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Title: Use of OPAC by children in public libraries in Singapore
Authors: Johan Abdul Rahman
Keywords: DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Public libraries
Issue Date: 1998
Abstract: This research is an exploratory study of difficulties faced by children between the ages of 9 and 14 using the OPAC in Community Libraries in Singapore. The research studied the types of fields searched, the access points used, types of errors and occurrence of errors and the respondents" preparation level prior to searching. One hundred and seven walk-in users between the ages of 9 and 14 who agreed to participate in the study and were selected as the respondents of this survey. Unobtrusive observations and interviews were used for data collection. Youngsters in these age groups are considered good OPAC users compared to adults as using the OPAC is generally popular with them. The results of this research revealed that children in these age groups battled with interface design, bibliographic database and their own lack of knowledge but succeeded to a limited extent in using the OPAC to identify the materials they needed. The problems they faced such as understanding the command entry, difficulties with subject headings, choosing the access points, keyboarding skills, spelling and lack of cognitive ability were identified and analysed in this study. It is hoped that the information acquired will help information providers and designers to produce better products that are specifically tailored to children use in Singapore. Students need a simpler OPAC with a minimum number of access points to make selection an easy process. The search engine needs to have high error tolerance to accommodate spelling and syntax errors on compound names and terms. It is also recommended that there be an automatic link to a subject thesaurus to help the young users with synonyms.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SAS Theses

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