This paper seeks to investigate the degree to which the unfavourable state of the Croatian higher education system (the lack of vision, goals and objectives, insufficient budgeting and no quality control system) reflects on the organization, development and continuous dedication to quality of academic libraries in Croatia.
The situation is illustrated by a study conducted among academic libraries of the University Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek in 2003. A questionnaire for librarians and one for chief librarians was used and data were processed by software package StatSoft, Statistica 6.0. Next to the descriptive statistics, Mann‐Whitney test, Pearson Chi‐Square, Maximum Likelihood and Fisher exact Chi‐Square test were used. Annual reports were also used.
This research revealed that the academic libraries of Osijek University are unprepared for performance measurement. It was clear that they are unfamiliar with many elements of evaluation. Librarians are usually excluded from decision making regarding library operations, which results in their low motivation. However, the greatest dissatisfaction of academic librarians of Osijek University comes from their low status. Furthermore, librarians rarely get support from their colleges for their professional education (no travel money, no paid leave, etc.)
Osijek University is a relatively small university. It consists of nine colleges, one institute and one university library. The size of the target sample influenced the choice of research instruments – questionnaire, interviews with chief librarians and analysis of library annual reports.
This was the first such study in Croatia and its main goal was to test theoretical approaches and research methodology, which could be later applied for a study on a nation‐wide level.
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