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Impact of the global economic crisis on academic libraries in Malawi: A case study of University of Malawi and Mzuzu University libraries

Aubrey Harvey Chaputula (Mzuzu University Library, Mzuzu, Malawi)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 25 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to determine the impact of the global economic crisis on University of Malawi Libraries and Mzuzu University Library.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study methodology was adopted, and data were collected using both interview guides and questionnaires.

Findings

Findings show that libraries in this study were not affected much by the global economic crisis. Budgets of the libraries had registered steady increments, and this had positively impacted on collection development activities, staff recruitment and training, infrastructure development, and internal and external travels etc. Effects of the economic crisis, though minor, were evident by the stagnation of some college budgets and absence of scholarships for training abroad.

Research limitations/implications

The study covered four of the five libraries in the University of Malawi namely the Polytechnic, College of Medicine, Bunda College, Kamuzu College of Nursing and Mzuzu University. Chancellor College Library did not participate because the researcher faced challenges in getting permission from authorities. So much as the results do give a general picture of libraries under the University of Malawi, the findings may not necessarily apply to Chancellor College Library.

Originality/value

In light of the findings, libraries were encouraged to strengthen existing income generating activities, and also explore other ways of generating revenue to cover for shortfalls in the budget that may be prompted by withdrawal of donor funds and cuts in government subvention should the global economic crisis persist.

Keywords

Citation

Harvey Chaputula, A. (2011), "Impact of the global economic crisis on academic libraries in Malawi: A case study of University of Malawi and Mzuzu University libraries", Library Management, Vol. 32 No. 8/9, pp. 565-578. https://doi.org/10.1108/01435121111187923

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited