Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 107-110
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.37B028
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
On the Improvement of Library Information Services In Higher
Education Facilities of Excellent Engineers*
Xu Dai1, Zan Liu1, Siyuan Chen2, Jun Liu2, Zhongning Guo2
1Dept. of Libr ary and Inform ation, Guangdong Uni versity of Technology, Guangz hou, China
2Faculty of Mechanical Electroni c Engineering, G uangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Received 2012
Relations between the information capabilities of students and the implementation of the project to the
education of excellent engineers is analyzed. 62 representative university library websites as well as 189
students in our university were selected for comprehensive study. It is concluded that, the current univer-
sity library information services have not yet been able to meet the requirements of educational reform,
and years of development on digital resources with carrying out in large-scale has not produced desired
results at undergraduate education. Three points of reform are proposed on the aspects as follows: (1) on
the digital information resources development projects, (2) on the development of the students' informa-
tion literacy , and (3) on the combination of information literacy education and professional education.
Keywords: Excellent Engineer Training Program; E-learning; Information Quality; Library; Information
Plan for Educating and Training Outstanding Engineer”
(PETOE), is an important project to implement the “National
Medium and Long-term Educational Reform and Development
Plan” (2010-2020) and the “National Medium and Long-term
Talent Development Plan” (2010-2020). The purpose of the
project is to train a number of high-level engineering and tech-
nical personnel with strong and high innovative motivations
and be able to adapt to economic and social developments. Our
university comes in the second term of PETOE project, it is
crucial that we play our role in the project to provide full sup-
port to the reform in all departments.
In recent years, university libraries have been doing a lot of
work in digital resource construction to better meet the re-
quirement of teachers' scientific research work and the cultiva-
tion of graduate students. But these resources have not played
its due role in the undergraduate education. This paper studies
the improvement of the college library information service
work, to adapt to the requirements of PETOE.
The Relationship between Library Information
Services and PETOE
Pursuant to the 11 common criteria of undergraduate level
engineer education of PETOE[1], that criterion No.4 of the "un-
derstanding of the professional development status and trends",
No.5 of the "understanding of the technical standards of the
professional field, policies, laws and regulations in related in-
dustries ", No.6 of the "ability of obtaining information and
capability of professional development”, No.11 of the "interna-
tional spectator and exchange in a cross-cultural environment,
as well as the capacity in competition and cooperation" etc. all
requires the services of information and closely associate with
e-learning. Whereas, "a good engineering ethics, a strong sense
of social responsibility and good humanities literacy" as de-
fined by criterion No.1, and "a strong sense of innovation and
capacity in product development and design, and creativity in
technological innovation” by criterion No. 8, and " sense of
quality, environment, occupational health, safety and service"
by criterion No. 9, have much to do with the library information
services and e-learning. Therefore, it is concluded that to im-
prove the library information services is an integral part of
The major manifestation in the system of curriculum of PE-
TOE is to reflect the ultimate value of the development of stu-
dents’ personal capability[2]. Students are the masters of the
curriculum. With the participation in course learning, they ac-
tively give full play to the studies, take the initiative to acquire
knowledge and continuously improve the ability to creatively
explore the unknown world. Thus, they will gain comprehen-
sive development in the process of their curriculum studies. To
achieve this goal, two important issues must be dealt with in
priority: the issue of information access and utilization by stu-
dents, and the issue of establishment of information resources.
These are the two aspects of the same issue, the growth of stu-
dents' information literacy needs of a gradual process, to effec-
tively facilitate this process for student needs to build up a
suitable base of resources. The studies of this thesis is to ana-
lyze the existing problems of university library information
services and come up with a possible solution of how to build
information resources platforms to facilitate undergraduate
students for the purpose of improving their quality.
Funds: 2010 Higher Education Reform Project of Guangdong Province
(BKZZ2011022), 2010 experiment teaching Reform Project of Guang
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Problems in Library Information Service in
High Education Facilities
In today’s phenomenon of widely used in computers and
networks, digital resources have been the main target of use in
man’s acquisition and utilization of information resources.
Students, apart from those who came from the remote and pas-
toral areas, most of them have already mastered the basic oper-
ation of computers and networking. Some of them are even
better than the teachers. After they started the life in the univer-
sity, information retrieval courses are mandatory courses in
which students learn the basic principles, methods and skills
Under the leadership of the relevant state departments, digital
resources construction have been carry out in large-scale such
as huge projects like CALI and CADLIS[5-9]. Colleges and uni-
versities with their own academic strengths have been under-
taking a lot of work in primary and secondary literature data-
base construction[10-16]. Most colleges and universities directly
under the Ministry of Education have built database with cha-
racteristics of their scientific subject. These database systems
have comprehensive collection of their own scientific area or
topics, and have been providing strong support to the studies of
the subject matter with sufficient depth and breadth coverage.
However, the authors found in daily work that the majority
of undergraduate students in the use of library facilities of digi-
tal resources are limited to bibliographic retrieval and course-
ware materials, in addition to the main channel of access to
information of free social resources, such as Baidu, Google and
other search engines. Many students wrote the papers with a
whole bunch of patchworks of these free information resource.
The authenticity, scientific and applicability of these informa-
tion resources are questionable. As a result, these studies in turn
adversely affecting the quality of education.
