A Problem Statement Of Quality Services Information Technology Essay
Library is the important place for the people especially the students since it helps the students in their learning process. As it seems important for the students, library should be able to provide a conducive environment in order to help the students to do their revision for example. In other words, student satisfaction is an important measure of quality while providing the services in libraries. However, students’ perceptions about libraries seem to have been largely ignored by library management in developing countries. So, the assessment of quality while giving the services provides an important feedback for libraries to assess and improve its services to its users (Yrd.Doc.Dr. Zeynep Filiz -2007).
Good service delivery to students is one of the primary goals of service organizations like libraries and is the ability of any service provider to provide promised products or services. Libraries are essentially learning organizations stimulating academic and research activities by providing access to world-class information resources. Traditionally, the success of any library is measured in terms of the size of its collection, staff, and budget. But in the present day competitive world, the libraries need to go beyond the traditional modes of assessments and apply marketing techniques for understanding customer requirements. Students focus in services delivery is essential for satisfying the students. The success depends on students’ perceptions or judgment on the quality of products/services provided by the service personnel in libraries and quality is the measure of how well the products/ services delivered meet students expectations (Manjunatha K and Shivalingaiah D-2004).
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Quality services in library are very important aspect in order to satisfy the students through having continuous improvement and the students perception is an important aspect to reveal how satisfied the students towards the library contribution in helping them in learning process. Library must provide a good quality of services, sufficient of collection/information, good activities and staff attitude at the same time solving the challenging faced by them. This can ensure that library can play their role as an academic centre that contributes to a conducive learning environment. If the challenges faced not being solved, it will make students satisfaction become lower and it is hard for the students to find what they want in the library. Therefore, library must find out what kind of solution that needs to be done in order to face the challenges since every year new students come with different needs and expectations. Then, library should do the continuous improvement every time so that they could give focus on quality services which makes the service runs smoothly. For that reason, this research is made to know the quality of services provided by UMS library and any continuous improvement can be done if needed. The issues that arise is in terms of the ability of UMS as a learning places to contribute a conducive learning environment in helping the students to access information sources and University to produce a knowledgeable and successful graduate This is accordance with the mission of UMS library "Providing comprehensive resources and services to support the university requirements in teaching, learning, research, innovation and publication". So that, this research can measure whether student satisfaction on UMS library services provided fulfill the students need through examine the ability of UMS library in terms of quality services, collection/information, library activities and staff’s attitude.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVE
The objectives of this study are:
To investigate the student’s satisfaction on the contribution of UMS library in supporting learning environment process.
To determine services at UMS library that need for improvement.
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of the study covers the public as the user at UMS library. Public in this scope will involve the final year students that consists of part 6 (semester 2 year 3) students in economy. The purpose by choosing part 6 students is because they are more experience in using the library services. They will now either the UMS library has help them in supporting their learning process over the three years study at UMS.
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF STUDY
1.5.1 This study as a basis to determine students’ dissatisfaction towards services given by UMS library.
1.5.2 This study as a platform for the students to express their perception on services given by UMS library.
1.5.3 This study as a basis to identify the area of concern at UMS library.
1.5.4 This study as a platform to suggest possible solution to the problem and for improvement.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS/CONCEPTS
1.6.1 Learning environment
The place and setting where learning occurs; it is not limited to a physical classroom an includes the characteristics of the setting (www.teach-nology.com/glossary/terms/l/).
Nunan and Calvert (1992) point out that:
“The term quality defies any definition which will be universally accepted. When it is linked to performance, quality implies evaluation for comparative purposes; `measures’ of quality involve norms and standards and judgments of quality are assisted through use of norm or criterion referenced indicators. Where measurement focuses on the student as a product of education, quality is seen as `value-based’ by the process of education. When the emphasis is management of quality, attention focuses on strategies for achieving or improving quality.”
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information.
