Digital library services: perceptions and expectations of user communities and librarians in a New Zealand academic library
Digital services provided on demand by academic libraries offer simple and fast access to collections and services tailored to users' information needs from anywhere in the world through computer networks in an online environment. This case study was conducted at the Victoria University of Wellington Library. It has investigated the extent of and reasons for different perceptions and expectations relating to digital services between different user communities, and between users and librarians. The research, which sheds light on the users' satisfaction of the digital services, follows Taylor's (1986) user-centered and value-added theories, and Parasuraman's (1988) Gap Model. In addition, some evaluation indicators used in this research were also extracted and revised from some previous evaluation models (e.g., SERQUAL). Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used in this research. Questionnaire surveys collected data on the perceptions and expectations of the digital services from the perspectives of undergraduates, postgraduates, academic staff and librarians individually. The comparative results from the survey data identified variations of perceptions and expectations between users communities, and between users and librarians. Issues raised in the questionnaires were explored in more depth through follow-up interviews with librarians. The research concluded with a range of recommendations for ways to improve the digital services offered by the VUW Library with a view to helping the Library meet the information needs of its user communities.