It is a real challenge before the Librarians to enhance the service quality in order to fulfill the ever increasing aspirations of the readers of libraries. As a result of limitations of funds and also cutback funds problems crop up in maintaining libraries. Specially in these circumstances librarians of academic libraries are facing grave difficulties. To keep up the existing services and to introduce new services as well as to maximizing the requirements of the readers, there is an impact of these cutback funds. Under these circumstances, through getting feedbacks of readers, it is possible to remove the unnecessary services and include or introduce new services. Service quality models which are utilized by Library Science Researchers can be used for this purpose. It appears in literature analyzing service quality models have been utilized which are introduced by people such as Parasuraman and Tailor.
When we look at the researches done in the field of University libraries in Sri Lanka, it is apparent that researches are very few. In comparison with the other countries, it appears as there is no researches with regard to service quality. In literature reviews, information could be found of two researches conducted in Sri Lankan universities on service quality. One such research has been conducted by Library users of the Science faculty of the Colombo University to measure the service quality status. The other research has been conducted only using students of four Art faculties of University of Sri Lanka. These two researches anticipated to measure the service quality of libraries. In these two researches Parasuram’s Servqual model has been used.
For this research students of ten universities, Post graduates, and academic staff have been engaged. It is intended to comparatively review the service quality and user satisfaction in these researches. This is the first research conducted in the field of libraries in Sri Lanka. In literature analysis directly similar to the subject similar researches cannot be found even in other countries.
When looking at the Universities of Sri Lanka, it is apparent that it is not progressive. It has not up to the constantly progressing advanced technology. There is no accepted methodology to measure service quality and user satisfaction. Yet it is emphasized in workshops, conferences and researches that there is a necessity of such a methodology. This necessity has been realized by the officials of the University Grant Commission. University Grant Commission has initiated a Quality Assurance Unit in 2008 for analyzing of Service quality in libraries. Prior to quality inspection by the relevant unit through conferences and discussions awareness programs were conducted for the Administrative Officers of the universities. It is intended to carry out this task intermittently.
This research has been conducted by collecting data from readers on all services in Universities of Sri Lanka and they are divided mainly into four dimensions and under them to 60 attributes. Through this, it can be realized that the status of service quality and user satisfaction of the contemporary libraries. More over through this background has been prepared for future research activities in Universities. These findings will be helpful to libraries and stakeholders to improve their current situation of the academic libraries in Sri Lanka further more.