• Digital reference services in selected public academic libraries in Malaysia: A case study

      Wan Dollah, Wan A. Kadir; Khoo, C.; Singh, D.; Chaudhry, A.S. (School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University, 2006)
      Reference service is one of the library’s primary services besides acquisitions, classification, cataloguing and physical planning. This service provides personalized assistance to library users in accessing and using suitable information resources to meet their needs. This research progress paper attempts to identify the status of digital reference services (DRS) in four public university libraries in Malaysia. In this study, the researcher attempts to identify usage of both traditional and digital reference services, user awareness of DRS, user satisfaction, and need for DRS. Two different sets of questionnaires were distributed: (1) a librarians’ questionnaire to librarians in the four university libraries, namely, Tun Abdul Razak Library, UiTM; University of Malaya (UM) Library; Tun Seri Lanang Library, UKM; and Sultan Abdul Samad Library, UPM; (2) a users’ questionnaire to students of the Faculty of Information Management, UiTM, and the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, UiTM, UM and UPM. The findings show that DRS are effective forms of service delivery but their full potential has not yet been exploited. Email reference, Web forms and Ask-A Librarian are the main channels used in providing digital reference, although plans are under way to implement more sophisticated Internet technologies and collaborative digital reference.