The university library website as a virtual study environment

Alexandra Szalacsi, Máté Tóth


Two trends are emerging in university libraries in the last few years. The meeting place function is strengthened that supports students in studying and working together on assignments. Another trend is the extension of services into the realm of virtual areas. While it is obvious that students tend to use libraries as meeting places in physical means, the virtual study places are not used as heavily by students as expected. A questionnaire survey was designed to explore the attitudes of students towards group work and virtual meeting places in general and their experiences with virtual study environments in particular. There are functional differences between physical and virtual places in studying and different nature of meetings that happen in these contexts. We tried to describe these differences. The results show that the majority of students still prefer the traditional physical library environments for group work. While it is expected to create virtual arenas these “places” seems to remain only supplementary services and can’t replace physical areas. Although many new developments are launched library websites are still regarded as a bunch of services and not as complex study environments.

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