2012: the DBS Library website odyssey : an evaluation based on users' feedback

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Musto, Lara
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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Academic libraries play a decisive part in advocating universities to fulfill their targets in teaching and researching. Therefore they have been the pulsating heart for the last couple of centuries of many institutions and students have relied greatly on their collections, their reading-rooms, their equipment and their services. With the integration of electronic collections, libraries have begun to offer their services through their library websites, which are the virtual gateways to information. The purpose of this dissertation is to determine the extent to which the DBS library website meets the needs of its users; hence it is an evaluation of the website from the users’ perspective. The research objectives were achieved by applying a mixed-methods deductive approach in collecting, analysing and discussing the data. An intranet web-based survey with closed and open-ended questions has been designed and emailed to various DBS students and staff. The goal of the survey was to gather opinions from users about a list of characteristics of the website such as: design, content, technical aspects, internet/intranet links and the impact the site has had on their academic success. The broad trend of the research findings indicate an easy-to-access Library website and a positive perception of its resources and services, albeit with some technical and design shortfalls. Some users did not wish to assess the quality of support given by librarians within the website and some admitted to never utilising tools like ‘Ask a Librarian’ or Library blog and links to Facebook or Twitter. In addition, the website was described as the nexus to its users’ academic successes. The research provides current users’ feedback about the DBS library website and it is hoped that the findings of this research will be of interest to library staff endeavouring to apply beneficial changes that will meet users’ requirements. Author keywords: DBS website, survey, users, perspective