Purpose - This study aims to explore the online services provided by the university libraries of Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they cope up with the new demands of the students and faculties to support online teaching and learning activities.
Design/methodology/approach - The descriptive research design of the online survey was used to collect data from 50 public and private university libraries. The population of this study was 160 UGC-approved universities in Bangladesh. A structured online questionnaire was developed using Google Forms and delivered to 72 university libraries via Email. 50 university libraries responded to the survey, and later the data were analyzed using SPSS v-25.0.
Findings - The findings of this study reveal that to support online teaching and learning, and research activities, most of the university libraries of Bangladesh started to provide online library services for their patrons. This study suggests libraries need to improve their technical infrastructure and provide equal opportunity to each professional for acquiring new technical skills of various emerging library tools and techniques to disseminate knowledge using a digital platform. Libraries also need to promote their services through email and social media to make library users aware of the new services and also need to secure more funding from the university authorities to acquire more electronic resources.
Limitations – With the COVID-19 movement and safety restrictions, we had to rely only on online data collection methods. We could not manage a large part of the university libraries because the contact information was available on the university web directory.
Originality - This study will provide a comprehensive idea about the ability of the university libraries of Bangladesh to provide online library services in emergency/pandemic situations. A few studies have been published that focused on university library services during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. This study is the first effort to provide a combined picture of all the online services offered to the patrons by public and private university libraries in Bangladesh. The researchers believe that the library professionals, university authorities, and policymakers in Bangladesh will highly be benefited from this research by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the online library services.
KEYWORDS: University libraries; online teaching and learning; online library services; ICT infrastructure; availability of e-resources; Covid-19; Bangladesh
Paper Type – Research paper