The potential role of university
services, facilities and activities
in promoting national security in
times of crises in Upper Egypt
Department of Library and Information Science, South Valley University,
Purpose –The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential role of South Valley University (SVU)
libraries’manpower, collections, and services in the fight against terrorism in Upper Egypt.
Design/methodology/approach –A quantitative research methodology was used in the form of a survey,
which was undertaken from June to July 2015. The survey instrument was a self-administered questionnaire.
The target population comprised the academic library staff (n¼127) working in SVU libraries who were
contacted to answer the structured questionnaire, of whom 93 library staff responded and returned their valid
questionnaires, representing 73.2 percent of the whole library staff in the SVU.
Findings –Demographically, two-thirds of the SVU library staff were males and a large number of them are
aged between 26 and 40 years, and 79.6 percent have a bachelor’s degree. The speciality of two-thirds of SVU
library staff was library science, of whom a large number were librarians with lengthy work experience.
This study showed that printed materials were the most adequate collections in the SVU libraries.
Other materials, such as CDs/DVDs, audiovisual materials, microfilm and microfiche, online resources and
electronic materials, respectively, were inadequate at SVU libraries. Few of the services provided by SVU
libraries were characterized as adequate services; some are inadequate and other services do not exist.
The average of the facilities provided by SVU libraries was somewhat adequate. A large number of the
library staff showed that facilities, such as the availability of the learning labs were, at least, adequate for
their needs. Activities, such as holding social field trips, holding training workshops, and holding academic
field trips were, at least, somewhat adequate to SVU libraries. Other activities were also described to be either
inadequate, such as holding lectures, seminars, conferences, etc. and library orientation, or not applicable such
as activities related to bibliographic instruction. This study revealed that SVU libraries had no significant role
in fighting the phenomenon of terrorism in Upper Egypt. There is no a reliable relationship between the
professional characteristics of the SVU library staff and the potential role that their libraries may play in
the fight against this phenomenon. Because of the lack of SVU libraries’collections, services, facilities, and
activities, this study concluded that such a role could not be achieved. Almost all the library staff admitted
that this severe lack has affected the provision of library patrons and members of the library community to
use these collections and services, which help in countering the threat of terrorism. Despite the significanceof
all these problems faced by SVU libraries in the fight against terrorism, it was found that the inadequacy of
the librarys’open hours is significantly correlated with the professional characteristics of the library staff,
particularly their job title and work experience.
Research limitations/implications –This study investigates the potential role of SVU libraries’
manpower, collections, and services in the fight against terrorism in Upper Egypt. It covers none of the other
universities or any type of other library. Any findings and conclusions resulting from this study are limited in
scope to only the libraries of this university. The size, convenience and homogeneity of the sample may limit
the generalizability of this study. The study was conducted with a survey approach, which was the most
suitable research method technique to reach the community of the study. However, for further research,
investigating more specific information about such or related topics, other methods/approaches should be
used to investigate the potential role of the university library, as well as the other kinds of libraries, such as
public and special libraries to combat terrorism.
Practical implications –This study provides valuable insight into the potential role the university library
can have in the fight against terrorism in one of the most important countries hit recently by this brutal
phenomenon. The study focuses on libraries of one of the regional universities called the SVU, located in the
Southern part of Egypt that is called the Upper Egypt. This deep part of Egypt is one of the places most
Vol. 38 No. 4/5, 2017
© Emerald PublishingLimited
Received 20 August 2016
Revised 5 January 2017
23 January 2017
Accepted 2 February 2017
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: