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Article
Publication date: 27 December 2022

Antony Mwenda Kinoti and Fredrick Otike

This paper aims to analyse the impact of community knowledge and the role that libraries and librarians can contribute to bridging the information gap.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the impact of community knowledge and the role that libraries and librarians can contribute to bridging the information gap.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopted the literature review method in comprehensively exploring the impact that community knowledge is being embraced in the current generation.

Findings

This paper established that the sprout and appreciation of community knowledge is on the rise, as such, libraries and librarians need to establish appropriate avenues through which their users can be able to verify authentic community knowledge as a way of eliminating information disorder.

Originality/value

This study analyses community knowledge and its benefits in the current digital age and how libraries and librarians can be relevant information providers to their users.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 October 2021

Fredrick Otike and Ágnes Hajdu Barát

Due to globalization, digitization and advanced technology, academic libraries are experiencing a tremendous change in their role and operations. The purpose of this study is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to globalization, digitization and advanced technology, academic libraries are experiencing a tremendous change in their role and operations. The purpose of this study is to critically examine and establish the emerging trends of academic libraries in Kenya; this study also highlights some of the critical roles of the academic libraries in relation to the emerging trends.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted the literature review method to critically analyse and establish the various roles and emerging trends and issues in academic libraries in Kenya.

Findings

This study established that change is inevitable and that academic libraries are supposed to adapt to the emerging trending trends and roles, lest their function and service become redundant. Due to the fact that library users’ information needs and information-seeking behaviour are changing, academic libraries are supposed to devise new and innovative ways of reaching out to their clients.

Originality/value

This study has been able to comprehensively create a new viewpoint of the role and emerging trends of academic libraries in Kenya in regards to the changing and advancement of new technology.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2022

Asmaa Bouaamri, Fredrick Otike and Ágnes Barátné Hajdu

The purpose of this paper was to highlight pertinent issues relating to digital access and the development of digital reading culture in Africa. This study established the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to highlight pertinent issues relating to digital access and the development of digital reading culture in Africa. This study established the appropriate strategies of promoting digital reading culture in African libraries and also the roles that libraries use in promoting the adoption of digital reading culture amidst various challenges and obstacles.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examined an extensive empirical and theoretical literature review. A thorough analysis of the literature was done, focusing on combining empirical studies and theoretical ones, to bring out the importance of the reading process and how it can be adapted to digital context to overcome the access issues in the digital environment.

Findings

The findings indicated the advantages of digital reading in the present era. Additionally, the results pointed out the challenges faced in developing countries in Africa when promoting a digital reading culture and proposed the important role of librarians in helping the population through digital literacy.

Originality/value

This paper provides significant approaches on promoting digital reading in developing countries. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to review the literature from different aspects and perspectives on this topic in the context of developing countries in Africa.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 39 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 December 2022

Joel Nakitare and Fredrick Otike

Plagiarism has been on the rise, mainly because of increased access to the internet and digital sources. To combat the threat of plagiarism, various universities have implemented…

Abstract

Purpose

Plagiarism has been on the rise, mainly because of increased access to the internet and digital sources. To combat the threat of plagiarism, various universities have implemented countermeasures such as capacity building, anti-plagiarism policies and the purchase of anti-plagiarism software. In Kenya, there appears to be a lack of cohesion among universities in combating plagiarism, a situation that threatens teaching, learning and research if not addressed adequately. This paper aims to review and identify anti-plagiarism practices in Kenyan universities; it further proposed various best practices and policy actions that ought to be adopted to win the fight and the misperception of plagiarism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a mixed-method approach by surveying the librarians and interviewing the graduate school directors or deans to establish the strength and challenges in implementing plagiarism measures in the universities in Kenya. Before collecting data, the researcher checked the reliability of the tools by pretesting and readjusting the tools based on input from the participants.

Findings

This study established that most universities in Kenya appreciate the fact that plagiarism negatively affects the quality of teaching, learning and research. However, despite the fact that there is goodwill in the effort to combat plagiarism, there were no unified mechanisms, strategies and implementation policies in solving plagiarism issues among universities in Kenya. Different universities have adopted different strategies in terms of policy, software and capacity. Further, it was noted that the well-established/funded universities had clear stipulated mechanisms as opposed to the ill-funded universities with limited funding and budget.

Practical implications

This research provides an opportunity for universities to make an informed choice about the policies, required capacity and software to tackle plagiarism. The findings from the study will be used to improve the quality of academic writing and standardize procedures on plagiarism by proposing policy actions needed to maximize the benefits of the investments in this venture. This study recommends a collaborations approach among universities in the fight against plagiarism. Because the Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium already supports many university cooperation, they ought to take the initiative in formulating policy, choosing the appropriate software to use and developing the necessary ability in the battle against plagiarism.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first effort to evaluate the anti-plagiarism strategies being applied in different universities in Kenya. This study demonstrates the gaps and variations in university strategies in combating academic plagiarism. The findings can be applied to improve academic communication and indeed the quality of research output at other universities in Kenya and beyond.

