CURRENT SITUATION OF RESEARCH SUPPORT SERVICES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARY
By Mohamad Amirul Iqhmal Mohamad Badrul Zaman
Research is an important element of the University as a whole. Research basically discovers, elucidates and evaluates new knowledge, ideas and the technologies essential in driving the future of the society and humanity. Without research, a relevant and modern curriculum does not exist. Research fosters professional excellence in faculty, important for delivering outstanding student education and training. Therefore, the university establishes library as an institution that provides services, facilities and resources to meet the information and research needs of its community. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) library is an example of an academic library. Basically an academic library is a library that is attached to a higher education institution which serves two complementary purposes i.e to support the curriculum and also to support the research of the university faculty and students. The roles of an academic library have not changed, but it evolves and become bigger and more robust. Academic libraries play an important role as a provider to multisource of information and also services that are related to the research activities.
As technology expands their advancement from day to day, the library has experienced many changes, especially from printed to digital environment. Despite living in a digital era, libraries offer significant hours of in-person reference services, in combination with online reference services (Fournier & Sikora, 2017). Academic libraries nowadays are offering services that aim to help students with their research projects. Library even offer service through research guides, where students can directly contact and meet their subject specialist or to be exact their liaison librarians to seek help and guidance. Therefore, the university establishes libraries so that they can serve as tools of educational progression by supporting their research needs of its students. Despite that, there are still low in numbers of students using these services and facilities. The digital content gives significant impact towards the library services and facilities to its users. The students nowadays are able to get information and resources digitally at anytime and anywhere without physically going to the library. This may be the trend nowadays and it reflects the library services statistics.
Students themselves also seem to be holding varying perceptions with regards to the role of the library, since they can obtain information digitally without going to the library. The student should value libraries as a place to develop knowledge and not only as a place to study. Library services play an important role in how students perceive its overall functions and roles. According to Dewey (2014), he indicates that students do not see the library as a primary destination for research because they perceive the library only within their electronic paradigm. As a result, a library which is not electronically equipped does not meet their expectations. Based on the above statements, it may be assumed that perhaps students’ perceptions of the library arise from the actual use of the library and how well it meets their needs and expectations. For instance, if a library meets the needs and expectations of students, they may develop positive perceptions of the library. Student’s views of the role of libraries in support of their research activities are important as they can help libraries to refine and transform according to student’s needs. Libraries will also be able to provide services which meet the needs of students.
Dewey, BI. 2014. Leading the library by leading the campus: A dean’s perspective. Library Leadership and Management, 29 (1):1–10.
Fournier, K., & Sikora, L. (2017). How Canadian librarians practice and assess individualized research consultations in academic libraries: A nationwide survey. Performance Measurement and Metrics. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-05-2017-0022
Date of Input: 28/04/2020 | Updated: 28/04/2020 | syafini
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