An Analysis of Books Used by Computer Science and Engineering Students at Siddhartha Engineering College

Article excerpt

Introduction

In developing countries like India, circulation and loan of documents from a library collection is a vital medium for the dissemination of information and knowledge. Circulation of books for home reading maximizes the use of library resources, and helps meet user needs for research, publication, and instructional activities. Circulation data is one way of assessing a library. Since circulation of printed material remains important in Indian, it is appropriate to analyze circulation as a way of guiding the acquisition of books. The growth of information in terms of quality and quantity, the many subjects of interest to users, increasing costs, and limited fiscal resources force librarians to use data for making rational decisions. The present investigation uses circulation records to study the books borrowed from the college library of Siddhartha Engineering College by computer science and engineering students.

V R Siddhartha Engineering College (VRSEC) is the first private engineering college in the state of Andhra Pradesh, established in 1977, sponsored by Siddhartha Academy of General and Technical Education, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. The college has eight undergraduate and four postgraduate courses in engineering and computer science. The college library has 56,500 volumes, 150 national and international journals, DELNET and APSONET databases, Internet and Intranet facilities.

Objectives

The following are the objectives of the present study:

* To find the number of books used by final-year computer science and engineering students

* To determine the authorship patterns, range of publication dates, and countries of publication of circulated books

* To prepare a ranked list of most frequently used books

* To prepare a ranked list of publishers

Hypotheses

The following hypotheses have been formulated for testing

* Most books used have a single author and are in the field of computer science or engineering.

* Female students use more books than male students.

* All students prefer the newest books.

* Students use Indian publications more than those from other countries

Scope and limitation

The present study examines books borrowed by final-year computer science and engineering students of Siddhartha Engineering College Library, Vijayawada during 2004-2005. It is also limited to borrowed books. Data pertaining to the use of textbooks and reference books within the library is excluded from the study.

Methodology

Undergraduate students in eight areas of engineering and postgraduate students in four areas, as well as teaching and non teaching staff, have access to the library. The investigator selected only finalyear undergraduate students of computer science and engineering for this study. The total sample consists of 132 final-year computer science and engineering students, and used the borrowing data of 100 students, based on the entries in their personal borrowing books. Out of these 100 students, 65 are male and 35 are female.

Analysis

Most books (78.24%) were borrowed by male students, with the remaining books (21.76%) borrowed by female students. An average of 18 books was borrowed per student per year.

Seventy percent of students have used twenty or fewer books.

A large majority of the books used by computer science and engineering students were written by a single author.

More than half the books used were published between 2001 and 2005, and nearly 80 percent during the most recent ten years.

More than three quarters of the books used were published in India.

Going along with the results displayed in the previous table, Table 6 shows that more than three quarters of the books used were published by Indian publishing companies.

Most books that were used were from Pearson Education Asia, followed by Prentice Hall of India (14. …