University of Malaya Library spends more than ten million ringgit annually in maintaining and developing library collection. Out of which 1.5 million is allocated for print materials. Annual growth and rise in purchasing cost is tremendous, however is not reflected in the increase in loans. In contrary, circulation rate of print collection is low and declining. Therefore, the return on investment (ROI) is unjustifiable.
The Library conducts annual user survey to gather feedback from users for the improvement of the library. One of the common feedbacks received is related to collection; “shortage of library collection – both electronic and print collection” and “print collections is not up to date”!! It shows that there is a need for library collection. BUT, Why it doesn’t reflect in the loan rate?
Most probably, the reasons stated below are the cause:
- Users prefer to retrieve information directly from Internet
- E-collection is main source of user information rather than print collection
- Decline in reading habit
- Library collections is not up to date, from the users point of view
- Difficult to access library collection – no car park, difficult to locate books, etc.
- Library environment not user friendly / uncondusive environment
- Lack of promotion of library resourses and services
- Low eligibility of number of loan items
There could be many other reasons for the low usage. Open communication with the library staff, management, counter staff would be one the ways to address this issue.
About Koh Ai Peng
Koh Ai Peng is the Senior librarian, head of Academic Services Division of UM Library.