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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Lalith Wickramanayake

The present study was carried out with the intention of examining what type of instruction applications and help tools have been used to serve clientele via academic

Abstract

Purpose

The present study was carried out with the intention of examining what type of instruction applications and help tools have been used to serve clientele via academic library websites and web pages, and how Sri Lankan academic libraries instruct and help users via their library websites and web pages.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample study comprised only 14 academic library websites and web pages out of 223, which were accessible and necessarily presented instruction applications and help tools. Two coding sheets were prepared separately for instruction and help to include classified data, and then the frequency counted from each category by browsing the sample recorded in the coders for analysis.

Findings

The results confirmed that the quality of academic library websites in Sri Lanka in providing online instruction and help was dependent on different variables. The development of above online services remains in its infancy. Most important instruction applications and help tools have not been utilized by the majority of websites in academic libraries. Inaccessibility of such services via the library web reflects not only their malfunction in online instruction and help, but also onsite services of some areas in academic libraries.

Research limitations/implications

Nonexistence of websites or web pages and lack of enough information in library websites caused the exclusion of most of the libraries in the country from inclusion in the sample; this in turn affected this study by limiting it to academic libraries only.

Practical implications

The majority of recommendations originated from the study can be generalized for both web and online service development of any type of library in Sri Lanka.

Originality/value

The deficiency of research on library websites in Sri Lanka provides no clear image regarding the existing situation of online library services. Thus this study contributes towards addressing this gap in the literature and features distinctiveness within the available literature.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Simone Clunie and Darlene Ann Parrish

As libraries are required to become more accountable and demonstrate that they are meeting performance metrics, an assessment website can be a means for providing data for…

Abstract

Purpose

As libraries are required to become more accountable and demonstrate that they are meeting performance metrics, an assessment website can be a means for providing data for evidence-based decision making and an important indicator of how a library interacts with its constituents. The purpose of this paper is to share the results of a review of websites of academic libraries from four countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The academic library websites included in the sample were selected from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Research Libraries of the United Kingdom, Council of Australian University Libraries, Historically Black College & Universities Library Alliance, Association of Research Libraries and American Indian Higher Education Consortium. The websites were evaluated according to the absence or presence of nine predetermined characteristics related to assessment.

Findings

It was discovered that “one size does not fit all” and found several innovative ways institutions are listening to their constituents and making improvements to help users succeed in their academic studies, research and creative endeavors.

Research limitations/implications

Only a sample of academic libraries from each of the four countries were analyzed. Additionally, some of the academic libraries were using password protected intranets unavailable for public access. The influences of institutional history and country-specific practices also became compelling factors during the analysis.

Originality/value

This paper seeks to broaden the factors for what is thought of as academic library assessment with the addition of qualitative and contextual considerations.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Noa Aharony

The current study seeks to describe and analyze academic library websites in the years 2000 and 2010, as they appear both in the Internet Archive and in current library websites.

Abstract

Purpose

The current study seeks to describe and analyze academic library websites in the years 2000 and 2010, as they appear both in the Internet Archive and in current library websites.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of 31 academic libraries homepages which were selected from the ACRL accredited LIS schools was conducted.

Findings

Findings reveal that the content of academic library websites in the years 2000 and 2010 has much changed over the ten years, presenting an increasing use of e‐journals and Web 2.0 applications, as well as a focus on library users, and a great use of graphics in websites.

Practical implications

The comparison documented in the paper should prove very interesting and important to librarians, information scientists, LIS scholars and students, presenting trends, changes and innovations that have occurred within the scope of academic libraries over the last ten years.

Originality/value

This study presents a yet unexplored dimension: the comparison, focusing especially on content, of academic library websites over a decade as they appear in the Internet Archive in 2000 and in the present library website in 2010.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2019

Fasola P. Abifarin, Shaka Apodoghe Imavah and Ayodele S. Olobashola

Academic library websites need evaluation to determine whether users can derive useful experiences while visiting them to perform tasks. This is more so because visiting…

Abstract

Purpose

Academic library websites need evaluation to determine whether users can derive useful experiences while visiting them to perform tasks. This is more so because visiting an academic library website is by voluntary action rather than compulsion as is the case with university, polytechnic and college sites where students must conduct academic transactions that cannot be reasonably avoided. The result of such an evaluation provides signposts for improvement so that academic library websites can continue to be useful to their users. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess the structural effectiveness of academic library websites in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study, research strategy and survey research approach were adopted for the study. Through a Web search, 14 universities, one polytechnic and one college of education were identified while three academic library websites were selected for the study. The evaluation of the websites was un-moderated and conducted remotely by user participants who were recruited across the three tertiary institutions under study. A five-point scale questionnaire served as the research instrument while data were presented in tables and analyzed using the median score. The Kruskall–Wallis test by ranks was used to test the null hypothesis at a five per cent level of significance.

