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Doctoral Degrees (Information Studies)

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    An examination of information ethics standards in the management of open access electronic information resources (OAEIR) by Zimbabwean university libraries.
    (2024) Hogo, Howard.; Hoskins, Ruth Geraldine Melonie.
    The information society has given university libraries new technological tools and platforms to connect with their clients, eliminating the need to constrain what the library publishes and provision of access to its clients. However, it also unlocked many unanswered ethical questions and dimensions. The proliferation of open access electronic information resources (OAEIR) has created more significant ethical challenges for Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals, from the privacy, accuracy, property, and access to ethical standards, more so from the African cultural perspective. LIS professionals' adoption of information ethics standards, ethical dimensions and associated dilemmas are increasingly becoming topical issues in the information society due to the proliferation of OAEIR. The study was conducted to determine the adoption of information ethics standards in managing OAEIR by LIS professionals. Additionally, the study sought to determine information ethics dilemmas encountered by LIS professionals in executing open access electronic information management processes. Finally, the study sought to establish contextual information ethics standards that LIS professionals could implement in the open access electronic information management processes. The study adopted the deontological ethics theoretical framework and PAPA information ethics framework to thoroughly interrogate the library information processes, which are creation, organisation, and dissemination. The study used a pragmatism worldview as a research paradigm, a mixed methods research approach, and a sequential explanatory research design. The study population was drawn from LIS professionals serving in nine Zimbabwean university libraries. The study used the census survey sampling techniqu e and purposive sampling for operational level LIS professionals and managerial level LIS professionals, respectively. Additionally, the study used document analysis, which looked at OAEIR related policies and standard operating procedures. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis procedures were employed through descriptive statistics analysis and the SPSS, and thematic content analysis, respectively. The findings revealed that there was generally a lack of information and awareness on information ethics available to LIS professionals. University libraries' affiliation to the LIS code of ethics was viewed in terms of being members of either AfLIA or IFLA, but with no clear policy guidelines on how they would draw from these institutions’ codes. Local professional associations such as ZimLA and ZULC were not doing enough to conscientise LIS professionals on the profession's ethics. Resultantly, university libraries lacked clear policy direction regarding LIS professionals' ethical obligations in electronic content, affecting how ethical issues were being implemented in everyday electronic library workflow operations. Information management in this contemporary library environment and the information-seeking behaviour of library clients have created many ethical dilemmas for LIS professionals. The electronic information revolution has created many problematic ethical grey areas for LIS professionals, and generally in all PAPA, in the management processes of OAEIR. LIS professionals' application of ethical standards in the day-to-day management of OAEIR was influenced by duty-based principles at the library level, aided by experience. LIS professionals' culture greatly impacted the adoption and application of ethical principles and decisions in the management of OAEIR, ushering in an African culture ethical dimension. The available global codes of ethics standards for LIS professionals applied to LIS professionals in Zimbabwe in a broader sense, hence the need for a contextualised code of ethics framework. The study's findings contribute towards awareness, perception, and adoption of information ethics standards by Zimbabwean university libraries and other local affiliated associations, including managing ethical dilemmas emanating from the management of OAEIR. The study findings contribute a cultural dimension to the deontology ethics theoretical framework, thereby enhancing appreciation of the theory. The findings also contribute to more research on information ethics in relation to the LIS profession, especially from the African perspective, in addition to the offering of the discipline in LIS studies across the country and beyond, especially as viewed through the eyes of the contemporary library field.
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    Investigating the optimisation of South African university library budgets in an austerity environment.
    (2023) Chatikobo, Chiratidzo Nyadzai.; Hoskins, Ruth Geraldine Melonie.
    South African Research University Libraries (SARULs) strive to provide essential information resources to support their universities' learning, teaching, research, and community engagement functions. However, the ever-tightening library budgets reduce library resources in South Africa (SA) and worldwide. The existing optimisation strategies appear to be short-term, spontaneous, and unsustainable. There is, therefore, a need to develop long-term sustainable optimisation strategies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the optimisation of South African university library budgets in an austerity environment. In so doing, the following research objectives were pursued: firstly, to determine if austerity budgets were the only problem causing the shrinking of library resources. Secondly, this study sought to establish what optimisation strategies were in place and their sustainability. Thirdly, to investigate if the Theory of Constraints (TOC) could be used successfully to optimise SARULs’ budgets in an austerity environment. This study adopted the qualitative research approach and employed in-depth interviews to collect primary data from purposively sampled respondents through WhatsApp, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. The study’s target population consisted of 42 respondents selected from six research universities in SA according to the Carnegie Cooperation of New York (CCNY) classification. The universities were Rhodes University (RU), Stellenbosch University (SU), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), University of Pretoria (UP), and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Data on the reasons for shrinking library resources and optimisation strategies were collected. Thematic content analysis was used to clarify the meaning of the qualitative data. Qualitative data collected were analysed using ATLAS ti.22. The findings of this study revealed that only paid-for resources were shrinking, while there was an information explosion on alternative Open Access (OA) resources for libraries to access. Several reasons for the shrinking of library resources and optimisation strategies were brought to the fore by the librarian and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research (DVC:R) respondents. It was of concern that some optimisation strategies were not long-term but aimed at short-term solutions. The study concluded that there was a need to develop long-term, sustainable optimisation strategies that would help strengthen SARULs role as a learning resource centre. The study would contribute to the body of knowledge by recommending policies and practices that would help optimise budgets. This would help decision-makers make informed decisions when supporting libraries with financial and technical assistance. Extending this study to other SA universities with different resources and experiences could be a valuable avenue for future research.
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    Performance evaluation of service quality and user satisfaction in selected Zimbabwe university libraries.
    (2024) Ndinde, Shadreck.; Olasina, Gbolahan.
