them by the library. 9 respondents representing (4.29%) feel unsatisfied with the services rendered to them, while 20 or (9.52%) of the respondents are indifferent to the question asked. With majority of the respondents given the opinion that they are satisfied with the level of reference services rendered to them. Also, given the response rate of 179 representing (86.19%), it could be suggested that users of reference services are satisfied using electronic resources of the library, given the number of response recorded from the question asked.

(5) How frequent do you require staff assistance/attention before using the library resources?

Questions were pose on the users of Aberdeen City Central library requiring them to comment freely on how frequent do they seek or require the attention of the reference Librarians staff in their day- to- day information searches but they also answered in affirmative that ’’they are highly independent in their bid to seek for a particular information but only on a rare cases do they require staff attention while approaching electronic resources’’.

TABLE B (V)

Always

Sometimes

Rarely

26

64

120

12.38%

30.48%

57.14%

From Table B (V), 26 of the respondents representing (12.38%) always require assistance or attention of the library staff to use the library resources. Also 64 respondents representing (30.48%) has the opinion that they sometimes require the assistance or attention of the library staff while 120 respondents representing (57.14%) said they rarely do. Therefore since the greater percentage of library users are of the opinion that they rarely consults reference services assistant in their day -to -day information searches, it could be suggested that the majority of reference service users have find electronic resources easy and can also help themselves due to its simplicity; although some library users could lack confidence to ask for help when needed but the result from the responses shows that greater number of library users rarely consult the reference librarians for help or assistance of any form.

(6) What are your suggestions towards improving the reference services of this library?

User’s opinion concerning the use, problems and areas of interest reveal that ’’statistical records should be collected monthly, quarterly or yearly so as to improve on the library services from time- to- time. Users of the public library service however express that ’’Services such as Current awareness and Selective dissemination of information should be introduced to enhance service performance in the library. Here, Current Awareness Services ’’entails notifying current documents to users of library and information service users; while Selective Dissemination of Information is a personalised current awareness service, which under optimum conditions involves screening of large number of documents; hence selecting items relevant to the specific and research needs of each user, and supplying these to the user on a dependable continuous basis’’ (Okoro 1999). Also, speedy digitalisation of other information resources in the existing central library was also emphasised by the library users. Other suggestions given by the users include:

More online help guide should be provided.
Extension of library opening hours.
Regular update of library information.
Better layout of subject categories.
More electronic resources should be provided.
Simple and more accessible systems.
More users’ orientation should be emphasised.
4.2 Discussion of Results

This research titled ’the impact of electronic resources on improving users satisfaction’ aimed at identifying those useful electronic information sources in our public library services using Aberdeen City Central Library reference unit as a case study. However, it should be worthy to note that electronic information resources such as CD-ROMS, Online Databases, e-journals, internet resources, etc constitute the bulk of library information sources today due to its richness in vital information. With electronic resources, information can easily be search, retrieve and updated in the library without difficulties or rigorous of any form, hence by a single click using the rightful command. Here, the result of the findings has shown that users of the Aberdeen City Central Library has embraced electronic information resources and thus find it easy in their daily information needs.

The analysis of the findings open with the interview held with the Reference Librarian ‘Mrs Susan Bell ‘. Here, the researcher was able to consider some of the answers given by the Reference Librarian of the Public library services having considered his background knowledge and years of cognate experience in the field of Library and Information Science. Also, his level of competency and qualities expected of a good reference Librarian was put into consideration before administering the questions. Shores (1972) pointed out some of the good qualities that are expected of a good reference Librarian to include: ’’Intelligence, professional, subject knowledge, accuracy, mental curiosity, interest in people, system, and speed, patient and tactful’’.

Analysing the views of the author, it could be suggested that since the Librarian has display high level of performance in relation to the qualities expected of a good reference Librarian, the researcher was able to rely upon his responses.

The result of the findings reveal that the reference services department of Aberdeen City Central Library have join their counterpart in the area of collection development by devoting on the provision of electronic information resources through their online databases. This is heavily subscribed by the users of reference services. For example, in Polish libraries, information in database has witness tremendous increase. In 1992, the library subscribe to its first database. Between the year 2001, 2003, and 2005, electronic resources held in their online database has witness incessant increase thus numbering 23,000 titles (PISTA 2005).Also, in an article titled ’Digital Library Infrastructure’, it was reveal that USA and China share issue in area of setting up digital libraries(Liu and Zhang 2001).

