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Article

Salman Bin Naeem, Rubina Bhatti and Khurshid Ahmad

This study is a part of the doctoral dissertation that proposes concrete measures to improve health-care information outreach program for rural health-care professionals…

Abstract

Purpose

This study is a part of the doctoral dissertation that proposes concrete measures to improve health-care information outreach program for rural health-care professionals in primary and secondary health care in Punjab, Pakistan. This study aims to report on the barriers to accessing and using online health-care information from rural settings of the Punjab province of Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in primary and secondary health-care settings in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The study’s population consisted of the rural primary care physicians (PCPs), who were geographically dispersed across 2,873 different remote health-care settings across Punjab. These practice settings included 2,455 basic health units, 293 rural health centers, 89 tehsil headquarter hospitals and 36 district headquarter hospitals.

Findings

Limited internet access, non-availability of required equipment and lack of training facilities were identified as the main barriers. PCPs’ gender, previous enrollment in post-graduation programs and type of health-care facility were significant factors in the perceived barriers related to both “non-availability of required equipment” and “inadequate training facilities on the use of information resources”.

Practical implications

The findings of the study hold some important practical implications for different stakeholders. This study identifies and addresses the barriers to accessing and using health-care information for PCPs in rural settings. The success of the health-care information outreach program in Punjab, Pakistan, should rely on the eradication of these barriers.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first large-scale study in Pakistan that assesses the barriers and proposes ways to overcome these barriers to effectively access and use health-care information.

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

Keywords

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Article

Ghalib Khan, Rubina Bhatti, Amjid Khan and Rahim Jan

The purpose of this study is to suggest strategic-based measures for improving the current situation of academic law libraries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to suggest strategic-based measures for improving the current situation of academic law libraries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a survey method, this study attempted to explore a strategic-based measure for improving academic law libraries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Data were collected from 43 respondents through semi-structured interviews, including library and information science professionals, academicians and administrative officers of the affiliation awarding institutions and principals of the law colleges.

Findings

Based on the interview findings, the study found that most of the law colleges do not pay attention towards the development of their institutional libraries. Outdated collections, scarcity of information and communication technologies and budgetary issues, inactive roles of regulating bodies and professional associations, limited roles of professional library staff, limited access to the Higher Education Commission digital library, absence of proper library setup and moral obligations and responsibilities of institutional administrations towards the development of academic law libraries were the main challenges.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this paper covers Constituent Law College of the University of Peshawar and its 18 affiliated law colleges (Total 19), and the geographical area is restricted to the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The scope of this paper can be extended to additional private and public sector universities in Pakistan, as well as abroad.

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind in Pakistan which will help the stockholders of affiliated and affiliation granting institutions to improve the current situation of academic law libraries in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The study presents a number of suggestions for the improvement of academic law libraries, which may be of value to the local institutions and developing countries with similar situations.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

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Article

Ghalib Khan and Rubina Bhatti

This study aims to investigate the annual financial management of university libraries in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan, and its relationship with…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the annual financial management of university libraries in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan, and its relationship with Higher Education Commission (HEC) grants to examine libraries’ share.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey methods, this study explores the annual budget allocation of well-established university libraries in the province of KPK in the past five years and its relationship with HEC grants to determine libraries’ shares. The survey followed a qualitative design based on an interview technique of data collection. The scope of this study covers all those public sector universities which are chartered by the Government of KPK, recognized by HEC, and eligible for HEC grants on annual basis. Based on this formulation, 15 public sector universities were selected for the survey.

Findings

The data analysis of the present study revealed that no specific norms are followed by the university administrations in allocating funds for libraries out of HEC annual grants. University libraries in the province either do not have funding polices or are administered by the concerned establishments where Library and Information Science professionals have no role in the financial management of libraries. The study also found that university administrations in KPK either do not provide sufficient share to libraries out of HEC grants or specify an inadequate share which is in violation of the clear instructions of HEC ordinance 2002, Section 10(h).

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind in Pakistan as it provides an insight into how much budget is allocated for collection development in the university libraries, compares it with HEC grants to calculate libraries’ share in percentage and suggests to the HEC to encourage university administration to allocate sufficient budget for libraries to improve collection development, service provision, acquisition, selection and patronage.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

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Article

Amjid Khan, Rubina Bhatti and Asad Khan

The purpose of this paper is to compare the usage patterns of e-books among the students of social, agricultural, and engineering sciences; demonstrate how e-books are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the usage patterns of e-books among the students of social, agricultural, and engineering sciences; demonstrate how e-books are used by students for various purposes; explore the main reasons for using e-books; and uncover the major issues being encountered by students while using e-books in Pakistani Universities.

