The purpose of this paper is to study of services of front desk staff using SERVQUAL aims to measure the perception and expectations of the library users. The librarians, keeping in view the expectations will get an idea that how much the services should be improved while the users will have an idea that what they want, and what are they provided with. In additions, the difference between the perception and expectations of the male library users and female library users is explored to give an idea to the librarians that what dimension of the services they need to explore.
Quantitative research method was used to conduct this study. The SERVQUAL instrument was used to measure the levels of perception and expectation through a structured questionnaire at the five points Likert scale. The tool was used with the permission of the author Berry et al. (1985). All the libraries of affiliated medical college with the University of Health Sciences were the population for this study. Through random sampling technique, 20 questionnaires per medical colleges were filled by the students of medical colleges. In total, 202 questionnaires returned and were analyzed after data entry in Statistical Package for Social Science version 19.
Mean of the total respondents indicate that the improvement in all the five dimensions of the service quality is required as the expectations found to be higher in all the five dimensions as compared to the perceptions. Perceived values are higher among female library users, so the library front desk staff requires increasing the perceived values of male users through improving their services to male library users. While comparing the expectations between male and female users, the results indicate that male library users want more responsiveness and reliability from the staff.
This study measures the perceptions and expectations of the student library users of the medical college affiliated with University of Health Sciences, Lahore. Only main libraries excluding the small departmental libraries are included in this study. This study can be generalized in other private medical colleges as well as other researchers can study further in their own environment.
The results indicate that the expectations are higher. Keeping in view, the librarians will work to meet the expectations of the users. The expectation of the female users are higher in tangibility and empathy dimensions, while the male users expect more in reliability, responsiveness and assurance dimensions. In short, all the results showed that the expectations were higher than the perceptions. Keeping this study in view, the librarians can improve their weak areas of front desk staff services to meet the expectations of the users.
It is the first study of its type to measure the service quality of front desk staff. The service quality of front desk staff is never been measured in medical colleges using SERVQUAL in Lahore. The results of this study provide the guidelines to satisfy library users. The difference between the perception and expectations provides librarians and library managers with a road map to develop the service quality of front desk staff to meet the expectation level of the user’s for their satisfaction. This study can be generalized to the medical colleges other than Lahore.
The author on the behalf of himself and his co-authors, would like to thank Professor Parasurman who gave the permission on the behalf of himself and his co-authors.
Ahmed, W., Soroya, M.S. and Malik, G.F. (2015), "Service quality of library front desk staff in medical colleges of Lahore", Library Management, Vol. 36 No. 1/2, pp. 12-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/LM-05-2014-0056
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