Design and Performance Evaluation of Mobile Web Services in Libraries – A Case Study of the Oriental Institute of Technology Library

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Design and Performance Evaluation of Mobile Web Services

in Libraries – A Case Study of the Oriental Institute of

Technology Library

Chun-Yi Wang

Library of Oriental Institute of Technology E-mail: fa142@mail.oit.edu.tw

Hao-Ren Ke (Corresponding Author) Professor and Deputy Library Director,

Graduate Institute of Library and Information Studies, National Taiwan Normal University

E-mail: clavenke@ntnu.edu.tw

Wen-Chen Lu Library Director,

Oriental Institute of Technology, E-mail: winson@mail.oit.edu.tw

Chun-Yi Wang is a librarian of Library of Oriental Institute of Technology. He received in 2010 his M. S. degree in Degree Program of Computer Science, National Chiao Tung University. His research interests include library mobilization and digital library.

Hao-Ren Ke is a Professor of the Graduate Institute of Library and Information Studies, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). He is also the deputy director of the NTNU Library. His research interests include information retrieval, digital library, digital archives, web service, and data mining. How-Ren Ke is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: clavenke@ntnu.edu.tw.

Wen-Chen Lu is the director of Library of Oriental Institute of Technology. His research interests include library management and Chinese antiquities.

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Abstract

Purpose –This research uses 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% and 87.5% of the respondents are strongly satisfactory 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 evaluate 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.

Keywords Mobile Web, Library SMS Services, Mobile Video on Demand, Taiwan Paper type Research paper

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1. Introduction

The mobile Web is defined as the access of Internet- and/or browser-based

applications through a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet PC, connected to a wireless network (Kroski, 2008c; Wikipedia, 2010). Due to the benefits of mobile Web, including constant connectivity, location-aware, limitless access, and interactive capability (Kroski, 2008c), mobile devices and the associated applications become an indivisible part of people's daily lives. Twenty more activities (Kroski, 2008b) in which mobile Web users are currently engaged have been identified and can be divided into the following three categories (Kroski, 2008c):

1. Communication: text messaging, or short messaging service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), E-mail, instant messaging (IM), and social

networking.

2. Information and resources download and/or play: the download and/or play of ringtones, games, music files, video files.

3. Information search: the search of weather reports, breaking news, maps, location-based services, and reference resources.

More and more libraries are adopting existing mobile technologies to provide innovative services, as well as introducing ways for users to incorporate library services into their daily lives. A variety of mobile Web applications in libraries have been developed, including mobile library websites and MOPACs (Mobile OPACs), mobile collections, mobile library instruction, mobile databases, mobile library tours, mobile learning, library SMS notifications, mobile library circulation, QR codes, access to services (such as reserving study rooms and checking out laptops and E-book readers), and SMS reference (Berk et al., 2007; Bridges et al., 2010; Chandhok, 2011; Herman, 2007; Kroski, 2008a; Karim et al., 2006; Lippincott, 2008; Murray, 2010; Pin et al., 2009; TKK Library, 2009; Vila et al., 2010; Vromans

et al., 2009). In addition to providing mobile Web services in the library, Wilson and

McCarthy (2010) describe their cooperation with other groups on campus to offer relevant student-centered mobile Web services, such as campus directory, class schedule, and campus map. A good resource to know the implementation of mobile Web applications in libraries is Library Success: A Best Practice Wiki, which has an ―M-Libraries‖ entry listing a lot of libraries offering different kinds of mobile interfaces or applications (Library Success, 2010).

In recent years, Taiwan has seen a surge in the number of mobile phone users. In the first quarter of 2010, the mobile phone penetration rate in Taiwan reached 117.6%

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(with approximately 117.6 mobile phone numbers for every 100 people). Among those mobile communication users, 61.0% were 3G users, and 68.2% had enabled the functionality of mobile Web access (III, 2010). According to a survey on US cell phone owners, 90% of college students own a cell phone, and early mobile Web adopters are significantly represented by Generation Y, or users whose ages range from 18 to 27 (Golvin, 2008). Although there is no such a survey in Taiwan, it is believed that Taiwan has a similar trend.

