An assessment of academic library services: international and domestic students perspectives

Sanaz Soltani, Shahrokh Nikou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Information literacy is defined as discrete abilities that a person requires to have in order to find, assess, use and share information. As information literacy skills play a prominent role in the students' academic achievement, students and in particular international students coming to continue their postgraduate studies in other countries may face problems in finding and using library services. The purpose of this paper is to explore and investigate the information literacy skills, challenges and needs of international and domestic students at the Finnish universities. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses a mixed-methods design. Quantitative data were collected through an online survey (82 respondents) and qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 10 international and 10 domestic students. Findings: Academic library services are used but in different ways. The findings indicate that international students have a relatively low level of information literacy skills compared to domestic students and faces various challenges, especially in the beginning of their studies. Research limitations/implications: The study was exploratory, and data were collected from limited number of Finnish universities and may not be representative of the underlying population. Practical implications: Academic libraries should provide effective courses on research methods and library services to the international students while keeping in mind the international students language and cultural barriers. Originality/value: This is one of the first attempts in information literacy research that focusses on international and domestic students' information literacy skills at the higher education environment. As such, the results provided in this paper can help librarians and decision-makers at the higher education environments to plan better and become more efficient in delivering information services meeting students' information needs and expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-653
Number of pages23
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number8-9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic library
  • Information skills
  • International students
  • Library users


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