University libraries are established to support teaching, learning, research and community service mandate of their parent institutions. Libraries are the knowledge-house of an educational institution and also a place where information in print and in other forms are collected and arranged to serve all ages and interests. The study examined library service quality as a determinant of users’ satisfaction in academic libraries in Oyo state using Kenneth Dike Library in University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria as case study.
Survey research was adopted, Kenneth Dike Library in University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria was purposely selected because of the accessibility. The population of the selected libraries was 25,000 according to the administrative department. The study used Morgan’s table for sample size to determine the appropriate sample size for the study population, the sample size for a population of 25, 000 at 5% margin of error is 378. A validated questionnaire was employed to collect data. Descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation and the inferential statistics of Pearson correlation were used for data analysis to show the relationship betweenlibrary service quality and user’s satisfaction. Hypothesis were tested at 5% level of significance.
The study showed that Photocopying and printing services, user education programme, volume of text books and reference books, personalized assistance rendered by the library staff are service available in the academic library; Users are satisfied with the facilities and equipments of academic libraries in Oyo State; Users are satisfied with the attitude of staff of academic libraries in Oyo State; Quality service has positive and significant impact on user satisfaction in academic libraries in Oyo State; Inadequate fans, air conditions in libraries are some of the major challenges of the libraries.
The study concluded that service quality has positive and significant effects on users satisfaction in academic libraries in Oyo State. In line with the findings of the study, it was recommended that; Library management should take cognizance of informational needs of undergraduate and postgraduate students as they have different reasons for visiting the university library; Adequate attention should be given to the provision of services such as book borrowing service, inter library loan service, weekend library service, commencement of night library service, printing and binding services; There is the urgent need of additional air conditioners and fans; The library management should sustain the high level of user satisfaction by improving on providing current and relevant information resources, modern facilities and befitting services that would meet the needs and expectations of users.
Key words: Library, Service, quality, Library Service Quality, Users’ satisfaction, academic libraries
1.1 Background to the Study
Library is derived from the Latin word “libet” which means a book. A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources that can be assessed by a defined community. Library provides physical or digital access to materials and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space or both. A library can also be described as a place set apart to contain books, periodicals and other materials for reading, viewing, listening, study or reference. A library is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, a corporation or a private individual. A library’s collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, cassettes, videotapes, audiobooks, e-books, DVDs, databases and other format. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items.
There are four main types of libraries namely public library, academic library, special library and national library. Public library is a library that is accessible by the general public and funded from public sources. Furthermore, academic library is a library which is associated or attached with any educational institutions to support its educational programmes. Academic library is further sub-divided into three categories namely university library, college library and school library. In addition to these, special library is a kind of library established, supported and administered by a business firm, private corporation, government or any interest group to meet the information needs of its members or staff in pursuing the goals of the organization. A national library keeps all documents of and about a nation under some legal provisions and thus represents publications of and about the whole nation.
Library services are regarded as social services which are bound to stimulate the reading habit of the society, including people in the academic environment. Library services present a picture of remarkable variety and play a vital role in the education, economic, cultural and recreational life of the entire population. A university library is known to carry out the following services – circulation services, inter-library loan services, reference and information services, current awareness services, selective dissemination of information, user education, literature searching, compilation of bibliographies, indexing and abstracting services, knowledge management services, preservation and conservation services, bindery services, information literacy services, information media literacy, archiving services, preservation services, bibliographic services, consultancy services, photographic and reprographic services, publication of guides to the libraries, compilation and maintenance of statistics, electronic library services, translation services, statistical data analysis services, internet services, book editing services and book and support.
The extent to which library service quality are assessed depends on the availability of information resources rendered and the utilization of facilities by library users. The currency and relevancy of the information resources properly arrange on shelves, the usefulness of its catalogs and finding tools in providing access to its collection, the ability and cooperation of library staff to use the facilities to bring these information resources and services to the attention of the users, the attitude of the staff in rendering services are some of the requirements necessary for measuring service quality. Library service quality focuses on how well services are delivered, compared to user’s expectations. Library service quality assesses whether services rendered conforms to the expectations of users. Libraries that meet or exceed expectations are considered to have high library services. The fact remains that any library is in the business of offering services to its users. For library to be functional, the services it provides should correspond with the needs of its users because the user is very reason for the existence of the library and it ensures that the service so provided are exploited to the maximum. Any library that want to improve its services to meet the views, opinions and perceptions of users must solicit the help of users to identify its areas of weaknesses in order to improve upon them.
