Evaluation of students' use of print and electronic resources at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.
The proliferation ofinformation available in electronic format has been perpetuated by rapid technological advances. Users have a choice between print and electronic resources. At the same time, the use of these resources is determined by what is available to the users and what the users prefer. Problems that users encounter when accessing these resources determine the use of print and electronic resources. The current study evaluated the use of, and preference for, print and electronic resources by students at the University of Malawi College of Medicine. The study population comprised 179 undergraduate students. A self-administered questionnaire was used to establish the students' use of, and preference for, print and electronic resources, reasons for their preferences and the problems they encountered in accessing print and electronic resources. An interview schedule was used to elicit background information from the College Librarian on issues of budgeting, technological infrastructure, licensing and copyright agreements, archiving and library staff and training. Questionnaire results were quantitatively analysed and presented in terms of frequency tables and graphs. Interview results were analysed qualitatively. The study findings show that the students used both print and electronic resources. However, print resources were more heavily used than electronic ones. The students also preferred print resources to electronic. A lack of sufficient computers and low levels of computer and information literacy contributed to the underutilisation of electronic resources. Recommendations in terms of technological infrastructure, user training, staff training, user support and archiving were made based on the findings of the study.
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