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A study of web‐based services offered by Asian national libraries

Hajar Zarei (Library and Information Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran)
Zahra Abazari (Department of Library and Information Science, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Iran)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims at conducting a survey of web‐based services offered by Asian national libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

To do this, 23 accessible and English language web sites of national libraries in Asia were studied. Direct observation and a checklist including six general services were used for data collection and data evaluation, respectively. In order to determine the detailed services provided by national library web sites, five web sites of the greatest and historical national libraries in the world with appropriate geographical distribution were taken into account.

Findings

National Library of Singapore had the first rank in providing its services via a web site for users and was the only national library in Asia that provides more than half of its services (52.29 per cent) via the web site. The national libraries of seven countries: Japan, Malaysia, China, Iran, Israel, Seri Lanka, and Kyrgyzstan provide web‐based services in the range of 25‐50 per cent, respectively in descending order. And the web sites of Asian national libraries (ANLs) were far from ideal and optimal as an online service provider.

Practical implications

Asian National Libraries must use the web facilities for achievement of their target goals and provision of their information services in the best manner. It is also suggested that these libraries should make high use of both traditional library tools like bibliographies and web‐based ones including web forms, chat, videoconferences, and so forth to meet their goals and ideals.

Originality/value

This study provides a unique insight into the situation of provision of web‐based services offered by national libraries in selected Asian countries.

Keywords

Citation

Zarei, H. and Abazari, Z. (2011), "A study of web‐based services offered by Asian national libraries", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 841-850. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471111188051

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited