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Virtual Information Services in Academic Libraries in Kuwait

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the status and prospect of virtual information services in academic libraries in Kuwait. The study conducted open-ended interviews of managers or heads of information services in 12 academic libraries about management and conduct of virtual information service and the possibilities about the future of these ser-vices. Also observed the functioning of services in 9 libraries. It was found that email was the common method for virtual communication in academic libraries in Kuwait. These libraries lacked in services using live chat and mobile application. Social media was mostly used for an-nouncements and marketing of library services. In addition, private aca-demic libraries provided advanced virtual services as compared to public academic libraries. Eight interviews were conducted by phone due to unavoidable circumstances related to both participants and researcher. One private academic institution did not allow access to its library, denying opportunities for observation. This paper provides insights on the way virtual information services were managed and conducted in these libraries. No similar study was noted in this regional context. The findings may help academic library management a better understanding of the issues and challenges they faced and the opportunities they might benefit in future.

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