In 2004, the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) commissioned a survey to find out the current state of digitization in university libraries in sub‐Saharan Anglophone Africa. This paper aims to report some findings of the survey.
Questionnaires were sent to 107 libraries in 20 countries, with a 72 per cent response rate. Site visits and interviews took place in five countries, followed by a focus group discussion with librarians from four countries.
The study finds that university libraries in Africa have progressed towards establishing digital library services at very different speeds and levels. Libraries therefore have very different needs and ambitions. For the majority of libraries e‐resources are available but facilities for access are poor. The acquisition and implementation of a library management system would appear to be an essential building block in the construction of a digital library. All e‐developments have depended heavily on external funding and will continue to do so. Lack of funding and lack of or retention of trained staff is the key challenge for the future.
The report provides data on which the future plans of libraries and support interventions can be based.
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