Loughborough University
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An analytical investigation of the library and information services of the Arab National Commissions for Unesco

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posted on 2010-11-05, 16:02 authored by Atif Y.M. Yousef
The purpose of this study is to investigate the current situation of the library and information services of the Arab National Commissions for Unesco. Based on a desired image anticipated by the respective Organisations and the Commissions, and in consideration of the requirements of a specialised library to support the mission of its parent commission, a theoretical framework to act as a guide through this investigation was developed. Within the context of this framework, the relevant components and factors were identified. The focus was placed on input and output factors, and the interaction made by users with these components. For this purpose, a survey of the libraries, and two parallel surveys of both internal and external users were carried out. Relevant data was collected through questionnaires, interviews, visits and observation. Hypotheses to examine the level of use by internal users and how their characteristics influenced the frequency of use were designed and tested. Being interested in certain topics, and seeking information to perform certain tasks were the main significative factors influencing the level of use of internal users. The distance, external users travelled to the library, was the main factor influencing their use. The study also intended to identify the problems inherent in these libraries, and to detect the causes of these problems. A hypothesis designed to examine the relationships among personal attributes and their frequency of encountering the problems was tested. Another hypothesis to test the relationship between some input elements and the frequency of encountering problems was also tested: The main problems relating to availability and accessibility of information, originated from the libraries rather than from the users. In addition, the study considered the needs of internal users, and their level of use, their methods of getting information from the libraries, and what action they took to solve the problem of availability. A general assessment of the effectiveness of the services was discussed, and the main problems hindering the effective role of the libraries were identified. In the light of the analysis of the literature, and the findings of the study, the desired image became more apparent, and an action plan for the development and improvement of the services was formulated.



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© Atif Yousef

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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