Date of this Version
This study aimed to analyze the effectiveness of digital reference services in university libraries in the Punjab, Pakistan. The study employed the quantitative research method to achieve its objectives. The quantitative data were collected from users of four selected university libraries which offered digital reference services through the questionnaire.
The findings of the study suggest that more than half of the respondents were aware of digital reference services offered by their libraries. Amongst the respondents who were aware of the service, most of the respondents came to know about it through the library websites. The majority of respondents used the service at different intervals, while nearly one-third of the respondents had never used the service. The majority of the respondents were of the view that library reference staff is helpful and courteous to help the users with DRS, and understands the users’ information needs. Most of the participants informed that the libraries provide access to sufficient online/electronic information resources, the Web OPAC and DRS through websites. The libraries provide DRS 24/7 and have placed the link to DRS at a visible place on the website. The respondents were also of the opinion that the DRS offered by the libraries is easy to use, and the libraries market and publicize the service effectively. The libraries need to provide current information and prompt response to users, and enhance the library / reference staff’s competencies to handle the service efficiently. The findings of the study will help the university libraries’ administration to improve their DRS in accordance with users’ needs.