Marketing library services in academic libraries : case of Uganda Christian University Library
Nabitotto, Sharon Alice
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In this research, the author sought to explore marketing of library services in academic libraries; a case study of Uganda Christian University. The study aimed at finding out the existing library services offered, current trends of marketing library services, challenges faced in marketing library services and strategies that could be adopted in marketing library services at UCU library. The researcher employed a case study research design utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research approach. Data was collected using four methods including questionnaire, interview, observation and document review. Library staff and users were purposively and randomly selected. The findings revealed that the services offered by UCU Library were; reading room facilities, reference and research assistance services, lending services, referral services, reprographic services, interlibrary loan services, internet, and readers’ advisory services. Among the current trends used in marketing library services include current awareness services, orientation of users, users’ training in e-resources access, exhibitions, brochures, flyers, notice boards, community worship, community mail and library website. Challenges faced in marketing library services which among others included lack of adequate financial resources, low bandwidth, poor communication skills, no teamwork, lack of good ICT knowledge, lack marketing skills, unstable power cuts, attitude change from analog to digital, inadequate library staff, lack of a library public relations officer, over-centralization of power, work overload, limited time for borrowing and training. Strategies for improving marketing of library were: Establishing users’ needs, practicing self-discipline, being friendly, working closely with lecturers, organizing library books exhibitions on a semester basis and solutions were provided to library and Users related challenges which included: Increase on library staff, training library staff and users on the use of ICTS, communicating well, good teamwork, directly involve students in marketing the library, users be trained on the usage of the library facilities, programme more hours for borrowing and training users, employ public relations officer, increase the bandwidth, alternatives for unstable power supply, use of social media platforms, involving clients in library activities, more computers, encouraging users to attend orientation, changing the current training programme, need for customer care trainings, periodical job rotation, and many more. The study recommended UCU library to develop and implement a marketing plan, train library staff new marketing techniques, employ a public relations officer, involve students, add more computers, periodical job rotation, increase on budget, handle clients professionally, encourage feedback, delegation of power, offer equal opportunities and regular trainings.
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