Marketing of library resources and its impact on the library usage of distance-learning students

Diana Atuase (Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa and Library Services, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Jan Maluleka (University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 8 November 2022

Issue publication date: 23 January 2023

4653

Abstract

Purpose

Access to learning resources in higher education is a prerequisite for effective learning. The purpose of this study is to investigate how marketing of library resources can influences library usage of students from the University of Education Winneba and University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was grounded in the pragmatic paradigm and guided by the mixed methods research approach. The sequential explanatory design was used in that, quantitative data was collected first, followed by the collection of qualitative data. The respondents were selected using the multi-stage and purposive sampling techniques. A total of 1,170 students were involved in the quantitative study, and the qualitative study comprised 12 students and 6 librarians. The quantitative data were analysed descriptively using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), while the qualitative data were analysed thematically.

Findings

The study found that the marketing of library resources and services increased awareness and motivates students from the University of Education Winneba and University of Cape Coast to use them. In addition, the study found no relationship between competencies in information literacy and the use of library resources and services beyond developing students’ capacity to use library resources The study further established a positive relationship between improved learning activities and the use of library resources and services by students at the University of Education Winneba and University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Originality/value

The study is unique in its scope and focus and will lead understanding to the use of library services and resources to achieving positive learning outcomes in Ghanaian distance learning institutions. Thus, the expanded benefit to students’ use of library services not only will improve their academic activities, performances, retention, programme completion, employment opportunities and lifelong learning but also is important for institutions to increase students’ enrolments, increase university world-wide visibility and influence national development.

Keywords

Citation

Atuase, D. and Maluleka, J. (2023), "Marketing of library resources and its impact on the library usage of distance-learning students", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 111-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLP-03-2022-0025

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Diana Atuase and Jan Maluleka.

License

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


Introduction

To be able to compete in the increasingly competitive market of distance higher education, academic institutions strive to provide high-quality alternative learning instruction. Access to all the aspects of learner support services for distance-learning students is critical for their academic success. Therefore, appropriate support measures need to be implemented to prevent jeopardizing the entire purpose of the learning programme (Gaskell and Mills, 2014). Quality standards and learner support services are essential for distance learners because of their socioeconomic and academic demands. Learner support services help students to overcome learning difficulties and achieve satisfactory academic standards. They improve the quality of learning and attrition rates in distance learning (Simpson, 2013). Research conducted by Arhin et al. (2017) identify support services such as tutorial counselling and academic advisors’ services as means for curtailing attrition rates, supporting other desired learning outcomes and sustaining the distance-learning activities.

With the high level of learning complexities in higher education, studies indicate that concentrating on course modules and lecture notes might not be enough for in-depth learning and knowledge development at the advanced level of distance learning (Simui et al., 2017). Academic excellence and scholarship lie in the student’s ability to find more knowledge to supplement the classroom work. Essentially, academic libraries serve as active support agents for students’ learning and research by offering equitable access to appropriate and relevant information resources to achieve parity in higher education. However, it has been reported that distance-learning students do not have adequate access to library resources. Larson and Owusu-Acheaw (2016) revealed that distance learners had low patronage of library services and inadequate skills to search and use library resources. For those reasons, distance learning students are not benefitting fully from library services in their pursuit and achievement of academic excellence, resulting in a negative impact on their learning experiences.

Research has shown positive associations between higher-education learners’ use of academic libraries and improved learning, retention and average grade point (Soria et al., 2017). The study included data from library records, electronic resource access and book lending. They discovered, among other things, that students’ use of library services and resources had a statistically significant impact on their academic development. They further observed that the more students used library services, engaged with library staff and spent more time in libraries, the more positive their learning outcomes were. In effect, students gained a better understanding of the relevance of libraries in their learning and academic performance.

Furthermore, it is evident that the success of students’ learning is dependent on collective initiations of various stakeholders in an academic institution where a single support unit is unlikely solely to develop students to attain their academic potential (Hagel et al., 2012, p. 225). Students’ dropouts are influenced by the level of support they receive from their institutions. Therefore, libraries can minimize students’ dropouts by collaborating with faculty to meet with students on the need for access to resources and training. This makes cooperation between academic and social support systems even more important for the creation of seamless support. The literature demonstrates that library partnership initiatives with academics are strategies to achieve student research skills.

