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Millennials’ Service Quality Expectations: A Challenge for Academic Librarians

Author:

Sajeewanie D. Somaratna

University of Colombo, LK
About Sajeewanie D.
Senior Assistant Librarian, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

Millennials, the users of today’s academic libraries are socially and culturally more diverse than previous generations. They are Internet savvy, always connected to social media and leaning to multitasking. The purpose of this study was to explore the millennials’ expectations of service quality of academic libraries and specific objectives were set; to assess millennials’ expectations of service quality, to identify the most important service quality attributes and to identify millennials’ anticipation of spending of limited library allocation. A user survey was conducted among the first year Science students of University of Colombo and 250 questionnaires were distributed among the students. The survey questionnaire was designed taking inputs from SERVQUAL and LibQUAL models and included questions on user expectations of the service quality (physical facilities, library resource, library services, and staff), most important service quality attributes and user anticipation of spending of library allocation. In addition, open questions on the additional expectations of library service quality. Students rated their expectations in a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (lowest) to strongly agree (highest).  Most of the service quality attributes were selected by millennials with more than 80% expectation level and “Internet connectivity and Wi-Fi facilities in the library” (2.237)  was ranked as the most important service quality attribute for each student followed by “comprehensive printed resources” (2.167), “convenient library opening hours”(2.08),  “self-study areas” (1.878) and “group study areas” (1.872). According to the millennials’ anticipation of limited library allocation, 87% of the students selected the library collection development is more important than the improvement of physical facilities (13%). They selected the development of the printed collection (52%) over the electronic collection (48%) and library learning space expansion (84%) over the improvement of library equipment (16%). Library administration needs to discuss these specific needs of “always connected” generation and address them very carefully to build up a strong relationship between the millennials and the academic library.
How to Cite: Somaratna, S.D., 2019. Millennials’ Service Quality Expectations: A Challenge for Academic Librarians. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 22(2), pp.74–85. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v22i2.7938
Published on 28 Aug 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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