Customer care services and strategies in academic libraries in KwaZulu-Natal
AbstractThe aim of the study was to investigate customer care services and strategies in academic libraries in tertiary institutions in KwaZulu-Natal. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches to collect data from academic staff, students and library staff. The population targeted was sampled using a stratified random sampling technique. Three hundred and eighty six (386) questionnaires were distributed to academic staff and students (library users/customers), and interviews were conducted with fifteen (15) library management, unit and/or committee responsible for customer care. SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was used to analyze quantitative data collected from the library users/ customers, and Microsoft Excel was used to analyze data collected from the library staff of the five academic libraries studied. The libraries revealed by the users to have customer care policies in place were Mangosuthu Technikon and the Durban Institute of Technology. In contrast the University of Durban Westville has no customer care policies while at the University of Zululand, there is no difference between those aware and unaware. Interviews with the library staff of the five academic libraries revealed that only two (Mangosuthu Technikon and the University of Natal) have a unit/person responsible for customer care. Furthermore, the results revealed that academic libraries do not have proper methods and strategies for conducting customer care. The findings revealed that library users/customers are generally satisfied with knowledge resources offered to them by their libraries. Subsequently, the study recommends that academic libraries incorporate a unit/person or committee responsible for customer care. Library staff should also be given regular training regarding customer care.
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