In order to study the causes of this phenomenon, the authors
selected 62 institutions of higher education for case study ac-
cording to geographical distribution. Within the 62 institutions,
there are 23 colleges and universities directly under the Minis-
try of Education, and 39 universities from the local area. These
institutions of higher education include all provincial, auto-
nomous regions and municipal levels excluding Taiwan Prov-
ince, Hong Kong and Macao areas. There are 17 comprehen-
sive colleges, 13 Engineering colleges as well as 6 teacher col-
leges, 6 financial, and 6 medical colleges respectively. There
are 3 Politics and Law Schools and 3 schools of foreign lan-
guages. There are 2 sports and\or art schools and 4 agriculture,
forestry, animal husbandry colleges. This case study comprises
of a strong representation.
Searching in the library websites of above institutions of
higher education, the authors found that the current library in-
formation services are mostly functioned to satisfied the need
of "knowledge points" (i.e. a particular book or article). Under-
graduate students have two main difficulties when using these
facilities to retrieve information:
The problem of low academic achievement resulted in poor
understanding of the information retrieved and might be getting
irrelevant information as targeted.
Insufficient time to process the information retrieved to fit
into the special subject they focus on, in that unlike graduate
students, undergrads have to face heavy duty studies in the
semester and there is too little time they could afford to spend
on individual courses.
From the case study, most of the libraries (100% of the uni-
versities directly under the Ministry of Education, and 97.6% of
the local undergraduate institutions) have established their col-
lection of bibliographic database to provide a personalized ser-
vice network for all staffs and students. This includes biblio-
graphic index information, personal loan history, ordering
books, renewing books and so on. However, you can hardly see
the second or third indexing documents to facilitate the devel-
opment of undergraduate students.
The authors have extracted representative information ser-
vice items (be included in over eighty percent of the sample
websites) from the interested 62 university libraries web site for
case study. Then, we have conducted a questionnaire survey
among 189 students in grades 2, 3 and 4 of our university. The
findings are shown in Table 1.
"Collection Search (bibliographic index)" is seen as the
most frequently used item. 78.3% of students in this survey
admitted that these services are most frequently used. The use
of other services is of relatively low frequency. There are some
services that have "never used", the proportion of it nearly
among to 38%.
Table 1.
Questionnaire results.
Frequently used Never used
Collection Search 148(78.3%) 9(4.8%)
Renew Books 84(44.7%) 38(20.2%)
My Library History 69(36.5%) 47(24.9%)
Category Navigation 68(36%) 32(16.9%)
My Search History 45(23.8%) 60(31.8%)
My Needs 40(21.3%) 62(33%)
Reservat i on Books 35(18.5%) 61(32.5%)
Recommended Books 35(18.5%) 62(32.8%)
Lending Ranking 33(17.5%) 59(31.2%)
New Books 30(16%) 67(35.6%)
Readers Recommend 27(14.4%) 71(37.8%)
Book Review 26(13.8%) 70(37.2)
My Collection 19(10.1%) 66(35.1%)
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
The findings of this questionnaire study also show that stu-
dents are more interested in the need of “knowledge-line”. The
so-called "knowledge-line" refers to a special topic or the
knowledge of a special category[17]. For instance, the know-
ledge in regards to the concept of "financial crisis", or the
scientific and academic knowledge in regards to the nationwide
competition of university students’ masterpiece of designs etc..
Over 80% of the students in this survey called for an increase in
such navigation services.
These factors show that such a huge digital resources plat-
form to facilitate universities and the society has not yet
achieve maximum benefit for the huge information receiver
groups in the universities. The main problem is not related to
students who are not familiar with the principle and operation
of the system, but due to the lack of information navigation
This must bring to the attention of all to be fully aware of
that, for most undergraduate students, it is a guiding process to
lead them to grow from relying on classroom teaching materials
learning to advance through interdisciplinary thematic literature
to obtain the required self-knowledge.
It is the major task for higher education to improve the
process of such guidance. University libraries should focus on
the integration of resources to provide efficient and convenient
ways for undergraduate student groups, in order to improve and
enhance the students' information literacy in a gradual and or-
derly manner.
Some Porpasals to Improve the Task of
Information Services
Now that we are already in possession of high-quality aca-
demic subject databases, we could be able to put them into
great effect as long as we know how to utilize these resources
to educate our students. The authors believe that in order to
achieve this goal, we must first and foremost full fill the tasks
as follows:
In reference to the way of organizing and coordinating the
CALIS and CADLIS projects, we will systematically unify the
digital resources for the benefit of students and at the same time
emphasize on individual responsibility. The universities and
colleges bearing the responsibility for building scientific sub-
ject matter databases must choose a subset of the material in the
databases for students specialized in the field, and provides an
overview of the topic, in the mean time open to other institution
for resources sharing purposes.
Perfect the principle of differentiated services in that setting
up the school's digital resources portal web design to a different
window and thus, setting up a navigation interface for different
groups with unique classifications and needs. We expect that
this would enable the readers to reach a fast and accurate access
to relevant resources according to their needs.
Enhance the collaboration between library and classroom
teaching, establish and update digital resources navigation for
undergraduate specialties according to the progress of the local
economic zone.
Embed the teaching of information literacy into professional
courses for graduating students. When it comes to the stage of
graduate thesis or designs they could be able to use the system
of special databases directly to complete their trainings in such
In summary, the current university library information ser-
vices have not yet been able to meet the requirements of under-
graduate educational reform, and years of development on dig-
ital resources with carrying out in large-scale has not produced
desired results at undergraduate education. This is a problem
that is worth to take seriously. Further improvement of the li-
brary information service work is important for implementation
of PETOE project.
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