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Leveraging quality web-based library user services in the digital age

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore key issues involved with opportunities, challenges, and future developing trends of delivering dynamic and distributed web-based academic library information resources, services, and instructions for library users in the digital age. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Based on the typical web-based, three-tier client/server architecture, this paper explores ten key issues how to leverage quality library user services in the digital age: roles of academic libraries; funding support; information resources; information access; information services; instructions and trainings; impacts of cutting-edge technologies and emerging technologies; web contents management and knowledge base; assessment and evaluation; and Librarians. Also discussed are the next-generation web-based client/server library information architecture and services in the foreseeable future. Findings ‐ With the rapid development of the internet and the world wide web, information exchange and information distribution can be transformed either by disparate formats or by dynamic channels. Knowledge, competence, and skills cannot follow up with the rapid advances of science and technologies. Many library users need assistance to access, locate, convert, synthesize, and evaluate information effectively and efficiently. It is very imperative for libraries and librarians to design, develop, enhance, implement, and deliver high quality user-centered information services, resources, and instruction at the fingertips of library users. Originality/value ‐ Target readers who include librarians, instructors, trainers, consultants, managers, IT specialists, executives, and other professionals who are involved with developing and delivering distributed library user services via the internet will find this article of value.
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Keywords: Digital communication systems; Libraries; User interfaces; Worldwide web

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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