To the authors' knowledge, only a few libraries in Taiwan provide mobile Web services. For instance, National Taiwan University (NTU) Library implements a MOPAC (http://tulips.ntu.edu.tw/screens/iphone.html). A few university libraries, such as National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), National Taitung University (NTTU), and Cheng Shu University (CSU) implement SMS notification services. Recently, NTTU Library made its debut for the mobile library website

(http://media.lib.nttu.edu.tw/m/), which is composed of opening hours, MOPAC, newly acquired titles, QR codes for electronic books, and Podcast programs. In addition, WebPACs of NTNU, NTU, and National Tsing-Hua University (NTHU) display in the full bibliographic view of an item the QR code that embeds the item's title, ISBN, call number, and location. Powered by Overdrive, Taipei Public Library provide audiobooks as well as e-books, musics, and videos.

Viewing the popularity of mobile communication in Taiwan and believing that libraries should offer services with the technology which their patrons are familiar with and frequently used in their daily lives, the Library of the Oriental Institute of Technology (the OIT Library) has started providing value-added services in the mobile Web. The purpose of this study is to investigate the process of incorporating mobile Web services into a library using the OIT Library as an example. Additionally, the study also examines effectiveness and patron satisfaction of the first two mobile Web services implemented by the OIT Library, named due-day reminder service and

renewal-request service. The rest of the article is organized as follows: Section 2

briefly introduces mobile Web services provided by the OIT Library, and Section 3 describes the two abovementioned services in detail. Sections 4 and 5 analyze the efficacy of and user satisfaction toward the two services; and the final section concludes this article.

2. OIT Library's mobile Web services

Founded in 1969, Oriental Institute of Technology (OIT) is an urban university located at the core of Taipei County, Taiwan. OIT consists of twelve departments

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covering the areas of engineering, management and nursing. As of spring 2010 the student body numbered approximately 5,200 students including 48 Master and PhD students; furthermore, around one-third of the students are part-time,

continuing-education students. The OIT Library has a collection of approximately 250,000 volumes of books, 800 periodical titles, 50,000 e-journal titles, 100,000 e-books, 70 electronic databases, and 10,000 units of non-book materials including CD ROMs, audiocassettes and videos etc. Due to its limited professional staff, six librarians, the OIT Library exerts itself in incorporating technology into the technical and patron services.

In order to facilitate ubiquitous library access for her patrons, the OIT Library

endeavors to systematically build mobile Web services. Currently, the OIT library has successfully provided three mobile Web services, including library SMS services, mobile video on demand (MVOD) system, and preview and reservation service of

new titles (See Table I).

Table I. OIT Library's Mobile Web Services

Services Start-up Time

Library SMS Services 2008/1

MVOD System 2009/2

New Title Preview and Reservation Service 2009/10

2.1. Library SMS services

Text message alerts is an entry-level mobile Web service for a library to offer its patrons speedy news announcement, event reminders, and other requested information. The OIT Library makes the following SMS notification services available to its

patrons:

1. Due-day reminder service: This service sends reminders to patrons when their

borrowed items are coming due. The design and implementation of this service will be explicated in Section 3.

2. Renewal-request service: This service accompanies the due-day reminder

service. If a patron receives a due-day reminder and wants to renew the item, the patron can click a renewal-request hyperlink provided in the text message to extend the due date of a borrowed item. The design and implementation of this service will be explicated in Section 3.

3. Overdue notification service: This service reminds patrons about overdue

items.

4. Request arrival notification service: This service reminds patrons about the

availability of reserved items.

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about important news, exhibitions, instructions, and so on.

6. New title notification service: This service lets patrons get informed of newly

acquired titles. This service accompanies the preview and reservation of new tiitles introduced in Section 2.3.

All the above SMS services are opt in, which means that patrons can determine by themselves whether to use any or all of these services. Patrons only need to activate on the library website and fill in their mobile phone numbers to avail of these services. Currently, patrons can use these services free of charge.

2.2. Mobile VOD system

The mobile VOD system (MVOD) enables patrons to play streaming videos of the library's VOD system on their mobile devices through Wi-Fi or 3G. The MVOD system has about 1,000 licensed videos, including Discovery Channel, National

Geographic Channel English learning programs, and lectures/speech delivered in the

campus. Users can search for the videos they want via simple metadata fields such as title and creator. Apart from the bandwidth issue, two major issues for establishing the MVOD system are video file format and user interface design.

