User perceptions of service quality and level of user satisfaction at the Mangosuthu University Technology's Natural Sciences Library, Umlazi, Durban 2016.
Ncwane, Siyabonga Elgius.
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This study examined the quality of service provided by Mangosuthu University of Technology’s Natural Sciences Library (MUT-NSL) from the perspective of the users of the library. The study assessed the users’ perceptions of the quality service and determined the level of user satisfaction at the MUT-NSL. The purpose of the study was to determine the gaps between user expectations and perceptions of the service quality and to ascertain the level of user satisfaction at the library. The study population consisted of 318 registered undergraduate students, 164 postgraduate students and 89 staff. Of the 482 students and 89 staff under study, 323 responded to the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 56.56%. The identification of the gaps in the library services and the assessment results can improve service delivery. The intention of the study was to measure the users’ perceptions of the quality of the collections, library facilities and staff services. The results will be used for service improvements and to make informed decisions concerning the quality of service that is offered at the MUT-NSL. The LibQUAL+™ survey instrument was used to measure the gap between customer expectations for excellence and their perceptions of the actual services delivered by the library. The questionnaire consisted of both open-ended and closed questions although the latter predominated. The three dimensions of service quality, that is, access to information, staff service and library facilities formed the core of the instrument. The research method used for this study was the descriptive survey. The stratified proportional sampling method was used. Results were analysed using SPSS to determine the frequency of responses. The results were displayed using tables and figures. The results from this indicate that there is small gap between users’ expectations and users’ perceptions of service quality delivered at the MUT-NS Library. However, there were instances where gaps were significant and clearly these do need to be addressed by library management. The extent of the gap varies depending on the individual services. There were perhaps understandable variations within the different user categories of respondents, namely postgraduate students, undergraduate students and academic staff, concerning library usage, perceptions and level of satisfaction of service quality at the MUT- NS Library. The findings of the study revealed that most of the users who were the students and staff rated the overall quality of service as good. Based on the findings, recommendations were made to address problems presented to improve service and increase the level of user satisfaction at the MUT-NS Library.