Are users satisfied with resources and services? The case of Webster University Ghana Campus Library.

Author:Boakye, Ernest


An academic library is considered as the heart of any academic institution without which no university can survive. Libraries are believed to be one of the key departments which provides invaluable information resources and facilities to support teaching, learning and research activities in academic institutions (Tiemo & Atebo, 2016). Currently, academic libraries are paying much attention to satisfying users' information needs with quality resources and improved services. As such, the extent of user satisfaction of the resources and services provided by academic libraries justifies their existence (Adeniran, 2011).

User satisfaction is one of the processes for assessing the efficiency of library services. As such, Madhusudhan (2010) recommended that, libraries are supposed to introduce online and offline feedback systems to track the effectiveness of their resources and services. In the view of Ijiekhuamhen, Aghojare and Ferdinand (2015), assessing library services consistently helps to determine or establish the level of user satisfaction and improved services. Factors such as prompt access to materials, organization of materials, size and collection of the library, skills of library staff in providing users with the right resources were identified to determine user satisfaction.

Webster University was founded in 1915 in St. Louis, MO, USA. and has a network of campuses in Europe, Asia and since late 2013, Africa, in Accra, Ghana. The network of international campuses was created as part of the university's overall mission of "ensuring high-quality learning experiences which transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence". The Ghana campus was opened to serve students in Ghana, the subregion and Africa as a whole who have the ambition and drive to succeed as global citizens in Business, International Relations, Media Communications, Computer Science and Psychology at both undergraduate and graduate levels. At the time of this study, it had a student population of 107 with a blend of local and foreign faculty members. Webster University's Ghana Campus is accredited in Ghana by the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and in the USA by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Webster Ghana Library has an increasing collection of nearly 3,000 books and a global collection of over 500,000 books which students in Ghana also have access to, through the internet. The library provides access to nearly 186 online databases including e-journals, streaming videos, e-newspapers, business cases, and e-books. Presently, the library offers services which include orientation, reference and lending, electronic resources training, current awareness, inter-library loan and ask-a-librarian. Services such as printing and photocopying are offered at no cost to patrons. Available facilities at the library include reading room, computer laboratory and a comfy newspaper lounge. It is opened from 8am to 10pm but extended to 12 a.m. during peak periods.

Webster University has a policy to evaluate library resources and services annually in order to build on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of the library. In addition, it helps in providing efficient and effective services to library clientele. Since the inception of Webster Ghana Campus, this is the first official assessment of the library. Also, there are considerable literature on user satisfaction with library services and resources in Ghana (Yeboah, Adams & Boakye, 2018; Akussah, Asante, & Adu-Sarkodee, 2015; Larson, & Owusu-Acheaw, 2012). However, most of them are centred on the public academic institutions leaving a research gap with respect to the private universities. This study therefore aims at filling the gap by investigating the extent of user satisfaction with resources and services at Webster Ghana Library.

The study was intended to establish the extent to which Webster Ghana Library users were satisfied with the library's resources and services. Specifically, the study sought to:

* Determine the level of users' satisfaction with the physical facilities of the library.

* Determine the level of users' satisfaction with the collections of the library.

* Find out the level of users' satisfaction with the services provided by the library.

* Find out the level of users' satisfaction with the knowledge of library staff

* Identify challenges users faced in obtaining needed information.


H1: There is no significant relationship between physical facilities of a library and library user satisfaction.

H2: There is no significant relationship between library collections and library user satisfaction.

H3: There is no significant relationship between knowledge of library staff and library user satisfaction.

H4: There is no significant relationship between library services and library user satisfaction.

Literature Review

Library resources can be defined extensively to include not only the library collections or information materials in a library but also other facilities like computing facilities, internet connectivity and accessibility, discussion rooms, library space as well as human and financial resources. In the opinion of Shrestha (2008), library resources may include information resources, library facilities, personnel and all activities a library carries out to help satisfy the information needs of its users. Library resources should be considered as a benchmark for measuring an academic institution's quality and distinction (Oyewusi & Oyeboade, 2009). Adeniran (2011) stated that university libraries should provide sufficient resources to enhance teaching, learning and research activities in the parent institutions. Therefore, in order to increase patronage, libraries must provide good quality resources and services which can satisfy the information needs of their users (Motiang, Wallis & Korodia, 2014).

Physical facilities of a library consist of the library building, furniture, lighting system, ICT tools, among others. These are crucial components of any library structure. Providing conducive library environment can greatly impact on user satisfaction. Khan and Bhatti (2012) found in a study on department libraries at the University of Peshawar, that poor physical facilities was one of the key issues affecting the library. New library buildings and renovated ones had seen remarkable rise in patronage according to Staines (2012). He further stated that contemporary academic libraries are supposed to measure up to general or worldwide design standards; disability friendly facilities, flexible layout and compatibility with modern technologies. Contemporary libraries should provide discussion rooms as a change in classroom instructions encourages more teamwork nowadays (Sens, 2009).

Iwhiwhu and Okorodudu (2012) noted that library patrons determine the...

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