A study on the patronage of the intelligent library: The Ximen Intelligent Library of the Taipei public library system

Shu‐hsien Tseng (Taipei Public Library, Taipei, Taiwan and Department of Library and Information Science, Fu‐Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Pin‐dar Kuo (Taipei Public Library Shilin Branch, Taipei, Taiwan)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 2 October 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce how the Taipei Public Library established an intelligent library that offers automated service equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) and a self‐checkout system. The study concludes with suggestions offered for the reference of the Taipei Public Library and other public libraries in setting up similar automated libraries in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examines the functions of the Ximen Intelligent Library as provided to 106 patrons who are under observation. Afterwards, a questionnaire is distributed to obtain the personal information of these patrons and the specific nature of their patronage of the library. Items of observation and investigation include their use of the library's facilities and the return of library material to a return box located outside the library; patrons include those aged 12 years old and above.

Findings

In comparing the aspects of human resources, capital investment, and library hours, between a public reading room and an intelligent library, it is obvious that the intelligent library has many more advantages. A major difficulty for the patrons of the library is their unfamiliarity in operating the automated circulation system, compounded by the fact that very few patrons call the service line for help when they encounter difficulties. Moreover, patrons cannot always locate on the shelves the books they intend to borrow, even though the catalogue indicates that they are on the shelves.

Originality/value

The paper offers helpful information on understanding this type of library, including its patrons, their behaviour in the library, and how it operates. The results of this study can serve as a reference for improving current intelligent library services for librarians at the Taipei Public Library and at other public libraries that plan to set up RFID intelligent libraries.

Keywords

Citation

Tseng, S. and Kuo, P. (2009), "A study on the patronage of the intelligent library: The Ximen Intelligent Library of the Taipei public library system", New Library World, Vol. 110 No. 9/10, pp. 410-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074800910997436

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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