IFLAchr('39')s approach is to move towards developing qualitative guidelines and examining the feasibility of implementing these guidelines in the countries using them. The present research has been conducted with a view to formulating the related qualitative guidelines and surveying the feasibility of their implementation in the context of Iranchr('39')s public libraries.
The current research is an applied study in terms of purpose, which applies an exploratory sequential mixed method. In the qualitative part, IFLA guidelines were investigated using the focus group method and a checklist was made in order to categorize the guidelines and to determine the evaluating groups. In this part, the research sample consisted of 5 experts in the development of Iranchr('39')s standards that were selected using the purposeful sampling method. In the quantitative part, the tool for data collection was a questionnaire. In this part, the statistical population were composed of 4 groups evaluating IFLA standards in Iranchr('39')s public libraries, who consisted of 80 managers and organizational specialists, 111 librarians, 21 experts, and 342 users amounting to 559 people in total. Each sample group was determined using the sampling method and Krejcie & Morgan table. Data were collected by distributing questionnaires among 4 evaluating groups. 81 questionnaires were returned by managers and organizational specialists, 110 ones by librarians, 21 ones by experts and 342 ones by users. Data analysis was carried out using the descriptive and inferential statistics. Excel and SPSS software packages were employed to calculate the frequency rates, averages and to perform the Kruskal-Wallis test.
In the qualitative part of this research, different IFLA guidelines in 12 areas of public libraries` programs and services for various classes of user community were drawn on and confirmed in the checklist of focus group. Totally, out of 12 guidelines (51 guideline statements) appraised by 4 evaluating groups, 8 guidelines can be implemented in Iranchr('39')s public libraries and the remaining 4 groups can be implemented under certain conditions. The findings of the quantitative part and a comparison drawn among the 4 groups on common statements using the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test showed that there is no significant difference between the views of evaluating groups, namely librarians, experts, managers and organizational specialists; However, a significant difference was found between the above-mentioned groups and users. To increase the feasibility of implementation IFLA guidelines in Iranchr('39')s public libraries, some remedies are put forward, including: revising and correcting some instructions, learning about the population of users, assessing the user needs, setting up a task-force consisting of managers, librarians, experts and users to develop and regulate library activities.
The review of relevant literature in Iran and abroad showed that no research has already been conducted in order to codify IFLA qualitative guidelines in the field of public librarieschr('39') services and programs or to look into the feasibility of IFLA guidelineschr('39') implementation from the point of view of policy-makers and the relevant specialists. The findings of this research can help us with decision-making and policymaking in delivering implementing services and programs as well as in developing standards for public libraries.
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