Studies on library services and student academic performance in tertiary education in Ghana are limited in the literature (Banleman and Adjoa, 2017). However, these studies echo similar views as those reported in other studies globally, to the extent that students are found to be dependent on library support services and resources to complete research assignments and learning journeys, and to successfully complete their qualifications.

Marketing of library resources is the basis for the effective delivery of services. The importance of library services and resources is determined when libraries extend these extensively to target user groups. Libraries are involved in marketing with the aim of providing high-value services to encourage patronage of their services. Effective marketing efforts in using appropriate techniques could bring significant improvements in the use of library resources and further impact the academic achievements of students. Adekunmisi (2013) emphasizes that libraries must identify the scope of marketing, as this will improve the formulation of suitable policies. Adekunmisi (2013) further states that it will help libraries to re-evaluate their services and develop effective marketing strategies based on the feedback received from users. The success of libraries depends heavily on the choices librarians make in the selection and marketing of information products and services as well as the identification of service distribution channels, including choosing marketing strategies that can best reach library users.

Academic libraries are adopting multifaceted strategies (Web pages, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, Wiki, Tumblr, etc.) to market library service and resources (Aderibigbe and Farouk, 2017). The integration of new technologies in promoting library services have opened up new avenues for efficient access to information and cost-effective ways of service delivery. They are useful in broadening the horizon of users in their choice of relevant information sources and services. However, other researchers such as Edewor et al. (2016) looked at marketing strategies used by some university libraries in Africa. The study identified the most frequently adopted marketing strategies in academic libraries in those libraries as flyers, handbills, leaflets, bulletins, newsletters and orientation programmes. In Ghana, research suggests that students define library orientation as the most frequently used tool for library marketing (Ofori et al., 2020, p. 16). Though these strategies are well known in the library arena, the selection and level of application of these tools are used differently for various purposes by individual institutions.

The desire of academic libraries to attract students to use library resources and services has been a continuous struggle, because libraries do not aggressively pursue marketing efforts. Studies such as that of Garoufallou et al. (2013) have found that issues like irregular updates and a lack of marketing policies affects libraries’ marketing strategies. While increased knowledge of library services and resources may lead to increased use, there is also evidence of students’ misconceptions about libraries and social media.

Studies have identified certain impeding factors to library marketing strategies, such as inadequate funding, data security, copyright issues, a lack of library marketing skills and marketing policies, and limited access to marketing media (Mohammed and Ibrahim, 2021, p. 20). These challenges sabotage libraries’ efforts to provide quality services and restrict the scope of library services for wider usage. This results in students exhibiting negative attitudes and behaviours about using library resources and services. Inadequate library marketing policies were another challenge that hindered the marketing process and marketing of library services by academic libraries. The effective use of library resources is entirely dependent on the skills development of learners. Other research findings indicate that students lack experience in using information retrieval tools such as Boolean logic operators to access required information resources, navigate the library’s website and databases, formulate effective searches and access needed information (Owusu-Ansah et al., 2018).

Objectives of the study

This study sought to investigate marketing of library resources and its impact on the library usage of distance-learning students. The specific objectives were to:

  • ascertain which initiatives are used by academic libraries to promote the use of library resources to distance-learning students;

  • assess how library services can influence the academic activities of distance-learning students;

  • establish librarian–faculty collaboration in library marketing; and

  • identify library marketing challenges.

Methodology

The study followed the pragmatic paradigm in mixed-method research, which is deeply rooted in both positivist and interpretivist philosophy. The sequential explanatory design was used. A total of 29,783 second-year distance learning students in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels of the University of Education Winneba and University of Cape Coast (UCC) constituted the population of the study. These universities are the pioneers and pacesetters of distance education in Ghana, with the highest student enrolments so far in the country. The universities were presumed to have functional and well-equipped hybrid academic libraries. Cochran’s (1977) formula was used to calculate the sample size of the study: 1,269 undergraduate and postgraduate students, and six librarians. Cochran’s sample size determination is given by the following:

n=no1+(no1)N
where: no = is the sample size for infinite population; and N = is the population size from which sample will be drawn.

Both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were used. The multi-stage sampling technique was applied to select the student participants for the quantitative study, while purposive sampling was used to choose the students and librarians for the qualitative study.

Pursuant to the sequential explanatory design, the data-collection procedures were separated in two phases. The first phase involved the collection of quantitative data, followed by the second phase with qualitative data collection. Primarily, data were collected through structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The data analysis was presented in two phases: the quantitative data (which focused on descriptive statistics, frequencies and percentages, mean of means and standard deviation) and thematic analysis of the qualitative data.

