An approach to marketing in special and academic libraries of Sri Lanka : a survey with emphasis on services provided to the clientele

Garusing Arachchige, J. J. An approach to marketing in special and academic libraries of Sri Lanka : a survey with emphasis on services provided to the clientele., 2002 [Preprint]


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English abstract

The concept of marketing covers not only the buying and selling for financial gain, but also the achievement of organizational objectives successfully. Thus the term 'marketing' has a wider and deeper sense, which proliferates the organization's successive achievements. Modern marketing is applied not only to the profit making organizations, but also to the non-profit sector and social service organizations like libraries. Marketing in the library service sector intends the performances of planning, organizing, dissemination and controlling of information services on a proactive and user oriented way that ensures the user satisfaction while achieving the objectives of the parent organization. Information services system of Sri Lanka incorporates mainly the various library systems like academic libraries, special libraries, public libraries, school libraries and other information centers. Parent organizations of the libraries spend a large amount of money for their library activities. However, due to many reasons, most of these libraries seem to be under-utilized and have failed to satisfy the information needs of their users. One reason for this is considered to be the lack of marketing in their activities. Having no proper planning, the majority of libraries and information centers seem to be conventional, supply-led, and isolated in their service provision. Library personnel have not properly understood potential opportunities of their library business. They are less aware of their challenges and are not prepared to win the competitive advantages in the market. This study attempted to understand the present attitude to marketing in special libraries and academic libraries of Sri Lanka. Here the basic marketing performances of above libraries were examined. Focus was given on the investigation of the understanding of markets/potential markets, planning targeted services to accurate market segments, identification of competitive advantages, the application of marketing mixes (4Ps) etc. to libraries. It is also aimed at identifying the problems encountered in marketing of library and information services. Two tentative hypotheses were tested in the investigation. The sample survey technique, which involved an exploratory analysis of primary data related to the problem, was utilized as the methodology for the study. Structured written questionnaires were the main instruments used for the gathering of data from samples. 33 out of 50 special libraries and 20 out of 22 academic libraries responded to the questionnaire. Data analysis was completed with quantitative means such as percentage analysis, arithmetic mean analysis and qualitative descriptions using graphical presentation wherever needed. Hypotheses were proved with findings. Special libraries and academic libraries of Sri Lanka have a sufficient amount of resources acquired and market opportunities available. Yet, they practice poor marketing. In comparison, marketing performances are more available in special libraries than in academic libraries. Special libraries and academic libraries of Sri Lanka have cost recovery capabilities and even profit potentials from their services if they undertake proper marketing. Library personnel had very little knowledge of marketing principles. Lack of trained staff; poor library investments (allocations), insufficient technology and know-how etc. are identified as problems that hinder the practice of marketing. More research studies should be implemented in the field.

Item type: Preprint
Keywords: Marketing, survey, Library Science, Information marketing, non-profit marketing, Library management
Subjects: D. Libraries as physical collections. > DD. Academic libraries.
F. Management. > FB. Marketing.
Depositing user: Mr. J.J.G. Arachchige
Date deposited: 01 Oct 2005
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:01


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