Ülikooliraamatukogu e-teenuse kvaliteet ja „töötav kasutaja“ : kontseptuaalne mudel
Academic Library E-service Quality and „Working User” : Conceptual Model
Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation
The doctoral dissertation proposes a conceptual model of the modern university library e-service and analyses the effect of user participation on the process and outcome of e-service. The author applied both qualitative and quantitative methods; empirical material was gathered at the University of Tartu Library. The dissertation is based on four interrelated studies which focus on the library service quality and the problems of library communication and its transformation. The thesis points out that traditionally, the library’s communication with its users was based on power relations, which found expression in disciplining both the knowledge and the users, and in expertise and taxonomy. These power relations exist
even today, but they are changing due to the effect of information society – this transformation is in this dissertation called the communicative turn. Relocation of the services into the web environment increases the share of self-service and the role of the user. This dissertation is based on a theoretical supposition that in conceptualising the quality of the university library e-service it is essential to take into account user participation and to understand the effect it can have on the result of the service. The thesis introduces the notion of „working user” into the librarianship. The working user, who with certain intensity contributes their cognitive and emotional potential to the successful result of e-service, is a new actor in the university librarianship. The author explains that libraries have successfully passed the informational and digital turns, but the communicative turn is still under progress – although library users are actively involved in self-service processes, libraries are still not yet ready to abandon their rigid taxonomic systems and to delegate the control over the system to the users by offering them relevant e-services. The dissertation points out that, on the one hand, it guarantees the quality of the service, but on the other hand, it can be seen as the implicit attempt of the library system to ensure its power over its users and over the knowledge.