Service Evaluation in Special Libraries of Bahawalpur: A Comparative Study of GCT, QMC, and UCET

Article excerpt

Introduction

Special library is generally concerned with literature of a particular subject or a group of subjects and extends its facilities to a particular type of clientele (Akhtar, 1975). In this age of rapid development, the importance of special libraries in intellectual, social and political sphere of life cannot be denied. The establishment/development of special libraries is necessary due to the knowledge expansion. No progress can be made in any field especially in science and technology without special libraries holding latest material/research. Special libraries serve as a "broadcasting station" which provide information of the latest development to the scientist, engineers, doctors, traders, etc (Misbah, 1971).

When Pakistan came into being, there were only 25-30 special libraries. The condition of these libraries was very poor and there were no professional staff in these libraries. During the first 10 years no importance were given to libraries and special libraries had no exemption. In early 1960s the importance of special libraries in the fields of science and technology were recognized and a few more special libraries were developed (Hanif, 1969). Currently there are 330 special libraries in Pakistan having 500,000 volumes (Sabzwari, 2005).

Statement of Problem

The services of a library are designed to facilitate and satisfy the information needs of the users. The services of special libraries are very distinctive. The nature of the clientele and their functions as information center demands that the special library's provide services according to users requirements i.e., what user wants, in the form in which he wants it and the time he wants it. The flood of information and application of new information technology and limited financial resources are the factors which require libraries (special libraries no exemption) to provide relevant and rapid services at the time of need.

However in Bahawalpur the services provided by special libraries are not adequate. Most of them are following outdated practices and fail to provide the satisfactory services by adopting modern libraries techniques and tools. Therefore the present study is aimed to evaluate the current status of services provided by QMC, GCT, & UCET libraries in Bahawalpur.

Review of Literature

In 1969 Hanif in his article on special libraries concluded that these libraries existing in Pakistan are not functioning in a proper manner. Most of them are following outdated practices and the staff is non-professional. He also suggested measures for the improvement of special libraries. Siddiqui in 1977 wrote an article to discuss the situation of Special Libraries in Pakistan and described that most of these libraries are providing only circulation and certain amount of reference services. However, they lack indexing, abstracting, bibliography compilation and current awareness services. Saqlain in 1973 in his article on book Selection in special Libraries concluded that the book selection should be according to the purpose and scope of the clientele who use the library. Haider (1969) in his article on 'Science Technology Libraries in Pakistan' reported that the resources & services of existing science-technology libraries are effected due to poor production of books in the country, inadequate bibliographical control, absence of standards, paucity of science graduate on certain places and insufficient funds. Sadiq (2005) suggested that there is a need to improve the situation of special library in the country. Certain measures such as centralized planning and coordination of the development of special libraries, centralization of acquisition and distribution of foreign literature, preparation and maintenance of union catalogue in certain subject areas, Inter library loan system among special libraries, provision of Internet facility, etc. should be taken.

Singh (2006) found that in most Indian special libraries features such as Internet resources and other electronic/digital resources, subject gateways and networks and consortia, are fast gaining acceptance. …