AbstractThis issue’s feature column reports on the findings of a small survey of library users carried out in an Indian medical college with a traditional curriculum.
The study found that the main reason a student visited the library was to consult text books Imperial College London is a university specialising in engineering, medicine, natural sciences and Management of training rooms and coordination of group study room bookings have also been important considerations for looking at how This case study discusses how connect2 met the objectives of library staff for a .
Although the majority of students were satisfied with the library facilities, the study suggests that more needs to be done to promote self‐directed learning.
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The starting point for the study was the author’s interest in the role universities play in knowledge generation and distribution. 1, 2 The academic library should facilitate the transfer of knowledge by providing resources for all who work and study in the institution.
3Medical education is often criticised for its failure to promote a sense of responsibility among medical students for their own learning. 4 This is associated with over reliance on textbooks for information and traditional, didactic lectures.
5, 6 Teachers need to encourage students not to rely on their class notes; to enrich their learning experience they must use textbooks and other resources. 7 Academic staff should assist students to identify their study needs and students should learn effective ways to find the information sources that they need.
8-10 Prior research on medical students’ information behaviour and library useThe 1990s saw a growing interest in students’ library use and information behaviour driven by an increase in student numbers and the realisation that libraries needed to understand and address their needs. 11 Research carried out in the Nordic countries showed that students were frequent library users although there were large differences in how students of different disciplines utilised library services.
12 Rankin13 noted that up until the early 1990s there were few library users. Studies centred on medical students despite the fact that research on ‘information behaviour of physicians’ was an established field of research.
Changes in medical education, notably the introduction of problem‐based learning, provided an incentive for investigating the information behaviour of medical students.
12In India, several studies have looked at the way, in which medical students use libraries and the findings are in accordance with those reported from other countries Opening the Book used colour and style to create a more pleasant study 4th floor of Boots Library is the most heavily used computer space in the university. The brief was to raise the quality of the student experience while maintaining the required number of computers and supporting 24/7 opening. More Case Studies .
Lal and Ingle14 found that although 97% of undergraduate students reported visiting the library, only 41% made regular visits. The majority of students (82%) only consulted textbooks.
The authors concluded there was a need to train and motivate undergraduates to make better use of library resources. A similar study carried out by Chatterjee et al.
15 found that the majority of interns (62%) visited the library to prepare for examination. Other reasons for coming to the library were: seminars (14%); to consult manuscripts/dissertation/project reports (12%); and lack of personal books (10%).
Amongst teachers, the majority (72%) came to the library to prepare lectures or for seminars; 42% came because they did not have their own books; and 39% were preparing manuscripts/dissertation/project reports. Thirty‐nine per cent of teachers were using the library because they did not subscribe to many journals.
The location of the library is an important factor that can influence its use.
In Chatterjee’s study, about one‐third of both students and teachers found that the location was difficult to access “Issues of Book Acquisition in University Libraries: A Case Study of Pakistan,” Dr. Kanwal Ameen. There is a need to explore the basic issues in the acquisition of books health sciences necessitates buying directly from foreign vendor..
The research setting – Government Medical College, Bhavnagar, IndiaThe Medical College had a total of 200 students and approximately 70 staffs at the time of study.
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The library is located in the second floor of the college, 1 km from the student’s residence and hospitals providing clinical placements. Materials and methodsA survey was conducted, using a questionnaire to collect the data.
The questionnaire consisted of 67 questions divided into eight sections. The topics included demographic questions (such as the degree programme of study, gender, place of residence) as well as 15 items on study habits and library use.
The questionnaire was reviewed by a panel of experts. Copies were distributed to 200 visitors of the library over a period of 6 months from 1999 to 2000.
One hundred and fifty completed forms were received, 130 from medical students and 20 from teachers. Findings and discussionEighty per cent of the respondents were between 17 and 20 years of age and the staff were between 30 and 45 years.
Educational qualification included first MBBS (27%), second MBBS (30%) and third MBBS (29%).
A few of the respondents (4%) had completed MBBS and 9% had a Masters degree Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and is increasingly for resources in general—institutions will need to increase their development of .
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Eleven per cent only used the library occasionally.
Respondents were questioned about the amount of time they spent in the library. Many (39%) were spending 2–4 hours each time they came to the library.
Table 1 shows the purposes respondents cited for visiting the library. The primary reason for going to the library was to read textbooks, which is in line with the findings of Fafard and Shell.
16 At the time of the study, the library lacked internet facilities so there is no data representing the use of digital resources. Reasons for visiting library Purpose: to read15From the above table we can see that satisfaction levels for the 10 items were generally high.