The good feeling that you have when you have achieved something or when you wanted to happen does happen (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)
A considerable collection of books kept for use, and not as merchandise, as a private library; a public
LITERITURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 LITERITURE REVIEW
The concepts of satisfaction and quality are often used together, and sometimes interchangeably. Few researchers have identified the particular relationship between the two concepts, however a number of general statements have been made. According to Oliver (1981:42) “… satisfaction is the emotional reaction following a disconfirmation experience which acts on the base attitude level and is consumption-specific”. Perceived quality, on the other hand, is defined and contrasted to satisfaction by (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1988:16) as “… a global judgment, or attitude, relating to the superiority of the service, whereas satisfaction is related to a specific transaction”. Thus, these two concepts are related in that incidents of satisfaction, over time, result in perceptions of quality (Hebert, 1993:21).
However, academic libraries are facing two major threats: a global digital environment and increasing competition. They must improve the quality of their services in order to survive (Rowena Cullen, 2001).
Each year new students enter the learning environment with varying library usage and information gathering skills. Millson-Martula and Menon (1995) state that one element of high quality service is “the incorporation of users’ personal needs and expectations into the development of programs and service”. The concept of user satisfaction in the library literature likewise has evolved to include a broader focus on the users’ perspective of the library. Applegate (1997) defines user “satisfaction… as a personal, emotional reaction to a library service or product”. Bitner and Hubbert (1994) suggest that it consists of service encounter satisfaction, “the consumer’s dis/satisfaction with a discrete service encounter,” and overall service satisfaction, “the consumer’s overall dis/satisfaction with the organization based on all encounters and experiences with that particular organization”. In addition, a characteristic of service delivery is the simultaneous nature of production and consumption (Zeithaml & Bitner, 1996). Customers are usually involved in some (if not all) of the production processes and therefore have an impact on the outcomes of the service delivery and their satisfaction with it.
Bowen (1986), Mills and Morris (1986), and Kelley, Donnelly and Skinner (1990), have shown that participation, or the use of customers as “partial employees”, can improve productivity for providers as well as improving service quality and customer satisfaction. Bateson (1985) note that problems in the service encounter are often due to conflicts over who is in control of the service interaction, and hence, a way of increasing control for the customer is to offer alternatives or choices within the service setting, such as providing on-site or remote access to electronic resources, loan or photocopying of printed materials, self-service or staff service facilities, silent study or discussion areas, on-site or telephone or email or postal reference consultation. Service providers must develop mechanisms in order to ensure that customers provide the required information and effort to facilitate the service encounter and outcome (Kelley, Donnelly & Skinner, 1990).
However, though quality is a much studied subject in manufacturing as well as service sectors, there is no universally accepted definition to define quality. The definition of quality is subjective, personal and changes from person-to-person, place-to-place, organization-to-organization, situation-to-situation and time-to-time. However, "Conformance to Standards" and "Fitness for Use" is the classic definitions of quality. The quality as a subject of academic interest took momentum in 1950s as a result of the studies on the subject of quality by management gurus like Deming, Juran, Crosby, Taylor, Feigenbaum, and Peters. However, the concepts of quality were mainly applied to products in the manufacturing sector. Due awakening of consumerism in 1980s, the quality of service as a subject of academic interest caught the attention of marketing professionals and they attempted to define service quality from customers' perspective. Experts like Kotler, Levitt, Gronroos, Garvin, Cronin, Taylor, Teas, Rust, Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry have contributed to the growth of the subject and many models were developed on its measurement. The team of Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (hereafter PZB) had conducted several research studies to define service quality and identify the criteria that customers use while evaluating the service quality in service organizations. They define service quality as "the extent of discrepancy between customers' expectations or desires and their perception of what is delivered”. In other words, it is the comparison of what customers expect before the use of product or service with their experience of what is delivered.
According to Professor Gaynor Taylor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University in her talk on seminar of the impact of Libraries on Learning, Teaching and Research (LIRG) (2001), she spoke of the impact of libraries on cultural and educational life across the country and their key role in enabling and expanding participation in education and lifelong learning. She then went on to praise the role of libraries, arguing that they were central to academic communities. She emphasized the benefits of integrating libraries fully into the student learning experience. Libraries need to be involved from the very beginning of course development and need to make relevant information available in ways that suits users' access needs.
