Library Visits and Consultation: A Case Study of Universities in Northwestern India
The primary focus of a library is service. It is widely recognized that service quality and consumer satisfaction are essential for retaining current consumers and attracting new ones. The traditional method of measuring the quality of an academic library in quantifiable terms of its collection and use does not offer an indication of the quality of service, and new ways to measure quality in libraries have emerged during the past decade. Although every teacher and research scholar now have ready access to online resources, the role of the traditional documents is still important.
The present study is a survey of teachers and research scholars of different universities of Northwestern India . A questionnaires was distributed to the sample population selected for the study. Random sampling was used to select those surveyed. Out of 1,500 questionnaires distributed, 1,124 were returned. Of the 1,124 respondents, 57 percent are research scholars and the remaining 43 percent are faculty members. Data were analyzed using percentages chi-square and t-test. The universities surveyed under the study are:
All these universities are recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India .
Significant studies have been conducted on the use of libraries by students, research scholars, and faculty members. Jorosi (2006) looked at information needs and information seeking behaviours of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) managers in Botswana 's manufacturing industry, using a self-administered questionnaire. The key findings of the study are that SME managers devote a significant amount of time to active information-seeking and spend an average of five hours per week seeking information on customer and competition information.
Bouazza and Mufaraji (2005) looked at school library use by teachers, finding that 36 percent use the library Once a week, while and 32 percent rarely use the library. Similarly, Shokeen and Kaushik (2002), who looked at the information-seeking behavior of social scientists found that a large majority of respondents visited the library daily, and a significant number twice a week. Singh (2002) conducted a study on faculty members at the University of Delhi . He found that 36 percent visit the library to prepare notes for teaching, and that nearly 60 percent visit the library two-to-four times a week.
Lohar and Kumbar (2002) found that a majority of respondents visit the library to consult textbooks or reference books and to read newspapers and popular magazines. Nearly 70 percent consulted the library catalogue. A comprehensive study by Rajagopal (1989) found that 80 percent of users use the library more than once a week, with more than three-quarters not satisfied with the arrangement of reading material on the shelves, and 83 percent not satisfied with the collection.<
Chi-Square Showing Frequency of Library Visits
Table 1. Gender
Table 1 highlights the frequency of visits to the library made by the male and female respondents. The 327 males (41.03 percent) and 105 females (32.11 percent) visit the library daily, 142 males (17.82 percent) and 80 females (24.46 percent) visit Once a week; 259 males (32.5 percent) and 101 females (30.89 percent) visit 2 to 3 times a week; 36 males (4.52 percent) and 25 females (7.65 percent) visit once a month; 33 males (4.14 percent) and 16 females (4.89 percent) visit the library 2 to 3 times a month. The Table 1 shows that all the respondents visit the library regularly; however, the frequency differs among the respondents. The c 2 value of frequency of visits x males and females is 14.62 and the degrees of freedom (df) are 4. The probability (p) is significant at .005, showing that male respondents visited more frequently than females.<
Table 2. Age
A total of 316 respondents (46.47 percent) age 25-30 visit the library daily, followed by the 28 respondents (31.46 percent) age 41-45. Nineteen respondents (46.34 percent) age 46-50, and the same number (40.43 percent) in age 50+ visit the library once a week. Five respondents (10.64 percent) age 50+ and 10 (9.52 percent) respondents age 36-40 visit the library 2-3 times a month. The c 2 value of age x visit is 86.77 and the degrees of freedom (df) are 20. The probability (p) is highly significant. It is found that the respondents age 25-30 visit the library more often than the other groups, which form the major part of the research scholars in the universities. This factor is further proved by the analysis of the data in Table 3
Table 3. Respondent categories
It is noted that 304 (47.57 percent) research scholars and 128 (26.39 percent) teachers visit the library daily. Even though both research scholars and teachers visit the library, the frequency of their visits varies. The c 2 value is 69.55; the degrees of freedom (df) are 8 and the value of probability(p) is highly significant. Research scholars visit the library significantly more frequently than teachers.
Table 4. Subject
Agriculture has the highest number of respondents visiting the library daily with 38 (55.87 percent) respondents, followed by humanities and social Sciences with 28 (43.75 percent) and 81 (42.86 percent) respondents respectively. Visiting 2-3 times a week is chosen in by a higher number in humanities with 28 (43.75 percent), followed by veterinary and social sciences with 13 (35.14 percent) and 67 (35.45 percent) respondents respectively, further followed by pure sciences with 196 (34.69 percent). Once a week visits to the library is higher among the veterinary group, followed by engineering and pure sciences with 11 (29.73 percent), 5 (22.73 percent), and 126 (22.30 percent) respondents respectively. The c 2 value is 84.83 and the degrees of freedom (df) are 20. The value of Probability (p) is highly significant .
Table 5. Universities
In almost all the universities, daily visitors the most numerous, except in CSKKVV, GNDU, Pbi. Univ., JNU, KUK and GJU, in which users prefer to visit 2-3 times a week. The highest number of daily visitors are in YS Parmar univ. with. 81 (76.42 percent) respondents, followed by HPU in which it with 62.62 percent. The c 2 value of universities x the frequency of visit to the library is 208.04 and the degrees of freedom are 56. The c 2 value is very significant. Respondents from all the universities under study are frequent visitors to the library, except HPU, YS Parmar, DU and MDU.
The result shows that in the time of technological advancement, where the Internet is easily available to every individual, respondents still visit the library regularly; however, the frequency of visits differs among respondents. Respondents age 25-30 visit the library more often than other groups, and form the major part of the research scholars in the universities. The respondents of all the universities under study are frequent library visitors, with the exception of a few institutions. Respondents from agriculture discipline are the most frequent library visitors, followed by those from humanities and social sciences.
Bouazza, A., & Mufaraji, M. (2005). Use of school libraries by teachers: The case of Oman .Libri 55(2): 140-147.
Jorosi, B.N. (2006). The information needs and information seeking behaviours of SME managers in Botswana. Libri 56(2): 95-108.
Lohar, M. S., & Kumbar, M. (2002). Use of library facilities and information resources in Sahyadri College, Shimogo (Karnataka): A study.Annals of Library and Information Studies 49(3): 73-87.
Rajgopal, B. (1989). User survey of Srikrishna Devaraya University library.Library Herald 28(1-2): 17-25 .
Shokeen, A., & Kaushik, S. (2002). Information seeking behavior of social scientists of Haryana universities.Library Herald 40(1): 28-35.
Singh, G. (2002). Use of college libraries by faculty members of university of Delhi.Library Herald 40(4): 263-270.