Monday, November 2, 1987

The Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center: Its Library Services as Viewed by Members, Its Problems, and Solutions


Course: Master of Arts in Library Science

School: University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

Subject Area: Library Services - Manila

Year of Graduation: March 1987

If libraries are to be essential elements in community efforts to satisfy everyone's need to know, they must be planned with easy access, convenience and flexibility. However, the planning program must follow a pattern of expectation of change related to shifting community needs. It must also be noted that the necessity for change in priorities, scope and operation of programs is often signaled by needed changes in facilities (Lushington and Mills, 1980)

Statement of the Problem
This study attempts to evaluate the Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center Library (TJCC) services within the period from 1980 to June, 1986 as viewed by users with respect with their needs and interest. Its principal goal is to have a descriptive assessment of the Library's objectives and services from the point of view of the users or members. Thus, the result will provide the Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center staff greater insight on the problems encountered by the users in using library services so that they can effectively assist them in the future.

Using a questionnaire as primary source of data collecting, this research reveals that the library has been able to comply favorably with its objectives to its clientèle and has, likewise, been successful in informing its clientèle about its services.

The general conclusion of this study is somehow an obvious finding : the library has been able to communicate its objectives to its clientele and has been likewise, successful in informing then of its services. The felt problems of the users have surfaced, with the more grievous ones ( as considered by the respondents per the frequency of citation ) well focused so that the recommendatory portion of this study can delineate them.

Barely 6% of the respondent considered “not important” in the areas of concerns related to their occupation or schooling (see Table 1). Indeed, three fourths of them marked the library services as either “very important” or important to them. As a sort of referendum to the “ popularity of TJCC service, as of data, the survey can be considered as qualified high endorsement.

The first recommendation resolves around the need for continuous assessment of service acceptance. That is to say, that at a certain frequency, a survey such as the one implemented in this study ought to be undertaken to update management on the users' perception of library's objectives as well as its rules and procedures in the use of facilities and services.

One accurate finding of the study can be gleaned from the general tenor of the answers on the alleged insufficiency of materials on “other countries aside from the USA” and even on “local or Philippine informational materials” show the need for re-orientation (or reorientation for new users) on the rationale of the TJCC's existence, that is, as a special library of the United States government. We recommend, therefore, a scheduled information drive to clarify this and related matters.

Thirdly, while the respondents commended the staff generally, some remarks showed the existence of disturbing negative public relations features both in the actuations of library personnel and in a few procedural matters grating the sensitivities of users. In service training of the TJCC should lay a bit more emphasis on clientele-librarian relationship. This especially called for in the Philippines with her Asian or Oriental culture which serves a very strong value on SIR or smooth-interpersonal-relationship as a quality sought after from those engage in public services. The TJCC is, of course, a public service, albeit of the USA, in friendly country.

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