Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

8-19-2021

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Department of Information Studies

University of Zululand, South Africa

(1Doctoral student, 2 senior professors in the department)

Corresponding author: mbuapm@gmail.com

Paper type: Research paper

Abstract

Abstract

The subject of service quality has been widely researched in various sectors and the academic libraries are no exception. University libraries in Africa, in Kenya in particular, are therefore required to re-examine and justify their very existence within the academic institutions. This study seeks to establish the level of service quality in Kenyan academic libraries by analysing, evaluating and assessing the level of service quality in the academic libraries. Applying the Gap model suggests there are gaps/shortfalls within the service delivery process thus resulting to users’ dissatisfaction. Descriptive survey research method is employed; and guided by the study’s research objectives, a combination of f qualitative and quantitative methods were employed for this study using questionnaires, interviews, and observation as data collection instruments. . From the entire list of accredited universities in Kenya as of 2015, a sample of 10 (ten) institutions was purposively selected. In each institution external (library users) and internal (librarians) users were targeted. Findings from the study revealed that academic libraries are faced by a myriad of challenges: a growing and divergent user population, limited range of information resources/services, poor infrastructure, inadequate staff working areas and tools, limited budgets, heavy bureaucratic tendencies, lack of top institutional management support, poor leadership by the departmental heads, and poor market orientation strategies; nonetheless they’re endowed with a rich pool of well-trained information professionals, large market for their services, and customer goodwill, all of which are under-exploited. In addition, the findings revealed that academic libraries are ill prepared to provide specialised services for People with Disabilities (PWDs). Recommendations include: increased budgetary allocations, acquisition of more diverse information resources, change in the management of the academic libraries (this may include, creating an enabling environment for optimal operation/functioning; improved organizational communication, effective supervision by the Commission for University Education (CUE), and introduction of a policy framework on the operations of the academic libraries.

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