Satisfying users’ needs in the university libraries has been the primary objective of both the library and librarians. Every year, new students come to the university with different needs and expectations. Besides, new technology, databases and more innovative systems for accessing information, have made the library more complicated and challenging for librarians and users alike. The unfriendly treatment from library staff towards user and the difficulty in being able to identify these resources also create problems for users. The inability to easily identify the specific uses of library services because of the new technologies, inadequacy and non-functioning of some library facilities and the difficulty to assess information sources can all contribute to user dissatisfaction. University libraries today are bedeviled with the challenges of infrequent or non-use of resources largely because of inadequate awareness, perceived lack of relevance, lack of time, distance, lack of skills in the use of electronic resources, having personal books and/or borrowing books from friends, access to the internet from home, slow internet, noisy and inappropriate study areas, inadequate collection, poorly managed information resources, unhelpful disinterested staff and unfriendly users conveniences couple with other competitive sources of information that seem to be threatening the role of university libraries.
Therefore, it has become necessary for university libraries to adopt a more strategic approach besides the initial ones been used in order to know their users’ perception since libraries exist purposely to serve users. Hence, there is need for university libraries to understand their users’ needs and satisfy them.
1.2 Statement of Problem
University libraries are established to support teaching, learning, research and community service mandate of their parent institutions. Libraries are the knowledge-house of an educational institution and also a place where information in print and in other forms are collected and arranged to serve all ages and interests. It has been empirically observed that there are some forms of dissatisfaction among users of libraries and this study is interested to find out reasons for the dissatisfaction. Empirical evidences revealed that there are complaints from users about the quality and quantity of materials available, findings numbers of materials in the catalogue cabinet but the book may not be found on the shelf, poor ventilation, entrance areas and library location unsuitable for learning. The study therefore attempt to examine the impact of library service quality on user satisfaction using Kenneth Dike Library as case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the influence of library service quality on user satisfaction in academic libraries in Oyo State.
The specific objectives are to:
- Find out the library services provided by academic libraries in Oyo State.
- Determine the services that are in high demand by academic libraries in Oyo State.
- Ascertain users satisfaction on academic libraries in Oyo State.
- Determine the likely challenges that can threaten library quality service in academic libraries in Oyo State.
1.4 Research Questions
This study is carried out to provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:
- What are the services provided by academic libraries in Oyo State?
- What are the services that are highly demanded by users of academic libraries in Oyo State?
- To what extent are users of academic libraries in Oyo State satisfied with the service quality of the libraries?
- What are the possible challenges that can devalue library quality service of academic libraries in Oyo State.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The null hypothesis guiding the study will be tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H1: Library service quality has no significant impact on user satisfaction in academic libraries in Oyo State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is highly believed that the study will provide tremendous benefits to librarians, university management, students of library sciences, users of libraries and the general academic community.
The study through its findings will inform librarians on the need to strive to improve their quality of services to users as it is a well-known fact that the libraries exist basically because of users.
Through the findings of this study, libraries will be able to know the key attributes or criteria that are greatly determines users satisfaction, the areas where they are performing and the areas that needs improvement.
University management will be informed on the need to adequately equip their libraries to global standard. University management will be prompted to take quick actions on how to develop their libraries to make it highly resourceful for teaching, learning, research and community service.
This study is also beneficial to researchers who are interested to carry out further studies on the subject matter as it serves as a body of reserved knowledge that can be consulted by researchers in their subsequent research undertakings.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study examined library service quality as a determinant of users’ satisfaction in academic libraries in Oyo state using Kenneth Dike Library in University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria as case study. The population of study comprised 25, 000 students of University of Ibadan. The postgraduate students are 14, 480 in number and However, using the Morgan table to determine the sample size at 5% error of margin, the sample size of the study comprised randomly selected 378 students of University of Ibadan who are library users.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Library: This refers to a building or room containing collection of books, periodicals and other resources for use or borrowing by the public or members of an institution.
Academic Library: This is a library which is associated or attached with any educational institutions to support its educational programmes. It is a designated place, whether physical or digital set aside to house scholarly research materials supporting academic, university, college and curriculum.
Information Resources: This refers to the data and information asset of a library. Typical examples of information resources include books, databases, radio, television, magazines, journals, etc.
Library Service: This refers to an experienced and comprehensive help or aid a library offers its readers. Examples of library services are but not limited to referral, reference, circulation, borrowing, inter-library loan, online public access catalogue, etc.
Library Service Quality: This refers to an assessment of how well library services such as referral, photocopying, reprographic, borrowing, inter-library loan, online public access catalogue and internet facilities amongst others, conforms to the expectations of library users.
User Satisfaction: This is a measure of how the services supplied by an academic library meet or surpass the expectations of users. Users tend to be satisfied when library services offered to them exceed their expectations. On the contrary, there is low user satisfaction, if the library services rendered to users is far below their expectations.