Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 24 Issue: 6S

Effectiveness of E-Resources Services Promotion for Library under the Concept of Distance Education Universitas Terbuka Indonesia.

Mohammad Pandu Ristiyono, Universitas Terbuka


Prior to the pandemic that hit in early March 2020, the library of Universitas Terbuka under the concept of Distance Education had already begun to provide distance services to users include the academic community of Universitas Terbuka. The promotion of the library is sustainably conducted in order to increase the usage rate. The key factor of a library is good quality of collection, however many users rarely hear it. Therefore, promotion is the solution. During the pandemic, the promotion of e-resources services consistently conducted by sending blesses email to the academic community of Universitas Terbuka and the social media, including Instagram and Facebook. However, promotion using the platform of social media has proven to be insignificant due to its general scope in preference to e-resource promotion. Accordingly, strategic planning and evaluation are required as a means to attain effective promotion and achieve the planned target.


Library Promotion, E-resource Services, Distance Education, Universitas Terbuka


The Library and Information Service of Univeristas Terbuka provides services under the concept of distance education programs. As a library of the university, the Universitas Terbuka provides various electronic collections, one of which is the e-resource services. The e-resource service is provided to support the information need of users which consists of postgraduate students and lecturers at the Univeristas Terbuka. The advantage of this concept is online access system that enables users to access the library without coming to the university. Such advantage contributes support to the distance education programs implemented by the University. In 2020 the Technical Implementation Unit of Library of the Universitas Terbuka had subscribed to four electronic journal databases, including Proquest, Gale Cengage, Ebsco, and Emerald. Additionally, it has purchased the Smarta Library application which contains Indonesian e-books. The Technical Implementation Unit of Library of the Universitas Terbuka has promoted and disseminated the electronic collection of the library to postgraduate students and lecturers through various promotional strategies, including webinars and social media posts such as Facebook and Instagram. However, based on observations, such promotion activity has not been carried out regularly by librarian to the potential users, especially the postgraduate students. Librarians only provide information about information to access the library using bless email to all academic community and subsequently through banners at the entrance of the Universitas Terbuka library thereafter waiting for users to question about the e-resource collection or electronic collection. The promotion of electronic collections from the librarians to the postgraduate students is proven to be less optimal. Therefore, the author considers that the strategic promotion conducted by the librarian in promoting the collection and services of the library is crucial to be addressed.

Library Promotion

Promotional activities shall be carried out by cooperating with other parties. In promotional activities in the library, the librarian shall take necessary means including reaching institution in charge of the library. The library of university shall cooperate with the authority of the university and its academic staff. According to Vasileiou & Rowley (2010) academic staffs play an important role in promoting available e-books in the library to students. Academic staff shall inform and recommend available e-books in the library to students. However, the research of Vasileiou & Rowley also (2010) revealed that librarians frequently unaware of the role of academic staff in promoting e-books. The research indicated that academic staff indirectly plays an important role in promoting products and services in the library.

E-Journal or Electronic Journal

Electronic journals commonly use other terms such as e-journals, online journals, electronic serials or e-serials, webzines or e-zines. Among these terms, there is only slight difference of the meaning. An electronic journal is a journal that is contained in electronic media such as the internet and CD-ROM, although it does not always have to be in electronic media (Ashcroft, 2000). Then, Tresnawan asserted that electronic journals are serial publications of certain fields in digital or electronic form, usually electronic journals consist of three formats including text, text and graphics, and full image in pdf form (Vision Pustaka, 2008). Meanwhile, the advantages of e-journal are as follows:

a. Stimulate interest in reading.

b. Easy access and publication widely.

c. Improve competitiveness, quality. creativity, science and knowledge of researchers/writers

d. Proof of the quality and credibility of the publishing institution which ultimately becomes the media promotion.

e. Improve college rankings

E-Journal has an important function in the development of science. The institutional function of library for information and research purpose directly associates with the development process of the science. Such information will be published by related scientists through articles. Thus, the scientists will be enabled to share such knowledge and subsequently grow. The process of spreading knowledge through E-Journals is one of the links in the development of science.

E-Journal serves as a means of disseminating information (dissemination of information); quality control; official archive according to regulations (the canonical archive) and recognizes the author (recognition of authors). Moreover, once the quality of an article is maintained, an E-Journal is required to regard at several things, such as high quality through peer review; authors who are known through a strong identity (author recognition through strong journal identities) and archival sources which in this case are scientific works (archival sources). Thus, the role of E-Journal will be well-known and can be referred as scientific references with undoubted accuracy.

Distance Education Library Service

Distance education library service is a service provided by library of the university with the system of distance learning. Based on the guidelines of the American Library Association (ALA), the operational activities of distance education library are directly related to the institutions that oversee the library.

This system allows library of universities with distance learning applying distance services or may apply conventional libraries from the related institutions to collaborate in providing services and materials for students and lecturers.

Distance education library services shall support the system that has been implemented by the university. A librarian of distance education library is directly responsible for the administration and supervision of the library services. Moreover, library nowadays shall manage to encourage the librarian and its staff in providing innovations related to the services. In addition, the library must determine the appropriate position or section between librarians with the necessary expertise to optimally carry out its duties and responsibilities.