The OIT Library surveys two popular video file formats for mobile devices, 3GP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GP) and FLV

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Video). The FLV format has quickly established itself as the format of choice for embedded video; furthermore, it can achieve smaller file size after compression, can provide video streaming, and are difficult for users to download whole videos; therefore, the OIT Library chooses FLV for the MVOD system.

For display on a tiny mobile screen, the OIT Library designs an interface suitable for the MVOD system with Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP). Due to the small screen sizes of mobile devices, such an interface should remove inessential functions (such as the system news), decrease the number of items shown in the category list or search results, and eliminate the display of some unimportant pieces of bibliographic information on an item; in addition, general limitations of mobile devices (Cao et al., 2006; West et al., 2006) and tips on designing mobile Web sites (Griggs et al., 2009) should be taken into account.

2.3. Preview and reservation service of new titles

As mentioned in Section 2.1, the OIT Library has developed a notification service for newly acquired titles. Normally, if a patron is interested in a new title, s/he must visit

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the library to borrow it. However, if the title is popular, before the patron reaches the library, it may have been checked out. In view of this, the OIT Library designs a service that allows patrons to preview and reserve new titles via their mobile devices.

Regarding the preview functionality, the OIT Library allows eligible patrons to view digitalized covers, author introduction, and table of contents of all newly acquired titles through their mobile devices. When a patron is interested in a new title, s/he can follow a hyperlink shown in his/her mobile device to reserve it. If a new title has been reserved by a patron, it can only be read by other patrons inside the library in the following three days; thus, the patron can arrange a convenient time to check out the title.

3. Due-day reminder and renewal-request services

The due-day reminder and renewal-request services are the first two mobile Web services developed by the OIT Library. Normally, the renewal of borrowed items is mostly accomplished using an e-mail notification, followed by the patron going online to extend the due date. The limitations of such a service are that patrons do not know that the items they borrowed are coming due until they check their e-mails and that the renewal process could only be performed when they have access to both computer and Internet. The OIT Library has incorporated due-day reminder into its SMS

services. Patrons receive text message notifications a day before their items are due; this eliminates the need for patrons to check their e-mails to determine if their items are due. Moreover, patrons can also renew their items directly through the use of their mobile devices.

The OIT Library develops an SMS transmission system that follows commands to send text messages. The system automatically browses the integrated library system and locates items that will be overdue the day after, and then sends text message notifications. The commands are not complex and require only minimal

understanding of basic Website design.

If a patron receives a due-day reminder on the mobile phone but has to find a computer with an Internet connection to extend the due date, the efficiency of the notification service would be diminished. It is more convenient to allow patrons to renew the items directly through their mobile phones right after they receive the notifications. This is the motivation behind the development of the renewal-request service.

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In the initial stage, the renewal-request service was completed through replying to the due-day reminder message. In order for the SMS transmission system to determine whether a patron has replied to a text message to extend the due date, the reply instruction code in the command functions of the SMS transmission system should first be programmed, as well as the program path that will be activated after a reply is received. When the SMS transmission system receives a reply and the content

corresponds to the instruction code, a program that receives and identifies the mobile phone number of the sender is activated and sends data to the integrated library system to determine whether the sender is allowed to extend the due date. For

instance, if the item has been reserved by other patrons, the sender are not allowed to extend the due date. Patrons will be notified whether their transaction was successful (a success message is sent to the patron, as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 3) or not (a failure message is sent to the patron, as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 3).

This method is complex because the SMS transmission system is required to

determine the validity of the instruction code to activate the renewal-request program. Additionally, the Library sends a reply text message to confirm the result of the transaction; in other words, a total of three text messages are needed to achieve the due-day reminder and renewal-request services each time, two from the Library and one from the patron; this means that the Library spends a considerable amount on text messaging fees to provide the renewal service, which does not turn out to be

economically efficient. Furthermore, past instances showed frequent occurrences of the SMS transmission system wrongly determining the instruction code or the patron entering the wrong instruction code, resulting in failure of the transaction. This initial renewal-request process is detailed in Figure 1.

