This paper aims to explore the use of Bostick’s (1992) Library Anxiety Scale (LAS) in a developing country perspective to find out the level of anxiety among university students and to identify the underlying factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
A slightly modified 43-item LAS was used to collect data from 350 students at Dhaka University. For data analysis, negatively worded statements were reverse-scored so that all the statements are scored in the same direction. The statistical significance is measured using Mann–Whitney (M-W) and Kruskal–Wallis (K-W) tests. The M-W tests were conducted to examine the differences in students’ library anxiety scores in terms of their age and educational levels. The K-W tests were conducted to examine the differences in students’ ratings on LAS items in terms of their age and faculty enrolment. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the survey data to examine the factors contributing to students’ anxiety. Finally, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test the convergent validity of the measures chosen to represent each factor construct.
The result of this study indicated that library anxiety exists amongst Dhaka University students, as most LAS scores fell above 3 on a 5-point Likert scale. The individual differences in terms of gender, age, educational level and frequency of library visit were not significant for most of the items. The EFA, after several iterations, yielded a five-factor solution for library anxiety constructs although only two factors were found to have met the required reliability scores. The CFA, however, failed to produce any meaningful results. This paper made several recommendations to the university library administration to alleviate the problems that appear to have triggered library anxiety.
This is a pioneering study of the use of Bostick’s LAS in Bangladesh. It is hoped that the findings of this study will encourage researchers to develop anxiety scales which would address the need for library services in developing country context.
Ahmed, S.M.Z. and Aziz, T.B. (2017), "Use of Bostick’s Library Anxiety Scale (LAS) in a developing country perspective", Library Review, Vol. 66 No. 4/5, pp. 282-296. https://doi.org/10.1108/LR-06-2016-0052
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