From the research result, Aberdeen City Central Library has grown in quite a number of electronic resources when compared to other public libraries of the world. Here, Online databases accounted for 65(30.95%) of the total responses, Digital information 48(22.86%), Electronic Journals account for 37(17.62%), CD-ROM Databases 31(14.76%) while Audio – Visual accounted for 29(13.81%) respectively; hence given positive improvement. Also in Italy, it was reveal that more than 50% of the libraries , estimated at about 7,000 are completely automated and their online catalogues are rapidly growing at an annual rate of 30% while on the other hand, academic OPAC accounted for approximately 65% of the total(PISTA 2005).

Moreso, the result of the findings shows that electronic resources has indeed impact meaningfully on the users of the reference services given by the view of the Reference Librarian. Here, electronic resources have facilitated search result and effort, save time and huge financial involvement due to its simplicity in terms of use and application in the public libraries. In respect to this, public library services need to provide information in the form of electronic resources so as to serve their users better. Kaul (2002), a Director of the Developing Library Network (DELNET), New Delhi emphasised that ’’our public library in the country failed totally in bringing knowledge to the doorsteps of every individual. In his word, it is advisable to look at the problem afresh, especially when the computer and communication technologies have now become available to us at a minimal cost’’. In Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit, access to electronic resources recorded 163 respondent representing about (77.62%) of the sample size drawn.

Analysing the view of the above author, it could be suggested that public library services should maximise the benefit of new communication tools in ensuring library user’s satisfaction at all times.

Furthermore, electronic resources are available to users of reference services and result reveal that there are no trace of barrier in accessing or using information in electronic format in Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit. Due to its importance today, interest has been shown in order to address the issue concerning electronic resources and its effectiveness in countries of the world (Watts and Ibegbulam, 2006; Lawal and Ani, 2007 Gbaje, 2007). Also, the positive impact of internal library resources and how they affect people’s use of libraries has been a public concern ever since use of World Wide Web and email first became widespread in the mid 1990, s (PISTA 2005).

From the above assertion, interest has been shown to encourage and promote electronic resources. Here, Aberdeen City Central Library has developed, encourage and promote the use of electronic resources to ensure maximum satisfaction of their clientele.

Moreso, it was reveal that users can conveniently locate and access electronic information resources from Aberdeen City Central Library without difficulties. Here, with electronic resources, user’s attitude and behaviour in seeking and searching for information has been influenced (Ellis and Oldman 2005). Findings reveal that those who rarely consult the Reference Librarian for assistance to access electronic resources accounted for 120 out of the sample size drawn representing (57.14%) of the total responses. Also, electronic resources will ease access to holdings, save time and financial resources and would solve problems connected with lack of space in the libraries (Ellis and Oldman 2005).

Result also reveals that there is high level of awareness in the City Library. The Library has deployed several method of awareness in terms of notifying the public about the nature and quality of their services. Here, public library should act as an offline relay by downloading and sending network available resources to those out of network reach, or by attracting people to nearby libraries to access internet (Miao 1998). The result proved that Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit has responded in the area of Public enlightenment campaign through education fairs, Library exhibition etc so as to attract reference service users to their domain. Regular users of the library accounted for 183 respondents representing (81.43%) of the sample size drawn. This however suggests that the reference services Unit of the library has receive high patronage.

The result gathered reveal that users of reference services has express satisfaction in their use of electronic resources; thigh remark from the sample size drawn from the population. Here, users of electronic resources have express that internet searches have supported their research (Voobij 1999). In USA for example, the availability of internet terminal in public libraries rose sharply between the years 2000 and 2007, increasing by approximately 90 percent on a per capita basis (Henderson 2009). Prior to 1997 and 2007, per capita visit to public libraries increased tremendously nation-wide by 19 percent (Henderson 2009). However, user’s satisfaction can be a means of measuring the system effectiveness (Baroudi et.al; 1988; Corath and Mignen, 1999; Ginzberg, 1978; Hamilton and Chervany 1981; Ives and Olson 1984; Powers and Dickson 1974). Here, users satisfaction accounted for 181 responses representing (86.19%) of the sample size drawn; thus given a high remark while unsatisfied accounted for only 9 responses representing (4.29%) of the sample size drawn. However, With (86.19%) of the respondents given the opininion that they are satisfied with the level of reference services provided, it could therefore be suggested that electronic resources have really impacted to the public library users.