According to Stamatoplos (1998), consideration of satisfaction should be an important part of the evaluation of library services. Satisfaction depends, to some extent, on patron expectations of services. Satisfaction appeared to be related to student perceptions of information accessibility, staff competence and helpfulness, computer usefulness and ease of use, and skill level for using libraries. He questioned why should library administrators care about patron satisfaction? Some think patron satisfaction is of secondary importance that the purpose of a library is to provide information services and that evaluation of the library performance ought to be judged from that perspective alone. However, others recognize that failing to satisfy the patron is failing to serve the patron. This is not about just making patrons feel good. There is a basic reason for focusing on patron satisfaction: Who is the best judge of whether a patron has been served well or poorly? Professional librarians may know whether they have provided accurate, timely information in response to a request. Is that enough? Clearly, accurate and timely information is a minimum requirement, but unless the patron is satisfied, in general, the service could have been better. Based on his research on the ”Effects of Library Instruction on University Students Satisfaction with the Library”, he found that the patrons experienced less difficulty in finding material than expected, the patrons also received materials faster than expected; average and maximum wait times were shorter than expected for both books and articles. In terms of the perception of staff helpfulness, patrons perceived the library staff to be significantly less helpful than expected. In addition, in his findings on the perceptions of information accessibility he found that the proportion of needed materials available at the library, the difficulty of finding the materials, and the maximum wait time for articles are all significantly related to overall satisfaction with the library. Besides that, in terms of the perceptions of staff competence and helpfulness, it shows that the perceptions that library staffs are competent and helpful are highly correlated with overall satisfaction.
Based on the research done by Steve Hiller (2001) on the Assessing User Needs, Satisfaction, and Library Performance at the University of Washington Libraries, the 1998 survey asked whether libraries were open when needed on evenings, weekends, summer, and interim periods. Graduate students, as the case with the previous two surveys, had the lowest satisfaction with hours while faculty had the highest, undergraduate student satisfaction had slipped from 1995 when it was similar to faculty satisfaction. When asked to choose from a list of priorities, more than 37 percent of graduate students and 42 percent of undergraduates chose increased library hours as a priority compared to 17 percent of faculty. Graduate students also wrote more comments about hours than any other group. So, responses to overall library satisfaction questions on the 1998 survey showed faculty had the highest satisfaction while undergraduate students the lowest.
According to research done by Noriah Mohamed Ali on the Staff Professionalism in University (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam), she said that in organization fulfilling customer satisfaction is very important. It is a part of staff jobs. Customers do not ask for too much, it is enough if staff can provide them with clear information, courtesy, the ability to answer them politely and the service can easily be accessible. In service oriented organizations, staff has a big responsibility to treat customers well. This is because service is their core business like in library. As an important person in library, there is no emotional influence in delivering services to the students. Staff must be professional in dealing with students. They should be helpful, polite, friendly, respectful, well trained and knowledgeable. All these will lead to the student’s satisfaction. Based on this research also, it shows that there is linear relationship between knowledge level of staff and customers satisfaction. Customers need to get information and staff needs to be able to respond to customers’ questions. It may be that, staff needs to have some alternative methods in answering customers’ questions. Staff should not cause customers to doubt and be confused about the solution offered by them. Staff needs to have better knowledge in academic affairs and other matters that related to the university.
