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A Study on the Attitude of Academic Libraries toward the Subject Specialist Services
subject specialist service
“The library is the heart of the university”. This quote indicates that the library holds the academic function of the university. However, in the digitalized environment, scholar communities are transferring their research tools to google and on-line messengers are replacing what libraries did in the past. Such being the case, libraries have begun to provide many new services to enhance performance and functionality. The subject specialists are academic and research librarians with specialized knowledge, skills and experience of particulars fields. They integrate all the services to the research communities, including collection recommendation, library instruction and reference services. The subject specialist service has become a trend and a good system in the European and American research libraries but it just started two to five years ago in Taiwan. Because of the different research environments, we cannot follow the system totally. So this research aims to investigate the current status of implementation and find the difficulties and challenges. This study uses questionnaire surveys to detect eight universities which have offered the subject specialist service. It is intended to identify the current status of execution and probe into the views as to the subject specialist service of the directors versus the subject librarians as well as find the difference in between. The conclusions are summarized as follows. 1. There are eight academic libraries that provide subject specialist services. The services have been executed for two five years. The specialist services are often taken care of by the reference department/ the reference and extension department. Many of the subject librarians also take the job as reference librarian. Thus, their work is multiplied and complicated. Actually, it is found that their work is mainly focused on reference service and information service. 2. “The communication skill” and “the analysis and problem-sloving abilities/ creativity” is the most important attitude as to being a subject librarian in the director and the subject librarian`s views. 3. “The knowledge of particular field” and “the faculty`s view relating to the library” and “the attitude and enthusiasm of the subject librarian” are the impacts on the services performance. 4. “The storage of the knowledge of the subject librarian”, “the storage of human resources” and “ the lack of the evaluation and consult system” are the difficulties of the subject specialist services at the moment. 5. The most substantial changes for the library are “increasing the communication to the user”, “promoting the profession image” and “uplifting the satisfaction of the users”. 6. The knowledge of particular field influences the development of the subject specialist service, so the subject librarian should uphold their professional abilities as much as possible.
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