Seeking help in Hong Kong’s academic libraries

Ha‐lin Chiu (Ha‐lin Chiu is with the University Library System, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Publication date: 1 December 2000


Academic libraries experience a common problem in promoting their reference services – users hesitate to ask questions because they are not sure whether the librarians are obliged or even capable to answer them. Using survey data from Hong Kong, this study revealed that reference librarians were ranked poorly against other sources of help for academic questions. However, those students who perceived reference librarians as knowledgeable, friendly, polite, modern, and supportive felt seeking help from them was useful, not embarrassing, and likely to be productive and convenient. Further, students who considered reference librarians professionally oriented felt more positively about approaching them for help. This study suggests reference librarians may have an image problem. To enhance their services to users better, they need to convince them that they are able to help by eliminating any misconceptions concerning their ability and professionalism.



Chiu, H. (2000), "Seeking help in Hong Kong’s academic libraries", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 181-188.

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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