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Lifelong learning and the library connection: a perceptual model for tertiary library customer education

Cronau, Deborah Ann (2000). Lifelong learning and the library connection: a perceptual model for tertiary library customer education. PhD Thesis, Northern Territory University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Cronau, Deborah Ann
Title Lifelong learning and the library connection: a perceptual model for tertiary library customer education
Institution Northern Territory University
Publication Date 2000
Thesis Type PhD
Subjects 0807 - Library and Information Studies
1399 - Other Education
Abstract The Lifelong Learning and Library Connection as a model for tertiary library customer education examined the transitional skill and ability expectations of undergraduate tertiary education students to propose a Perceptual Model of lifelong learning as an alternative to behavioural and relational models which are more experientially or practice based. The hypothesis was that the personal perceptions of customers can mirror personal reality. What customers believe can predict what they will pursue. Therefore a Perceptual Model can offer the advantage of facilitating lifelong learning through library customer education approaches geared to the sequential levels of skills needed by customer groups. The perceptual model proposed is comprised of areas that, according to literature, can most affect the lifelong learning skills and abilities of students. It considered the affect of perceptions on these areas rather than measuring skills as in other models. The model may be visualized as a ladder that sequentially leads to higher level skills as perceptual awareness of information needs increases. Using details obtained from literature reviewed about the theoretical and practical applications of lifelong learning and the role of tertiary libraries, questions on the perceptions of customers were raised. Literature was categorized into four foci: customer group segmentation; library use issues; library skills assessment; and library integration into tertiary life. Literature portrayed gaps in customer perceptions research in these areas. These gaps were manipulated to encapsulate the key questions, concepts and principals for the study. These were: • Segmentation (Focus A) – What are the most appropriate divisions of customer groups to facilitate a lifelong learning development through library customer education? What are the segments customers belong to and do these groups have homogeneous customer education needs? What are the lifelong learning needs to be met or assisted by the library through customer education? • Library Issues (Focus B); Skills Assessment (Focus C); Course Integration (Focus D) – What are customer's personal methodologies for using libraries and information resources, and the library use rationale or personal feelings and motivations associated with using libraries and information resources? What are the personal perceptions of students regarding the value of library customer education required for the library to positively influence lifelong learning behaviour and philosophies? What are the future directions for the library to improve their lifelong learning role through customer education? One of the primary goals of libraries is to facilitate lifelong learning. These are the pivotal points for lifelong learning but because personal perceptions are developed by individuals over many years, library customer education is required to help develop a lifelong learning attitude. This case study targeted the students of a tertiary institute to assist in identifying the most affective library customer education segment focus for fostering lifelong learning attitudinal and skill development. It investigated how lifelong learning can be used as a focus for customer education programmes by suggesting a Perceptual Model of lifelong learning based on library customer education motivators and student perceptions.

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