Library’s Impact on Student’s Learning in Saudi Arabia Research Paper Example

The current paper explores the link between the library’s environment and students’ learning. A large sample from Prince Mohammad University, in particular, 200 students of both sexes, participated in this study with the age varying from 23 to 27. The participants varied in their majors and in their levels of English proficiency. The participants had to answer ten questions from the survey list. The surveys were then collected and analyzed by the author. The study results demonstrated that the PMU library does not have the sufficient resources to meet its students’ needs and enhance their overall learning experience. Thus, the library is not well equipped to meet the need of its students or faculty at this time. The results of the study discovered the need for change in the library of Prince Mohammad University. It is expected that the changes would encourage students to spend more time in the library and improve their academic performance.

The Library at Prince Mohammad University

Libraries are the heart of most colleges or universities all around the world. For centuries, they have been the place where knowledge is found and the source of many great academic researches. Having a well-equipped library within campus is more important in the lives of college students today than in the past. With the shift to the use of advanced technology within libraries, it has been essential to have libraries that are prepared to meet the need of students. Great academic researches today are associated with universities that have well-designed libraries, which offer its student the access to great resources and many other services. Thus, in order to see creativity and academic improvements within the student work, libraries must be equipped to assist them in many ways. Lacking the essential resources at the library will eventually affect the work result of students.

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This research paper is written to explore the library at Prince Mohammad University at the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The research paper will be analyzing then evaluating if the PMU library has the sufficient resources to meet its students’ needs and enhance their overall learning experience. Moreover, the paper will attempt to study and resolve any problems a student may have with the resources available or not available at the PMU library. Additionally, the purpose is to analyze the library’s features and attempt to compare it to other libraries within the region. Lastly, the paper will determine whether the students at PMU are aware of the services available and if they are in more need for additional resources.

The article “Making a Smart Campus in Saudi Arabia” by Abuelyaman will be used as an example of how smart campus library boosts the learning and the creativity of students. The article highlights the significance of having highly qualified teachers who can utilize smart technologies within a campus having trustworthy resources presented for its students. It also lays emphasis on how essential it is for students and faculties to have access to libraries resources anytime.

“Evaluating the Usability of Saudi Digital Library’s Interface (SDL)” is a study conducted by Alasem. The study used questionnaires and surveys as a method for evaluating the usability of SDL’s interface. Some of factors included and tested were good organization, usefulness, nice appearance and ability to learn. Some of the results pointed toward that most students are not satisfied with the aesthetic appearance as well as some of the Internet applications used within the library.

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“Graduate Student’s Information Needs from Electronic Information Resources in Saudi Arabia” is a study by Al-Saleh, which explored how libraries in Saudi Arabia meet the needs of students of the main county universities. In particular, the authors of the study surveyed the graduates from Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) in Makkah, King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, and King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran. The study indicated that the students faced many barriers in acquiring information for their university assignments. Additionally, it showed that although majority of students could access the information they needed, a large minority of them could not make sense of it. It showed the limitations of the electronic databases of the university libraries.

“The Role of the Library and Information Science Professionals as Managers: A Comparative Analysis” is the article by Ahmad and Yaseen, which shows competences of Library & Information Science (LIS) professionals as organization managers. The authors of the article find analogies between those who perform managerial duties and LIs Professionals. Thus, it highlights the need for librarians with managerial skills to keep the users of the libraries satisfied.

“University Libraries in Saudi Arabia” is the study by University professors Bamofleh and Mubarak. This descriptive study provides the readers with the fundamental information about the libraries at King Saud University, Umm AlQura University, and King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals. It contains the historical reviews of the libraries of these universities and their branches. Besides, it provides one with the list of collections, the levels of library automation, information services and digital libraries projects.

The article “The Once and Future Library” by Herman argues that the academic libraries need to address specific challenges in the modern world. Because of the diversity of students, the libraries should be diverse in their management, delivery and services. They should be ready to provide their educational services for a range of skill levels. They should be flexible to support each educational program. In short, this article indicates the upcoming issues that modern libraries face or will face in the nearest future.

“Non-Librarians as Managers: The Case of State University Libraries in Saudi Arabia” is the article by Khurshid, which reveals the flaws of the modern librarians at state university libraries in Saudi Arabia. The author recommends preparation a group of highly proficient librarians by sending them on corresponding scholarships to library in North America and Europe.
“Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World” is the book by Lankes. This book is a winner of the 2012 Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature; it uncovers the role libraries play in the modern world. Here, the readers find the mission of the modern libraries based on the current expectations. It appears that libraries are no longer the centers of information. Instead, they have become the core of learning, stewards of cultural heritage and symbols of community aspirations. That is a destination point for all academic libraries in Saudi Arabia.

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The article “Prince Mohammad Bib Fahd University Adopts Complete E-library Solution” talks about the performance of the complete electronic library solution from Arabian Advanced Systems. Though Prince Mohammad Bib Fahd University was established in 2008, it implemented new technologies later. It shows that the Prince Mohammad University recognizes the needs of students and does everything possible to meet them.

“A Model for Evaluating User Satisfaction with Government Libraries in Saudi Arabia” is a research article by Tameem. The author of this study accomplished a survey to find out the relationship between the education level of the library users and their satisfaction. The results of the study showed that the higher level of education of the employees of Ministry of Foreign Affairs was, the less satisfied they were with the quality of library services. The most disappointing services included card catalog, photocopying and staff assistance.