Findings

Out of the 20 items presented for assessment, Group 1 and 2 disagreed to 11 (55 per cent) while agreeing on the remaining 9 (45 per cent) on Lib 1 and Lib 2 websites. Group 3 agreed to 11 (55 per cent) while disagreeing on 9 (45 per cent) on the Lib 3 website. The null hypothesis proposed for the study was rejected as the p-value of 0.04 was significant at p < 0.05. This indicated that most of the critical issues pertaining to design effectiveness were perceived to be ineffective.

Originality/value

The findings from this study call for a review of the design of academic library websites in Nigeria so that users can identify which websites are easier to use.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Isabel Mariann Silvis, Theo J.D. Bothma and Koos J.W. de Beer

The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated list of heuristics and an information architecture (IA) framework for the heuristic evaluation of the IA of academic

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated list of heuristics and an information architecture (IA) framework for the heuristic evaluation of the IA of academic library websites as well as an evaluation framework with practical steps on how to conduct the evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of 14 heuristics resulted from an integration of existing usability principles from authorities in the field of usability. A review of IA literature resulted in a framework for dividing academic library websites into six dialogue elements. The resulting heuristics were made applicable to academic library websites through the addition of recommendations based on a review of 20 related studies.

Findings

This study provides heuristics, a framework and workflow guidelines that can be used by the various evaluators of academic library websites, i.e. library staff, web developers and usability experts, to provide recommendations for improving its usability.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the usability principles is the evaluation of the IA aspects of websites and therefore does not provide insights into accessibility or visual design aspects.

Originality/value

The main problem that is addressed by this study is that there are no clear guidelines on how to apply existing usability principles for the evaluation of the IA of academic library websites.

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Preedip Balaji B. and Vinit Kumar

This paper aims to discuss the present status of using new generation web technology, social media and Web 2.0 features among the technological university library websites

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the present status of using new generation web technology, social media and Web 2.0 features among the technological university library websites in south India. It seeks to assess the library websites as a primary platform and one‐stop portal for information services and to examine how much library websites are effective in providing web‐based information services.

Design/methodology/approach

The library websites of the technological universities in south India were evaluated on the basis of a relative weight checklist. The criteria for the checklist were drawn on the basis of availability of websites for library, resource discovery tools, access to scholarly content and Web 2.0 tools. The various issues and challenges in adapting new web technologies in the academic environment are discussed.

Findings

Using the current web development technologies and deploying for mainstream web information services is not widespread as web information services are yet to take off widely in academic libraries. The majority of university libraries are found to be working in the conventional library settings and the diffusion rate of web information services is relatively low.

Originality/value

As this is an assessment of the existing online information infrastructure facilities of the engineering universities in south India, the awareness of web‐based information services, their viability, and service values can be enhanced. More emphasis to improve upon the current learning, online educational facilities and benchmarking electronic information services for sustainability is highlighted.

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

Frank Boateng and Yan Quan Liu

– This paper aims to explore Web 2.0 technologies usage and trends in the top 100 US academic libraries as exemplified through the academic library websites.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore Web 2.0 technologies usage and trends in the top 100 US academic libraries as exemplified through the academic library websites.

Design/methodology/approach

The top 100 universities were selected from the US News & World Report's (USNWR) 2013 ranked list's top 100 of the best colleges in the USA. Content analysis was used in terms of quantitative approach. A checklist was developed as the main research instrument based on other checklists and questionnaires. Each of the selected university library websites was visited within a period of two weeks to explore implementation and usage of web tools, including SNS, blog, RSS, wikis, podcast/vodcast, and social bookmarking/tagging.

Findings

All 100 academic libraries had a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, making SNS the most widely applied Web 2.0 tool. The wiki was the least applied Web 2.0 technology, with a 34 percent participation rate. Blog was the second most popular tool with a 99 percent participation rate, followed by RSS and IM/Chat with 97 percent and 91 percent respectively. The vodcast and podcast had 47 percent and 46 percent participation rates respectively, while social bookmarking/tagging were also used by 39 percent of the academic libraries.

