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User services in the digital environment: Implications for academic libraries in the English-speaking Caribbean

Sonia G. Patrickson Stewart (University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica)
Nadine Newman (University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 4 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain from literature, ways in which information technology is being utilized in the provision of user services in academic libraries in developed and developing countries; explore the implications of the under-utilization of information technology in offering user services to patrons in academic libraries in the English-speaking Caribbean; and offer suggestions regarding the acquisition of information technology to enhance user services in academic libraries in the English-speaking Caribbean. With the advent of new technology, user services in information-centered institutions must adapt and make changes in the way information is presented and accessed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have undertaken a review of literature from available scholarly papers to discover the expectations of modern library users, and how inventive academic libraries have to become to create a paradigm shift from the “antiquated” to “modern” user services to meet client expectations and to stay relevant in the information age.

Findings

The reviewed literature highlighted the various ways in which academic libraries, particularly those in developed countries, are employing information technology in their service offerings. The literature highlights the necessity for Academic Libraries in the English-speaking Caribbean to also utilize information technology for optimum user service if they are to attain international standard.

Originality value

This is one of the first attempts at examining and documenting the need for changes in user services in the English-speaking Caribbean. While the literature is replete with information on ways in which academic libraries are using information technology to serve their patrons, this paper offers a synopsis of the developments in this regard.

Keywords

Citation

Patrickson Stewart, S.G. and Newman, N. (2017), "User services in the digital environment: Implications for academic libraries in the English-speaking Caribbean", Library Review, Vol. 66 No. 4/5, pp. 213-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/LR-07-2016-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited