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Factors influencing perceived usability and utility of LIBERTAS at Cranfield :

By Peter Brooks


A survey of user opinions towards and experience of Cranfield’s LIBERTAS library automation system was conducted in order to determine user attitudes towards the system, user characteristics which predict these attitudes and the key areas for improvement in service provision. The survey (n = 137) included student and staff users of the academic library and included in-library and remote access of LIBERTAS. Two key attitudes concerned the main uses to which LIBERTAS can be put and the learning effort required for its use. The study identified that in general user perceptions of the utility and usability of the system are positive but indicate the need for improvements in system design and user education. It was found possible to predict more positive user attitudes on the basis of regularity and frequency of general system use and, in particular, use of the inter-library loan facility and certain catalogue searching facilities. However, other user characteristics such as demographic details and previous education and experience were not found to be associated with user attitudes toward the system. Six service change areas were identified from user opinion on recommended improvements and were concerned with additional functionality, system prompts, paper-based information support, training, Boolean searching and networking. Recommendations for service improvements in each of these areas are provided and include networking LIBERTAS with CD-ROM bibliographic retrieval systems.CI

Year: 1992
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Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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