Effects of budgeting and funding on the provision of library and information services in the University of Malawi Libraries
Performance Measurement and Metrics
Article publication date: 29 November 2011
The purpose of this paper is to look at effects of budgeting and financing of the University of Malawi Libraries (UML) on the provision of library and information services.
A multi‐case study methodological design approach was used, coupled with annual acquisition statistics and University Budget Estimates from 2003/2004 to 2010/2011 financial years. Interviews were conducted with library staff in all the five college libraries. Questionnaires were distributed to students and academic staff in the constituent colleges of the university.
The results of the study have indicated that library and information resources in UML deteriorated despite increased material budgets. Most of the essential books were outdated and not found in UML libraries. Print periodicals were inconsistent and unsubscribed to. Most of the electronic journals were inaccessible and irrelevant to users' needs. Internet was slow due to low bandwidth. Indirectly, library and information services were negatively affected. Reference services in UML deteriorated. Compact Read Only Memory (CD‐ROM) services were overtaken by users' preference for the internet, e‐journals and online databases. Document delivery services were mostly disconnected because of non‐payment of subscription fees. Current awareness services were choked by low levels of acquisitions. Low levels of acquisitions for local materials crippled exchange programme services. Interlibrary loan services were affected by inability to return loaned materials.
The study recommends that college librarians should lobby for increased budgets for library and information resources. Donors should be approached to assist in paying for the internet and postage charges.
Improved budgets for library and information resources will directly revamp library and information services. The services include reference services, current awareness, document delivery, interlibrary loans and exchange programmes.
Mapulanga, P. (2011), "Effects of budgeting and funding on the provision of library and information services in the University of Malawi Libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 172-182. https://doi.org/10.1108/14678041111196659
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