To solve the complexity and low economic efficiency of the renewal-request service, the content of the text message was changed into a link, such as that shown on the captured screen shown in Figure 2. This allows patrons to click the link directly and access the network through GPRS or 3G and activate the renewal-request system as shown in Figure 3. This simplifies the complex structure of the system and eliminates the errors that could have been caused in the confirmation process; the OIT Library can also spend less on fees by not having to send two text message notifications to complete the renewal-request transaction. From the perspective of patrons, one message costs between NT$2 and NT$3, but after switching to performing the transaction using a program link, they reduce their expenditure to less than NT$1 for the packet fee.

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Is the text instruction correct? Due-day reminder Patron replies with

renewal-request text message The system checks

the command in the text message

The system activates the renewal-request

program

A failure message is sent to the patron A success message is

sent to the patron

Marked as failure and terminated NO YES Is the renewal successful? NO The system confirms

the content

YES

Figure 1. Initial construction stage of the renewal-request service

Borrowed Item

Borrowed Item

coming

coming--due notice: due notice: Click the following link to

Click the following link to

renew the item

renew the item

http://120.96.44.3/miod/

http://120.96.44.3/miod/

reb.asp?M=0916971162

reb.asp?M=0916971162

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Due-day reminder

Patron clicks on the renewal-request

hyperlink

The system activates the renewal-request

program

a failure message is sent to the patron

a success message is sent to the patron

Is the renewal successful? The system confirms

the content

NO

YES

Figure 3. Structure and process of the revised renewal-request service

4. Performance evaluation through system logs

This section analyzes the effects of the due-day reminder and the renewal-request services. This section performs statistical analyses on the borrowing history, number of overdue occurrences, and overdue fines incurred by patrons as recorded in the integrated library system. In order to gain an accurate understanding of the connection between the use of the two services and the reduction in overdue fines, this section also investigates patrons who used the two services. There were a total of 765 users who used the services between January 2008 and November 2009 (when this performance evaluation was conducted).

The sampling range was set to users who commenced usage between September 2008 and March 2009. By doing so, the period between January 2008 and November 2009 can be divided into three time periods, namely the period before the activation of the services, the sampling period, and the period after the activation of the services; in this manner, the time periods before and after the activation of the services will cover the same amount of time and approximately equal semester and vacation intervals; therefore, accuracy of the derived statistics on comparing books borrowed, overdue occurrences, overdue fines, overdue fines per transaction, and overdue rate can be ensured. The concept of the sampling range is shown in Figure 4.

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who activated the services during the sampling period and meet the following two criteria:

1. patrons who activated the services during the sampling period, and

2. patrons who borrowed books during, before, and after the sampling period.

In this manner, comparison can be made to see if there are significant differences in the effective sample population's books borrowed, overdue occurrences, overdue fines, overdue fines per transaction, and overdue rate before and after the activation of the service. Following the selection process, 215 patrons were identified as the effective sample population. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Jan-08 Feb-08 Mar-08 Apr-08 May -08 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09 May -09 Jun-09 Jul-09 Aug-09 Sep-09 Oct-09 Nov-09 Number of users [Sampling period]

The effective sample

population includes patrons

who activated the service between September 2008 and

March 2009, and borrowed books from the period 8 months before to 8 months

after the sample period [Before activation]

These 8 months are designated as the period

before the sample population started using the

messaging service

[After activation] These 8 months are designated as the period after the sample population started using the messaging

service

Figure 4. Defining the sampling period between January 2008 and November 2009

Because the OIT Library’s library automation system is RDBMS-based, the borrowing-related logs of the 215 patrons can be sifted out with SQL commands. Table II shows the average numbers of books borrowed and overdue occurrences, and the average amounts of overdue fines, overdue fines per transaction, and overdue rates before and after the effective sample population activated the services. The number of overdue occurrences averaged 5.26 before the activation of the short message services, but the frequency dropped to 4.79 since the services were used. The total amount of overdue fines averaged NT$172.44 before the activation of the services, but the amount dropped to NT$72.27 since the services were used. The average amount of overdue fines per transaction (i.e. per overdue book) averaged NT$32.81 before the activation of the services, but the amount dropped to NT$15.08 once the services were used. The overdue rate (i.e. the ratio of the number of overdue books to that of all borrowed books) averaged 13.81% before the activation of the services, but the percentage dropped to 10.23% once the services were used. Overall, the figures showed significant improvement after the 215 patrons started using the services.

