The main purpose of the study was to investigate the library needs and library usage of external students in remote areas. The study emphasised external students’ perception of their own library needs. Four distinct areas of research evolved from the purpose of the study: to identify the library service needs of external students; to identify library use by external students; to identify external students’ perceptions of library needs; and to identify student status in relation to library use. Information was collected by an interview with former external students, a questionnaire to the libraries involved in the study and by Nominal Group Technique (NGT) sessions with external students. The primary instrument was a questionnaire to the external students in the population under investigation requesting information of their library usage and needs. The population under investigation were external students enrolled in the South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE) and resident in Whyalla, South Australia. It was decided to survey the total population rather than a sample because of the small numbers involved. Thirty-five responses were received out of a population of 52, representing a response rate of 69 percent. The results of the survey were analysed using a Statview SE statistical package and a spreadsheet and graphics package, Excel. Frequency distributions were computed to determine the number of respondents who selected each option. The study found that the external students who used libraries tended to use a variety of libraries. Students used not only their own institution’s library, but a range of libraries accessible to them in Whyalla. The study concludes by identifying issues, recommending possible solutions, and identifying areas for further research.
|Date of Award||1993|