On the other hand, based on the research done by Norliya Ahmad Kassim (Faculty of Information Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, MALAYSIA) and Khasiah Zakaria (Perpustakaan Tun Abdul Razak , Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam), they were investigate users’ perceptions on the contributions of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Libraries in creating a learning environment. It shows that the library users were only quite satisfied in terms of the services, collection/information, and activities of the library as a whole. The findings revealed that users were least satisfied with the attitude of the library staff compared with other aspects of the library evaluated. Among the four aspects of the library, respondents were relatively most satisfied with collection/ information (mean score = 3.27), followed by services to users (mean score = 3.18), library activities (mean score = 3.16) and staff attitude (mean score = 3.06) in that order. The information produced through this study will be of use to the improvement of library services and betterment of the library profession, and serve as a contribution to the body of knowledge in the area of user satisfaction on libraries’ contribution and their services to users. There is an urgent need to examine the perceptions of the students on the contribution of UMS library in creating learning environment process.
2.2 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Independent variables Dependent variable
Perception of the students
Collection / information provided
2.2.1 INDEPENDENT VARIABLES: SERVICES
188.8.131.52 Quality services
Quality services is refer to opening hour, signage, reference service, willingness to help, performing services right, photocopy services and etc.
Collection/Information is refer to past exam papers, OPAC stations, comprehensive online database, accessible on digital collection, up-to-date information, comprehensive books collection and complete relevant journal.
184.108.40.206 Academic activities
Teaching, learning and training that library provide to the students.
220.127.116.11 Staff’s attitude
Appearance, knowledgeable, confidence, availability and motivate learning are refer to the attitude that shows by the library’s staff.
2.2.2 DEPENDENT VARIABLE: PERCEPTION
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information.
3.1 Research Design
For the purpose of this study, the research design will be sample survey. It means the administration of questionnaires to a sample of respondents selected from some population. Types of approaches being used is by a questionnaire survey.
3.2 Unit of Analysis
As the study will identify public perception towards the contribution of UMS library in supporting learning environment process, therefore the unit of analysis will be the final year students in school of Economy and Business study.
3.3 Sample size
The sample size for the purpose of this study is 100 respondents.
3.4 Sampling Technique
In this study, the stratified random sampling will be used. This sampling design which is the most efficient is a good choice when differentiated information is needed regarding various strata within the population which are known to differ in their parameters (Sekaran 2003). The population from this study consists of the user of UMS libraries’.
3.5 Research Measurement/instrument
The questionnaire used was structured into 3 sections. Section A focused on the personal data of the respondents such as age, gender, education level and the frequency using the UMS library services. The respondent only need to label the data related to them.
Section B focuses on the perception of the students on contribution of UMS library in supporting learning environment process. The question is regarding on four elements that consists the quality of services, collection/information, library activities and staff’s personality. The respondents were answer according to five-point of likert scale that indicate 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is disagree, 3 is neither agree or disagree, 4 is agree and 5 is strongly agree. The respondent required to circle one of it. Respondent perception is measure according to five-point of likert scale. Respondents were ask with certain statement to look their respond on that statement either they agree or disagree. Agree or disagree on that statement will reflect their perception.
Finally, Section C consist only one question which is regarding the satisfaction on the contribution of UMS library in supporting learning environment process. This is the overall satisfaction of the students based on the question ask in section B. In this section, the respondents answer were also based on the likert scale (5 points) .The respondent were required to express their satisfaction towards the UMS library contribution from 1 is refer to worst perception to 5 refer to better perception.
3.6 Data collection
Basically, there are two method used for the collection. Those are primary data collection and secondary data collection. Primary data is a data which collected originally by the researcher based on his effort. Example, the data for this study will be collected through questionnaire to the focus group. This method was chosen because the designed questionnaire could be sent personally to them in a limited time and they have to return it back on that time. While, secondary data is the information which is already in existence that related to the study. It includes the data from the journal, book, and internet search. For this study, both of the data collection method is being used so that it will be help in term of an understanding and the accuracy of information that will be received.
3.7 Data Analysis
The data analysis for this study conducted through ‘Statistical Package for Social Science’ software or SPSS version 17.0 which use the descriptive analysis and also crosstab. SPSS will be used as medium to analyze the data where the raw will be entered in the computer as a data file. By using the tools, any missing value can easily be identified. The tool will help in analyzing data such as table, figure also percentage.
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