An evaluation of the effectiveness of the learning resource centres in the colleges of education in Oman
This study reports on an investigation of the effectiveness of the Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) in the Colleges of Education in Oman. It considers the aims of the LRCs/libraries and explored the extent to which the LRCs achieve their aims and identified the defects which represent obstacles to improving the LRCs. The extent to which the LRCs support the Colleges of Education to achieve their aims is also explored. Accordingly, this thesis examines the effectiveness of the LRCs and leads to recommendations, which if implemented, will improve the LRCs for the users. In order to achieve the research purposes the study surveys the LRCs in the Colleges of Education in Oman. The survey includes observation of all six LRCs, responses to questionnaires from 140 academics and 436 students and interviews with 24 employees from the staff ofLRCs. In consideration of the fact that the Ministry of Higher Education in Oman (MOHE) tries to benefit from the Canadian experience in LRCs/libraries, interviews were conducted with nine employees working in LRCs/libraries at six Canadian Universities. The study indicates that, in general, the LRCs have satisfactory factors such as the provision of resources, accessibility, support from personnel to users, training of users to develop their skills and increase the utilisation of facilities. Consequently these enhance the possibility of achieving the aims of the LRCs as well as supporting the Colleges to attain their aims. The availability of the previous factors also indicates to the reasonable effectiveness of the LRCs. On the other hand, the findings of the study consider that the main obstacles to improving the LRCs are: centralisation of acquisition of human and material resources at the MOHE, space, policy, and the incomplete classification system and catalogue. Finally the study proposes recommendations which can overcome the identified obstacles and improve the effectiveness of the LRCs in the Colleges of Education in Oman.