The Role of E-Services in the Library Virtualization Process

The Role of E-Services in the Library Virtualization Process

Ada Scupola (Roskilde University, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-967-5.ch107
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Abstract

The networked ICT technologies (such as the Internet) are having a dramatic effect on how services and especially knowledge services are innovated, designed, produced and distributed. In addition ICT-networks such as the Internet have created the basis for the development of new types of services. E-services are defined here as services that are produced, provided and/or consumed through the use of ICT-networks such as for example Internet-based systems and mobile solutions. E-services can be used by both consumers and businesses, and can be accessed via a wide range of information appliances (Hoffman, 2003, p.53). E-services include also selling of physical goods on the Internet as for example an airline ticket that is purchased online, but delivered by surface mail to the buyers or government services offered on the Internet or e-government. There are three main characteristics of e-services: • The service is accessible across the Internet or other electronic networks • The service is consumed by a person across the Internet or other electronic networks • There might be a fee that the consumer pays the provider for using the e-service, but that might not always be the case as for example in some e-services offered by the government. Normally the production, provision or consumption of a service requires the interaction between the service provider and the user of the service. Traditionally this has been based on personal interactions, most often face-to-face interactions. In e-services, the production, consumption and/or provision of services takes place through the intermediation of an ICT-network such as Internet-based systems or mobile solutions. Examples of e-services are e-banking, e-library services, e-publishing, airline tickets, e-government, information and location services. The advent of e-commerce and e-services has raised a number of challenges for knowledge intensive service organizations such as consulting companies, libraries and publishers, as well as for companies selling physical goods. The purpose of this study is to investigate the challenges that e-services are posing and will pose for research or academic libraries. The study has focused on the issues that Roskilde University Library (RUB) has had to deal with as a result of e-services adoption as well as the future challenges that e-services provide for RUB. The study is based on a number of interviews with RUB management, other secondary material provided by Roskilde University library and information provided on the Web page.

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