Role of Greek Public Libraries: A Quantitative Study of Users Perception
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This study aimed to explore users’ perceptions of librarians working in public libraries in Greece. Specifically, it aimed to investigate how much users value librarian’s different roles; how often they seek assistance for performing specific tasks and how do they rate the assistance provided. The method of questionnaire was employed to meet the needs of this study. The relevant literature was used to inform the design of a questionnaire with overall fourteen questions. The questionnaire was handed out to users in seven public libraries located in different municipalities in the area of Attica and in total, 174 public library users participated. It was found that users perceived as more important the traditional roles of public librarians namely promoting reading, information retrieval, consultation in information search as well as providing instruction in the selection and use of information. Evolving roles of public librarian such as technology specialist, facilitating socialisation or providing support to people in e-government services, in seeking information regarding health issues as well as in job seeking were not highlighted as important. This research contributes in increasing our understanding of the way users perceive public librarians’ roles and value the offered services. It is one of the few studies investigating users’ perceptions of librarian’s roles.
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