Results and discussion

The data analysis was presented in two phases:

  1. the quantitative data (which focused on descriptive statistics, frequencies and percentages); and

  2. thematic analysis of the qualitative data.

Findings of the quantitative analysis

This section presents the findings from the questionnaires that were obtained from second-year undergraduate and postgraduate distance learners of the University of Education Winneba at the library and via an online survey. From the total population of 29,783 respondents, 1,170 respondents completed the questionnaire administered in person and online. Overall, 503 questionnaires were from the University of Education Winneba and 667 were from UCC, both yielding a 92.2% response rate.

Marketing initiatives for the use of library services and resources

This section presents the findings on the marketing tools that libraries use to inform distance learners about library services and resources. The results from the survey questionnaire are provided in Table 1.

The findings presented in Table 1 show that distance learners learned about the resources and services of academic libraries through library orientation programmes (M = 4.98, SD = 0.193), the library guide (M = 4.01, SD = 0.165), flyers (M = 4.00, SD = 0.253), readers (M = 4.02, SD = 0.161), the library website (M = 4.02, SD = 0.161), self-initiatives (M = 4.01, SD = 0.071) and email (M = 4.01, SD = 0.167). It could be observed that the general medium mean of means and standard deviation of M = 4.00, SD = 0.253 show that most of the items elicited positive answers from the respondents. Additional comments from students on how they learned about library resources and services include seminars, webinars, campus radio and banners.

Library marketing and use of library services and resources

The study sought to determine the extent to which students’ awareness of library resources influenced their use of those services and resources. Table 2 illustrates the students’ responses.

The results in Table 2 show that when the students were asked to what extent library marketing would influence the use of library resources, over 80% agreed that it would influence their library usage. Less than 5% of them felt that library marketing would not influence their library usage. This implies that the university libraries need to adopt more advanced publicity techniques to widely inform distance learners about their services and resources. Even though university libraries use different methods to promote library resources and services to distance learners, students’ awareness of library services and resources should facilitate their use of those resources.

Qualitative findings from the interviews

The gathering and analysis of the quantitative data were followed by the collection and analysis of the qualitative data to complement the quantitative results and to facilitate a deeper understanding of the impact of the use of library resources and services on the academic performance of distance-learning students. The aim was also to gain enough knowledge about the issues raised and to test the quantitative data. The semi-structured interviews were used to gather first-hand knowledge from the participants.

In total, 12 students and 6 librarians from the University of Education Winneba and UCC participated in the study. They were second-year undergraduate and postgraduate students of distance-learning programmes, as well as distance-learning librarians and subject librarians. It was prudent to seek the perception of some students and librarians for better clarification and understanding of the issues relating to the impact of library services and resources on the academic performance of distance learners. Again, involving librarians in the study focused not only on providing library and information services to distance learners but also on meeting their information requirements. To comply with the Ethical Review Board’s requirement and to avoid explicitly connecting remarks to respondents, names were replaced with codes.

The study investigated how the participants learned about the library’s services and resources during the qualitative phase. The findings are presented in Table 3.

The use of marketing strategies to keep students informed about library services and resources emerged as a major theme of the responses in Table 3. The responses of the students indicate that they got to know about the library services and resources during library orientation and training programmes; from social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp platforms; and from the library website, email, flyers and banners. This implies that library services and resources were promoted through these means.

It may be beneficial for librarians to partner with faculty to promote library resources to distance-learning students because faculty are the first point of contact for students. As a result, the study investigated whether librarians collaborated with faculty to promote library services and resources to distance learners. This sparked the question: Is there any collaboration between the library and faculty to promote library resources to distance learners? The findings are presented in Table 4.

Table 4 shows that librarians indicated that there was some form of collaboration between librarians and faculty to promote library services and resources to distance learners. The findings revealed that librarians collaborated with faculty in various ways, including student training and orientation programmes, awareness creation, distribution of course modules and the teaching and learning process.

The study also explored the extent to which library marketing influenced the use of library services and resources by distance learners: To what extent will library marketing influence the use of library resources? The qualitative findings are shown in Table 5.

The interview responses show that library marketing increased the use of library resources and services. Library marketing is important because it informs students about available library services to use, motivates students to use library resources and emphasizes the value of library resources in students’ learning.