    This study examines the performance evaluation of service quality and user satisfaction in selected Zimbabwe university libraries. The study objectives were to establish reasons for the criticality of performance evaluation in university libraries, to identify the aspects of performance evaluation standards that contribute the most to service quality and user satisfaction, to examine how the service quality of libraries is affected by technologies, to assess service quality characteristics that contribute to user satisfaction, and to evaluate the decline in the usage statistics of the selected university libraries This study aimed to determine the centrality of the performance assessment of service quality and user satisfaction. The focus is on the selected institutions in Zimbabwe. The study further identifies the contextual areas affecting service quality, user satisfaction, and performance evaluation methods. It provides an opportunity to advance our knowledge of library operations and services, improve our understanding of user expectations, and enhance efficient service delivery. This is crucial in the Information Science fraternity in several ways. For instance, the theoretical perspectives of the study are intended to provide and contribute to the knowledge of performance evaluation of service quality and user satisfaction in university libraries in Zimbabwe. The study adopts the Expectation Confirmation Theory (ECT) as the theoretical lens to view the research hypotheses. It also uses a pragmatic paradigm to address the different research questions. The study also employs a combined quantitative and qualitative approach using a survey questionnaire, interviews, and observation for data collection. A survey questionnaire was administered to 1330 postgraduate library users, and semi structured interviews were conducted with nine purposively selected library managers. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis, while quantitative data were analysed using the statistical package for social science (SPSS) 2021 to generate descriptive and inferential statistics to actualise the study's objectives. The reliability and validity of the instruments were ascertained through test retest reliability using Cronbach’s alpha on 30 postgraduate students from a university that was not selected. A reliability analysis was conducted on an instrument comprising 43 items. The Cronbach’s alpha showed that the questionnaire had acceptable reliability (α = 0.852). The study adhered to the ethical protocol of the University of KwaZulu Natal. The study findings established that respondents strongly felt that performance evaluation, user feedback, and user suggestions of library services are more critical to library performance and improving library services. The results revealed that library policies, procedures, and regulations affect most service quality and user satisfaction. The findings of this study showed that the use of computers has increased library performance. It was also found that physical library visits declined owing to the proliferation of technologies. The findings indicate that libraries have resources and facilities that meet users’ needs. The library staff were highly commendable. The study concludes that variables such as performance evaluation, service quality, and user satisfaction contribute to library service quality. The study also concluded that university libraries that subscribe to local and international associations and organisations develop more in their management. The selected libraries can raise their standards by becoming members of local and international associations. It was concluded that the availability of electronic resources enhances research quality by supplementing hard copies. University libraries should invest in electronic resources and ensure that they subscribe to various of these resources to increase the accessibility of their collections. The study recommended that work on performance measurement and evaluation be performed regularly. Every academic library's measurement and evaluation team must suggest proper planning for conducting performance surveys. The study also recommends that specific standards be observed to allow university libraries to use different indicators and the revised standards procedures in their operations. There was a need for collaborative efforts through national associations (ZimLA), Zimbabwe Library Consortia, and other international associations (IF LA, AFLIA and American Library Association (ALA). The study recommends that university libraries keep pace with the latest technological advancements. The study also recommends that library management create a section in the library dedicated to eliciting user needs. This study also recommends that library staff be trained and retrained on how to maintain library statistics. The findings, conclusions, and recommendations will help university libraries strengthen their systems and strategies for improving the provision of their services. More importantly, evidence based modern benchmarking tools will usher in a new dimension of managing university libraries. The study proposes a more refined model and instrument for measuring the service quality and user satisfaction of libraries. Finally, this study has the potential to improve the user experience of university libraries.
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    Electronic records management and information culture in Botswana's parastatals.
    (2023) Thabakgolo, Mogogi.; Nsibirwa, Zawedde Gulikomuseesa.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The role and value of special library services in the information age: a case study of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
    (2022) Rajagopaul, Athena.; Hoskins, Ruth Geraldine Melonie.
    With technological advancements and the rise of the information age, this study investigated the role of special library services in the information age specifically in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). While observations reveal that other special libraries have closed or down-sized, the SABC libraries have been in existence since 1961 and continue to function. For this reason, the aim of the study was: 1) To ascertain the value and role of the special library service in the information age at the SABC; 2) To determine the extent to which the SABC libraries have been influenced by ICTs; and 3) To draw on possible best practices and trends that can be implemented by the SABC libraries. The study’s population was the SABC staff in the hub cities of South Africa, namely, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Mixed methods approach was employed for the study. Two different web-based questionnaires targeted the SABC library staff and library users. Interviews were conducted with selected managers. The study was underpinned using the Organization Theory (Systems Approach), Technology Acceptance Model, The Embedded Librarianship, Librarian/Library 2.0, Blended Librarian models. Microsoft Excel was utilized for data analysis and to extract quantitative results. Triangulation was done within each case and across populations holistically to provide in-depth and rich data. The study was rooted in the interpretivist and pragmatism paradigms. Qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis together with hermeneutic phenomenology methods were employed for qualitative responses. Electronic analysis using Microsoft Excel was used as the nature of the case study allowed the researcher to engage thoroughly with the findings for better reporting. The study revealed a general satisfaction with the SABC library services with digitization being a necessity for the library service. A refreshing practice trending was that of benchmarking LIS graduates for employment in the special library services.
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    A framework for digital archiving at selected public universities in Kenya.
    (2022) Erima, Juliet Awinja.; Garaba, Francis.
