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Application of Marketing Techniques in Library Services and Challenges Faced by University Librarians in Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. Shabnam Nishath ,

University of Colombo, LK
About S. Shabnam
Assistant Librarian
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Sajeewanie D. Somaratna

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

Libraries should explore the marketing strategies to be used to promote their services among users, to entice new users and retain existing users. The objectives of this study were to find out the marketing techniques used in Sri Lankan university libraries and identify the challenges that university librarians face when marketing their services. The study involved 130 academic staff members of the libraries in 15 state universities established under the purview of the University Grants Commission in Sri Lanka. The total population was considered as the sample and the data were collected through self-administered questionnaire. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software package considering the mean and standard deviation. There were 105 valid questionnaires among returns, and the response rate was 80.8%. As per the results, library websites, user orientation seminars, notice boards, and e-mail notifications were most frequently used to promote library services. Mobile applications, blogs and podcasts were rarely used to promote library services in Sri Lankan universities. The mean ratings of perceived challenges in the marketing of library services by university librarians in Sri Lanka were considered. Lack of networking among librarians (3.54) was identified as a significant challenge faced by Sri Lankan university librarians when marketing their services. Other significant challenges were unawareness of library user requirements, insufficient funds for marketing, increased cost of marketing and lack of skills in marketing library services. This concludes that Sri Lankan university librarians market their library services using an array of techniques and come across various challenges while adopting marketing techniques to their services. To overcome these challenges libraries should consider appointing a marketing librarian for each university library and establish a collaboration between them, develop a unique marketing strategy for each library, and allocation of funds for marketing library services.
How to Cite: Nishath, S.S. and Somaratna, S.D., 2021. Application of Marketing Techniques in Library Services and Challenges Faced by University Librarians in Sri Lanka. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 24(2), pp.120–137. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v24i2.8049
Published on 29 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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