In 2014, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak commissioned a research to investigate library users’ reading habits and leisure time activities in the state of Sarawak. The study was conducted at seven town and fourteen village libraries, involving 843 respondents of various socio-economic, cultural and demographic backgrounds. This study found out that 81% of the library users in Sarawak were self motivated to read. 97% of the users were interested in reading and read on their own; were self-influenced (81%); loved reading materials in their own language (90%); loved to read books about their cultures (94%); enjoyed going to library (93%); and their habit was reading (73%). The library users read comparatively less outside the library; preferred reading materials in Malay and English languages; and loved to read books written in their mother tongues and about their cultures. 67% of library users were satisfied with the Internet provision and they utilized the Internet to gain knowledge (57%), pleasure (46%) and for academic work (45%). While a great majority (88%) thought that the Internet enhanced academic competence, a reasonable number (64%) indicated that they were not sure about the library electronic resources. The comparative study on rural and urban library users provided significant differences. The users of urban libraries enjoyed better access to information resources as compared to rural users. The main causes of the problem were limited number of quality academic reading materials; obsolete collections; library staff attitude; lack of community engagement; and lack of online services and flexible operating hours.
Bronny Lawrence Nawe, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak (Sarawak State Library), Malaysia
Stream: LAIM: User behaviour, needs and expectations
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