An evaluation of children's library services: a Kenya national library service case study
The meaning of the word evaluation is defmed as to "examine and judge" concerning the worth or quality of. Evaluation has to do with establishing a benchmark or standard. This study was undertaken to examine and judge the quality of service provision and delivery for the children at Kenya National Library Service. The function of this public library is to promote, establish, equip, manage, maintain and develop libraries and information services in Kenya. The consumers of this service, must be allowed to say what they feel about the quality of service. Evaluation helps the user appraise the goodness of a service. The study clearly indicated that the goodness of the service at Kenya National Library needed sprucing up. The areas of interest for most consumers (children and parents) was on the collection, or the information resources available at the library. The whole spectrum of service was appraised and put under scrutiny. These were, the staff, space, furniture, interior decor and even the reference service. Through the questionnaires, interviews and observations, the researcher tried to establish the quality of service. This study also sought the librarian's feelings about the service he/she provided. Evaluation is undertaken for various reasons. Some of them are: • To check the current status of the service • To discover methods for immediate and long-range improvement • To determine the need for modification of goals and philosophy of service These are just a few among many reasons why evaluation is carried out. This study sought to establish all these by subjecting the librarian and the system to an evaluation. From the fmdings, the library staff also indicated that there is need for improvement in all areas of interest to the users. By conducting an evaluation, the library staff were able to examine the standards for quality and see how far to go in improvement. The demand for greater accountability is growing in most organizations and institutions. The library will not be left in this effort to evaluate and measure the performance of the service it provides.