Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

User Perception of Library and Information Services in Agricultural Science Universities in South India: An Evaluative Study

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

User Perception of Library and Information Services in Agricultural Science Universities in South India: An Evaluative Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

Agriculture university libraries play an important role in providing the right direction to the agricultural, scientific, and technological development of a nation. Every library exists to serve the needs of its community of users. The evaluation of a library is based on how well it serves these needs. Meeting user needs necessitates a study of those needs.

Progress in science and technology means that libraries must provide a variety of services to users. To achieve this, it is necessary to have a continuous feedback from users. One way to achieve this is by analyzing requests for further information on library and information services. That can help orient library and information services to user requirements, forming a quick and continuous way of evaluating those services.

Agricultural university libraries in India have a 50-year history, and have come a long way from the days when the Govind Ballabh Panth Agricultural University Library was set up in 1960. Those were the days when no library and information services were provided to the users, not even circulation. A university library now is no mere appendage to the parent institution; it is no ivory tower; it has transformed into a service institution. In this regard, the Parry Committee Report of the UK has noted with satisfaction that the fundamental change in attitude in university library has been from inward looking conservation to an outward-looking organization geared to the information needs of the users. Similarly, in India the Radhakrishnan Commission Report, the University Grants Commission, the Kothari Commission Report, etc., have attached much importance to university libraries. This article is based on a survey conducted by the researcher in evaluating the collection and services provided by South Indian Agricultural University Libraries.

Objectives of the Study

Modern agricultural university libraries stress the importance library and information services to agricultural research, teaching, learning, and extension. A major objective of the present study is to evaluate the library and information services in agricultural university libraries in South India. The following are other objectives:

* To discover the types of library and information services required by users;

* To elicit opinions about services offered by the library;

* To elicit opinions about the problems faced by users;

* To collect opinions about the adequacy of information resources and their use;

Hypothesis

Keeping the objectives of the study in view, an attempt has been made to test the following hypothesis:

* There is a significant relationship among the opinions of post graduate students, research scholars, and faculty members toward the purpose of visiting the library.

Methodology

The survey method was adopted for the present study. The study is based on theoretical as well as empirical data. The theoretical framework will be prepared on the basis of published and unpublished sources. The existing situation of library and information services in agricultural university libraries in south India is assessed on the basis of the primary and secondary data collected. To collect data, the questionnaire was circulated to each agricultural university librarian.

Analysis and Interpretation of Data

The data has been analyzed using frequency and percentage as well as a chi-square test.

User Information

The population of this study consists of three categories of users: post graduate students, research scholars, and faculty members. Since the population size is very large, random sampling was applied. The post graduate student was limited to 25 percent of their total population, while the sample size for research scholars and faculty members was 20 percent. The sample includes all south Indian agricultural universities. …

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