A virtual reference service system for YMCA Comprehensive Institute Library - Kampala
MetadataShow full item record
Reference service is an important personalized service in the library and information centers. Traditionally, it’s a face to face physical interaction between the librarian and library users in quest for different information sources. However, the present epoch is rapidly being transformed by technology. Thus, with the development of jerky technology, the approaches of providing reference service in the libraries and information centers is progressively changing. Many academic institutions are now offering it in a spiced and more developed form known as virtual or digital reference service. It’s adopted due to the existence of need to save more transport costs and time in travelling to the information centers, reduction in the operation hours of different institutions, the need to minimize unnecessary movements and social distance in order to stay safe from Covid-19 as well as need to respond towards technology. Different institutions have adopted online studies thus need to provide information resources to their students digitally as well. YMCA is one of the institutions in the country that have adopted the trend of online studies in the country much as the information resources had not yet been availed in the way that they can be accessed remotely. Therefore, limited or total physical inaccessibility to the library and its reference desk has set a communication barrier which is a great phenomenon to the YMCA library users and librarians. The purpose of the research project was to address the communication gap and the challenges faced by YMCA library users while using the provided reference services at the institute. The availability of a virtual reference service system will enable YMCA library users to remotely access the Library resources, make different enquiries and share knowledge instantly without physically reaching the library. To design the system, data was collected using interviews and questionnaires. Quantitative data analysis was used to analyze data from library users using SPSS and Content analysis was also used to summarize and interpret data collected during the interviews, from which the system requirements for the virtual reference service system were derived. Microsoft Visio was used to design the Context Diagram, DFD, ERDs and Use Cases of the application.