The use and effectiveness of the East Africana collection in the provision of information and resources for teaching and research at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Kibakaya, Naendwa Timothy.
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This study investigated the use and effectiveness of the East Africana Collection in the provision of information and resource for teaching and research at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The East Africana Collection is mainly used as a source of obtaining information by students, lecturers and researchers in and off campus. The Collection's goal is to meet user needs and make available valuable materials and services for the purpose of supporting the learning, teaching and research needs of the University of Dar es Salaam community. Special collections in academic libraries especially in the so-called Third World countries have been suffering from financial constraints. The reduced government budget and the economic problems, have forced some special collections to operate ineffectively without any new incoming materials to supplement the old ones. The East Africana Collection of the University of Dar es Salaam Library which operates as a defacto national research collection in the country has also been affected by the government budget cut. In order to find out the use and effectiveness of the East Africana Collection in the provision of information and resource for teaching and research at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a study sample consisting of 52 teaching and research staff was chosen from four faculties and three Institutes of the University of Dar es Salaam. The teaching and research staff was surveyed by means of a self-administered questionnaire to investigate the user satisfaction, availability of materials, resources and effectiveness of the services to cater for the information needs of users. Other information requested from respondents related to the East Africana services was library staff services and what problems teaching and research staff encountered when using the Collection's materials and services. A total of36 teaching and research staff (representing 64.9%) responded. The results were analysed manually. Content analysis was used to analyse open ended questions. The results were shown in the form of tables and elaborations. The study revealed that East Africana Collection had experienced heavy use of its materials, services and resources by both students, teachers and researchers within the University community and outside the campus. It is an indication that Collection usage among teaching and research staff was generally very high. However, the Collection faces the problem of lack of sufficient facilities and resources. Whatever the problems users experienced, the majority of the teaching and research staff were aware of the East Africana Collection and its information materials and services. Recommendations and suggestions for the future betterment of the services were made by both researcher and respondents with regard to the findings of the study and the literature reviewed.
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