In recent years Greek academic libraries have moved from providing only traditional services to the provision of hybrid services, keeping a balance between traditional and electronic services. The financial support that Greek libraries received from the European Commission (EC) assisted them in employing electronic services to meet the demands of our information society. Currently some academic libraries are undergoing the process of assessing their new electronic services in order to evaluate their use and improve their efficiency. One such is the Central Library of the Higher Technological Educational Institution of Thessaloniki (ATEI-T). This paper presents the outcome of an ongoing independent study carried out during 2005 by the Deltos Research Group, which aims to investigate user satisfaction with online library services and accessibility issues relating to library websites.
Community support framework programmes for Greek libraries
The process of modernizing library services began in 1996, when Greek academic libraries participated in the Second Community Support Framework (SCSF) programme and its special Action of the Operational Programme for Education and Initial Training (EPEAEK in Greek: www.epeaek.gr). Before the SCSF programme, libraries’ lack of information technology (IT) and electronic information resources (EIR), qualified staff and financial resources hindered their efforts to provide adequate services. In addition, the existing teaching and learning methods inhibit library development, and university structures and processes often act as barriers to new ideas and influences introduced by a few professional librarians (Krikelas, 1984; Birk and Karageorgiou, 1988; Skepastianou, 1993; Keller, 1993; Zachos, 1995; Garoufallou, 2003; Garoufallou and Siatri, 1999).
The SCSF programme aimed to modernize and develop library services and establish new IT-based services, to automate library functions, to enrich their collections, to complete retrospective cataloguing, and to increase the number of qualified personnel. New studies show that Greek academic libraries, with support from the SCSF programme, have managed to overcome many difficulties and move towards a more electronic environment (see, for example, Garoufallou et al., 2004).
Nowadays, Greek academic libraries participate in the Third Community Support Framework (TCSF) (second EPEAEK), which runs from 2000 to 2006. The programme focuses on developing portals, digital libraries, digitizing collections, and improving services based on the EIR.