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Article
Publication date: 14 February 2020

Adefunke O. Alabi and Stephen M. Mutula

The purpose of this paper is to determine the state-of-the-art assistive technologies (ATs) developed for people living with visual disability and those that are used in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the state-of-the-art assistive technologies (ATs) developed for people living with visual disability and those that are used in academic libraries around the world as a way of proffering solution to the challenges faced by visually impaired students in accessing information.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used for this paper were derived from website of companies that specialize in ATs for people living with disability and the library website of the top 14 universities in the world based on the 2020 QS world ranking of universities.

Findings

This study found that foremost academic libraries in the UK and the USA have integrated various ATs into library services as information access mechanism for students living with visual impairment. The study found that the most commonly used screen reader software is the Job Access With Speech (JAWS). The study also found that one of the institutions has a mission statement on their website, clearly stating support for people living with disability.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted using only the 2020 QS world ranking of universities. It would be interesting to see results of academic libraries from Africa based on their ranking.

Practical implications

The paper provides highlights on trends that may inform academic libraries in the quest to providing ATs for students living with visual impairments. This paper may assist academics libraries who are at the brink of decision-making on use of ATs as information access mechanism to the visually impaired students.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to provide librarians with ideas and innovations on specific ATs used by leading academic libraries in the world.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 December 2020

Patrick Ajibade and Stephen M. Mutula

The purpose of this paper is to present the alignment of disruptive technologies into library and information science (LIS) and libraries as virtual learning spaces during…

567

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the alignment of disruptive technologies into library and information science (LIS) and libraries as virtual learning spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown as alternative trajectories to end the disruption caused by the COVID-19; however, the educational systems are still facing challenges in achieving these lofty objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A living-lab methodology was adopted for this paper as an innovative approach, in which technologies that are in the development stages or full deployments are integrated with social research design to test the viability of such technologies for the intended purposes.

Findings

The LIS alignment of virtual learning technologies showed that disruptive technology could benefit academic libraries, with minimum training of staff. However, internet bandwidth, digital divide and lack of built-in functionality on the Zoom, compared with Moodle, for assessment and grading are huge setbacks. Nevertheless, library platforms must be mobile-response and agile software algorithm to include voice-over and voice recognition search functionality to access all the databases.

Research limitations/implications

For this paper, use of disruptive technology was limited to virtual online learning, Zoom and Moodle; however, the alignment of blockchain and big data and the libraries services was not covered.

Practical implications

This paper showed that the LIS could mitigate the COVID-19 global pandemic with disruptive IT alignment with learning management systems (LMS) and for the libraries to remain open during the coronavirus lockdown.

Social implications

Academic libraries can deploy disruptive technologies as virtual library spaces.

Originality/value

Disruptive technology alignment with LMS as virtual library space was posited for the academic librarians to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Stephen M. Mutula

The paper discusses the current status of information technology development in Kenya and assesses how the public universities along with their libraries in the country…

1916

Abstract

The paper discusses the current status of information technology development in Kenya and assesses how the public universities along with their libraries in the country should respond in order to compete effectively in the new technological dispensation and become part of the global information society.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Stephen M. Mutula

207

Abstract

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Tomas Mauta Sairosse and Stephen M. Mutula

This paper reports on a study to determine the use of cybercafés in Gaborone, Botswana. The study involved questionnaires, interviews and observations of the management…

722

Abstract

This paper reports on a study to determine the use of cybercafés in Gaborone, Botswana. The study involved questionnaires, interviews and observations of the management and users of the 13 cybercafés in Gaborone. The results showed that the majority of cybercafé users were students, workers and business people. Cybercafés were used largely for communication, entertainment, meeting other people, and for education. The study made recommendations to enhance Internet uptake through cybercafés in Botswana. Privacy and diversity of other services were reasons cited by users for their preference for using cybercafés rather than libraries to access the Web.