However, respondents UCCUS1, UCCUS3 and UCCPS3 had a different view, arguing that library marketing did not always influence the use of library resources and services because students required computer devices, data and skills to use university library resources. This implies that library marketing alone is not enough to influence students to use university library resources and services; other factors such as access to digital devices, data and skills to use those resources and services also play a role.

From a professional perspective, most of the librarians indicated that library marketing helped users to be more aware and motivated to explore library resources and services. Librarians UEWL3 and UCCL2 perceived library marketing as a core mandate of libraries to reach out to their users to inform and draw attention to using their resources and services.

The study also sought to determine the difficulties that librarians faced in promoting library services and resources to distance-learning students. The findings are presented in Table 6.

Another theme that emerged from these findings was the challenges of promoting library resources and services. The librarians cited impediments to the efficient marketing of library resources and services as time and financial constraints, a lack of technical know-how to adopt innovative marketing strategies and a lack of stakeholder cooperation.

This means that effective library marketing initiatives for distance learners need collaboration among stakeholders in distance-education programmes, financial commitment from university management and innovation and skills training for librarians to equip them with the necessary skills to promote library services and resources to distance learners. Also, it emerged that students had limited internet access and lacked other computer devices to learn about library resources and services.

Discussions, conclusion and recommendations

The explanatory sequential mixed-methods design follows a sequential interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data findings, starting with the quantitative results from the first phase and then the qualitative findings from the second phase (Creswell, 2014). Furthermore, this technique uses a third phase (of interpretation) to combine the two data sets and show how the qualitative findings complete the quantitative outcomes (Creswell, 2014).

Winstone and Carless (2019) highlight the need for educators to focus less on what they do during the learning process and more on what students do. This suggests that institutions' efforts at the higher education level should be focused on student progress and learning outcomes. One of the main goals of this study was to explore library marketing initiatives to influence students’ involvement in library services and resources. It emerged from the quantitative study that students learned about the information resources and services from both academic libraries mainly from orientations, the library guide, flyers, lecturers, the library website, self-initiatives, email, friends, Facebook and WhatsApp. Additional comments from students and qualitative studies suggest that students learned about library resources and services through seminars, library websites, webinars, emails, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, campus radio, posters and banners. These show that most students learned about their libraries through marketing strategies. However, accounts from librarians during the interviews revealed a low adoption of social media platforms as marketing means of library resources and services by the university libraries. For instance, one of the two university libraries in the study had adopted Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote its services and resources, while the other used only Facebook.

The finding of the present study is consistent with that of Edewor et al. (2016, p. 298), carried out in the African context, who found that libraries rarely adopted social-networking technologies and did not use online marketing strategies to create awareness to their users. In addition, the finding supports the finding of Ofori et al. (2020, p. 16) that library orientation is the most common library marketing approach to students in Ghana. Furthermore, in the present study, the quantitative data showed that 52.1% of the distance learners indicated to a very large extent that library marketing facilitated the use of library services and resources. Similarly, the qualitative data revealed that library marketing largely influenced the use of library resources and services. Students become more aware and motivated to explore library resources and services for their studies.

The involvement of academic stakeholders means that they can better serve as change agents in library marketing efforts to students. The qualitative data revealed that librarians and faculty collaborated to promote library services and resources to distance learners. Librarians collaborated with faculty on various projects, including student orientation and matriculation initiatives, the distribution of course modules, and during the teaching and learning process. This finding is similar to that of Brahme et al. (2018), who identified students, faculties and online learning orientation sessions as library marketing agents. However, librarians faced a range of challenges in promoting library resources and services. These include a lack of technical know-how to adopt innovative marketing strategies. This is reflected in the selection of a few social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote library resources and services, rather than more sophisticated techniques to attract students to library services and resources. Another marketing challenge that librarians experienced was a lack of stakeholder cooperation and limited time for library marketing by distance-education management. The library was unable to effectively market its services and resources to students because of limited time. In addition, financial constraints limited access to the internet and computers to obtain information on library resources and services. The findings of this study were consistent with those of Garoufallou et al. (2013), who found that irregular updates and a lack of marketing policies affected library marketing activities. The challenges in library marketing needs to be managed properly, otherwise it may undermine libraries’ efforts to provide quality services and resources and limit the scope of library services, preventing wider use by distance learners.

The study found that the marketing of library resources and services increased awareness and motivates students from the University of Education Winneba and University of Cape Coast to use them. In addition, the study found no relationship between competencies in information literacy and the use of library resources and services beyond developing students’ capacity to use library resources. Finally, the study concluded that there was a positive relationship between distance learners’ use of library resources and services and their learning activities.

