Affective relationships between users and libraries in times of economic stress

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Giannopoulou, Angeliki
Tsakonas, Giannis
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Academic libraries are considered as key factors in the educational system of a country and strong pylons for the economic and societal development. During the current economic recession, libraries have been struck by severe budget cuts that have forced them to shrink and to reconsider services to the end users. Important questions that have been raised in countries, such as Greece, which has been in the eye storm of the economic downturn and has witnessed severe societal changes, include how libraries respond to this change of conditions, how they improve their service level and how they minimize user dissatisfaction. Moreover, one of the key questions is what is the range of substantial or symbolic interventions that can improve users’ affective relationship with the libraries? The study aimed to measure the opinion of academic libraries users on four main criteria categories, namely cost, space and atmosphere, personnel behavior, and facilitation of collaborative work, and to reflect the level of affective relationship of users with their libraries. The study provides representative findings from all Greek academic libraries and shows that libraries are considered as spaces that facilitate pleasant reading and studying, as well as efficient collaborative work. Library users are in overall satisfied by the personnel behavior and productivity, but they also believe that there are margins for further improvement of its knowledge, while they think that the cost of services should be revised and echo the current situation. The findings of the study can assist library administrators to define the range of interventions and to prioritize them in a period of limited resources.
Ικανοποίηση χρηστών, Αξιολόγηση εξυπηρέτησης, Ελληνικές ακαδημαϊκές βιβλιοθήκες, Ποιότητα εξυπηρέτησης