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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1812/992

Title: Development of an academic library website model for distance learners
Authors: Iddamalgodage Dona Anusha Lakmini Wijayaratne
Keywords: Academic library website model
Distance learners
Distance education
Web accessibility
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: University Malaya
Abstract: The library website is an essential feature for distance education since it provides a platform for librarians to facilitate time and place-independent learning. However, both the availability and the standard of library websites are still at very unsatisfactory levels. The main goal of this study was to develop an academic library website model for distance learners. This was done to address the need for a research-based model that would help the library web-developers to build websites that are of high standards, both in terms of content richness and design accuracy. The study comprised three major phases, namely examining the current status of web-based library systems for distance education, constructing a library website model for distance learners, and validating the proposed model. The first phase was intended to generate reliable information on current status of web-based library systems offered by open universities. This helped to initiate the second phase of the study, which was to develop a library website model for distance learners. A questionnaire, delivered via e-mail, was used to collect the data. Fourteen out of twenty-two libraries responded. The current status of web-based library systems offered by the open universities was determined in terms of two core dimensions that measure the overall standard of the web-based library systems, namely web services and user interface of the website. The findings suggested that there was a need for upgrading the web-based library systems offered by the open universities. Funds, infrastructure facilities, skilled staff, lack of cooperation from the authorities and lack of feedback from the users were the main bottlenecks in the process. The majority of librarians who participated in the survey felt that their existing web-based library systems were under utilized. The results suggest that strong marketing campaigns, user awareness and skill development programs are needed to enhance the usage. During the second phase, the Delphi study technique was used to obtain the experts’ views on the model design process. Panel members were identified through a literature survey, personal contacts and an open request on the ‘Web4lib discussion group’. Panel members (15) of the ‘web content elements’ came from eight countries, while panel members (10) of the ‘web design features’ came from three countries. Sixty content elements that determine the content richness of the websites were identified, viz. resources (12), services (18), links (10) and information (20), and prioritised. There were 38 elements in the first priority level, 15 elements in the second priority level and seven elements in the third priority level. Eighty design features that determine the design accuracy of the website, were identified, viz. text and graphic design (23), consistency, navigation and downloading (29), access for disabled (21), maintenance (7), and prioritised. There were 61 features in the first priority level, 15 features in the second priority level and four features in the third priority level. During the final phase, the model was validated by using two instruments - an evaluative instrument and a designer’s checklist. The validation of the model was successfully accomplished through analyzing 22 websites of open universities and redesigning a library website of a distance education university (Open University of Sri Lanka) that was within the scope of this study. The results of the website analysis confirmed the model’s capability of producing valid results that can be used to obtain an in-depth understanding of an individual website or to compare and contrast a set of library websites. The website redesign project demonstrated the ability of adapting the proposed conceptual model to a real world situation in a manner that could produce a user-centred content-rich library website.
Description: Thesis (PhD) -- Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, University of Malaya, 2010.
URI: http://dspace.fsktm.um.edu.my/handle/1812/992
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses : Library & Information Science

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
00c Abstract iii-iv.pdfAbstract 67.17 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00e Table of Contents vi - ix.pdfTable of Contents138.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00h List of Appendices xiii- xiv.pdfList of Appendices114.73 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03a Chapter 3.pdfChapter 343.19 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03d Chapter 3 outline of methodology.pdfChapter 3 outline of methodology68.99 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05 Chapter 5.pdfChapter 5188.5 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06 Appendix AM - Designers guidline.pdfAppendix AM - Designers guidline196.95 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00f List of Tables x - xi.pdfList of Tables111.13 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
01 Chapter 1.pdfChapter 1156.21 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03b Chapter 3 Fig.1.pdfChapter 3 Fig.1103.81 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03e Chapter 3.pdfe Chapter 3321.63 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06 Appendices.pdfAppendices1.48 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
07 References.pdfReferences400.45 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00a Outside Cover Page.pdfOutside Cover Page5.2 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00b Inside Cover Page.pdfInside Cover Page5.35 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00d Acknowledgements v.pdfAcknowledgement7.49 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
00g List of Figures xii.pdfList of Figures87.41 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02 Chapter 2.pdfChapter 2477.48 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03c Chapter 3 fig.2.pdfChapter 3 fig.254.68 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04 Chapter 4.pdfChapter 4738.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06 Appendix AL - evaluative tool.pdfAppendix AL - evaluative tool182.69 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
08 Publications.pdfPublications142.77 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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