Based on the findings of the study, recommendations are that academic libraries should be familiar with more social media sites and other technologies to market the value of library services and resources to distance learners. Furthermore, librarians should be given the needed support through training, cooperation and logistics to effectively promote library services and resources to distance learners. Librarians and distance-learning stakeholders should collaborate to create awareness of library resources and services and provide internet and computer devices at study centres to allow students to access library resources and services.

Descriptive analysis of library marketing media (N = 1,170)

Items N Mean SD
Through library orientation 1,170 4.98 0.193
Flyers 1,170 4.00 0.253
Library guide 1,170 4.01 0.165
From friends 1,170 3.99 0.217
From lecturers/tutors 1,170 4.02 0.161
Self-initiative 1,170 4.01 0.071
Blogs 1,170 2.00 0.850
Facebook 1,170 3.97 0.225
Twitter 1,170 2.00 0.040
YouTube 1,170 2.36 0.732
Library website 1,170 4.02 0.161
WhatsApp 1,170 3.89 0.215
Email 1,170 4.01 0.167
SMS alerts 1,170 4.00 0.263
Posters 1,170 2.00 0.052
Newsletters 1,170 2.26 0.631

Source: Field survey (2021)

Descriptive analysis of library marketing and use of library resources (N = 1,170)

The influence of library marketing on students’ library usage Frequency (%)
Not at all 53 4.5
To some extent 145 12.3
Not sure 24 2.0
To a large extent 948 80.9
Total 1,170 100.0

Source: Field survey (2021)

Emerging themes of library marketing initiatives

Respondent Response Theme embedded
UEWUS1 I got to know about the university library services and resources on our students’ WhatsApp platform and during library orientation Library marketing strategies using electronic medium
UEWUS2 On Facebook and students’ WhatsApp page
UEWUS3 A colleague of mine told me about the library
UEWPS1 I learned about the resources of the university library from a course tutor and on the library website page
UEWPS2 Through orientation programme and on the website of the university library
UEWPS3 On the Facebook page, WhatsApp and from friends
UCCUS1 Orientation programme, flyers and friends
UCCUS2 During student’s matriculation programme and on flyers
UCCUS3 I got to know about library resources at the orientation programme. The library needs to intensify education of its resources and services to distance education students because most of us are not aware of most of them
UCCPS1 On flyers and banners, library website and through training
UCCPS2 The library distributed flyers and send emails to inform students about their services
UCCPS3 I learned about the resources and services of the library through the library training programme and on flyers
UEWL1 The library promotes its resources and services to its remote users through orientation programmes, social media and the library’s Web page
UEWL2 Social media platforms, especially Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp
UEWL3 The library promotes its resources and services on social media and student orientation sessions
UCCL1 We used to promote our services and resources to distance education students on the library’s website, sending emails to students, on students’ WhatsApp platforms, flyers, banners, orientation programmes and the website
UCCL2 Orientation, flyers and banners
UCCL3 We adopt social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, flyers, banners and the library website to promote library services and resources to students

Source: Field survey (2021)

Emerging themes on librarian–faculty collaboration in library marketing

Respondent Response Theme embedded
UEWL1
UCCL2
Yes, during student orientation the library collaborates with faculty to promote information services and resources to students Collaboration
on student training and orientation
Yes. Library collaborates with faculty with training and orientation for students to showcase library services and resources to distance learning students to encourage them to use
UEWL2
UCCL3
Yes, most faculty members direct students to the library to look for learning materials for their assignments and research Faculty refers students to librarians for literature support
Yes, there is faculty collaboration; we receive faculty support to promote library resources and services to students during their social interaction programmes. Some faculty members refer students to librarians for assistance with information needs
UEWL3
UCCL1
Yes, the library links up with distance education students through the Institute for Distance and e-Learning (IDel) to promote library services and resources Awareness creation
Yes, the library and faculty work together to promote library services and resources. Library flyers are distributed to students during the distribution of course modules to inform them about their services. In addition, some faculty post soft copies of library flyers on student WhatsApp group platforms to raise awareness

Source: Field survey (2021)

Emerging themes on the importance of library marketing and the use of library services

