Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

User Perception of Library Services in Public Libraries in Western Tamilnadu with Special Reference to Salem District: A Case Study

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

User Perception of Library Services in Public Libraries in Western Tamilnadu with Special Reference to Salem District: A Case Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

After independence of India, Tamilnadu is the first state that enacted the Public Library Act and it came with effect at 1st April 1950 and the Act was erected to establish research and activity. Based on the suggestions by Dr. S.R.Ranganathan, the Madras Library Association established and the other state public libraries pass the public library acts modeled on the Madras Library Public Act. Tamilnadu is being established a number of public libraries and Connemara Public Library was opened for public in 1896 and it became the State Central Library with effect from 1st April 1950. Since then, there is a drastic growth and development in public libraries. Public libraries are to serve their users at any point at any time to do effectively and efficiently, and there must be quality information regarding the accuracy, currency and relevance which would meet and satisfy the user's needs. In this context, the most widely accepted definition of a public library was formulated by UNESCO in 1949 and revised in 1972 (UNESCO 2004). According to UNESCO manifesto, the definition of a public library is listed as: Public Library is financed for the most part out of public funds; It charges no fees from users and yet is open for full use by the public; It is intended as an auxiliary educational institution providing a means of self education which is endless and It houses educative and informative materials giving reliable information freely and without partiality.

A public library is a library that is accessible by the general public and is usually funded from public sources, such as taxes. It is operated by librarians and library paraprofessionals, who are also civil servants (Wikipedia, 2018). According to Nwokocha (2004), Public Library defines "as being established to serve the generality of the residents of the community or town where it is located." Public library defined as "a library provided wholly or partly from public funds, and the use of which is not restricted to any class of persons in the community but is freely available to all" (Librarians Glossary). According to Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, "Public Library is a public institution, supported by taxation, one that opens its collections, facilities and services, with distinction to all students. It always strives to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of the community by providing collection and services." According to Ronald Benge (1970), Public library consists of four elements. First, the public libraries are available for the loan of materials and for reference purposes to all citizens. Second, the public libraries are mainly supported from public funds either on a local or on a national basis. The third element is their services as far as the individual is concerned should be free and the fourth one is that all materials should be available as an integral part of right. Public libraries can tailor quality information services to meet the information needs of its users. Public libraries can attract users with careful marketing and planning strategies to attract the potential users (Nsieh, 1997). Public library can develop quality services to fulfill the needs of target market. Public library through careful planning strategies can attract the attention of potential users by encouraging them to use the library services for their needs (Change & Hsieh, 1996). Public libraries are crucial institutions for providing education. It is essential for adult education and improving literacy rate in any country (Akparobore, 2011). Public library can provide access to the peer-reviewed online journals and help the individuals of the society in obtaining quality information for improving education, research and knowledge. Librarians working in public libraries can meet the new demands of the users by fulfilling their information needs in effective way (Haggstrom, 2004). Public library is a cultural library that aims at satisfying the customer's information needs (Zhong, 2007). …

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