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Additionally, the total number of books borrowed by the 215 patrons before they activated the services averaged 38.06 volumes; the number increased to 46.84 after the services were activated. This might imply that the due-day reminder and

renewal-request services indirectly increased the patrons' borrowing frequency. This result is also confirmed in the questionnaires results that will be reported in Section 5.

Table II. Statistics before and after the effective sample population activated the services

Before activation After activation

Average number of books borrowed 38.06 46.84

Average number of overdue occurrences 5.26 4.79

Average amount of overdue fines (NT$) 172.44 72.27

Average amount of overdue fines per transaction (NT$) 32.81 15.08

Average overdue rate 13.81% 10.23%

This study conducts paired t-test analysis on the comparison between the total number of books borrowed, average overdue fines per transaction, and average overdue rate before and after the 215 effective patrons activated the due-day reminder and

renewal-request services to investigate whether there are significant differences in the figures derived before and after the activation of the services. Sampling error for a 95% confidence interval of the differences in these tests is ±6.47%.

The first test analyzes whether significant difference exists in the total number of books borrowed before and after the effective patron population activated the short message services. The null hypothesis is that there is no significant difference in the total number of books borrowed after using the services. The result of the statistical analysis is shown in Table III.

Table III. Paired samples t-test for the total number of books borrowed before and after the activation

Difference of paired variables Average value Standard deviation Standard error of the average 95% confidence interval t Degree of freedom Significance (two tailed) Lower bounds Upper bounds The total number of

books borrowed before the activation The total number of books borrowed after the activation

-8.78 45.71 3.12 -14.93 -2.64 -2.82 214 0.005

The significance level is reached at 0.005 (p < .05), thus rejecting the null hypothesis and indicating that there is significant difference in the total number of books

borrowed after using the services. This result shows that the use of the services also indirectly influences the patrons' borrowing frequency, and that the effect is

significant. This result also corresponds with the questionnaires results that will be reported in Section 5.

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The second test analyzes whether significant difference exists in the average overdue fines incurred per transaction before and after the effective sample population

activated the services. The null hypothesis is that there is no significant difference in the average overdue fines incurred per transaction after using the short message services. The result of the statistical analysis is shown in Table IV.

Table IV. Paired samples t-test for the average overdue fines incurred per transaction before and after the activation

Difference of paired variables Average value Standard deviation Standard error of the average 95% confidence interval t Degree of freedom Significance (two tailed) Lower bounds Upper bounds The average overdue

fines incurred per transaction before the activation

The average overdue fines incurred per transaction after the activation

12.93 31.04 2.12 8.76 17.10 6.11 214 0.000

The significance level is reached at 0.000 (p <.05), thus rejecting the null hypothesis and indicating that there is significant difference in the average overdue fines incurred per transaction after using the services. This result shows that the use of the services also indirectly reduces the average overdue fines incurred per transaction, and that the effect is significant. It also proves that the services achieve the purpose of providing timely reminders, and thus assist users in returning the books in time and reducing the amount of overdue fines.

Thethird and last test analyzes whether significant difference exists in the overdue rates before and after the effective patron population activated the services. The null hypothesis is that there is no significant difference in the overdue rates after using the services. The result of the statistical analysis is shown in Table V.

Table V. Paired samples t-test for the overdue rates before and after the activation

Difference of paired variables Average value Standard deviation Standard error of the average 95% confidence interval t Degree of freedom Significance (two tailed) Lower bounds Upper bounds The overdue rates before

the activation The overdue rates after the activation

7.68 26.73 1.82 4.09 11.28 4.21 214 0.000

The significance level is reached at 0.000 (p < .05), thus rejecting the null hypothesis and indicating that there is significant difference in the overdue rates after using the short message services. This result shows that the use of the service also indirectly

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reduces the overdue rates.

5. Performance evaluation through questionnaire

survey

The researchers used questionnaires to conduct a survey on users’ needs as well as satisfaction for the due-day reminder and renewal-request mobile Web services provided by the OIT Library.

The questionnaires were administered to the entire undergraduate population, including regular students and continuing-education students, but participation was voluntary. The electronic survey was publicized on the institute and library websites and at the circulation desk of the library; announcements were also made encouraging users to complete the questionnaire voluntarily. The survey period was between 5 October and 5 November 2009 (30 days). The number of valid responses of this questionnaire was 421, including 316 regular students and 105 continuing education students; therefore, sampling error for a 95% confidence interval of this questionnaire is ±4.58%. See Table VI for the status distribution of the 421

respondents.

