How Library Services Influence Students’ Perception of Service

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This paper takes the end products view and examines how far the various services within a library impact the perception of service quality by taking recourse to a structured literature review and a questionnaire survey within an overall phenomenological research design. The paper concludes that wherever there is no conscious strategic marketing of value-added library-based services like internet and electronic knowledge resources. it is the traditional services such as borrowing, referencing, reserving of books along with associated pricing which determines an overall view or perception of library resources.Education and fully paid for education particularly has acquired the status of a service industry and students are variedly viewed as customers. For instance, in the UK, Higher Education (HE) students were treated as the primary customers of a University (Crawford, 1991), even prior to the introduction of the system of paying the tuition fees up-front. This customer view of students makes the university offerings open to evaluation for satisfaction and contributes immensely to the image of the university which may have serious students’ retention implications apart from affecting the overall pool of potential entrants to the concerned university and school. As James et al (1999) state that the overall image of a university has a strong impact on the retention of current students and the attraction of potential students. It is also not hard to logically arrive at the conclusion that a university or a school that has poor image and reputation amongst its existing students and potential students would find it extremely difficult to attract funding and grants which would put the institution in a vicious circle of low funding-poor category students’ pool and make for a loosing commercial and educational proposition.The overall offering of a university, when viewed in the context of a service offering, comprises of a service component and a product component as (Sasser et al., 1978) state that the outcome of service delivery is a tangible product and a bundle of goods and services as the product offering.