Engineers have been important to every civilization, ancient and modern. They invent, design, build and produce most of the products that make up the present civilization. They find out the solutions to the practical problems faced by the society. Hence, they play a key role in socio-economic development of any nation.
Today, engineers require not only adequate technological ability and problem solving skills, but also skills like cooperation, communication, and presentation skills, business ethics and interpersonal relationship. They must have deep commitment to safety, reliability, quality and sustainability of all engineering operations in which they take part. Engineering colleges have now a new responsibility to provide opportunities to every engineering student or professional to acquire these abilities in addition to their technological knowledge. Hence, excellent engineering colleges are essential to prepare engineers with good knowledge and skills. Teachers, laboratories and libraries are important components in imparting effective engineering education to them.
The objective of an engineering college library is to assist engineering professionals in enhancing and updating their knowledge and skills, and to provide them information regarding new innovations, views, theories, engineering education, and research. The primary role of engineering college library is to collect and organize recorded information in engineering and allied subjects to meet the needs of users. Information and Communication Technologies are increasingly used to collect, store, retrieve and disseminate a great amount of information to help engineering professionals. Library survey is "a systematic collection of data concerning libraries, their activities, operations, staff use and users, at a given time or over a given period". Library surveys are conducted to study the existing library conditions, library facilities, library personnel, nature of users and non-users, library services, library resources; to compare the peresent conditions and desired standards; to make suggestions for their improvement; and to develop library standards.
Review of Literature
Mishra (1977) discussed fifteen year perspective plan for the development of engineering and technological libraries and information service in India. Janak Raj and Rama Verma(1992) conducted a survey on 34 engineering college libraries in India by using a mailed questionnaire method. Abbas Khan (1993) made a study on the growth of collection and users of library of Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology (MJCET), for the year 1981-90, and compared with the growth of its budget. Singh (1994) conducted a study on collection development and readers' services at IIT Library, Kharagpur, by collecting data from a sample of 222 users of the library comprising faculty members and students using a questionnaire method. Singh (1994) evaluated the collection and services provided by IIT libraries in India from user's point of view. Rashid and Amin (1998) in their study found that there is no uniformity in the use of classification and cataloguing schemes in Regional Engineering College Libraries in India. Sharma (2001) in his study attempts to examine the status of engineering college libraries in Haryana, by surveying a sample of twenty engineering college libraries. Tadasad (2003) made a study on the use of Internet by collecting data from 193 undergraduates in engineering. Ali and Hasan (2003) examined the utilization and the satisfaction level of users about Internet, CD-ROM databases and other services provided by IIT Library, Delhi. Mandal and Panda (2005) examined the different dimensions of collection development with specific reference to engineering college libraries. Rajeev Kumar and Kaur (2007) conducted a user survey to analyze the use of the Internet and related issues by collecting data from 960 teachers and students of engineering colleges of Punjab using questionnaire method. Kaur and Rama Verma (2008) conducted a survey on students and faculty members with regard awareness about electronic journals and their usage of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, using questionnaire method. Majority of the users were not aware of the library e-resources (69.15%) and INDEST Consortium (77.63%). Doraswamy (2009) conducted a study on the utilization of digital resources in Velagapudi Ramakrishna Siddhartha Engineering College (VRSEC) Library, Vijayawada, by collecting data from 95 faculty members through questionnaire.
As no comprehensive survey has been conducted to examine the present conditions of engineering college libraries in Sri Venkateswara University area of Andhra Pradesh in India, the present study has been undertaken to examine the present conditions of these libraries, to assess the extent of meeting the information requirements of users and to identify the drawbacks in the provision of services so that the suggestions can be made to improve these services. A brief report of the survey has been presented in the following paragraphs.
Objectives of the Study
The following are the specific objectives of the study:
* To examine the qualifications, experience and scale of pay of librarians of engineering college libraries;
* To examine the working hours of the library and to know the type of access system followed in the libraries;
* To study the acquisition procedure for books and periodicals, and technical processing in engineering college libraries;
* To know the procedures for lending documents in engineering college libraries;
* To examine the services and physical facilities of these libraries;
* To examine the use of information technology in engineering college libraries;
* To assess the engineering college libraries with regard to their working hours and collection;
* To know the users' opinion towards library services and facilities;
* To identify the differences, if any in their satisfaction with regard to library services and facilities;
* To assess the level of satisfaction of users with regard to the availability of latest editions of books and multiple copies for prescribed textbooks in their respective engineering college libraries;
* To suggest the measures for improving the quality of resources and services of engineering college libraries.
To get the required data for the present study, the following methodology is used.
The entire area of Andhra Pradesh is divided into three subareas viz., Andhra University area, Sri Venkateswara University area and Osmania University area. The districts of Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur and Nellore come under Sri Venkateswara University area.
There are 36 engineering college libraries in Sri Venkateswara University area. The investigator selected 29 engineering college libraries out of 36 by simple random method to examine the present condition of these libraries.
The users of these engineering college libraries are undergraduate students, postgraduate students, research scholars and faculty members. There are 10,560 undergraduate students, 460 postgraduate students, 175 research scholars and 2,465 faculty members in these 29 engineering colleges. In total, there are 13,660 users in these libraries. As the population is large in terms of cost, time and labour involved, the investigator selected a sample of 1,853 users (7.4% of the population) using stratified random sampling.
Collection and presentation of data
Questionnaire method is used for collecting the required data for the present study. Two separate questionnaires were designed. One is intended for engineering college librarians and another for the users of engineering college libraries. The questionnaire intended for librarians consists of questions on engineering colleges, designation, qualification, age, gender, experience and pay scale of librarians, their satisfaction with the present job, library working hours, access system, library collection, sections, acquisition, classification and cataloguing, services, user education programmes, physical facilities, budget, stock verification, library automation, and library statistics. Copies of the questionnaire are distributed to 29 librarians and collected the filled in copies of the questionnaire personally from librarians.
The questionnaire intended for users consists of questions to elicit their views on use of the library, working hours, library collection, book collection, periodical collection, library services, circulation service, reference service, reprographic service, Internet facility, physical facilities, and library staff. This questionnaire is distributed to 1853 users of engineering college libraries and filled in copies of questionnaire were collected from users personally.
The data collected from the respondents were analyzed according to the objectives and hypotheses formulated using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Based on the analysis of the data collected, the following conclusions have been drawn with regard to engineering college libraries and their users.
Engineering college libraries
The following conclusions have been drawn on engineering college libraries:
* Nearly half of the colleges (48.3%) were established during the period 2000-2002.
* The majority of the colleges (86.2%) are affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.
* All engineering colleges are offering undergraduate courses.
* All engineering colleges are offering undergraduate courses in Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and Electronics and Communication Engineering.
* A high percentage of the colleges (41.4%) have undergraduates between 1201-1600.
* The majority of the libraries (89.7%) have librarians.
* About three-quarters of the librarians (75.9%) have PG with the M.L.I.Sc., degree.
* A high percentage of them (41.4%) have...