Table VI Status distribution of the 421 respondents

Responses Percentage

Regular students 316 75.06%

Continuing education students 105 24.94%

Total 421

5.1. Performance evaluation of the due-day reminder service

This subsection dedicates to the analysis of questionnaire responses regarding the OIT Library's due-day reminder service. The questionnaire asked broadly about awareness and usage of the due-day reminder service. Questions also focused specific questions on patron satisfaction levels, reasonable charge, and the best time to send the

reminder messages. The survey results are shown in Table VII through Table X.

Table VII Statistics of questionnaire responses regarding the due-day reminder service

All respondents Regular students Continuing education students

YES NO YES NO YES NO

Were you aware of the service? 274 (65%) 147 (35%) 208 (65.8%) 108 (34.2) 66 (62.9) 39 (37.1) Have you activated the

service? 157 (57.3%) 117 (42.7%) 112 (53.8%) 96 (46.2%) 45 (68.2%) 21 (31.8%) Have you received the

notifications? 122 (77.7%) 35 (22.3%) 84 (75.0%) 28 (25.0%) 38 (84.4%) 7 (15.6%)

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Does the service help you avoid overdue fines?

415 (98.6%) 6 (1.4%) 311 (98.4%) 5 (1.6%) 104 (99.1%) 1 (0.9%) Does the service increase

in your willingness to borrow books 349 (82.9%) 72 (17.1%) 261 (82.6%) 55 (17.4%) 88 (83.8%) 17 (16.2%)

It is very clear from Table VII that a moderate proportion of patrons are aware of the availability of the OIT Library's due-day reminder service; furthermore, there is a 7.7% gap between awareness and activation. As the library Web site is the primary channel for announcing this service, the OIT Library should employ more promotion channels (e.g. brochures, E-newsletters) to improve patron awareness of the service, and understand the reason why a few patrons do not activate the service.

Further analysis using independent-samples t test shows that more continuing

education students activate the service than do regular students (t=-2.128, df=115.482,

p=0.035 < .05); this interesting phenomenon can be explained by the fact that

continuing education students are engaged with their professions during daytime and appreciate more assistance with the reminding of coming-due books in the form of text messages. Judging from the above, the OIT Library may strive for marketing directly to continuing education students.

Among all the 421 respondents, 415 (98.6%) believe that the service is effective in helping users avoid overdue fines. At first glance, the due-day reminder service and the willingness to borrow books may seem unrelated. However, further inspection shows that 349 (82.9%) of the respondents are more willing to borrow books with the introduction of the short message services, which is consistent with the analysis stated in Section 4.

Table VIII shows that among the 122 respondents who did receive overdue text

message notifications, a total of 111 (91.0%) respondents are satisfied with the service. This high satisfaction not only shows the usefulness of this service, but also can be used to attract more patrons to use this service.

Table VIII Statistics of the patron satisfaction levels toward the due-day reminder service All users Regular students Continuing education

students

Satisfied strongly 87 (71.3%) 61 (72.6%) 26 (68.4%)

Satisfied 24 (19.7%) 14 (16.7%) 10 (26.3%)

Neutral 9 (7.4%) 7 (8.3%) 2 (5.3%)

Dissatisfied 2 (1.6%) 2 (2.4%) 0 (0.0%)

Dissatisfied very strongly 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)

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continually provided free of charge. This indicates that a large proportion of patrons still have an image that the library should provide free courtesy notification services. Viewing the situation of budget stagnation in libraries and the popularity of mobile Web services (with no doubt, they cost money), libraries should secure long term and sufficient budget for mobile Web services.

