Designing a virtual information service system for National Library of Uganda
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The study aimed at designing a virtual information services system to support the provision of information services to the library users at National Library of Uganda. The study objectives were to examine the state of information services offered at National Library of Uganda, identify the challenges in e-information services system for National Library of Uganda, find out the user requirements for designing an e-information services system for National Library of Uganda and design a virtual reference service system for National Library of Uganda. The study employed a case study design while adopting the qualitative and quantitative approaches in the data collection. Purposive sampling technique was used to select lecturers and the librarians who participated in the study whereas simple random method was used to select the students who participated in the study. Questionnaires, interviews and observation guides were used to collect the data for the study. The study revealed that National Library of Uganda provides different information services to the users such as clientele visiting the library reference desk to seek, library website that the library uses to offer information services and via use social media such as face book, twitter and others. The study also established that National Library of Uganda use various ways while offering information services to its users. These included; through face to face interaction, use of emails, access the information services through the use of social media, and access information services through phone calls. There different challenges affecting the provision of information services to the library users of National Library of Uganda. The study revealed that these challenges include; face a challenge of long line at the reference desk, a challenge of busy reference desk, a challenge of few reference materials from the library, few reference workers, and lack of a separate reference section. The study concluded that there was a need to; acquire more information reference materials, use both the tradition method alongside the electronic information services, collaboration of National Library of Uganda with other libraries, conducting in house meeting and training sessions and to design an e-information services system for the university library to solve the above challenges. The study recommended the University library to: implement the system in order to effectively provide information services to the users of the library.