Details

Program, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Stephen M. Mutula and Mzee M.M.M. Ahmadi

The Tanzania Government recognizes the importance of Internet accessibility in national development and has been at the forefront, at least on paper, in putting in place…

1071

Abstract

The Tanzania Government recognizes the importance of Internet accessibility in national development and has been at the forefront, at least on paper, in putting in place institutional structures and frameworks to enhance Internet access and use, particularly in Dar es Salaam. Some of the notable accomplishments have been in the area of legislation: deregulation in telecommunication sector, licensing, reduction of import duty and other tariffs on software and hardware. These efforts, though, have not translated in practical terms into wider Internet adoption and use in the country. This paper presents the results of a study that was carried out to establish why, despite what is seen as Government’s efforts to improve Internet accessibility and use in Dar es Salaam, the impact of these efforts remains insignificant.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Stephen M. Mutula

Libraries in the university environment in Eastern and Southern Africa are making efforts to join and participate effectively in the information revolution. However, these…

2310

Abstract

Libraries in the university environment in Eastern and Southern Africa are making efforts to join and participate effectively in the information revolution. However, these efforts continue to be hampered by many problems both internal and external. This paper reviews information technology (IT) developments in the university environment in Eastern and Southern Africa, and illustrates what university libraries can do to meet user expectations and remain relevant. The current scene in the region is assessed and analysed through selected literature reviews, the author’s personal experience working in the region, visits to some universities, other key institutions such as the Telkom telecommunications and Eskom electricity companies of South Africa, and discussions with professional colleagues in national seminars and regional conferences.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Tomas Mauta Sairosse and Stephen M. Mutula

This paper discusses the findings of a study that was carried out to determine the economic impact of cybercafés in Gaborone, Botswana. The research design was a survey…

1536

Abstract

This paper discusses the findings of a study that was carried out to determine the economic impact of cybercafés in Gaborone, Botswana. The research design was a survey. The results from the study showed that the cybercafé sector in Gaborone, Botswana, has grown by 1,300 per cent since 2001. The sector is contributing to the gross domestic product of Botswana largely through employment, government taxation and earning the country foreign exchange through e‐commerce and e‐business transactions. However all was not going well for cybercafés as they were faced with problems of competition, high tariffs, low bandwidth, and high equipment costs, among others. The study recommended the need for the coordination of cybercafé sector in order to make its growth less haphazard; reduction of taxes on computers; enactment of cyber law, modernization and improvement of bandwidth.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2007

Damaris Odero‐Musakali and Stephen M. Mutula

This paper sets out to discuss internet adoption and assimilation among university libraries in Kenya.

2421

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to discuss internet adoption and assimilation among university libraries in Kenya.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature survey and the experiences of the authors with the Kenyan high education system.

Findings

The potential advantages of the internet appear to have precluded the foresight of Kenyan university libraries to the challenges that may be associated with its deployment. There is clear under‐utilization and considerable disparities between and within the libraries in their levels of general Information and Communication Technology (ICT) deployment and use in Kenya. Most public university libraries still use conventional methods of service provision, suggesting that most library employees are not ready to embrace and integrate these information technologies in their routine operations. If promising ICT applications cannot be widely deployed, then the benefits resulting from such technologies are likely to be equally curtailed.

Research limitations/implications

This paper confines itself to discussion of the internet in Kenyan university libraries. The paper also focuses only on fully fledged government, and private universities as they are among the major stakeholders of the internet initiatives taking place in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. Higher education in Kenya has expanded tremendously in the last decade and there is need for studies that address various issues that relate to technology adoption and use that include legal and regulatory frameworks, technology transfer, capacity building and management of new technologies.

Originality/value

With students and staff in higher education the world over increasingly gaining access to the internet and other new technologies, the future of universities depends on their capacity to institutionalize such technologies to meet the complex needs of the academic populace. The ubiquitous presence of ICTs in academic libraries, especially the internet and its potential impact on learning, teaching, and research, implies that any effort that would shed light on this technology is laudable. This underscores the need to understand the underlying factors that impede or promote individuals’ response to the internet‐based technology in university libraries not only in Kenya but elsewhere.

Details

Library Review, vol. 56 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2002

Stephen M. Mutula

A review of relevant literature reveals a great deal of information on the possible use of cell phones for Internet access via the emerging wireless application protocol…

3080

Abstract

A review of relevant literature reveals a great deal of information on the possible use of cell phones for Internet access via the emerging wireless application protocol (WAP) technology, but little information if any exists about the link between cell phones and libraries. Going by the wide use of wireless networks in libraries especially in Western countries, it is possible that as cell phone technology continues to evolve and mature it could have a significant impact on libraries in the same way the Internet did. Ironically, today, a review of cell phone use in libraries only reveals efforts that are being made to dissuade users from making or receiving calls on their handsets within libraries. Few efforts are geared towards exploring ways that cell phone technology could be used to enhance library operations. Attempts to demonstrate that cell phones may in future provide solutions to libraries’ problems of connectivity especially in the remote areas of the Southern African Development Community member states.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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