Details

Digital Library Perspectives, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5816

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2024

Joel Nakitare, Fredrick Otike and Lydiah Mureithi

Commercial entities have recently expressed growing interest in commercialising indigenous knowledge (IK) due to its enormous economic and intrinsic value. As this happens…

Abstract

Purpose

Commercial entities have recently expressed growing interest in commercialising indigenous knowledge (IK) due to its enormous economic and intrinsic value. As this happens, custodial communities must not be disadvantaged in the process. This paper aims to understand the legal framework of the commercialisation of IK to identify the opportunities and factors impeding or affecting the commercialisation of indigenous knowledge in Kenya.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative research approach. An extensive exploratory literature review of existing legal instruments was done to establish the progress and gaps for commercialising indigenous knowledge in Kenya.

Findings

The study shows that the legal framework of IK in Kenya is inadequate. There are no well-established frameworks and policies to protect IK in Kenya, and thus, host communities are subjected to exploitation. The diversity of tribes and communities makes it challenging to have a clear framework, mainly because IK is a devolved function. The study identifies the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions Act 2016, The National Museums and Heritage Act 2006 and the Natural Products Industry as the key milestones towards commercialisation of IK, while inadequate documentation of IK, communal ownership and inadequate legislation were identified as the main impediments to commercialisation of IK in Kenya.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the diverse cultures and tribal communities in Kenya, the research could not access all the literature on all traditional IK in Kenya, and very few case studies have been conducted in Kenya.

Practical implications

The gaps identified in the legal framework can form a basis for legislation, policy change, actions and research needed to improve the commercialisation of IK.

Originality/value

The paper underscores the importance of balancing economic empowerment with preserving cultural integrity and protecting indigenous rights in commercialisation.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 March 2022

Fredrick Otike, Asmaa Bouaamri and Ágnes Hajdu Barát

This research study investigated the perception of the international students on the role of the university libraries in Hungary during the COVID-19 online learning period, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This research study investigated the perception of the international students on the role of the university libraries in Hungary during the COVID-19 online learning period, the research study sought to establish the level of fulfillment the university libraries had on international students’ information needs. This study was necessitated by the fact that most of the international students came from different backgrounds and cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a quantitative research approach; the study used the online survey tool Google Forms, data were collected from three universities in Hungary that hosts most international students, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest University of Technology, and Economics (BME) and Budapest Business School Faculty of Finance and Accountancy (BGE). The targeted sampling population was 60 international students comprising 30 postgraduate and 30 undergraduate international students; a simple stratified random sampling method was used to collect the data. The findings were analyzed using the descriptive statistics method.

Findings

The study established that most international students never relied on their university library electronic resources, when accessing electronic resources they mainly accessed using Google search engine, this feedback can be associated with the fact that most students never attended library orientation and neither did they have information literacy training during the lockdown. Students experienced the following challenges, lack of adequate study literature, the language barrier in accessing some information, digital information illiteracy, etc. The recommendation of this study is that there is a need to offer frequent literacy studies, provide more digital resources and enhance more and easy accessibility of information resources.

Research limitations/implications

The research was confined to strictly using online survey tools due to the fact that students were isolated everywhere in Budapest, and the COVID-19 guidelines of 1.5-meter rule and social distance were still in force during the time these data were collected.

Originality/value

The study brings new limelight on the struggles international students in Hungary endured during the COVID-19 lockdown, and their perception of the role of university libraries, it equally establishes significant roles of the universities library in supporting international students.

Details

Library Management, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Fredrick Kiwuwa Lugya

The purpose of this paper is to report the training of college librarians, academic and management staff, IT managers and students on how to organise, manage and use a…

1743

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the training of college librarians, academic and management staff, IT managers and students on how to organise, manage and use a user-friendly library. In Uganda, as in many countries, the problem is that school and/or college libraries are managed by librarians who may have good cataloguing and management skills, but who do not have the pedagogic skills and knowledge of the school curricula that are necessary for librarians to be able to guide and mentor both teachers and students or organise curriculum-related activities or facilitate research. The development of user-friendly libraries contributes in improving education quality through nurturing the interest of students and teachers in literacy activities and active search for knowledge. Under the stewardship of the Belgium Technical Cooperation and the Ministry of Education in Uganda, library stakeholders were trained on how to put users – rather than themselves – in the centre of the library’s operations and introduced to active teaching and learning methodologies and activities with emphasis on getting engaged in transforming spaces, services, outreach to users and collections. Several measures, short and long term were taken to address the gaps limiting the performance of the librarians. Given the disparities in the trainees’ education level and work experience, the training was delivered in seven modules divided into three units for over eight months in 2015. By the end of the training, trainees developed unique library strategic plan, library policies and procedures, capacity to use library systems, physical design and maintenance systems, partnerships, library structure and staff job descriptions.

