Date of this Version
The main objective of this study was to investigate the usage of online library services provided by GC University Library Lahore through the implementation of the best practices to respond to COVID-19 challenges for satisfying information and research needs of the community via online tools on account of the closure of educational places countrywide having utilized smart approaches.
The current study was based on best practices of online services provided by GC University Library, Lahore during COVID-19. In March 2020, the university was suddenly closed due to COVID-19. In this uncertain situation, Chief Librarian held a meeting and decided to provide online library services urgently. For this purpose, second author of this study designed a form in "Google Forms". In the second phase, the link was placed on the library website. For facilitating library users, a pop-up of this link was designed. At the third and final stage, a letter was circulated among all departments of the university about this newly launched service. Data regarding all the queries were gathered in an excel sheet attached with Google Form utility. In July 2021, data of 602 respondents were analyzed to know about the best practice of this utility. Data were analyzed quantitatively by using MS Excel.
Findings revealed that 30 (4.98%) respondents were faculty members belonging to different departments of the university while 572 (95%) participants were students from different disciplines. 287 (47.6%) queries for required information resources were for digital format, 187 (31.06%) queries for the material in the electronic format while 128 (21.26%) queries were received for providing material in printed format. Total 602 queries were received via the Online Library Request Form. Results show that the top 05 departments that sent queries through the Online Library Request Form belonged to the disciplines of Botany (30.7%), English (8.8%), Urdu (6.97%), Political Science (6.47%), and Sustainable Development Study Centre (5.98%). Requests for the printed books were responded positively with 87%, Digital Books (94%), Articles (84%), E-dissertations (86%), Scanned Material (93%), and Web Resources (92%).
This study is unique as it shows the usage of the university's library resources and services during COVID-19 challenging times through the best practices. The study has practical implications for the policy-making authorities to design innovative services in university libraries to satisfy the diverse needs of the users during any challenging situations like COVID-19.