User perceptions of the quality of service at Iringa University College Library, Tumaini University, Tanzania.
Simba, Cornelius Asyikiliwe.
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The study is based on the premise that the culture of library assessment from the users' perspective is of vital importance to determine what users' needs are and whether these needs are being met. Consequently, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the existing library services and using the assessment results can improve service delivery. The study examined the quality of service at Iringa University College Library (IUCo) from the users' perceptions. The users' expectations and perceptions of service quality were investigated to determine the gap that existed between the two; and to determine the extent to which the library met users' expectations or not. A sample of 294 undergraduate students, all 31 postgraduate students, and 50 academic staff were surveyed. The adapted LibQUAL+T questionnaire was self-administered for data gathering from these respondents. A total of 213 (72.4%) undergraduate students, 20 (64.5%) postgraduate students, and 31 (68%) academic staff responded. The results were analysed using SPSS to determine the frequency of responses. The results are displayed in the form of charts and tables. The insights gained from this study indicate that there is a gap between user's expectations and perceptions of service quality at IUCo Library. The magnitude of the gap varies depending on individual services. The results show that the most problematic services for users are: electronic journals, photocopying, interlibrary loan, electronic databases, a quiet library environment, and the library webpage. The results show also that there are variations within difference groups of users regarding the expectations and perceptions of service quality. The academic staff have higher expectations and lower perceptions compared to the postgraduate and undergraduate students. Recommendations to improve service quality at the IUCo Library and the introduction of new services pertinent to current needs of users are given.
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