Design/methodology/approach

To effectively engage the participants each topic was conducted using active teaching and learning (ATL) methodologies, including: lecture with slides and hands-on practice – each topic was introduced in a lecture form with slides and hands-on exercises. The main goal was to introduce the participants to the concepts discussed, offer opportunities to explore alternative approaches, as well define boundaries for discussion through brainstorming. The question-answer approach kept the participants alert and to start thinking critically on the topic discussed – brainstorming sessions allowed thinking beyond the presentation room, drawing from personal experiences to provide alternatives to anticipated challenges. The goal here was for the participants to provide individual choices and approaches for real life problems; group discussions: case study/ scenario and participant presentations – participants were provided with a scenario and asked to provide alternative approaches that could solve the problem based on their personal experience at their colleges. By the end of the group discussion, participants presented a draft of the deliverable as per the topic under discussion. More so, group discussions were an excellent approach to test participant’s teamwork skills and ability to compromise, as well as respecting team decisions. It was an opportunity to see how librarians will work with the library committees. Group discussions further initiated and cemented the much-needed librarian–academic staff – college management relationship. During the group discussion, librarians, teaching staff, ICT staff and college management staff, specifically the Principals and Deputy Principals interacted freely thus starting and cultivating a new era of work relationship between them. Individual presentation: prior to the workshop, participants were sent instructions to prepare a presentation on a topic. For example, participants were asked to provide their views of what a “user-friendly library” would look like or what would constitute a “user-friendly library”; the college library of HTC-Mulago was asked to talk about their experience working with book reserves, challenges faced and plans they have to address the challenges, while the college librarian from NTC-Kaliro was asked to describe a situation where they were able to assist a patron, the limitations they faced and how they addressed them. Doing so did not only assist to emotionally prepare the participants for the training but also helped to make them start thinking about the training in relation to their libraries and work. Take-home assignment: at the end of each session, participants were given home assignments to not only revise the training material but also prepare for the next day training. Further the take-home assignments provided time for the participants to discuss with their colleagues outside of the training room so as to have a common ground/ understanding on some of the very sensitive issues. Most interesting assignment was when participants were asked to review an article and to make a presentation in relation to their library experiences. Participant reports: participant reports resulted from the take-home assignments and participants were asked to make submission on a given topic. For example, participants were asked to review IFLA section on library management and write a two-page report on how such information provided supported their own work, as well as a participant report came from their own observation after a library visit. Invited talks with library expert: two invited talks by library experts from Consortium of Uganda University Libraries and Uganda Library and Information Science Association with the goal to share their experience, motivate the participants to strive higher and achieve great things for their libraries. Library visitation: there were two library visits conducted on three separate days – International Hospital Kampala (IHK) Library, Makerere University Library and Aga Khan University Hospital Library. Each of these library visits provided unique opportunities for the participants to explore best practices and implement similar practices in their libraries. Visual aids – videos, building plans and still photos: these were visual learning aids to supplement text during the lectures because they carried lot of information while initiating different thoughts best on the participants’ past experience and expertise. The training advocated for the use of ATL methodologies and likewise similar methodologies were used to encourage participants do so in their classrooms.

