Week 5 | Point of view | Academic libraries should support leisure reading..

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    • #1310
      Peldon P
      Participant

      I am of the opinion that academic libraries should support their customer’s leisure reading and I would like to lay down my point of view based on the following 3 points:

      1. User experience
      2. Promote library use
      3. Low literacy rate

      The reason leisure reading materials are becoming extinct in the academic libraries is due to budget shortage and not seeing the provision according to Erin M. Watson (2013). However, Pauline Dewan (2010) argues the survival of the academic libraries is dependent on the user’s need and preferences and libraries need to evolve based on the users. If academic libraries want to retain their patrons and justify their existence, the need to cater to all kinds of user’s needs is imperative; after all modern libraries are all concerned about providing the best user experience according to Pauline Dewan (2010), and that includes the popular reading materials. For instance, as a QUT student , I have borrowed from the library more novels than prescribed text books or subject guides, still it can be little frustrating when the QUT Library doesn’t have the novel I intend to read. Buying books from the Amazon is not an appealing idea considering you need the book for one time use only.

      There is a growing concern among the libraries that if internet can fulfill the library patrons’ information need, they would no longer need to visit the library building Pauline Dewan (2010). Therefore libraries need to prove that they have more to offer than what appears. The best way to do that is to get the readers hooked to their popular reading collections. Today where social technologies dominates the entertainment and leisure activities, it is easy to get distracted therefore mainstream reading is at the risk of becoming unpopular and so is the library. In such situations, most students hate to go the extra-mile to procure reading materials but may be persuaded to read if the materials are readily available and handy. Jenkins et al (2012) states that leisure reading is viewed as the opportunity to promote academic library use and to support extra-curricular indirectly. In fact academic libraries must serve as the one-stop shop for its patrons and students so they need not take their reading pleasures elsewhere.

      According to reading facts (2013), 1 in 4 children cannot read by the time they leave primary school, 35% of adult do not read for pleasure. It also states that reading is a challenge across demography therefore it is important to motivate students because motivation is essential for acquiring literacy skills. Research shows that there is a high correlation of good health to active reading habits. Hence it is important for the academic libraries to support leisure readings so that the reading habits will be inculcated in students at an early age. The reason for declining interest in reading in college/university students is attributed by the emergence of the internet (web 2.0). Research reports that people still read for pleasure but it is under pressure having to compete with other activities. Therefore Pauline Dewan (2010) believes that academic libraries can help in changing that trend.

      • This topic was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Peldon P.
      • This topic was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Peldon P.
      • This topic was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Peldon P.
    • #1418

      I’m a huge supporter of your point of view Peldon! I think academic libraries providing leisure time reading for users must be a win-win situation – providing a desirable service and increasing library circulation at many levels. So far I haven’t investigated the QUT library’s leisure reading but based on your experience I’ll give it a go. I can never have too many books in my life 🙂 Thanks for this reflection.

      • #1428
        Peldon P
        Participant

        Hi Robyne thank you very much for the kind words, your feedback means so much to me because you’re very learned and positive person. Please be critical and let me know if somethings are not right, I’m very new to libraries so open to criticism and eager to learn. As for the materials I think QUT does have a small collection but does not have all the novels I intend to read, it’s quite frustrating. Thank you :).

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