Table IX Statistics of the reasonable charge for the due-day reminder service All users Regular students Continuing education

students NT$0 275 (65.3%) 209 (66.1%) 66 (62.9%) NT$1 79 (18.8%) 59 (18.7%) 20 (19.0%) NT$2 31 (7.4%) 20 (6.3%) 11 (10.5%) NT$3 31 (7.4%) 23 (7.3%) 8 (7.6%) Others 5 (1.2%) 5 (1.6%) 0 (0.0%)

Table X Statistics of the best time to send the overdue text message notifications (multiple choices)

All users Regular students Continuing education students 7:00—9:00 156 (28.2%) 130 (30.9%) 26 (19.7%) 9:00—12:00 88 (15.9%) 66 (15.7%) 22 (16.7%) 12:00—13:00 133 (24.1%) 100 (6.3%) 33 (25.0%) 13:00—17:00 76 (13.7%) 49 (7.3%) 27 (20.5%) 17:00—18:00 54 (9.8%) 39(9.3%) 15(11.4) 18:00—24:00 38 (6.9%) 30(7.1%) 8(6.1%) Others 8(1.4%) 7(1.7%) 1(0.8%)

Table X shows that 156 (28.2%) and 133 (24.1%) of the 421 respondents

preferred to receive the text message notifications between 7 and 9 in the morning and between 12 noon and 1 in the afternoon, respectively. Furthermore, the choices are different for regular students and continuing education students; the former preferred in the morning, but the latter preferred between 12 noon and 1 in the afternoon. As a service organization, libraries not only provide services, but also should provide services tailoring to patron needs and preference. In view of these figures, the OIT Library has implemented a system that allows patrons to choose the time they prefer to send the SMS notifications.

5.2. Performance evaluation of the renewal-request service

This subsection dedicates to the analysis of questionnaire responses regarding the OIT Library's renewal-request service. The questionnaire asked about awareness, usage, and satisfaction of the renewal-request service. The survey results are shown in Table XI and Table XII.

Table XI Statistics of questionnaire responses regarding the renewal-request service

All respondents Regular students Continuing education students

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Were you aware of the service? 196 (46.6%) 225 (53.4%) 143 (45.3%) 173 (54.7%) 53 (50.5%) 52 (49.5%) Have you used the

service? 72 (36.7%) 124 (63.3%) 44 (30.8%) 99 (69.2%) 28 (52.8%) 25 (47.2%) Is the service helpful? 410

(97.4%) 11 (2.6%) 306 (96.8%) 10 (3.2%) 104 (99.1%) 1 (0.9%) Does the service increase

in your willingness to borrow books 359 (85.3%) 62 (14.7%) 267 (84.5%) 49 (15.5%) 92 (87.6%) 13 (12.4%)

Among all the 421 respondents, only 196 (46.6%) were aware of the availability of the OIT Library's renewal-request service. Furthermore breakdown of figures show that 143 (45.3%) of the regular student were aware of the service, and 53 (50.5%) of the respondents who are continuing education students were aware of the service.

Among the 196 respondents who were aware of the availability of the OIT Library's renewal-request service, only 72 (36.7%) have experienced it. Further analysis using independent-samples t test shows that more continuing education students have experiences of the service than do regular students (t=-2.781, df=86.545, p=0.007 < .05)); This phenomenon is consistent with the finding in Section 5.1 that more continuing education students activate the due-day reminder service, and may be caused by the other engagements continuing education students have in the daytime, thus making them more positive toward the assistive functions the library provides.

Table XI also shows that 410 (97.4%) of all the 421 respondents believed that the service was very helpful, while 11 (2.6%) indicated that the service was not helpful. Some of the most common reasons stated were the high prices of going online through 3G, no Internet capability on mobile phones, and no mobile phones.

At first glance, the mobile phone renewal-request service and the willingness to borrow books may seem unrelated. However, the final statistic indicates that 359 (85.3%) of all the 421 respondents are more willing to borrow books with the

introduction of the service , which is consistent with the analysis stated in Section 4.

Table XII Statistics of the patron satisfaction levels toward the renewal-request service All users Regular students Continuing education

students

Satisfied strongly 63 (87.5%) 37 (84.1%) 26 (98.9%)

Satisfied 7 (9.7%) 5 (11.4%) 2 (7.1%)

Neutral 2 (2.8%) 2 (4.5%) 0 (0.0%)

Dissatisfied 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0.0%)

Dissatisfied very strongly 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)

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service, 63 (87.5%) were strongly satisfied with the service, 7 (9.72%) were satisfied, and 2 (2.8%) were neutral; no one expressed their dissatisfaction toward the system. These figures indicate that all of the respondents were satisfied with the service. Furthermore, a comparison of the satisfaction levels toward the due-day reminder service and the satisfaction levels toward the renewal-request service shows that the latter generated higher figures. These results show that patrons welcome more

innovative and convenient services (like the mobile renewal-request service) than just text message notification services.

