University of Guyana Library Quality Assurance Framework: A Proposal

Debra Lowe

Abstract


Quality Assurance (QA) in higher education is the process by which university academic programmes are assessed and evaluated against specific criteria. Quality assurance mechanism adopted by the University of Guyana (UG) will ultimately affect the University of Guyana Library (UGL) which is an integral part of the academic culture. Academic libraries are pressured to align quality initiatives and practices with the parent institution’s missions and goals. This research has developed a proposed QA Framework for the UGL with an emphasis on human resources and technology. Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) Framework and the Institutional Theory was used to provide the theoretical foundation for the framework. The CHAT was used to design a framework that comprised six categories/nodes:- i) Tools/Instruments - Resources/Technology Availability; ii) Subject - Professional Staff Capability; iii) Rules/Control - Professional Library Standards; iv) Context - Loose/tight coupling with the University; v) Communication/Interaction - professionals, students, technology and; vi) Object/Quality of Knowledge produced/disseminated. The three major components of the Institutional Theory of isomorphic processes: coercive, mimetic, and normative were used to explain the six components/categories that form the six nodes of the framework. Using the interviewing schedules, information was acquired from former and current UGL library professionals, UG faculty and students on some aspects of the human and technological components of the UGL. The qualitative data was transformed into statistical data to derive the mean scores from the 15 respondents and to determine whether there were correlations between five nodes and the sixth node. Pearson’s correlation was used to determine if a significant relationship exists between the groups. The results showed that the independent variables loose/tight coupling has a positive relationship with the dependent variable (generation and dissemination of knowledge). This implies that the ability of the UG Library professionals to generate and disseminate knowledge has a direct relation to loose/tight coupling. Arising out of the quantitative analysis this QA Framework Proposal was developed as a guide to the UG Library.


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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijhrs.v10i1.16639

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