Tyler & Hastings

Factors Influencing Virtual Patron Satisfaction with Online Library Resources and Services

Katherine Tyler, Joint Special Operations University
Nancy B. Hastings, University of West Florida


College students are accessing virtual libraries whether they are on campus or learning from a distance. Academic institutions serving virtual patrons must remain focused on meeting the needs of those library users by continually examining their preferences, their searching behavior, and the information they seek. The purpose of this research was to determine if virtual patrons are satisfied with the resources and services being provided by a university’s online library. Following a web-based survey, demographic characteristics of students were analyzed to determine if any influenced students’ satisfaction. Using analysis of variance, correlation, and descriptive statistics, several demographic factors were found to influence student satisfaction with the library’s online resources: age, gender, achieved educational level, student status, and computer experience. One factor, computer experience, was found to influence student satisfaction with the library’s online services. Overall, students reported satisfaction with the university’s online library resources and services. Comments submitted to open-ended questions regarding areas for improvement to the online library provide library administrators with avenues for development to increase awareness of library services, focus improvement in navigation, and enhance student satisfaction.

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