Research limitations/implications

This study is completely based on publicly available data regarding usage of Web 2.0 applications. Web 2.0 tools used on library intranets were not analyzed for this study. Outcomes suggest that academic libraries are increasingly using Web 2.0 applications to promote themselves, enhance library services, and highlight resources to patrons.

Originality/value

This is the first research that draws an overall picture of the usage and trends of Web 2.0 applications in the top 100 US academic libraries. This study demonstrates some noticeable patterns regarding usage, trends, and adoption which are relevant to how Web 2.0 applications are perceived and used within academic libraries. The study provides academic libraries with helpful information to better meet their user needs by effectively applying Web 2.0. Additionally, library managers, librarians and other libraries may also find this research beneficial as they plan to deploy Web 2.0.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Shima Moradi, Delbar Tayefeh Bagher and Zohreh Mirhosseini

This study aims to investigate the application of Web 2.0 technologies in the libraries of the top 100 universities in the world to provide a model for Web 2.0 application…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the application of Web 2.0 technologies in the libraries of the top 100 universities in the world to provide a model for Web 2.0 application in academic library websites.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from the universities’ library websites for three months based on a Web 2.0 checklist. The list of universities was extracted from Webometrics Ranking of World Universities in 2015.

Findings

The research shows the priorities of these universities in their use of Web 2.0 tools include social networks and mashups at the most (94.5 per cent), followed by RSS (91.2 per cent) and social tagging (82.4 per cent) and other tools with lower priorities. Moreover, it revealed the most common applications of these tools in the mentioned websites followed by their objective evidences in different libraries. The results indicate that the total Web 2.0 application in the libraries of the top 100 universities was below average (40.23 per cent). Finally, the model for Web 2.0 application in academic library websites was designed.

Originality/value

The focus of this study is on the value and application of each tool in the websites and demonstrate a clear model to apply in other library websites. The model for Web 2.0 technologies application in academic library websites has not been designed and pictured before.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 118 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Anusha Lakmini Wijayaratne and Diljit Singh

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a library website model. Further, the paper discusses a designer’s checklist and an evaluative instrument that were constructed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a library website model. Further, the paper discusses a designer’s checklist and an evaluative instrument that were constructed based on the proposed model.

Design/methodology/approach

The model was developed through a Delphi study that was participated by two panels of experts. The researcher communicated with the panel members via e-mail using two Delphi instruments designed out of two item pools that were developed based on the knowledge gained from surveying the literature, visiting the selected libraries and exploring the library websites. Then, a designer’s checklist and an evaluative instrument were derived from the proposed model through a series of brainstorming sessions.

Findings

The proposed model consisted of altogether 140 items (60 web content elements and 80 web design features). The designer’s checklist comprises all 140 items, and the evaluative instrument comprises 60 content elements and 57 design features.

Research limitations/implications

This study has developed an academic library website model and derived two instruments based on the proposed model. Further studies are needed to customize, particularly, the web content pillar of this conceptual model, to meet the specific needs of different types of libraries including public libraries, special libraries, school libraries, etc.

Practical implications

The designer’s checklist and the evaluative instrument derived from the proposed model are useful tools for library professionals in designing, re-designing, maintaining and evaluating their library websites. The librarians may use these tools for both institutional and research purposes.

Originality/value

The model and the two instruments proposed by this study are unique in focus, origin, content and presentation.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Daniel Earl Wilson

– This paper aims to evaluate the website content of Alabama academic libraries to examine their services, content and compliance with design and accessibility standards.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the website content of Alabama academic libraries to examine their services, content and compliance with design and accessibility standards.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis was conducted on 24 academic library websites discovered through Jeanne Burke’s Higher Education Directory and the Alabama Colleges directory website. All data were collected within a month.

Findings

Study data revealed that while academic libraries are offering more online services, many continue to lack certain services or fail to implement basic web design and accessibility standards.

Research limitations/implications

Inclusion into the study was limited to the independent library websites of Alabama institutions offering four-year degree courses and content data discoverable within three clicks of the home page. Future studies might identify why certain libraries lack reference chat services, social media accounts and/or certain accessibility accommodations. Additional research might evaluate multilingual websites and their methods for providing language options.

Practical implications

The results of this study should assist in the evaluation of library websites and increase awareness of design and accessibility standards, enabling designers and policy makers to improve upon future website designs.

Originality/value

This study presents a depth of evaluation and currency unseen in most web content analyses. The extent of this study should provide librarians, web designers, and library policy makers with a suitable comparison for website projects and evaluations.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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