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Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

User Perception of Library Services in Academic Institutions in the Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu, India: A Case Study

C. Baskaran
Deputy Librarian
Central Library
School of Library and Information Science
Alagappa University
Karaikudi-630 003, India


Information science focuses on understanding problems from the perspective of stakeholders and then applying information and other technologies as needed. In other words, it tackles systemic problems first rather than individual pieces of technology within that system. In this respect, information science can be seen as a response to technological determination, the belief that technology "develops by its own laws, that it realizes its own potential, limited only by the material resources available, and must therefore be regarded as an autonomous system controlling and ultimately permeating all other subsystems of society." Within information science, attention has been given in recent years to human computer interaction, group ware, the semantic web value sensitive design, interactive design processes and to the ways people generate, use and find information. Today this field is called the Field of Information, and there are a growing number of Schools and Colleges of Information. The uses of Information technologies or IT in different facets of every day life are considered as a barometer of a country’s progress. Dramatic improvements are taking place in the two major components of IT: Computers and Telecommunication and these both have affected the entire scenario (1). The Impact of information technologies on the library is quite obvious as it has created new types of work, prompted redefinition of certain functions, influenced interpersonal relationships and transformed traditional organization structures into new institutional entities(2). This study is southern districts of Tamil Nadu is being included four districts are Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga; these are focal places of educating in southern part of Tamil Nadu in India. These districts having around 150 institutions are available. We have distributed the questionnaires only colleges of Arts and science, Para Medical, Engineering and Technology only 145 questionnaires distributed and were received only 120 questionnaires from the respondents. The researcher has found various methods of services are functioning in the academic institutions libraries. This is one of the significant attempts carried out for the research. Different methods adopted by the library users in searching the legal database by the users are identified. An attempt is made to assess the service quality; use of various search engines and impressions of the law libraries is presented. Some of the popular journals and databases used are listed (3).In the present situation, higher education is bound to opt for the unavoidable shift form the culture of print to a culture of digital technology. This affects teaching, learning and research and also the whole of higher education (4).


Following are the important objectives of the study:

1. To find the profile of the library users from academic institutions in Southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

2. To observe the users perception and their attributes in the library

3. To determine the types of some information sources and services require among the users.


A structured questionnaire was distributed to the 145 respondents of users in Arts, Paramedical, Engineering and Technology colleges Library and received 120 questionnaires from different faculty of institutions. All the valued responses were tabulated analyzed and interpreted in the following paragraph.

Analysis and Discussions

Analysis of the survey carried out by the investigators on the research topic User perception towards the library services of Academic institutions of southern District of Tamil Nadu: A case study is analyzed by several tabulation presented here.

Table 1: Districts Vs. Faculties wise respondents.

Faculties Districts Total Respondents
Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai
Arts &Science 18




Engg./Technology 9




Paramedical 8 (6.66) 9 (7.50) 19 (15.83) 36 (30.0)
Total Respondents 35 (29.160 37 (30.83) 48 (40.0) 120 (100.0)

District and Faculties wise distribution of respondents upon Sivaganga, Ramanatahapuram (Ramnad) and Madurai, The faculties wise respondents are belongs to Arts & Science, Engineering & Technology and Paramedical disciplines, which have been shown rates highest 43.33 percent from Arts and Science and it is followed by 30 percent from paramedical. Table 1 showing that District wise respondents highly occupy 40 percent by Madurai and followed by Ramnad district is 37 percent.

Figure 1


Table: 2 Status of Respondents

S.No Status Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai Total
1 Students 22(18.3) 18(15.0) 27(22.5) 67(55.83)
2 Faculty Members 10(8.33) 14(11.66) 13(10.83) 37(30.83)
3 Others 3(2.5) 5(4.16) 8(6.66) 16(13.33)
  Total 35(29.16) 37(30.83) 48(40.0) 120(100)

The status of academic institutions of Southern districts of Tamil Nadu users have surveyed in this study is shown in Table 2 it may be observed from the table that majority of the respondents are students representing 55.83 in which Madurai districts academic institutions occupy fist position (22.5) .Faculty members from the second largest number of respondents accounting to 30.83 percent it’s district wise respondents Ramnad secure ma. The remaining 8.33 percent are faculty members 

The age of library from 20 years to 36 years and above, this information is detailed in Table 3. It may be observed from the table that a large number of respondents fall in the range of 36 and above years representing 10 percent and high level respondents showing 5.8 percent at Madurai district. This is but natural because most of the respondents from Madurai district is 9.16 percent and overall growth is 24.16 percents from 21-25. The next highest group belongs to below 20 years age group representing 23.33 percent this age group represent equal level 8.33 percent by Ramnad and Madurai.

Table 3: Age Wise Respondents

S.No. Gender No. of Respondents Total
Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai
1 Below 20 8(6.6) 10(8.33) 10(8.33) 28(23.33)
2 21-25 9(7.5) 9(7.5) 11(9.16) 29(24.16)
3 26-30 7(5.8) 8(6.6) 11(9.16) 26(21.66)
4 31-35 6(5.0) 6(5.0) 9(7.5) 21(17.5)
5 36 and above 5(4.16) 4(3.33) 7(5.8) 16(13.3)
  Total 35 37 48 120

Figure 2


The genderwise breakup of academic library users belonging to shown in Table 4. It may be seen from the table that nearly 72.5 percent its respondents occupy in higher level at Madurai district with 27.3 percent of the male. The remaining 27.3 percent of them are female.

Table-4: Gender wise dispersion

S. No. Gender No. of Respondents Total
Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai
1 Male 26(21.66) 28(23.33) 33(27.3) 87(72.5)
2 Female 9(7.5) 9(7.5) 15(12.5) 33(27.3)
  Total 35 37 48 120

The library users are shown in Table 5. It is clear from the table that majority of the respondent’s visits the library daily representing 35.0 percent and Madurai district occupy top level 15.83 percent the next respondent goes to 22.5 percent their respective academic libraries once a week. A very small segment of the representing 15.83 percent visits the library once a fortnight

Table: 5 Frequency of Library visit

S. No. Frequency No. of Respondents Total
Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai
1 Daily 11(9.16) 12(15.83) 19(15.83) 42(35.0)
2 Once a week 7(5.83) 8(6.66) 12(10.0) 27(22.5)
3 Fortnight 5(4.16) 6(5.0) 8(6.66) 19(15.83)
4 Month 6(5.0) 4(3.33) 5(4.10) 15(12.50)
5 Rarely 6(5.0) 7(5.83) 4(3.33) 17(14.16)
  Total 35 37 48 120

The users visit the library for various purposes for seminars, lectures to use database and to refer journals and so on. It may bee seen from Table 6 that the library users most frequently visit their respective libraries for preparing for seminars assignments and to refer journal articles 0.70 mean. The users also frequently visit their libraries to prepare for projects/seminars/assignment 0.66 mean and least level mean secure the respondent for browse database is 0.44.  

Table 6: Purpose of visit

S. No Purpose of  visit No. of respondent Mean score Total Mean
Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai
01 To Prepare for  lectures 0.25 0.18 0.27 0.70
02 To prepare for Projects/Seminars/assignments 0.22 0.24 0.16 0.66
03 To prepare for moot court 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.49
04 To refer journal articles 0.20 0.21 0.29 0.70
05 To browse database 0.14 0.18 0.12 0.44

Code 5-  Most Frequently 4-Frequently 3-Occassionally 2-Rarely 1-Never

The academic library often provide a various services like Book lending service, reference service and Inter library loan and so on. It is shown by Table 7, that the book lending and reference service mean score 1.30 and 1.26. Inter library loan service appear mean score 0.99.

Table 7: Services Quality

S. No Types of library services No. of Respondents (Mean Score) Total Mean
Sivaganga Ramanad Madurai
1 Book lending Service 0.37 0.43 0.43 1.30
2 Reference Service 0.48 0.35 0.29 1.26
3 Inter library loan service 0.45 0.48 0.27 0.99

5- Most frequently   4-Frequently 3-Occassioanally 2- Rarely 1-Never

The frequency of use of various search engines by the academic library users are provided in Table 8. The respondents while browsing the net frequently use yahoo, Google, hotmail, Alta vista and Lycos search engines with 0.45, 0.99, 0.47, 0.50, and 0.51 total mean respectively. Hot bot, rediffmail and sify are comparably less 0.33, 0.21 and 0.23, respectively.

Table:8 Use of Search Engines

S. No Search Engines No. of Respondents(Mean Score) Total Mean
Sivaganga Ramnad Madurai
1 Google 0.17 0.10 0.18 0.45
2 Yahoo 0.88 0.05 0.06 0.99
3 Alta vista 0.14 0.21 0.12 0.47
4 Hotbot 0.20 0.16 0.14 0.50
5 Lycos 0.17 0.18 0.16 0.51
6 hotmail 0.08 0.13 0.12 0.33
7 rediffmail 0.05 0.08 0.08 0.21
8 Sify 0.08 0.05 0.10 0.23

Note 5- Most Frequently  4-Frequently  3-Ocasionally 2- Rarely 1-Never


This study discussed user much more interest on using Internet for accessing scientific information in which global level publications. This study reveals that faculty of science respondents secured maximum level due to keen search and obtained information by scientific journals and electronic publications. The maximum number of users are visited the library for preparing seminars, conferences and assignments. The Internet users are preferring Yahoo search engine and Google is next position in this study.


1. Dluman, A.K. 2003.Basics of information Technology for Librarians and Information Scienctists.2 vols. Ess Ess Publications, New Delhi

2.   Munshi, M.N. 1998. Assessing the Use of IT and its Impact on Libraries and Information centers, Bangladesh Journal of Library and Information Science. 1(1):pp.79-83.

3. Khiser Nikem and Yogesh, H.E. 2006.Use of law libraries in Mysore City: A survey. Kelpro Bulletin,10(2):pp.84-93.

4. Papatergious and Solomonidous,C. 2005. Gender Issues in Internet Access and favorite Activities among Greek High School Pupils Inside School, Computers and Education, 44(4),pp.377-393.

5. http://libqual.com/documents/admin/kyrillidougreece papers.doc.



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