Design and performance evaluation of mobile web services in libraries: A case study of the Oriental Institute of Technology Library.

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Purpose – This research aims to use the Oriental Institute of Technology Library (the OIT Library) in Taiwan as a case to introduce some of the mobile web services which can be provided by a library, as well as to investigate and discuss the first two mobile web services offered by the OIT Library, the due‐day reminder and renewal‐request services, at length. Furthermore, the performance evaluation of the two services is conducted. Design/methodology/approach – This research employs system logs and patron questionnaires to understand the effectiveness of, and patron satisfaction toward, the two services. Findings – Results of system log analysis show that the usage of the two services improves the average number of overdue occurrences, average amount of overdue fines, average amount of overdue fines per transaction, and average overdue rate; furthermore, the use of the services also indirectly increases the number of items borrowed by patrons, which corresponds with the questionnaire analysis as well. Results of questionnaire analysis show that 71.3 per cent and 87.5 per cent of the respondents are strongly satisfied with the due‐day reminder and renewal‐request services, respectively. Practical implications – As a case study, this research provides a direction on designing mobile web services for a library. In addition, it points out how to evaluate the performance and patron satisfaction of mobile web services through system log analysis and patron questionnaire. Originality/value – This research increases the understanding of what mobile web services can be offered by a library. In addition, many previous studies only describe certain kinds of mobile web services without showing their efficacy; however, this research evaluates the efficacy of two mobile web services in the OIT Library by an unobtrusive system log analysis, which is then complemented by a patron questionnaire.