    Archival records are knowledge assets that preserve the overall historical scholarship, memory and identity of organisations and institutions of higher learning. The rapid transformations witnessed on the digital landscape today have led to the increased generation of digital records, prompting the growing interest by universities to adopt sustainable digital archiving implementations to ensure the continued access of archives. This research investigated digital archives management practices in selected public universities in Kenya. The objective of the study was to develop a digital archiving framework for the archival repositories at the institutions. To achieve this objective, the study sought to answer five research questions which were: what is the state of digital archiving readiness of public universities in Kenya? How are digital archives identified and administered in Kenyan public universities? Which legal and regulatory frameworks govern digital archives management in Kenyan public universities? Which risk factors are digital archives exposed to in these universities? What possible solutions can be adopted to mitigate the identified risks and support sustainable digital archiving implementations in Kenyan public universities? The study subscribed to the pragmatic school of thought which formed the basis for adopting a mixed methods approach that prompted the use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, with a qualitative priority. The study was underpinned by the records continuum (RC) model, Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference model and the Archives and Records Management Association (ARMA) Records Management Maturity model which were triangulated to coin a conceptual framework for the study. The study adopted a multiple-case (embedded) design using cross-sectional survey. Six universities were purposively selected from 23 fully accredited public universities in Kenya namely: the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Moi, Kenyatta, Maseno and Egerton Universities. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 205 respondents comprising of deputy vice-chancellors, finance officers, legal officers, ICT directors, archivists, records managers, records officers, ICT staff and administrative staff. Questionnaires were administered to 169 respondents; 36 participants were targeted for interviews, and document review was used to confirm the data. Quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented using inferential and descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was analysed thematically using NVivo and presented using charts, graphs and tables as applicable. The key findings suggested that public universities in Kenya have not attained the desired optimal state of readiness for digital archiving. This was evidenced by the absence of functional archival repositories in five of the universities, insufficient harnessing of the available ICTs for d-archiving, inadequate skilled and competent staff, low prioritization for the education and training of recordkeeping staff and absence of dedicated budgets for records and archives management functions in the institutions. Furthermore, there were no formal processes guiding the lifecycle management of digital records and the generated metadata. The situation was exacerbated by weak and/or non-existent legal and regulatory frameworks for recordkeeping at national and institutional levels. Subsequently, digital records were exposed to risks at various stages of their lifecycle which included records technology risks, legal and regulatory risks, administrative risks and records control risks. The risks further occasioned a cocktail of challenges that called for urgent interventions. The overall conclusion of the study was that even though the institutions have instigated various approaches and strategies to mitigate the identified risks, a lot needed to be done to improve the state of digital archives management in the universities. Taking into consideration the study findings, this research recommends a framework for digital archiving that brings into perspective a collaborative approach, whose core focus is to enhance d-archiving practices in archival repositories of collaborating institutions.
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    E-records security management at Moi University, Kenya.
    (2019) Musembe, Carolyne Nyaboke.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    E-records are vital for the operation of the state as they document official evidence of the transactions of a business, government, private sector, non-governmental organizations, and even individuals. Therefore, e-records generated in organizations and institutions including universities in Kenya are considered a vital resource used as a tool for the administration, accountability, and efficient service delivery. Despite the importance of records to the growth and sustainability of any organization, e-records security management at Moi University seemed to be not well established thus exposing the records to among others, unauthorized access, risks of alteration, deletion and loss and cyber security threats. This study sought to investigate e-records security management at Moi University in Kenya. The following research questions were addressed: How are e-records created, maintained, stored, preserved and disposed? How is security classification of e-records process handled to facilitate description and access control? What security threats predispose e-records to damage, destruction or misuse and how are they ameliorated? What measures are available to protect unauthorised access to e-records? How is confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, possession or control and utility of e-records achieved? What skills and competencies are available for e-records security management? The study employed pragmatic paradigm using embedded case study research design. The target population for the study was one hundred and forty five (145) respondents consisting of top management, deans of schools and directors of Information Communication and Technology as well as Quality Assurance directorates, action officers, records managers and records staff. A complete enumeration of the population was taken, therefore a choice of sample size was not necessary. The data was collected using interviews and questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered to action officers, records managers and records staff, while interviews were administered to top management, deans of schools and directors of Information Communication Technology as well as Quality Assurance directorates respectively. Qualitative data was analysed thematically and presented in a narrative description, while quantitative data was organized using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 24) and summarized by use of descriptive statistics such as means, frequencies, and percentage for ease of analysis and presentation by the researcher. The findings of the study revealed that university core business functions of teaching, research, and outreach services generated massive e-records. However, the management of such records was compromised largely because of the lack of integration of e-records management into the business process. Besides, the university lacks an e-records management programme. Moreover, there is lack of policy framework; thus, hampering e-records security management. Security of the erecords were also compromised because this activity was left until the last stage of the e-record with minimal priority. There was also lack of guidelines on e-records classification. The findings revealed challenges related to cyber-attacks, non-adherence to ethical security values, and inadequate skills that affected e-record security management. The study recommended the development and implementation of a records management programme and policies, adoption of relevant standards, developing skills about the cyberspace, provision of adequate budget, education and training.
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    An ethnographic study of the utilisation of electronic library databases by academic staff in North-Central Nigeria.
    (2021) Chollom, Kachollom Monday.; Olasina, Gbolahan.