The significance of the study is to examine the library at Prince Mohammad University. This research paper will describe the various resources available at PMU library to enhance the students learning process. In addition, it will aim to determine whether such resources are sufficient and if the students are aware of all types of services the PMU library offers.

Participants

The participants of the study were students of Prince Mohammad University at the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The sample of the study consisted of 200 students majoring in a range of specialties. The gender distribution of a sample contained 148 (74%) males and 52 (26%) females. The age of the respondents varied from 23 to 27. The command of English, as an important factor in library usage, differed among the respondents. Among all, there were 93 students who claimed their English proficiency as very good. The rest of the respondents had either good proficiency 45 or an average proficiency 43. Only 19 students said they did not have any skills in English language.

The sample was chosen by the two criteria, large size and variety of student’s majors. First, the larger sample of the students had to ensure low margin of errors. Large quantity of participants thus aimed at reliability of the study. Second, students’ specialties varied from Interior Design, Business Administration, and Finance to English. This step helped to ensure objectivity of the study. At the same time, a sample had to represent of the academic disciplines by random selection of each of them. Random sampling prevents subjective biases in the process of selection.

Materials

The survey instrument was the main method used to collect data for this research paper. The materials were prepared beforehand by typing 250 exemplars for the further use in the research. Each survey contained ten questions intended to discover main information about the impact of the university library on students’ learning. They were related to the awareness of library’s services and sources, the need for changes, the nature of changes and factors encouraging students to spend more time studying in the library. The aim of the survey was to find out the information students need, their searching strategies and locations. There were 200 usable responses received from the survey. The full list of survey questions can be found in the Appendix section.

Procedures

Data collection was conducted using the survey instrument described above. Surveys were distributed between students at different times and days throughout the week of April. The author of this research administered the surveys in different classrooms and library of Prince Mohammad University. All the required efforts were made to encourage students participate in the survey. All the efforts proved to be effective resulting in 99.9 % response rate. Then, the surveys were collected and analyzed in order to find the answers to the main research questions. In particular, the surveys were grouped by the prevailing answers indicating rates of satisfaction with the library services and suggestions to improve it.

Analysis

This research paper was written to examine the library at Prince Mohammad University at the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The research findings indicated that all of the students of Prince Mohammad University have used (93%) or at least tried (7%) to use the library’s resources for their academic information needs. It appeared that students with higher English proficiency use library sources more than those with a low level of language proficiency do. As the library has more English titles than Arabic ones, some students find difficulties with home tasks preparation. Not all of students’ attempts accessing library were successful because of the range of difficulties students had using the library resources. In particular, 60 students indicated that there are no studying areas for groups in the library. They hoped to expand more studying areas in the library. On the other hand, 50 students reported that they did go to the library, as they should, because it is not prepared in a way to encourage students to come and spend time there. Thus, the most widespread flaw mentioned was the lack of the common area. These students admitted it was a main hindrance to their efficient preparation of group tasks. Apart from that, half of the students complained of unavailability of library sources. They pointed out to the fact that most of its resources are within the library and they could not access it when they were not at campus. It created serious difficulties in their academic research. Additionally, it appeared that the library lacked a wide range of books and magazines, comparing to the tuition students pay and to the number of student at Prince Mohammad University. To add even more, the library staff does not arrange extra help for students to find their books elsewhere if they cannot find it in the library. Hence, students are dissatisfied with the achievement of information success, which often can be insufficient.

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The results point to the fact that the PMU library does not have the sufficient resources to meet its students needs and enhance their overall learning experience. Thus, the library is not well equipped to meet the need of its students or faculty at this time. Overall, the study proved that, because of the different reasons, the extensive information resources of Prince Mohammad University do not meet student needs. Most of the students are deterred from using library resources, apparently due to different barriers.

Given research-paper examines the library at Prince Mohammad University. It is to inspect the library’s resources and services to student at PMU. It shows that the PMU library is not well equipped to meet the need of its students or faculty at this time. Students find it difficult to get an access to the library sources when not in campus and because a large part of the resources is written in English language. The research shows that the students are fully aware of the sources provided, but they cannot benefit from that due to the abovementioned reasons. The main students’ complains included lack of studying area, common area, lack of adequate materials, and it resembles the problems other students experience throughout Saudi Arabia (Tameem, 1992; Al-Saleh, 2004; Bamofleh & Allohaibi, 2009). The results of this research point to the increasing need of implementation changes to the libraries of Saudi Arabia, and to the PMU library in particular. Modern libraries should be willing to adjust to new demands of students and be ready to deal with the contemporary challenges. As Lankes (2014) notices, libraries are no longer information centers, they have to expand to something more than that. One of the possible solutions is to prepare a group of highly proficient librarians by sending them on corresponding scholarships to libraries in North America and Europe (Khursid, 2013). Perhaps, borrowing Western patterns of managing university libraries would be of a great use to those of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the library should deal with its local problems as soon as possible.

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The recommended steps are the following:

  • First, increasing number of common areas for students should be considered.
  • Second, number of studying areas for students should be enlarged.
  • Third, the students should have remote access to all sources.
  • Fourth, the library should take care of sufficient quantity of materials in Arabic language.
  • Fifth, the library staff should arrange extra help for students to find their books elsewhere if they cannot find it in the library.

With the implementation of these changes, the students of Prince Mohammad University would love to spend much time in the library and thus, their academic performance would improve.