Loughborough University
MPhil-1992-Tam.pdf (6.02 MB)

User study of the online catalogue in an academic library in Hong Kong

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posted on 2013-06-25, 15:52 authored by Lawrence W.H. Tam
The purpose of the investigation was to throw some light on the use of the online catalogue, particularly whether some variables of users such as attitudes toward computers and personal background, e.g. educational level, age sex, prior exposure to computers, had affected the rate of success in searching the online public access catalogue (OPAC). The sample consisted of about 200 users of the OPAC of the Hong Kong Polytechnic Library. Data was collected by questionnaires and transaction logging. The main hypothesis was that the users' positive or negative attitudes toward computers before search did not affect the success rate of searching the OPAC. More specific hypotheses, stating that personal background, such as standard of education, age sex, etc. did not have an effect on the outcome of OPAC searching, were also tested. The null hypotheses were tested by using the Chi-Square statistical analysis. The attitude of users was measured by using the Likert scale. The main result, suggested by the statistical analysis, was that there was no statistically significant difference in the success rate of searching the OPAC by those who had a positive or negative attitude toward the computer. However, it was found that some differences in personal background, such as standards of education, had an effect on the outcome of the search of the OPAC. Since this investigation was carried out only at one location at a specific period of time on a limited sample, and on a particular type of OPAC, it would be necessary to test this hypothesis under similar conditions at other similar institutions on similar OPACs, before the finding of this investigation could be generalized.



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© Lawrence W.H. Tam

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A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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