    This ethnographic case study is an exploration of the utilisation of electronic library databases by academic staff in North-Central Nigeria. The motivation for this study stemmed from the researcher's experiences as a Subject Librarian as well as context-specific issues that arose from the existing literature. For instance, there was under-utilisation of e-library databases by academic staff at the University of Jos, Plateau State, alongside similar institutions in North-Central Nigeria. Many previous studies on the use of e-library databases by academic staff in Nigerian universities were centred on the quantitative survey methodology. Hence, this study aimed to improve an understanding of the personal/individual experiences, environmental contexts and socio-cultural factors affecting academic staff e-library database utilisation, through ethnographic research. Accordingly, the Symbolic Interactionist Ethnography-SIE underpinned the study. The application of the theory was anchored by the Interpretivist approach, which was supported by the execution of a case study method of research in which academics from the University of Jos, Plateau state and the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue state were targeted. The probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling procedures were used in selecting participants. Specifically, the purposive and stratified sampling methods were used. The qualitative research approach adopted for the study gave the researcher the opportunity to elicit detailed views of academics' perspectives on the phenomenon through observation, photovoice, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. Also, documents were evaluated for triangulation of results. Data were thematically analysed according to the criteria for trustworthiness, such as credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. A constant comparison approach was used in the analysis of data. The study also compared findings from all sources of data collection and cases focused on in this study. Consequently, the study's findings indicated academics engage with the e-library databases for research from their offices, as the office is their workspace that provides a suitable environment for the academics to engage in research and prepare for lectures. The study's core results revealed academics' leaning toward printed sources of information for teaching and research. The decision could be linked to their human nature, individual differences, and personalities, such as a resistance to change. The results revealed negative/unsatisfying experiences due to several limitations, such as inadequate skills, and library staff assistance in academics' use of online databases as the main reason for low use. Also, the results showed shared experiences with colleagues in the faculty influenced academics' use of e-library databases. The study further discovered a lack of interest in academics' use of online library databases as the main reason for low usage. The study concluded that socio-cultural factors and environmental contexts affect academics' utilisation of e-library databases. Therefore, the study recommends that the university authorities scrupulously comprehend modern technology connected with the organisational culture and encourage academic staff of its value and benefits. There is as well the need for university libraries to develop e-database policies and frequently review and update the policies and practices associated with utilising e-library databases. The university management can do that by establishing interventions to tackle inappropriate e-library database use. Finally, actors in universities must be committed to integrating the socio-cultural work environment as an intended benefit (essential factor) in enhancing e-library database use.
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    Strategies for sustaining the provision of electronic information resources services in university libraries of North Central Nigeria.
    (2020) Ojukwu, Njideka-Nwawih Charlotte.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    Electronic Information Resources (EIRs) is trending as a system of information provision and services in libraries, an alternative to the traditional information services system. EIRs presently constitute vital sources of knowledge and information in all university libraries. The 21st century has witnessed a global revolution in university library services via the integration of EIRs, and University libraries in Nigeria are catching up to this trend. They have adopted EIRs services in the selection, subscription registration, registration validation, materials organisation, and dissemination of information resources within the libraries that are currently using EIRs. Thus, the initiatives adopted for the provision of EIRs services focusing on their sustainability by university libraries can enhance the delivery of such services if adequately employed, which is the focus of the present study. The strategies applied for sustainable provision of EIR services in University libraries in Nigeria and their implementation in university libraries in North Central Nigeria remain unknown and under-researched. Therefore, the study aimed to: assess the effectiveness of the provision of EIRs in University libraries in North Central Nigeria; investigate the sustainability of funding sources for EIRs; examine strategic planning and policies implemented to impact the sustainable provision of EIRs; examine the extent to which economic, social, and environmental strategies were employed in sustaining EIRs services in the selected libraries; and identify the challenges faced in the provision of EIRs and how libraries ameliorate these. The research questions were deduced from the research objectives. The HC Bridge Decision Model, the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) theory, and the conceptual framework were drawn from the model and theory variables that guided the study data collection. The pragmatic paradigm was the theoretical lens applied for the investigation of the research questions. The methodological approach used was a multi-method design. The study population comprises professional librarians, ICT services provider, and Library management team from the four selected University libraries of North Central Nigeria. A quantitative questionnaire was applied to collect data from the service providers, the professional librarians, and the selected ULs’ ICT support staff. The qualitative data was collected through an interview from the library management team, document evaluation on the library funding documents, strategic planning and policy documents, and the observation checklist on the available EIRs from the university web site. The study analyses applied the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) to generate frequency tables and percentages and the charts from quantitative data. Qualitative data from the interview, document analysis, and Observation checklist were analysed using thematic content analysis. The study results revealed the availability of electronic information resources, services in the surveyed libraries and their effectiveness. Nevertheless, from the management response, there is high dissatisfaction with available EIRs services in some libraries. The study further revealed that government interventions through TETFund sustain EIRs services in higher institutions in Nigeria, significantly impacting EIRs’ provision in Nigerian ULs. Despite the government efforts, EIRs services funding was inefficient. The strategic planning implementation has a low impact on providing sustainable EIR services in ULs of North Central. Similarly, the policy guide for EIRs’ services provision was also lacking. Besides, the surveyed university libraries had applied various economic, social, and environmental strategies for the sustainable provision of EIRs services. Although inherent challenges hinder the EIRs’ management in most surveyed libraries. Finally, the study recommends applying the library sustainability team for EIRs and services effectiveness and having alternative sources for adequate funds. Besides developing and implementing strategic planning and policy for positive impact on EIRs, further recommendations point out that evaluating more innovations in economic, social, and environmental strategies for sustainable provision of EIRs services, and some identified strategic measures need a thorough review.
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    The training of teacher librarians and the development of school libraries in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Kheswa, Siyanda Edison.; Hoskins, Ruth Geraldine Melonie.