Respondent Response Theme embedded
UEWUS1
UCCPS1
UCCPS2
UEWL3
I believe libraries promote their services to make students aware of their services and to use them to their benefit Increase knowledge of library resources and services
Marketing helps in building students’ knowledge on the available library services for us to benefit from it
It helps to know the type of library learning resources that are available for us to use. So, I think that to a large extent that marketing will increase the use of library resources and services
Marketing is a core duty of a library to let people gain knowledge about their resources to meet their information needs
UEWUS2
UEWUS3
UEWPS2
UEWPS3
UEWL1
UEWL2
UCCL1
To large extent, the marketing will cause people to use the library services Increase the use of library resources and services
Library marketing will lead to an increase in the use of library services to an extent as students will be more informed about available library materials which they had less knowledge about
Marketing draws people’s attention to use an existing product that they had less knowledge or did not pay attention to. This applies to library services
I will say to a large extent; library marketing can facilitate the use of library services because students will have more knowledge of existing library services
Library marketing is carried out to increase the use of library resources and services by users
Effective library marketing usually reflects on the use of the services and resources by the audience. It means the more libraries promote their services and resources; the more benefits students will gain by using those resources
The library reaches out to distance-learning students to promote its services and resources to create room for higher patronage and for the library to sustain its relevance to the user community
Libraries have a responsibility to market their services and resources to users to ensure that no one is left out of the necessary services and resources
UCCUS1
UCCUS3
UCCPS3
For me, I will say not at all times because using the university library comes with the cost of data for distance education students even though the student may know about them Other factors influence the use of computers, the internet and required skills
Motivation
Increase the value of library resources and service
It is not all the time that library marketing will influence the use of library services. We, those without a computer or an android phone and data cannot use library services. I think that it is not marketing alone but other important things
I think that library marketing may not motivate us to use the resources and services if students do not have the required skills to access those resources and services to boost our learning and research
UCCUS2
UEWPS1
Library marketing may encourage us to use library services
Marketing serves as motivation to the use of library services
UCCL3 Library marketing helps the library hype the value of library resources and resources on student learning to encourage students to use them

Source: Field survey (2021)

Emerging themes on library marketing challenges

Response Responses Themes embedded
UEWL1
UCCL1
Promoting library resources and services is quite extensive and financially involving for which the meagre budget of the library cannot meet Time and financial constraints
The library has never had enough time during distance education programmes to market its services and resources to students. We are usually allowed about 15 min to promote our services and resources to students, which is insufficient. And not to talk about the financial difficulties we face in printing out flyers and banners to create awareness
UEWL2
UCCL2
UEWL3
The library has not promoted its services and resources enough to distance students due to time and financial challenges. There is a lack of awareness of some library services among others. Also, students lack the necessary technologies to access information about the library Limited use of social media technologies
The high pace in technological development requires more robust marketing techniques to effectively promote library services and resources to distance learning consequent for which the library has a challenge
The library is yet to fully achieve its goal of marketing its resources to distance students. Though we adopted social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to create awareness, I think we still have to adapt more technologies and marketing strategies to further increase awareness and skills training for the librarians
UCCL3 There is a lack of stakeholder cooperation forming as barriers to effective library marketing. The management of distance learning is hesitant to include the library in their social interaction programmes with distance learners. As a result, the library is unable to effectively promote its services and resources to students. Some students do not have access to the internet or computers, making it difficult for them to learn about library resources and services online Lack of full cooperation from distance education management

Source: Field survey (2021)

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Simui, F., Thompson, L.C., Mundende, K., Mwewa, G., Kakana, F., Chishiba, A. and Namangala, B. (2017), “Distance learners’ perspective on user-friendly instructional materials at the University of Zambia”, Journal of Learning and Development, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 90-98.

Soria, K.M., Fransen, J. and Nackerud, S. (2017), “The impact of academic library resources on undergraduates’ degree completion”, College and Research Libraries, Vol. 78 No. 6, pp. 812-823.

Winstone, N. and Carless, D. (2019), Designing Effective Feedback Processes in Higher Education: A Learning-Focused Approach, Routledge, London.

Further reading

Association of College and Research Libraries (2008), “Standards for distance learning library services”, available at: www.ala.org/acrl/standards/guidelinesdistancelearning (accessed 21 October 2019).

Astin, A.W. (1993), What Matters in College? Four Critical Years Revisited, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.

Cohen, J. (1988), “Set correlation and contingency tables”, Applied Psychological Measurement, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 425-434.

Corresponding author

Jan Maluleka can be contacted at: maluljr@unisa.ac.za

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