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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Blessing Chiparausha and Josiline Phiri Chigwada

This study aims to demonstrate how librarians in Zimbabwe are promoting library and information services in a digital environment.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to demonstrate how librarians in Zimbabwe are promoting library and information services in a digital environment.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire administered using SurveyMonkey was used to gather data from the participants who comprised 14 academic, one public, three school and three special librarians.

Findings

The study confirms that there is competition for the attention of the citizens who have social media, television, social life, work, family life, education, and so on before them. Despite the challenges being faced, librarians in the country are prepared to promote their services and are therefore using a number of strategies to promote the use of library and information services.

Originality/value

Promoting library and information services is important considering the waning reading culture in Zimbabwe. The paper recommends possible ways of promoting reading culture in the digital age through the use of library and information services.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 May 2022

Blessing Chiparausha, Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha and Ifeanyi Jonas Ezema

This study aims to examine the use of social media by academic librarians at universities in Zimbabwe with particular focus on the application of the four key constructs…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the use of social media by academic librarians at universities in Zimbabwe with particular focus on the application of the four key constructs of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model. This study assesses the degree to which academic librarians in Zimbabwe believe that using social media enhances service delivery, the extent to which academic librarians perceive social media as easy to use, the influence of peers on social media use among academic librarians and the extent to which facilitating conditions influence social media use.

Design/methodology/approach

A pragmatist worldview in which both quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted, this multiple case study used face-to-face interviews, self-administered questionnaires and content analysis for collecting data.

Findings

Academic librarians in Zimbabwe perceive social media tools to be useful and easy to use in the provision of services. Social influence had a moderate effect on academic librarians’ use of social media for service delivery at universities in Zimbabwe, but they feel that their supervisors do not provide enough help for them to use social media.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no similar study has been done previously in Zimbabwe. This multiple case study presents useful findings on the acceptance and use of social media by academic librarians in Zimbabwe.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Tintswalo Pascalis Tlakula and Madeleine Fombad

This paper aims to establish the level of use of the electronic resources at the University of Venda, which is one of the previously disadvantaged universities in South…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to establish the level of use of the electronic resources at the University of Venda, which is one of the previously disadvantaged universities in South Africa. It identifies the different electronic resources used at the university, determines the level of awareness and training in the use of these resources and suggests ways in which electronic resources may be enhanced. The rapid changes in the information and communication technology (ICTs) have influenced service delivery in academic libraries in terms of how information is gathered, accessed, retrieved and used. Hence, electronic resources are invaluable research tools in academic libraries in the twenty-first century.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research methodology was adopted, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant to get in-depth information. The target population was all third-year students registered with the School of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Venda. The third year undergraduate students from this particular school where chosen because statistics revealed that these students where ranked among the top in the use of computers.

Findings

The findings revealed that the level of usage of these resources by undergraduate students is elementary and limited to SABINET and EBSCO host. Undergraduate student’s level of awareness of the different electronic resources is low. They confused electronic resources to Web-based internet sources. It also revealed that the level of awareness and training in the use of these resources is still generic, as training is mostly a once off orientation at the first year.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on third year undergraduate students who were using computers because the researchers were interested in finding out whether students using computers were also using electronic resources. It excluded other profiles such as age, gender and computer usage behaviour of electronic resources.

Practical implications

Adequate use and knowledge of electronic resources at universities is instrumental towards realisation of the country’s ICT Strategy and the outcome-based education (OBE) model of teaching movement. Suggestions are made to the university, the university library, university librarians and the Library Association of South Africa on how to enhance the use of electronic resources.

Originality/value

It establishes the level of use of electronic resources in one of South African historically disadvantaged universities, a point of contact to other previously South African disadvantaged universities and make suggestions on how electronic resources may be enhanced. It adds to the body of knowledge on the use of electronic resources in academic libraries in South African universities.

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2020

Aubrey Harvey Chaputula, Hamis Abdullah and Brave Mwale

This study investigated the use of WhatsApp as the platform for providing services at Mzuzu University Library in Malawi.

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated the use of WhatsApp as the platform for providing services at Mzuzu University Library in Malawi.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with five librarians that were either working or had worked at the reference desk for a period of not less than six months. Furthermore, the researchers did a content analysis of WhatsApp posts from the two tablet computers deployed at the reference desk. Qualitative data were analysed thematically, while the quantitative data were analysed using scientific calculators.

Findings

Findings revealed that WhatsApp has successfully been used to provide a number of user and reference services to students and staff. Notwithstanding this, a number of technical, human resource and service-related factors were discovered to be affecting the delivery of services and hence need to be addressed. It is therefore recommended that library management should take steps to address these challenges to ensure efficient and effective service delivery.

Practical implications

WhatsApp is one of the most popular social media applications that is deployed by many people including organisations at minimal cost in many countries. This makes it an ideal platform for offering information services to library clients on campus and remote places around the clock. Consequently, this could lead to increased usage of resources and services resulting in greater satisfaction among users.

Originality/value

Studies focussing on the use of WhatsApp for academic purposes in Malawi abound in the literature. However, this is the first study focussing on the use of WhatsApp for providing library reference services to be undertaken not only at Mzuzu University Library but the entire academic library sector in Malawi.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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