    Libraries are the important resources that knowledge production institutions such as schools must have in order to effectively realise their objectives. It is important to note that libraries are hubs of the learning environment; hence they need to be managed by skilled people who are well aware of their functions, purpose and role in terms of meeting the school’s vision, mission and goals. It was for this reason that institutions of higher learning such as the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) offered the Advanced Certificate in Education in School Library Development and Management (ACESLD) as a specialist qualification for educators to enable them to acquire the necessary skills to develop and manage libraries in their respective schools. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (KZNDoE) provided funding to support the training of qualified teacher librarians. However, there has been no comprehensive report on the success and failures of this initiative since its inception in 2004. Hence, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACESLD Programme through tracing the educators that have graduated from the Programme and determining the impact it has had on their work as teacher librarians as well as on the development and management of their school libraries. The objective of the study was to determine the influence that the ACESLD Programme has had on the development and management of school libraries in the KwaZulu- Natal (KZN) Province. The study adopted the postpositivist paradigm. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to investigate the problem, although the overall approach was more qualitative in nature. The postpositivist paradigm allows both methods to be used to collect data. Data was collected from teacher librarians, the Education Library Information Technology Services (ELITS) Director and the UKZN ACESLD Programme Coordinator. The study found that the ACESLD Programme had a major influence on the teacher librarians’ contribution to the development and maintenance of school libraries in the Province. Most of the teacher librarians contributed to the development of their school libraries and used the knowledge and skills gained from the ACESLD Programme. It was also found that ELITS had a much broader role to play given that their focus is not only the provision of access to functional school libraries but also necessitates that they provide library-related professional development and support for targeted schools within the Province. The study recommends that the Directorate must compile a report on the progress ELITS has made regarding the school library development in the Province. It was further recommended that ELITS conduct extensive monitoring and evaluation to determine if the teacher librarians are maintaining the school libraries, given that they were provided with the initial resources to develop school libraries.
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    Records management practices in selected municipalities in Limpopo province of South Africa.
    (2021) Makgahlela, Lefose Alfred.; Nsibirwa, Zawedde Gulikomuseesa.
    The high level of corruption and maladministration, lack of accountability and transparency in municipalities has become endemic and is a cause for concern in many municipalities of South Africa. The ability of any municipality to effectively perform its constitutional duties depends on the availability of relevant and comprehensive information from records. The poor state of records management in the government and public sectors in South Africa is a well-documented phenomenon. In considering poor records management practices in the public sector of South Africa, it is necessary to establish records management practices in municipalities. The purpose of this study was to examine records management practices in selected municipalities in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The underlying principle of the study was that municipalities in South Africa are mandated by legislation to manage records systematically. The study sought to establish the current records management practices in the municipalities of the Limpopo Province, to establish the level of knowledge that staff members in municipalities have of records management, to identify the activities and strategies used to support records management practices and, finally, to identify the challenges faced by municipal officials in managing records. The Records Life Cycle and Records Continuum models were adopted in the study. Data were collected from 86 registry clerks using questionnaires and from five municipal managers and six records managers using interviews in the selected municipalities in the Limpopo Province using purposive sampling. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse quantitative data to generate frequency counts, percentages, bar charts and tables while Thematic Content Analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. The ethical protocol of the University of KwaZulu-Natal was adhered to. The findings of the study revealed that paper-based records are the main formats of records created in municipalities in the Limpopo Province. The study further revealed that most of the municipal officials working with records in the selected municipalities in the Limpopo Province do not have formal qualifications in records management. It is evident from the findings of the study that while municipalities have records management policies, their employees, generally, are uninformed of their existence. The study recommends that records storage facilities in municipalities be improved to ensure that records are kept safe and conveniently accessible. Top management and political office bearers are encouraged to support effective and efficient records management practices in their municipalities. The study contributes to the body of knowledge on records management practices, especially in the context of the Limpopo Province.
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    Availability and utilisation of information resources by academic librarians for job performance enhancement in selected university libraries in North-Central Nigeria.
    (2020) Kutu, Jacob Oloruntoba.; Garaba, Francis.
    The study examined availability and utilisation of information resources by academic librarians for job performance enhancement in selected university libraries in North-Central Nigeria. Five research questions and four hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Task-Technology Fit were the theoretical frameworks underpinning the study. Research questions were matched to the theories while post-positivism research paradigm with survey research design was employed. The extant literature reviewed showed that job performance of academic librarians in African university libraries, particularly Nigerian university libraries was low, when compared with that of their counterparts from the developed parts of the world. The literature also revealed that little or no attention has been paid to examine the importance of information resources use in achieving academic librarians' job performance. The study used explanatory design as a choice of mixed method research. Both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from the academic librarians from seven selected universities in the north-central geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The data arising from the study were analysed with the aid of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 24.0). For the research questions, descriptive statistics (frequency counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation) were employed to describe the variables and their occurrences among the respondents. Inferential statistics were used to test the hypotheses. The qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis. The results of the evaluation contributed immensely to enhancing the researcher’s confidence in the reliability of the instruments and the data emanating from such procedures. The ethical aspect of this study was achieved by adhering to the ethical protocol of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The reliability coefficient of the instrument was computed using Cronbach’s alpha (α) through a pre-test reliability method. A Cronbach’s alpha (α) value of r = 0.876 was obtained. The total enumeration technique was thereafter used to select academic librarians in the seven selected federal universities in the north-central region of Nigeria. One hundred and twenty-eight (128) copies of a questionnaire were administered across the seven university libraries. Out of this total, 103 copies were duly completed and returned for quantitative analysis, giving a response rate of 81%. However, a response rate of 100% was achieved for the qualitative data. In addition, the census method was used, in line with Israel (1992). Copies of the survey questionnaire were used mainly to collect quantitative data from the academic librarians, while interviews were used to collect qualitative data from university librarians (heads of library). The findings indicated that 90% of the respondents noted that there is high availability of information resources for their job performance. A relationship between level of information resources utilisation and academic librarians job performance was established in the selected university libraries at (β= 0.591; p<0.05). The hypotheses tested revealed that job performance was significantly related to information accessibility and information utilisation. Though, information availability was found to be positively related to job performance, the relationship was not statistically significant (β= 0.081; p>0.05). Theoretically, the study contributed to validating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Task-Technology Fit. The need for university libraries to sustain awareness among library staff on the importance of engaging in the use of cataloguing services for effective job performance, maintenance of acquisition policy on selection of print and non-print information resources, provision of regular electricity supply, improved Internet connectivity, attendance of periodic ICT-based training and improved library budgetary allocation were recommended as strategies for effective job performance among the academic librarians in the selected university libraries in North-central, Nigeria.
