16 Απρ 2017

Providing Electronic Information Sources to Undergraduate Students


Andreou, Andreas K. Providing electronic information sources to undergraduate students., 2001 Dissertation Thesis thesis, University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UK). [Thesis]

The electronic information sources have become an integral part of the library services and they have a crucial role to play in the higher education. Undergraduate students depend their studies on electronic sources. However, electronic information sources cannot be used effectively without the necessary training by the library. The right instruction should be given to students on how each electronic source should be used. The evaluation of the information electronic sources though a survey on the students´ opinion is of equal importance. The survey can help the library to find the real educational needs of the students as regards the electronic sources, to discover any possible weaknesses in the whole process and to improve its electronic services.   


Introduction

There is no doubt that information technology has invaded our life and affected it in different ways. Over the course of the last decade computers have become a commonplace and they impinge on many facets of life. Academic libraries, as one of the main sources of information for years, have also been affected with important results.
University libraries all over the world reconsider their role in order to keep pace with the new technology and the new needs of their users. Libraries using the new technology have converted a lot of their traditional information sources to electronic.  These electronic sources can be a very useful and powerful information tools if they are provided to the students with the necessary education.

The ultimate aim of this dissertation is to discover which is the appropriate way for an academic library to provide electronic information sources, effectively, to its undergraduate students.
The electronic information services which an academic library offers is considered in this dissertation as a complicated procedure which involves: a) the provision of the necessary electronic information services to students, b) the education of the students on how to use effectively these sources, and c) the evaluation of both the use of the electronic sources and the education (and instruction) given to students. In order to find the appropriate way for an academic library to provide its electronic sources to students, we have to examine analytically and find how all the above factors should be realised.

Chapter 1 starts with some historical aspects which will help reader to understand how and why academic libraries have included the information electronic sources in their collections. This chapter continues by offering an analysis of the role of the most common electronic information sources in academic libraries describing their use and showing their importance.
In chapter 2 it is investigated why it is important for academic libraries to educate their students, and various educational methods are analysed. In the same chapter is also considered the new role that librarians should play in the environment of the electronic library. 
Chapter 3 is dedicated on how the library should evaluate the electronic information sources as well as the educational methods and the instruction that it provides to the students. In this chapter it is described how an academic library can investigate its users real needs through a survey.  The final answer is given at the end, in Chapter 4.  

Primary and secondary data for this dissertation have been collected with the following methods:

  1. Unstructured interviews. Discussion with six academic librarians who work in the electronic information sources department and with librarians who are responsible for educating students and giving them instruction. These librarians work for University and Collage libraries in Cyprus and Greece and they were chosen because they considered as very experienced and successful in  their field. Through unstructured interviews the above librarians were asked to give their critical comments on the importance of electronic information sources and the education that libraries should provide to the users. All opinions, observations and suggestions were written down, evaluated and been processed properly in order to become parts of this dissertation.

  1. Literature research. The literature research has been done in Thomas Parry Library (the Library of the University of Wales at Aberystwyth) and in the University of Cyprus Library. The literature research includes books and articles from the collection of these two libraries as well as electronic documents that have been gathered from the electronic sources of the above libraries and via the Internet. The materials that have been used in this work were carefully selected among others.

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