Result of the research further reveal that electronic resources are efficient and reliable to the users. Here, user’s satisfaction can be a means of measuring the system effectiveness (Baroudi et.al 1988; Corath and Mignen, 1999; Ginzberg, 1978; Hamilton and Chervany 1981; Ives and Olson 1984;Powers and Dickson 1974). Effective and efficient utilisation of electronic resources in Aberdeen City Central Library Reference Unit accounted for 179 responses thus representing (85.24%) of the sample size drawn from the population of users.

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Research Findings

Electronic resources have helped in facilitating research among different scholars. Also, it has brought to the door steps of individual library users, various types of information. Electronic resources has also led to the reduction of cost involve in the process of duplicating of information bearing materials in public libraries. Moreso, through the use of electronic information resources, the use of information technology tool has been instituted in public library services, thereby bridging the communication gap among library users.

In the same vein, electronic information resources have given rise to online sharing of library resources among different public libraries that exist. This could be seen in the digitalisation and personalisation of information among different community of users. Through electronic resources, advanced countries of the today have initiated some useful programme with the sole aim of public enlightenment. Moreso, current awareness services (CAS) and Selective dissemination of information (SDI) services has been incorporated as a means of updating researchers in their various field of interest.

Furthermore, with the adoption of electronic resources today, information resources, subscription of journals, bibliographies, CD-ROMs etc are made easy in terms of access and retrieval.

In a similar vein, electronic resources have made it possible for easy and convenient approach to information services due to its simplicity.

Above all, it could be suggested that for the public library services to life up to the expectations of its users requirement at all times, information resources in the form of electronic format should be given adequate consideration.

5.2 Conclusion

Electronic resources have been commendable given the views of some of the prolific writers in the world of information. So many countries of the world have embraced electronic information resources due to its importance in bringing the communication gap between one library and another. Using electronic resources has been justified given the impact to the community of public library users as evidence from the questionnaire distributed. Electronic resources have not only saved the time of public library users but its updated and factual information has been commendable by the library users.

Therefore, the transition from print information to electronic information sources known as e- resources in UK public libraries; especially Aberdeen City Central Library has been commendable. Users can have access to different information sources that are available in the City Library website remotely from their homes. From the result of research findings, various resources in electronic form have helped in upliftment of learning, research and development in public library systems. Following this development, there’s need to encourage digitization of information resources at all levels so as to update, retrieved and facilitate information searches at all time.

5.2.1 Recommendations

Following the objectives of this research, it could be recommended that electronic resources should be fostered in public libraries through mass digitalisation and computerisation of library services. Also, users satisfaction should be the ultimate goal of any public library and this could be enhance by the introduction of electronic resources.

Management of public library services should henceforth sees electronic information resources as a positive step towards the right direction by enhancing research, learning and development through electronic information sources.

In another dimension, user’s orientation should be emphasised at all levels to encourage high library patronage and support.

Furthermore, adequate resources and manpower development should be improved upon in realising the overall objectives.

Above all, any likely problem that may hinder the provision of electronic resources in public libraries should be forestalled.

5.2.2 Suggestion for future research

This piece of research work was aimed at identifying those useful library materials that constitute electronic information resources and also how they can be effectively impact on library users. Therefore, for the purpose of additional research, an area that has to do with the provision of quality reference services to the library users need to be address further. Also, more emphasis should be placed on the library user’s awareness so as to fully maximise the potentials of public library services.

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APPENDIX

Appendix A

QUESTION DESIGN FOR MANAGEMENT (Library reference unit)

PART A

LIBRARY MANAGEMENT

How long have you worked in the library?

Who are your library users?

What kind of electronic resources do you hold as your collection?

What are the impacts of these resources to library users?

Has it been so easy identifying and locating this resources

What is the level of usability?

Are the users aware of the existence of these resources?

Has the users been able to help themselves in this regard

What factors influence usage of these resources?

Is there other relevant resources hold outside these resources?

What method is use in retrieving these resources?

Are users satisfied using these resources at all times.

Appendix B

QUESTIONS FOR LIBRARY USERS

Are you a regular user of this library?

Do you locate and access electronic resources easily from the library?

How efficient is this resources regarding to your needs?

Are you satisfied with the level of reference services rendered to you as a user?

How frequent do you require staff assistance/ attention before using the library resources?

What are your suggestions towards improving the reference services of this library?

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The impact of electronic resources on improving user satisfaction:a case study of aberdeen city central library reference unit.. (2019, Mar 15). Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://phdessay.com/the-impact-of-electronic-resources-on-improving-user-satisfactiona-case-study-of-aberdeen-city-central-library-reference-unit/