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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous challenges, but also presented opportunities that have notable implications for the future. The aim of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous challenges, but also presented opportunities that have notable implications for the future. The aim of this paper is to explore and discuss the experiences, perspectives, challenges and opportunities of Library and Information Science Educators (LISE) during the pandemic. The aim is articulated in the following three research questions: How is the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by LISE and in research? What are the perceptions formed during the period? And what are the challenges and opportunities?

Design/methodology/approach

This is an interpretivist qualitative study informed by disaster management theories. The study involved the content analysis of existing literature with a focus on COVID-19 and higher education, particularly LISE, in conjunction with an open-ended email questionnaire that was sent to selected LIS educators/faculty/staff from major LIS Schools from eight sub-Saharan African countries. The author used personal experiences and observation to supplement the data and the interpretation.

Findings

Results show more similarities than differences in how the COVID-19 pandemic is experienced and perceived, as well as the challenges and opportunities that it brings to the sector. As a whole, political factors are most pronounced, meaning that administration and decision-making need more attention in the sector. Also notable is that opportunities are mostly linked to technological factors, which will determine the “new normal” for LISE in the future. Almost all the narratives focused on the middle level of (during) the disaster life cycle, which is understandable as the complete cycle of the disaster is yet to come, likely when COVID-19 ceases to be a threat.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was small, as related studies focus more on COVID-19 and higher education, with hardly any focusing on LISE. The COVID-19 pandemic has not ended, so the disaster management life cycle cannot be fully exploited. Furthermore, the author’s categorization of responses within PEST was largely judgmental.

Practical implications

New research, teaching and learning developmental paths have been created for LISE. The study provides practical reflection on the effects of COVID-19 on the sector and HEIs that can inform discourse and responses to the pandemic.

Originality/value

The study explores a new research domain in LISE and due to limited research in the domain brings together important voices/narratives – based on their experiences – of LIS educators in Africa on the research area. Further, it proposes the future of LISE under COVID-19 within the 4IR framework.

Details

Library Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla and Lyudmila Ocholla

In this paper, we refer to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2016, where the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) was coined by Klaus Schwab…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, we refer to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2016, where the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) was coined by Klaus Schwab, with the reference that it would be building on “the Third, the digital revolution” and would be “characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres”. While acknowledging that the 4IR will impact on everything, everywhere, including research and libraries, we conceptualize 4IR, and we compare current academic library services/trends in South Africa with 4IR requirements, through the analysis of 26 public university library websites.

Design/methodology/approach

Besides conceptualization of 4IR, a content analysis of websites of 26 public universities’ libraries in South Africa was achieved followed up with verification of the data by respective libraries through a preliminary research report circulated to them by email. 23 areas were identified as the trends in academic libraries, which included free Wi-Fi in the libraries; 24/7 study areas and access to library resources on and off campus; research commons; makerspace; borrowing ICTs (e.g. laptops); e-resources; e-catalogues; research data services (RDS; RDM, IR); open scholarship; information literacy and reference/bibliographic tools, library as a publisher, among others. Data obtained were captured in Excel and analyzed by the research questions.

Findings

The 4IR concept does not occur often in literature, in relation to academic libraries, but it is implied. The findings show that the libraries are responding well to the revolution through their services, with remarkable innovation and creativity on display. There was a 64% presence of the analyzed trends/services in the libraries, with emerging trends/services such as library as a publisher (4%), robotics/AI (4%), makerspace (8%), RDS (27%), borrowing of ICTs/devices (19%) and user experience (19%) scoring low, while information literacy and digital scholarship (e.g. IR) (88%), e-catalogue and e-resources (92%), group study area (85%) and off campus access (77%) scoring above 75%. The scatter of the trends/services among the university libraries is noted for knowledge sharing of best practice.

Research limitations/implications

In order to improve accordance with trends, academic libraries have to be better resourced, accessed and used, as well as improve web visibility. The study expects library services to be responsive, resourced and accessible anytime and anywhere, and it provides a conceptual framework and a benchmark for further research and exploration in the country, region and perhaps elsewhere.

Practical implications

The study can be used for benchmarking current and future academic library services in Africa. The conceptual framework provides an agenda for theoretical discussions and deliberations.

Social implications

The trends, framework and 4IR representations in the study can inform theory and practice in LIS, particularly in Africa.

Originality/value

Linking 4IR to current and future library services provides a tool for academic libraries services benchmarking and development and provides a conceptual framework for theoretical and practical debates and implementation. The study is quite current and appropriate for the ongoing discussions of 4IR implications to academic libraries.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current status and challenges of collaboration in library and information education and training in Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current status and challenges of collaboration in library and information education and training in Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper largely draws examples from experiential knowledge and observation; basic bibliometric analysis; and studying related institutional documents as well as African studies in the domain.

