Management of electronic information resources (EIRs) to enhance their long-term links preservation and access in the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Pietermaritzburg (PMB) and Howard College campus libraries.
Kavishe, George Firmin.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the management of electronic information resources (EIRs) to enhance their long-term links preservation and access in the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg (PMB) and Howard College campus libraries. The study investigated the strategies and policies used in managing EIRs, how the librarians overcome technological obsolescence, the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures used in the management of the EIRs and the competency of the librarians in electronic preservation. The significance of this study lay in its addressing of the issue of long-term links preservation of and access to EIRs that has not been addressed by previous studies. There is rapid growth in the creation and dissemination of EIRs which has emphasized the digital environment’s speed and ease of dissemination with little regard for its long-term preservation and access. The study population was 33 and it comprised the subject librarians, metadata librarians and electronic resources librarian of PMB and Howard College campus libraries of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Adopting a quantitative approach the research design was that of a survey and the research instrument was a self-administered questionnaire comprising both open and closed questions. A total of 28 librarians responded to the questionnaire giving a response rate of 84.8%. Data was analyzed using SPSS. Results were presented in the form of figures and tables. The study was underpinned by the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model, which is being used widelyin the digital preservation community. The analysis of the findings revealed that there was an intermediate level of ICT knowledge and skill with regard to management of EIRs amongst the respondents and a need for training in EIRs management particularly with regards to metadata, migration, emulation, maintenances and bit preservation techniques.It was also revealed that the libraries were using the server’s hard drive to store the EIRs. The results also showed that there were an arguably high number of respondents ten (35.7%) who indicated that their libraries did not have anEIRs management policy. For those respondents who said that their libraries do have a policy, the vast majority indicated that the policy did provide guidelines for acquiring materials in electronic form and for transforming materials from print to electronic form. Recommendations emerging from the conclusion were made and suggestions for further research put forward.
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