n South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - The role of an academic library in research : researchers' perspectives at a South African University of Technology
|Article Title||The role of an academic library in research : researchers' perspectives at a South African University of Technology|
|© Publisher:||Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)|
|Journal||South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science|
|Affiliations||1 University of the Western Cape|
|Publication Date||Jan 2011|
|Pages||37 - 50|
|Keyword(s)||Academic libraries, Research, South Africa and Universities of technology|
Academic libraries typically identify research support as a central pillar in their mission. But they need to examine how their mission statements relate to the perspectives of researchers themselves, especially in view of reported changes in researchers' information seeking and sharing in the online environment. By means of a questionnaire survey of 102 full time academic staff at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the project examined how researchers use their institution's library in their research and what their expectations are. For various historical reasons universities of technology lag behind in terms of their research output and in recent years CPUT has prioritised research. This is reflected in the virtual unanimity among the 102 respondents that research is essential to their job despite their heavy teaching loads. Overall, the study finds that most (over 65%) continue to rely on the library for access to print and electronic resources. It finds a heavy emphasis on the traditional functions of an academic library, such as resource and information management. A few gaps emerge between the delivery of library services and researchers' desires. For example, very few attend the library's scheduled database training workshops; yet most see database training as one of the library's key contributions to research. The most pressing desire is to be kept informed of new research in their fields; yet only a minority experience this level of service and less than half express confidence in the discipline knowledge of librarians.
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