Effectiveness of Library Promotion

Promotion or often also referred to as marketing communication is significant activity carried out by the library aims to influence the attitudes and behaviour of its users. The e-resource service is a collection of library services that need to be promoted to users. Library shall promote the subscribed e-resource collections to users in order to enable them accessed the collections. In addition, electronic journals are more accessible for users to support the learning system of the Universitas Terbuka. Promotion of electronic journals shall not be considered effortless activity for every library to do. Library of the Universitas Terbuka shall seek appropriate promotion strategy to achieve the effective promotion. In addition, service center of the library is bound to establish cooperation in promoting electronic journals with various parties, inside and outside the Universitas Terbuka. To discover whether the existing promotional strategies are effective or not, the author conducted interview on this matter to informants. The questions include what the promotional strategy, the cooperation with other parties, media used, and the results of the promotion. The e-resource promotion activity in the library is not in accordance with the statement of Neuhaus & Snowden (2003) which asserted that "the relation between the marketing strategy plan and the library plan is important". In promoting electronic journals, it is crucial to plan a careful promotion strategy in order to achieve effective promotion. A similar opinion was also expressed by MacDonald, et al., (2008) which asserted that "A well-organized marketing strategy may result on positive effect on the promotion of library services". Therefore, the library of Universitas Terbuka shall arrange strategic planning for the promotion of e-resource collections to achieve effective promotion and positively influence the users.

Promotion through Social Media

Prior to the pandemic, the Library of Universitas Terbuka has been using the platform of social media including Instagram, Facebook and online webinars. However, the pandemic alleviated the work of librarians due to the existing system of distance learning.

The important aspects in promoting through social media are as follows:

• Use the story feature

• Add important post in highlight on the story feature

• Use polite language and make caption or information based on the user perspective to achieve effectiveness.

• Information related to "How To" are preferred to be compiled in info graphics in order to attract readers.

• Establish intimacy with users through live events and answering questions of users with appropriate and polite language.

Figure 1: Koleski Ebook Terbaru


To create effective promotional activities, evaluation of promotional activities on a regular basis is required. This promotional evaluation aims to determine whether the existing means have been effective and the information that has been shared reached the promotional targets. The library of Universitas Terbuka which has been implementing e-resource promotion shall evaluate its promotion on regular basis. However, the Library of Univeristas Terbuka has not implemented regular evaluation.

Table 1
Evaluation of Promotional Activities on a Regular Basis
Year Month Database Sessions Total Searches Total of Requests Total of Full-Text Requests Total of Link-out Requests Requests for Abstract Turn ways
2021 July 19 71 2 2 0 0 0
2021 June 13 45 7 4 0 3 0
2021 May 26 69 15 9 0 6 0
2021 April 28 152 4 2 0 2 0
2021 March 17 67 10 7 0 3 0
2021 February 10 22 2 2 0 0 0
2021 January 7 37 7 1 0 6 0
2020 December 4 27 7 5 0 2 0
2020 November 9 111 0 0 0 0 0
2020 October 1 3 0 0 0 0 0
2020 September 1 5 0 0 0 0 0
2020 August 5 7 4 2 0 2 0
2020 March 8 18 1 1 0 0 0


This research reveals that strategy of promotion is essential in promotional activities. Such strategy affects the effectiveness of promotion. Library of the Universitas Terbuka has carried out promotional activities in promoting e-resources to lecturers and postgraduate students of Universitas Terbuka. However, the promotional activities were not appropriately planned. This statement is acknowledged by the head of library who stated that the library of Univeristas Terbuka did not carry strategic plan in promoting e-resource collections to lecturers and postgraduate students of Universitas Terbuka. The means of promotion were carried out by direct selling with various promotional media such as websites, e-mails, and banners. Currently, the platform of social media including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel are conducted. However, the promotions have not considered active and massive, especially for the e-resources. The information of e-resources has not been sent by e-mail to lecturers in regular basis. Moreover, many postgraduate students remain unknown regarding the subscription electronic journal services to the library of Univeristas Terbuka notwithstanding they have been notified by Distance Learning Program Unit of Universitas Terbuka, the lecturers and staff throughout Indonesia through New Student Orientation and seminars on writing thesis. In addition, the evaluation of promotion has not been regularly carried out. Moreover, the library of the Universitas Terbuka has not completed statistical data on the use of e-resources. The absence of evaluation and complete statistical data regarding the promotion of e-resources raise difficulties in determining the effective means of e-resources promotion to lecturers and postgraduate students of the Universitas Terbuka.


Library shall manage to formulate appropriate plan of promotion and evaluate strategic collection selections before conducting e-resources promotions in order to create effective e-resources service promotion. In addition, the library of Universitas Terbuka is bound to complete statistical data on the use e-resources as one of the evaluation materials for e-resource promotions. Data on the use of e-resources is considered as one of the significant factors in determining the right e-resource promotion strategy for the upcoming promotion.


A good and abundant collection of a library shall be accessed by the users; therefore, promotion and dissemination are necessary. The international Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science defines library and information marketing as a systematic investigation of the quality, type, and quantity of services needed by users. This definition of marketing in the field of library and information also changes the understanding of marketing. Palding & Wang (Vasileiou & Rowley, 2010) asserted that libraries may conceive user needs, required funds, and effective communication by applying marketing principles and techniques. Therefore, to achieve effective and efficient marketing activities, libraries and information shall apply appropriate marketing strategies.


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