Date of this Version
Purpose: This study assessed the public libraries of Balochistan in terms of information resources, infrastructure facilities, human resources and services. It also probed the problems faced by the libraries in the delivery of services.
Methodology: The study was quantitative in nature and survey research method was used to achieve the desired objectives. There were 35 public libraries, which constituted the study’s population and data was collected from heads/incharge of libraries through the questionnaire. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 23.
Results: The heads of most libraries were non-professional staff and some libraries were worked with very few staff. The availability of information resources was found inadequate and resources such as maps, reports, theses & dissertations, rare books, and e-books were not found in any library. Most of the libraries had circulation, acquisition and reference sections, while most libraries did not have cataloging, classifications, digitization and preservation sections. The services such as reference, orientation, photocopying, CAS and indexing services were offered by most libraries; however, SDI, audiovisual, document reservation, interlibrary loan and translation services were not offered by any library. The major problems faced by the libraries were lack of training opportunities, non-availability of integrated library software, insufficient information resources, inadequate human resources and lack of commitment from the management.
Implications: The study's findings could be beneficial to the concerned authorities. The key points to be considered include 1) information resources should be procured both in printed and electronic formats, 2) the existing facilities and services should be upgraded and extended to other libraries and, 3) sufficient funds should be provided to acquire information resources, develop proper infrastructure and launched new services.
Originality: This is the first study in the province to assess the various aspects of public libraries. It will fill the literature gap and guide the researchers to explore the other aspects of public libraries.
Keywords: Information Resources, Library Services, Library Facilities, Public Libraries, Balochistan, Pakistan