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    Exploring knowledge sharing through social media among members of the African Community of Practice.
    (2019) Mbasera, Sarlomie Farisai.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    This study sought to examine the extent of social media use for knowledge sharing among members of the African Community of Practice (AfCoP), a distributed community of practice of development practitioners. It also sought to find the factors affecting knowledge sharing through social media among AfCoP members. The study followed a pragmatic approach using mixed methods to collect data through a survey, semi-structured interviews and content analysis on the AfCoP knowledge sharing platform. The study revealed that social media is providing new ways through which tacit and codified knowledge is shared in distributed communities. Several types of social media were found to support various knowledge sharing activities including learning, networking, collaboration and expert location. Social Capital and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) factors were found to play an important role in knowledge sharing behaviours among AfCoP members. Social interaction ties, trust, norms of reciprocity, identification, shared language and shared vision significantly correlated with the knowledge sharing intentions of AfCoP members and the quality of knowledge shared on the AfCoP platform. Perceived usefulness also correlated with both knowledge sharing intentions of members and the quality of knowledge shared on the platform, while perceived ease of use correlated with the quality of knowledge shared on the AfCoP platform. Members were also motivated to participate on the AfCoP knowledge sharing platform by a desire to improve their career practices and to encounter professional opportunities on the platform. The challenges members encountered in their pursuit of sharing knowledge on the AfCoP platform included: lack of time and an unwillingness to exert the necessary effort to meaningfully participate on the platform, lack of participation, insufficient incentives for participation and lack of financial guarantee for the sustainability of AfCoP. The study demonstrates that social media can bridge challenges of distance and physical location through facilitating the sharing of tacit and explicit knowledge despite one’s location. To encourage knowledge sharing through social media, social capital and TAM factors must be addressed. The study also adds to empirical evidence on the role of social media in facilitating knowledge sharing among development sector practitioners from an African context.
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    Use of electronic security systems in academic libraries: experiences of selected universities in South-West Nigeria.
    (2019) Osayande, Odaro.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    This study investigated the use of electronic security systems in academic libraries in selected universities in South West, Nigeria. The study in particular, examined the different library security systems that are in use to curb theft and mutilation of library materials; the extent to which electronic security systems (ESS) are used in the academic libraries; how electronic security systems are used to discourage patrons from pilfering information resources from the library; the extent of loss of library materials through theft, mutilation and vandalism; the effectiveness of electronic security systems in curbing the menace of theft, mutilation and vandalism of library materials; and the factors influencing/motivating the use of ESS in the library. The population of the study was made up of 205 librarians and para-professional library staff, including the heads of libraries (University Librarians) and Information Technology personnel at the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Covenant University and Babcock University, in South West, Nigeria. These Universities were purposively selected for the study and a total enumeration method (census) was employed as the sampling technique. The research instruments used to elicit information from the respondents included survey questionnaires and structured interview guides. A response rate of 83.2% was recorded and use of frequency counts, percentages (%), mean ( ) and standard deviation (SD) were used to analyse the data collected. The quantitative and qualitative data obtained from the main study were coded and organised, using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and thematic content analysis to generate descriptive and inferential statistics. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used to determine the internal consistency and reliability of the items in the questionnaire. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) developed by Vankatesh, Morris, Davis, and Davis (2003) was used to underpin the study, and to investigate the factors influencing the use of ESS in academic libraries. The study also employed the post-positivist research paradigm as the theoretical lens to illuminate the research problem. The study further engaged a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods as well as the survey design. The study adhered strictly to the ethical protocols of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and permission was acquired from the relevant authorities of the Universities which were surveyed. The findings revealed that the universities in South West geopolitical region of Nigeria had implemented one form of electronic security systems or the other in their libraries. Findings further revealed how electronic security systems (ESS) are used to discourage patrons from pilfering information resources from the library. Additionally, the findings exposed the extent of loss of library materials through theft, mutilation and vandalism; the effectiveness the use of electronic security systems (ESS) in curbing the menace of theft, mutilation and vandalism of library materials; and the factors influencing/motivating the use of ESS in the library.The originality of this study lies in the fact that, extant studies carried out in Nigeria, as it relates to the security of materials in academic libraries, only investigated and recommended how library materials can be safeguarded manually (through the traditional methods); and therefore, only a few of the studies suggested the use of electronic devices to secure library materials. However, none have investigated how these modern technologies (electronic security systems) could be used to secure library materials from theft, mutilation and vandalism. Furthermore, no prior studies have employed the use of research paradigms or theory such as UTAUT to underpin their investigations. The study recommended among others, that university libraries in South-West, and Nigeria in general should enhance and encourage the maintenance of the electronic security systems (ESS) regularly; the heads of the libraries (University Librarians) should also ensure that the University Management is well educated and apprised on the importance of the use of electronic security systems (ESS) in the libraries and how adequate funds should be made available through the annual library budgets. It is also recommended that the heads of the libraries should solicit external funding to regularly upgrade the electronic security systems (ESS). The study further recommended that user education programmes should be carried out regularly. These findings are significant and have implications for policy, practice and theory in the field of library and information sciences.
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    Role of information ethics in the provision of library and information services in university libraries in Tanzania.
