University Students’ Awareness towards Online Access Tools: A Case Study of the University of Tsukuba


This study sought to identify students’ awareness and accessibility of the information access tools (OPAC and a MetaFind tool named, Tulips) provided by the University of Tsukuba Library. In addition, it attempted to identify whether students faced specific difficulties and challenges while using these online access tools for searching the library collection. A total number of 15 students of different nationalities and cultural/ethnic backgrounds from the University of Tsukuba took part in this study. Qualitative face-to-face interviews were conducted for obtaining information on students’ perceptions towards the user-friendliness of both OPAC and Tulips – in particular, to examine whether students were familiar with the basic searching and downloading functionalities of these two online access tools. The findings indicated that these student participants in general were aware of the availability of these two online access tools. However, they were unable to distinguish the functional differences between OPAC and Tulips. Owing to the language barrier, overseas students tended to face a higher level of difficulty when using both OPAC and Tulips. Furthermore, students of different academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds tended to have distinctive information needs and expectations. This study also revealed that more hands-on training (provided by the University Library) would be needed, if students are expected to make the best and maximum use of the library resources available.

Author Information
Chiranthi Wijesundara, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Patrick Lo, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Qinxiu Liu, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: LibrAsia2015
Stream: Librarianship - Information retrieval

This paper is part of the LibrAsia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon