Information and communication technology (ICT) knowledge and skills of subject librarians at the university libraries of KwaZulu-Natal.
Hoskins, Ruth Geraldine Melonie.
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The study is based on the assumption that there is an underutilisation of ICT resources in the university libraries of KwaZulu-Natal amongst subject librarians due to a lack of appropriate ICT knowledge and skills. The subject librarian's role has changed rapidly in recent years, in response to new forms of information and new methods of teaching and learning. Therefore, for subject librarians to perform their roles effectively and efficiently in such a demanding electronic environment they will need the necessary ICT knowledge and skills, that is, they will have to be computer literate. Also, the explosion of electronic information requires subject librarians to continuously update their knowledge and skills. A study population consisting of 43 subject librarians, in the university libraries of the Universities of Durban-Westville, Natal (Durban and Pietermaritzburg), and Zululand were surveyed by means of a mailed questionnaire to establish in what ways the subject librarians were using ICT, what the level of lCT knowledge and skill was amongst the subject librarians, what the ICT education and staff training and development needs were amongst the subject librarians and what problems the subject librarians faced in the use of ICT. A total of 3l subject librarians (representing 72.1 %) responded. Results were analysed in terms of frequency of responses. Results are graphically displayed in the form of pie charts and tables. Interpretation of the results reveals a low level of lCT knowledge and skill amongst subject librarians and a general lack of formal training for ICT amongst the subject librarians. Problems experienced by subject librarians were the result of a lack of ICT knowledge and skills and training. Recommendations for lCT education and staff training and development are made in light of the results of the survey and the literature review.