    (2018) Ndumbaro, Rehema.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of information ethics in the provision of library and information services in university libraries in Tanzania. The study sought to address the following research questions: what is the level of awareness of library professionals in university libraries in Tanzania about the role of information ethics in promoting LIS professional practice? What is the attitude and perception of library professionals in University libraries in Tanzania towards information ethics? What are the factors that influence information ethics practice by library professionals in University libraries in Tanzania? How is information ethics integrated in the library professional practice in university libraries in Tanzania? What is the perception of faculty and postgraduate students about ethical conduct of library staff in providing library and information services? PAPA model and WSIS Action Line 10 were applied as the theoretical framework. The study was underpinned by the Pragmatic paradigm that combines the use of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. A survey research design was used to elicit responses from respondents. Four university libraries were surveyed from among the public and private universities in Tanzania. In addition, Tanzania Library Association officials formed part of the respondents. From the universities surveyed, two largest colleges/faculties from each university were selected for study. They included College of Social Sciences, Humanities and Natural and Applied Sciences; College of Agriculture and faculty of Social Sciences; Faculty of Education, Law and social sciences; and Faculty of Business Administration were sampled respectively. Within the four universities surveyed, the following categories of respondents were covered; library professionals (diploma holders, bachelor and masters with qualifications in library and information science), postgraduate students (masters and PhD students) and faculty (assistant lecturers, lecturers, senior lecturers, associate and full professors). In addition, heads/directors of the university libraries and Tanzania Library Association officials (assistant chairperson, Deputy Secretary, secretary of ethics, education and professionals and two retired Tanzania Library Association officials) formed part of the population of study. A census was used for library professionals in the university libraries. Purposive sampling was used to select five Tanzania Library Association officials. For postgraduate students and faculty they were selected using purposive and convenience sampling techniques. The relative sample sizes for postgraduate students and faculty were distributed proportionately across the four universities. Survey questionnaires were used to collect data from faculty, postgraduate students and library professionals. The interviews were used to gather data from university/directors of library and Tanzania Library Association officials. Qualitative data collected from heads/directors of university libraries and Tanzania Library Association officials were analysed using thematic analysis. Data gathered through questionnaires from faculty, postgraduate students and library professionals were analysed using SPSS to generate descriptive statistics. To achieve reliability and validity, this study adapted questions from tools that have been pretested and validated based on Cronbach Alpha values greater than 0.7. The study complied with the provisions of research ethics policy of University of KwaZulu-Natal and ethics policies of respective universities surveyed. In addition, consent was sought from the respondents. The findings revealed that males were slightly more (54.4%) than females (45.6%) among the respondents. Moreover, majority of the library professionals 77.3%) were aged between 31 and 60 years. The findings on qualification of faculty revealed that, all the respondents had at least a master’s degree. There were more PhD holders (57.5%) among faculty than there were master’s holders (38.2%). The findings revealed that library professionals were aware about ethical values and possessed knowledge about information ethics. The findings furthermore revealed that perception and attitude of library professionals towards information ethics especially on the values of access, intellectual property, information privacy, and information accuracy was positive. As for factors that influence information ethics library professional practice, the findings found them to include resources, technological changes, ICT knowledge and skills, individual characteristics, size and space of the library, education level, staffing, experience, work environment, and more. The findings also showed that information ethics was integrated in library professional practice, but the scope differed from one university to another. It was concluded overall that while library professionals in university libraries in Tanzania seem to understand the ethical values in the provision of information services, the field of information ethics was not widely understood and practiced. Among the recommendations proffered include, creating awareness, promulgating relevant information ethics policies, capacity building, strengthening professional code of ethics, and continuous professional development. In addition, integration of information ethics in LIS education and training is highly recommended.
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    Knowledge management in learning software SMMEs in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2017) Shongwe, Mzwandile Muzi.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    The study investigated the nature and causes of software development failures and knowledge management practices adopted to mitigate the failures in small, micro, and medium software developing enterprises (SMMEs) in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study adopted an interpretive, qualitative multiple case study approach to investigate the problem. Twelve software development SMMEs were involved in the study. Interviews were conducted with 12 information technology (IT)/software development project managers and eight software developers identified through purposive sampling. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data. The findings reveal that software development SMMEs in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, experience software development failures. Ten causes of failure were identified. They are bureaucracy in IT departments, compatibility issues, complacency of developers, involvement of the wrong people in the planning stages of projects, a lack of detailed documentation, lack of resources, lack of user commitment/non-adoption of systems, miscommunication/misrepresentation of requirements, unrealistic customer expectations, and work overload. The results also indicate that software organisations and individual software developers experience knowledge gaps during the course of their work. Six knowledge management practices are adopted by the organisations and the individual developers to fill the knowledge gaps. The practices are knowledge acquisition, creation, storage, sharing, organisation and application. These practices are supported by Internet technologies such as blogs, Wikis, search engines, social networks, organisational databases and computer hardware such as servers and personal computers. The study reveals two important knowledge management practices that are ignored by software organisations, namely post-mortem reviews, which are essential in software development, and formal training of the developers. The findings further reveal that knowledge management has enabled the organisations and individual developers to save time, retain their intellectual property (IP), become more efficient and effective in knowledge reuse. Organisations face a number of knowledge management related challenges. The challenges are lack of formal knowledge management procedures, difficulty protecting knowledge, expensive knowledge storage costs, increasing information needs, lack of the time to fully adopt knowledge management practices, difficulty finding information, and the ever-changing nature of knowledge. The study concluded that software development failures are prevalent in software SMMEs and that the organisations have informally adopted knowledge management. Moreover, knowledge management has brought benefits to the organisations but the role played by knowledge management in eliminating project failures is not clear. It is recommended that software organisations should consider formally adopting knowledge management so that knowledge management specialists can be employed to drive the knowledge management initiatives and so help in conducting post-mortem reviews and the training of staff. In addition, further research is recommended to investigate the role of knowledge management in reducing or eliminating software project failures. Quantitative studies are also recommended to objectively measure the benefits brought by knowledge management. Such studies would measure how much time and which costs are saved by adopting knowledge management. The study contributes to theory and practice (software development industry). Theoretically, the study developed and used a conceptual framework developed from software engineering and knowledge management that could be used to investigate knowledge management activities in organisations. The study also contributes to the existing body of knowledge on the subject software learning organisations from a developing country perspective. It is envisaged that software development organisations will adopt the recommendations proffered to improve their knowledge management practices.
