Measuring the Quality of Internet Connectivity Service Rendered to South African Public Libraries
Keywords:South Africa, Public libraries, Community libraries, Internet access, Service quality models
The measuring of rendered services in any industry, especially in libraries, remains a critical tool to assess the satisfaction level of clients as well as the quality of the services. This article reports on a study that was undertaken to measure the quality of internet access service to South African public libraries by using the service quality model. The paper was guided by these objectives to identify the service quality models applicable to public libraries’ internet access; to determine how the quality of internet access service fits within the South African broadband policy; and to apply service quality dimensions to public libraries’ internet access. The study employed a quantitative approach and survey design in which a questionnaire was used to collect data from 322 heads of public libraries in South Africa. The stratified sampling method was used to obtain a proportional representation of public libraries. It emerged that most respondents regarded their internet service providers (ISPs) as incapable of solving their technical problems. It was further found that in most cases ISPs applied the internet access policies inconsistently to public libraries they served. The study recommended, among others, that internet connectivity to public libraries be centralised and that a competent provider be appointed to manage this service.
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