Design/methodology/approach

During May to July 2014, a convenient sample technique was adopted, and a close-ended questionnaire was used as a survey tool for 300 graduates (BSc honor) and postgraduate (masters and MS) students in the age group of 21-60 years. In this study, the respondents’ gender, age, educational level and major disciplines were individual contextual variables. The data collection process was successfully completed with a 100 per cent response rate. SPSS-19 was utilized for testing the reliability of the instrument, as well as descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-square test).

Findings

The results show that the adoption of e-books has reached a level where they have become an integral component of academic library services. The results of this study verify the previous findings that the students are relying on e-book adoption for various academic and research purposes. Comparatively, male students, postgraduate students and those between the ages of 21 and 40 years are more frequently e-book users. In addition, the percentage of e-book readership among engineering students on a “daily basis” is greater than the students of agricultural and social sciences. They prefer reading e-books because of the following reasons: to support research endeavors and improve academic performance; and the e-format is quick to read and easy to manage. Insufficient e-contents, lack of personal computers and the variety of e-book formats are the major constraints in the effective utilization of e-books for learning, education and research needs. The study has concluded that e-books have a key role in the set-up of academic libraries and information resources in Pakistan, though further development of e-book readership capabilities and building of e-book collections are required to support users’ needs, and a parallel investigation into their most effective usage is also required.

Originality/value

This empirical research is a first and unique study that systematically and quantitatively compares the relationship between respondents’ e-books usage with their individual contextual variables in the perspective of academic libraries in Pakistan.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article

Shakeel Ahmad Khan and Rubina Bhatti

The purpose of this study was to explore the essential digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries. The study identified useful training programs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the essential digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries. The study identified useful training programs for university librarians to acquire digital competencies. It examined their digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries in universities of Pakistan. This study also evaluates their digital knowledge in applying security measures to protect digital contents.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative research method was used to conduct this study. Research questions and hypothesis were developed to achieve the objectives. In-depth review of related literature was conducted to draft a list of essential digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries. It was circulated among the panel of experts to get their valuable feedback to make a final list of digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries. A questionnaire was developed to measure the status of digital competencies of university librarians in Pakistan. It was pre-tested on 20 respondents before applying to the whole population. SPSS software was used to analyze data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to achieve results.

Findings

The findings of the study showed that digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries fall into three main categories: digital competencies for developing digital libraries; digital competencies for managing digital libraries; and digital competencies to protect digital contents. The results revealed that training programs offered by Higher Education Commission (HEC), library associations, library schools, in-house trainings, use of online tutorials and trainings offered by skilled professionals are highly important and useful for university librarians to acquire digital competencies. The study concluded that the university librarians working in HEC recognized universities in Punjab province possess basic level of digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries. Their digital competencies vary on the basis of their university type, i.e. public and private sector.

Research limitations/implications

This study measures digital competencies of university librarians in Pakistan. The study has practical implications for librarians, library schools, library associations, university libraries and HEC.

Practical implications

This study has practical implications for librarians, information professionals, libraries and library schools. The results are useful for librarians to get knowledge of digital competencies which are essential for developing and managing digital libraries and protecting digital contents. They can develop their digital competencies in identified areas. This study has identified useful training programs for university librarians for acquiring digital competencies. The university librarians should use these programs to gain needed digital skills.

Social implications

Librarians can get knowledge of digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries to face the challenges of digital age.

Originality/value

In contrast to previous research work on investigating computer skills, information and communication technology skills, technological skills and general digital skills, this study particularly identifies the essential digital competencies for developing and managing digital libraries. It helps library and information science schools, library associations, training groups and university libraries to offer adequate training opportunities in identified areas to meet the challenges of the digital age.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article

Shakeel Ahmad Khan and Rubina Bhatti

The purpose of this paper is to explore useful Semantic Web technologies and ontology-based applications for digital libraries. It also investigates the perceptions of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore useful Semantic Web technologies and ontology-based applications for digital libraries. It also investigates the perceptions of university librarians and academicians in Pakistan about Semantic Web technologies and their use in digital libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory research design based on Delphi research strategy was conducted to answer the research questions. Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 50 key informants including university librarians and academicians to explore their perceptions about Semantic Web technologies and their use in digital libraries. Thematic analysis of interview data was conducted to obtain results.

Findings

The results of this paper showed that DuraCloud, Semantic information mashup, OntoEdit and resource description framework (RDF) are the various Semantic Web applications which are useful for digital libraries to develop semantic relationships among digital contents and increase their accessibility in the web environment. Findings revealed that Semantic Web provides precise results and meets user information needs in an effective way. Results also showed that next-generation digital libraries use context-awareness technology, intelligent agent software and detecting sensors to analyze user information needs and provide dynamic information services. This paper recommended that librarians should embrace the use of emerging web technologies in libraries and offer library services through the medium of the web.