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    Perceptions of final year undergraduate education students about the influence of a reading culture on their academic achievement at selected universities in Tanzania.
    (2017) Mwageni, Rhodes Elias.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    The study investigated the perceptions of final year undergraduate education students about the influence of a reading culture on their academic achievement at selected universities in Tanzania. Four universities were involved in the study namely: Sokoine University of Agriculture, Mzumbe University, Teofilo Kisanji University and University of Iringa. Social Cognitive Theory informed the study. Pragmatism paradigm underpinned this study, while mixed methods using survey questionnaire and interviews were used for the data collection. Questionnaire was used to collect data from 312 students and 62 lecturers while interview was administered to 50 subject librarians. Quantitative data were analysed using IBM SPSS version 20.0 to generate tables, charts, percentages and frequencies, while Chi-square was generated to determine relationships between variables. Finally, qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis. Reliability and validity were ensured by adopting instruments from studies with acceptable Cronbach’s Alpha value of >0.7. The study adhered to the ethical protocol of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The findings showed that there was a high level of awareness among students, lecturers, and librarians regarding influence of reading culture on students’ academic achievements. The students perceived their reading self-efficacies as enabler to promoting reading culture. The findings revealed students rarely spent time reading for leisure, for information or for entertainment. The results also showed students rarely visited the library. The results further showed that factors which motivated students to read include reading to gain knowledge, reading for entertainment purposes, reading for examinations, tests, assignments and research projects. The study concluded that students in universities lacked reading culture but were motivated to read for the purpose of passing examinations, tests, assignments and research projects. There was absence of policy on reading culture and this impacted negatively on students’ academic achievement. The study consequently advanced recommendations among them strategies, policy, curricular transformation, programmes and guidelines in order to improve academic achievement of students.
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    eResearch support : an exploratory study of private university libraries in Nairobi County, Kenya.
    (2019) Anduvare, Everlyn M'mbone.; Mutula, Stephen M.
    This exploratory study was carried out in Nairobi County, Kenya to investigate the role of private university libraries in supporting eResearch. The study used a multiple-case study design involving six private chartered universities that included Africa International University, Africa Nazarene University, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Daystar University, Pan Africa Christian University, and the United States International University. The following research questions were addressed: How do the organisation structures of the university libraries support eResearch? What positions in the organisation structure and competencies are available for coordinating eResearch? How is curation, analysis, and provenance (Metadata) of both basic data and information produced by research achieved? What problems of data management, organisation, dissemination, and preservation exist and how can they be addressed? What procedures, tools, and policies are used to promote eResearch? What is the inclination of library and academic staff towards eResearch? The study was underpinned by two theoretical frameworks namely: The Purdue University Libraries (PUL) model and the eResearch Capability Model (eRCM) respectively. A pragmatic paradigm was adopted, which provided a basis for the use of mixed methods encompassing qualitative and quantitative approaches. The unit of analysis consisted of PhD students, Faculty, University Librarians, Reference Librarians, and Institutional Repository Managers. PhD students and Faculty are the most active group in research in the universities. Librarians on the other hand, are involved in providing eResearch support. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from 306 PhD students, 462 Faculty members, 13 Reference Librarians, and 7 IR Managers, while interviews were used to collect data from the University Librarians. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS version 21 to generate descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. Validity was enhanced through deriving questions from the set objectives, reviewing and adopting methodologies from previous studies and application of a multiple-case design to enhance generalisabilty of the results. Reliability was ascertained through pre-testing of the survey questionnaires and subjecting it to Cronbach’s Alpha where a coefficient Alpha of 0.895 was achieved indicating a high reliability. The study complied with research ethical protocols of the UKZN and permission was sought and granted from all the universities that were surveyed. Consent was also obtained from respondents prior to involving them in the study. The findings of the study showed that the university libraries had stringent organisational structures, conventional library set ups, and lacked roles specifically designated to facilitate eResearch support. The findings also revealed that the libraries generally did not have staff with competencies to provide eResearch support. Therefore, research data management service was not provided by the university libraries. Several challenges in relation to data management were identified which included the lack of strategies and policies to guide data management support, the lack of integrated and realigned eResearch policies, the research process was fragmented, meaningful collaborative support towards eResearch within the universities and externally had not been established, and there were limited ICT policies and infrastructures. Finally, the findings revealed a general positive attitude and willingness towards eResearch from the librarians and the researchers at large but the eResearch environment was yet to be institutionalised. The study proffers among other recommendations a review of the libraries’ organisational structures to facilitate eResearch; an advancement of librarians’ competencies through formal and informal structures to empower them to effectively support eResearch; libraries should assist researchers to create data management plans; there is a need for libraries to institutionalise RDM as a core library service; there is a need for an elaborate ICT policy to ensure appropriate tools are available to enable eResearch; the need to create awareness and advocacy about eResearch among stakeholders, and the libraries must carry out needs analysis to understand the stakeholders needs properly in order to create a conducive environment for eResearch.