Findings

Most of the library and information studies (LIS) schools are based in Anglophone Africa and located within universities. Common trends of LIS education are shared by most LIS schools in Africa. Major challenges facing LIS education include the regulation of student numbers, knowledge and diversification of LIS job markets, funding of LIS schools, the development of technology infrastructures both in quantity and quality, allowing efficient access and the continued development of education through short courses that provide new knowledge, skills and attitudes to LIS workers. Collaboration of LIS schools in the region is weak and largely informal. There is hardly any research collaboration amongst LIS schools in Africa.

Research limitations/implications

Opportunities for collaboration that exist require initiatives, involvement and leadership. Organizing LIS schools workshops and pre/post conferences during national, regional and international conferences is an excellent way to begin unravelling a considerable portion of the current collaborative plight by engaging relevant stakeholders.

Originality/value

The paper raises primary challenges and opportunities for collaboration in LIS education and training in Africa thereby providing useful, current information that should inform LIS educators, researchers, students and other stakeholders on the status and challenges of collaboration in LIS education on the continent.

Details

New Library World, vol. 109 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Library Management, vol. 39 no. 6-7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

Discusses diversity in the South African library and information work environment recognising major theories of diversity, and describing diversity provisions in the…

Abstract

Discusses diversity in the South African library and information work environment recognising major theories of diversity, and describing diversity provisions in the Constitution, policies and legislation of South Africa. Observes that diversity is not a focus issue in the library and information work environment and speculates that such insignificant attention to diversity could arise from the assumption that existing policies and legislation are sufficient to manage diversity interests. There is also a fear that making an issue on diversity can divide people rather than unite. Recommends that a major research project be conducted on diversity in the library and information workplace to provide insight into the true situation and help in strategizing, planning and intervention.

Details

Library Management, vol. 23 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

Addresses the purposes of school libraries by pinpointing theiremotional, mental, and spiritual benefits for young learners. Discussestheir requirements by considering…

Abstract

Addresses the purposes of school libraries by pinpointing their emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits for young learners. Discusses their requirements by considering typical organizational deficiencies and situations in Africa, particularly Kenya. Concludes with a summary of some of the existing contributions made towards the achievement of school library development in Africa. Acknowledges that specific steps exist to develop school libraries in Kenya but that these steps have lacked direction, co‐ordination, and goals. School libraries can be developed with limited operational infrastructure, so long as their establishment and development can be planned and co‐ordinated. So‐called problems of school library development are embedded in the underdeveloped attitude to recorded information and libraries in Africa, which is commonly disguised by “lack of resources”.

Details

New Library World, vol. 93 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

Discusses the general principles for the management of scientificinformation. These include a broad definition of scientific andtechnical information, a proper regard for…

Abstract

Discusses the general principles for the management of scientific information. These include a broad definition of scientific and technical information, a proper regard for the aims and objectives which such information might serve and an awareness of the infrastructure prerequisites for the development of the efficient management of scientific and technical information. Such management systems are particularly essential in developing countries where most forms of scientific and technological information are in scarce supply. Provides a survey of the development of organizations and arrangements for the management of scientific information in Kenya as an illustration of some of these general principles.

Details

Library Review, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

The status and development of information legislation in Kenya isdiscussed, with particular focus on legislation affecting informationflow in libraries and information…

Abstract

The status and development of information legislation in Kenya is discussed, with particular focus on legislation affecting information flow in libraries and information centres. The purpose of information legislation is outlined. The importance of information legislation in developing countries is considered in relation to its role in guiding, regulating and controlling the use of information and information resources within a society whether or not there is a national information policy.

Details

Library Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

Dennis N. Ocholla

Discusses issues relating to professional development and manpowertraining in Kenya. Provides background information on the libraries andinformation sciences training…

Abstract

Discusses issues relating to professional development and manpower training in Kenya. Provides background information on the libraries and information sciences training programmes situation. Gives attention to issues and trends affecting the information profession in training, curricula development, application of information technology, cost of information materials and the crisis in supply and demand in regard to manpower development in the information profession. Suggests that institutions for training information professionals need to observe the supply and demand trends in their environment and to adjust both the curricula and intake of trainees to the national situation. The training institutions also need to broaden the courses offered in their programmes to include computer skills, communication studies, economics of information, marketing, research methodologies, management, publishing and booktrade, resource sharing and continuing education. The market for information professionals needs to be provided with products with diversified knowledge and skills. Concludes with observations on how the problems of manpower development and training in information sciences in Kenya may be handled.

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