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There were two other areas of dissatisfaction, which related to the librarians’ professional role – bibliographical support and individual guidance. Other findings from the surveySeventy‐six per cent of the participants were satisfied with the library’s book issue–renewal process.
Seventy‐seven per cent found it easy to retrieve information from the library. The reason for ease of retrieval could be the fact that 29% used the index of books provided at the entry point of the library or it could be that the material they were seeking was written by famous authors (39%).
Library staff members were perceived playing an important role in helping users. More than half the respondents (57%) reported receiving help from library staff when searching for books and 55% when seeking the latest magazine or journal.
In response to a question asking respondents where they would obtain information or resources if they are not available in the library, 25% of respondents said they would suggest the library purchase the items, whereas 13% said they would get the information from another library. Eighty‐two per cent of respondents said that the library collection was sufficient for their studies and for research purposes.
Seventy‐seven per cent said they were able to get the latest books and journals from the library. Only 21% of respondents were aware of the library’s MADLAR facility and only 31% were aware of agencies such as ICMR, which provide the latest medical information.
Table 3 indicates particular aspects of the library, which were deemed satisfactory and those, where users expressed dissatisfaction.
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Specific areas of satisfaction with library facilities SatisfactionOverall condition of libraryCondition of booksAvailability of foreign journals Comparing findings to previous studies in IndiaAs this was the first study of library use patterns and user experiences carried out in our college, it is useful to compare the findings with results reported in the literature.
A study conducted in north India14 showed that 41% students made regular visit to the library, which is similar to our result (42%). In the same study, 82% of users came to the library to use textbooks; in our research 56% of respondents came to use textbooks and 24% to use reference books.
The usage figures for newspapers, magazines and journals was comparable for both studies – 51% in Bhavnagar and 46% in the north India’s medical school. If we compare this study with that carried out in Kolkata15, there is a disparity in the numbers using the library to work on a thesis.
This may be explained by the fact that at the time of the study Bhavnagar had no post graduate students. Study limitationsOne limitation to this study is the small sample size and the fact that we were not able to distinguish between the responses of students and teachers.
Another point to note is the fact that, as this research was carried out, the library has invested in computers and this undoubtedly has altered library use patterns.
ConclusionThis study found that the majority of student’s visits to the library were for the purpose of consulting text books A case study of Loughborough University Library, UK Alongside these drivers is the need for libraries to produce data on services to inform their future .
The second common reason was to read newspapers/magazines or journals.
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Despite high user satisfaction levels, the study highlights areas, where the librarians could do more to encourage students to become self‐directed learners; for instance training students to use journals. The findings from this study were shared with college administrators who agreed to increase the number of reference books.
Commentary: medical education in IndiaAs the majority of HILJ readers work and live in Europe, North America and Australia, an article about a medical library in India may seem of peripheral interest.
The wider relevance of the study can be understood by setting it in the context of Indian medical education. How much do you know about medical education in India? My guess is that you (like me) know little or indeed nothing about the state of medical education in this vast country.
Here are a few pertinent facts about the training of doctors in India1 India is the second most populous country in the world. Its medical education system is one of the largest in the world.
Medical schools in India have proliferated in the past 25 years, doubling since 1980 to a current total of 258. The annual output of doctors from these schools is 27 676 each year.
17 The rapid growth in the number of medical colleges in India since 1950 has been driven largely by developments in the private sector, which accounts for over 45% of medical colleges in India.
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It is estimated that India needs at least 500 000 more doctors to reach the desired doctor–patient ratio.
19 Part of the shortage of doctors relates to the fact that one‐third of Indian trained physicians emigrate every year for residency training and/or practise abroad, mostly to the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries This set of case studies showcases academic research, across a range of If you know of some impact from Oxford research which we should showcase please .
173 The accreditation process for medical schools, carried out by the Medical Council of India, focuses largely on the infrastructure and human resources required and little on the process and quality of education or outcomes. 17, 20 As a result of the explosion of private medical schools and weak government regulation of medical schools, there is growing concern about the quality of medical education in India.
21, 22 Critics insist that the curriculum is overloaded and students are not given guidance as to what is essential. One suspects that this leads to over‐reliance on teachers and textbooks as the main sources of information.
How Indian medical students use the library can only be understood in this context. For details on how to contribute to this feature, please contact:Jeannette MurphyUniversity College LondonFaculty of Biomedical Sciences, Division of Population HealthCentre for Health Informatics & Multiprofessional Education, Archway CampusHighgate Hill, London N19 5LW, UKTel +44 (0) 207 288 3044E‐mail: j.
[email protected] Number of times cited: 1Muhammad Ijaz Mairaj and Mirza Muhammad Naseer, Library services and user satisfaction in developing countries: a case study, 30