Practical implications

This paper envisaged the future of digital library services and Semantic Web applications that can be used to re-structure metadata of digital library. This paper has practical implications for librarians to consider the useful applications of Semantic Web for digital library and enhance the interoperability of metadata among heterogeneous information systems. Practically, results obtained from this paper are highly useful for library schools and LIS teachers to up-date their curriculum by incorporating new contents related to web languages and Semantic Web applications for digital libraries.

Originality/value

This paper identifies various Semantic Web applications which are useful for developing Semantic Digital Libraries.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article

Rubina Bhatti

The purpose of this paper is to assess students‐teachers‐librarians interpersonal relationships; and to assess student attitudes towards library staff attitudes, library…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess students‐teachers‐librarians interpersonal relationships; and to assess student attitudes towards library staff attitudes, library services and user‐education programmes in the university libraries of Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi‐disciplinary approach is used. Questionnaires and semi‐structured interviews are utilised in the study together with discussions under interview conditions with the experts.

Findings

The literature shows the librarians' slightly negative attitude to relationships, but interestingly students and teachers' responses reveal a much more positive view of support and accessibility by the library staff. The majority of students' written responses point out more positive interpersonal relationships than the literature indicated. Verbal responses show antagonistic attitudes in some cases towards library staff. It is shown that interpersonal relationships are not as disappointing as shown in the literature and the qualitative study of experts' views, but still there is much to be done to improve the meaningfulness of the educational use of the library by improving the interpersonal relationships. It finds the factors affecting the successful interpersonal relationships as: lack of professional training, collaboration and satisfactory working conditions seem to be crucial for the meaningful interpersonal attitude.

Research limitations/implications

The study examines the interpersonal relationships in the ten university libraries of Pakistan.

Practical implications

The information can be useful for librarians and information specialists for developing positive working relationships. Librarians can play their role effectively in attracting and educating the users to wealth of information contained in Pakistani libraries.

Originality/value

Very few studies on interpersonal relationship have been conducted in Pakistan. The key points that emerge that interpersonal relationships play a major part in developing attitudes towards library services and user education; antagonistic attitudes are evidenced in some cases towards library staff in the verbal responses from students (strongly) and teachers (less strongly). The myth that librarians are uncooperative with students and teachers is not well supported by the research.

Details

Library Review, vol. 58 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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Article

Ghalib Khan and Rubina Bhatti

The study aims to explore the factors which influence collection development and management in academic libraries. In libraries and information centres, collection…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to explore the factors which influence collection development and management in academic libraries. In libraries and information centres, collection development is considered an essential element of the information life cycle. Collection development and management activities do not emanate from a vacuum. Several factors have a direct bearing on the way in which collections are developed and managed in the academic libraries. These factors are bridges and barriers for effective collection development and management.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive review of the available literature was made to conduct the study.

Findings

The study found that several factors have a direct bearing on the way in which collections are developed and managed in the academic libraries. These factors include goals of collection development and management policies and procedures, user needs, collection development policies (CDPs), collection development budgets, collection evaluation to determine the strength and weaknesses of various subjects in the collections, selection of reading materials, formats in which materials are selected, the issues of access versus ownership, cooperative collection development, resource-sharing programs and legal issues in collection development and management.

Originality/value

This study provides an overview of various factors that influence collection development activities in the academic libraries. It provides an insight for the selectors of library resources to take these factors into account for building effective collections in the academic libraries of Pakistan and abroad.

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Article

Ghalib Khan and Rubina Bhatti

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of academic law libraries’ use, collections and services among the faculty members of the University of Peshawar…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of academic law libraries’ use, collections and services among the faculty members of the University of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

Keeping in view the objectives of the study, a survey based on a well-structured questionnaire was designed to collect data about law libraries’ usage, collection and services from the faculty members of 19 law colleges, including Law College, University of Peshawar, and 18 affiliated law colleges situated in the different geographical location of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Findings

Results of the study indicate that most of the faculty members use law libraries for the issue and return of books and consult textbooks for their teaching and other academic activities. The overall results show the usage, collections and services of law libraries as somehow satisfactory.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this paper covers constituent college of the University of Peshawar and its 18 affiliated law colleges (Total 19), and the geographical area is restricted to the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The scope of this paper can be extended to additional private and public sector universities in Pakistan, as well as abroad.

Originality/value

There are number of studies on the usage, collections and different library services, but this study is the first of its kind in Pakistan, specifically focusing on academic law libraries at a provincial level. This study will pave way to fulfill the demands of law faculty members and legal practitioners teaching in the legal institution of Pakistan.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

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