Findings

Addressing Key Concerns: Several measures, both long and short term, were taken to address the gaps limiting the performance of the librarians. The measures taken included: selected representative sample of participants including all college stakeholders as discussed above; active teaching and learning methodologies applied in the training and blended in the content of the training materials; initiated and formulated approaches to collaborations, networks and partnerships; visited different libraries to benchmark library practices and encourage future job shadowing opportunities; and encouraged participants to relate freely, understand and value each other’s work to change their mindsets. College librarians were encouraged to ensure library priorities remain on the agenda through advocacy campaigns. Short-term measures: The UFL training was designed as a practical and hands-on training blended with individual and group tasks, discussions, take-home assignments and presentations by participants. This allowed participates to engage with the material and take responsibility for their own work. Further, the training material was prepared with a view that librarians support the academic life of teaching staff and students. Participants were tasked to develop and later fine-tune materials designed to support their work. For example, developing a subject bibliography and posting it on the library website designed using open source tools such as Google website, Wikis, blogs. The developed library manual includes user-friendly policies and procedures referred to as “dos and don’ts in the library” that promote equitable open access to information; drafting book selection memos; new book arrivals lists; subscribing to open access journals; current awareness services and selective dissemination of information service displays and electronic bulletins. Based on their library needs and semester calendar, participants developed action points and timelines to implement tasks in their libraries at the end of each unit training. Librarians were encouraged to share their experiences through library websites, Facebook page, group e-mail/listserv and Instagram; however, they were challenged with intimate internet access. College libraries were rewarded for their extraordinary job. Given their pivotal role in the management and administration of financial and material resources, on top of librarians, the participants in this training were college administrators/ management, teaching and ICT staff, researchers and student leadership. Participants were selected to address the current and future needs of the college library. These are individuals that are perceived to have a great impact towards furthering the college library agenda. The practical nature of this training warranted conducting the workshops from developed but similar library spaces, for example, Aga Khan University Library and Kampala Capital City, Makerere University Library, International Hospital Kampala Library and Uganda Christian University Library. Participants observed orientation sessions, reference desk management and interviews, collection management practices, preservation and conservation, secretarial bureau management, etc. Long-term measures: Changing the mindset of librarians, college administrators and teaching staff is a long-term commitment which continues to demand for innovative interventions. For example: job shadowing allowed college librarian short-term attachments to Makerere University Library, Uganda Christian University Library, Aga Khan Hospital University Library and International Hospital Kampala Library – these libraries were selected because of their comparable practices and size. The mentorship programme lasted between two-three weeks; on-spot supervision and follow-up visits to assess progress with the action plan by the librarians and college administration and college library committee; ensuring that all library documents – library strategic plan, library manual, library organogram, etc are approved by the College Governing Council and are part of the college wide governing documents; and establishing the library committee with a job description for each member – this has strengthened the library most especially as an advocacy tool, planning and budgeting mechanism, awareness channel for library practices, while bringing the library to the agenda – reemphasizing the library’s agenda. To bridge the widened gap between librarians and the rest of the stakeholders, i.e. teaching staff, ICT staff, college administration and students, a college library committee structure and its mandate were established comprising: Library Committee Chairperson – member of the teaching staff; Library Committee Secretary – College Librarian; Student Representative – must be a member of the student Guild with library work experience; and Representative from each college academic department. A library consortium was formed involving all the four project supported colleges to participate in resource sharing practices, shared work practices like shared cataloguing, information literacy training, reference interview and referral services as well a platform for sharing experiences. A library consortium further demanded for automating library functions to facilitate collaboration and shared work. Plans are in place to install Koha integrated library system that will cultivate a strong working relationship between librarians and students, academic staff, college administration and IT managers. This was achieved by ensuring that librarians innovatively implement library practices and skills acquired from the workshop as well as show their relevance to the academic life of the academic staff. Cultivating relationships takes a great deal of time, thus college librarians were coached on: creating inclusive library committees, timely response to user needs, design library programmes that address user needs, keeping with changing technology to suite changing user needs, seeking customer feedback and collecting user statistics to support their requests, strengthening the library’s financial based by starting a secretarial bureau and conducting user surveys to understand users’ information-seeking behaviour. To improve the awareness of new developments in the library world, college librarians were introduced to library networks at national, regional and international levels, as a result they participated in conferences, workshops, seminars at local, regional and international level. For example, for the first time and with funding from Belgium Technical Cooperation, college librarians attended 81st IFLA World Library and Information Congress in South African in 2015. College libraries are now members of the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries and Uganda Library and Information Science Association and have attended meetings of these two very important library organisations in Uganda’s LIS profession. The college librarians have attended meetings and workshops organized by these two organisations.

Originality/value

At the end of the three units training, participants were able to develop: a strategic plan for their libraries; an organogram with staffing needs and job description matching staff functions; a Library Committee for each library and with a structure unifying all the four project-support Colleges; a library action plan with due dates including deliverables and responsibilities for implementation; workflow plan and organisation of key sections of the library such as reserved and public spaces; furniture and equipment inventory (assets); a library manual and collection development policy; partnerships with KCCA Library and Consortium of Uganda University Libraries; skills to use Koha ILMS for performing library functions including: cataloguing, circulation, acquisitions, serials management, reporting and statistics; skills in searching library databases and information literacy skills; skills in designing simple and intuitive websites using Google Sites tools; and improved working relationship between the stakeholders was visible. To further the user-friendly libraries principle of putting users in the centre of the library’s operations, support ATL methodologies and activities with emphasis on getting engaged in transforming spaces, services, outreach to users and collections the following initiatives are currently implemented in the colleges: getting approval of all library policy documents by College Governing Council, initiating job shadowing opportunities, conducting on-spot supervision, guide libraries to set up college library committees and their job description, design library websites, develop dissemination sessions for all library policies, incorporate user-friendly language in all library documents, initiate income generation activities for libraries, set terms of reference for library staff and staffing as per college organogram, procurement of library tools like DDC and library of congress subject headings (LCSH), encourage attendance to webinars and space planning for the new libraries.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

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