6. Conclusion

This study introduces the mobile Web services offered by the Oriental Institute of Technology Library, including library SMS services, mobile VOD system, and new title preview and reservation service. The design of the first two mobile Web services, namely the due-day reminder service and the renewal-request service, is explicated. Through unobtrusive system log analysis and patron questionnaire, this study shows that the two services effectively reduce the amount of overdue fines and overdue rates, as well as indirectly increasing the users’ willingness to borrow books and thus

leading to a higher rate of book circulation. Viewing that more continuing-education students have activated/used the two services than regular students, the OIT Library can market the two services directly to those who need the two services, for example, continuing-education students or patrons who have incurred significant overdue fines before. Additionally, the user satisfaction and acceptance levels toward the services reach 90%, reflecting the positive attitudes the users have for the services. On the other hand, only a moderate proportion of patrons, even less than half in the renewal-request service, know of the two services, this indicates that promotion is essential for attracting patrons to utilize a highly-satisfactory service.

Mobile Web library services transcend time restrictions, and free patrons from restrictions related to the opening and closing hours of the library. Now, they can enjoy services provided by the library 24 hours a day using their mobile phones. Mobile Web library services also help patrons transcend spatial limitations, allowing them to enjoy the services provided by the library without having to go to the library. The applications of mobile Web library services are only limited by imagination.

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數據

Table I. OIT Library's Mobile Web Services

Table I.

OIT Library's Mobile Web Services p.5
Figure 2. Screen capture of due-day reminder

Figure 2.

Screen capture of due-day reminder p.9
Figure 1. Initial construction stage of the renewal-request service

Figure 1.

Initial construction stage of the renewal-request service p.9
Figure 3. Structure and process of the revised renewal-request service

Figure 3.

Structure and process of the revised renewal-request service p.10
Figure 4. Defining the sampling period between January 2008 and November 2009

Figure 4.

Defining the sampling period between January 2008 and November 2009 p.11
Table III. Paired samples t-test for the total number of books borrowed before and after the activation

Table III.

Paired samples t-test for the total number of books borrowed before and after the activation p.12
Table II. Statistics before and after the effective sample population activated the services

Table II.

Statistics before and after the effective sample population activated the services p.12
Table IV. Paired samples t-test for the average overdue fines incurred per transaction before and after  the activation

Table IV.

Paired samples t-test for the average overdue fines incurred per transaction before and after the activation p.13
Table V. Paired samples t-test for the  overdue rates  before and after the activation

Table V.

Paired samples t-test for the overdue rates before and after the activation p.13
Table VI Status distribution of the 421 respondents

Table VI

Status distribution of the 421 respondents p.14
Table VII Statistics of questionnaire responses regarding the due-day reminder service

Table VII

Statistics of questionnaire responses regarding the due-day reminder service p.14
Table VIII shows that among the 122 respondents who did receive overdue text

Table VIII

shows that among the 122 respondents who did receive overdue text p.15
Table IX Statistics of the reasonable charge for the due-day reminder service  All users  Regular students  Continuing education

Table IX

Statistics of the reasonable charge for the due-day reminder service All users Regular students Continuing education p.16
Table  X  shows that 156 (28.2%) and 133 (24.1%) of the 421 respondents

Table X

shows that 156 (28.2%) and 133 (24.1%) of the 421 respondents p.16
Table X Statistics of the best time to send the overdue text message notifications (multiple choices)

Table X

Statistics of the best time to send the overdue text message notifications (multiple choices) p.16
Table XI also shows that 410 (97.4%) of all the 421 respondents believed that the  service was very helpful, while 11 (2.6%) indicated that the service was not helpful

Table XI

also shows that 410 (97.4%) of all the 421 respondents believed that the service was very helpful, while 11 (2.6%) indicated that the service was not helpful p.17
Table XII Statistics of the patron satisfaction levels toward the renewal-request service  All users  Regular students  Continuing education

Table XII

Statistics of the patron satisfaction levels toward the renewal-request service All users Regular students Continuing education p.17

參考文獻