Essay: ICT infrastructure in libraries

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Many studies have been conducted regarding the use of ICT in libraries. For instance in India, Sampath Kumar & Biradar (2010) observe the use of information communication technology (ICT) in 31 college libraries in Karnataka, India by analyzing the ICT infrastructure, status of library automation, barriers to implementation of library automation and librarians’ attitudes towards the use of ICT. The survey carried out using structured questionnaire, observation and informal interview with selected college 22 librarians’, the findings show that, , lack of qualified staff and inadequate training programs are the main constraints for not automating library activities. Even though library professionals have shown a positive attitude towards the use of ICT applications and library automation, majority expressed the need for appropriate training to make use of ICT too.
 
Veeramani & Vinayagamoorthy (2011) in their survey on measures of Information Technology (IT) use in academic libraries in Kuwait founds that IT has mainly help by providing timely information and facilitating real-time access and to promote databases. The importance of information lies in ease of access and utilization by users for productivity and decision making. Al-Ansari (2011) studied about the level of Application of ICT in Special Libraries in Kuwait. His study identified majority of the libraries was partially automated and were still using manual systems for their library operations. Sanni (2015) also examined the application of ICT in management of information resources and services in Kaduna state tertiary institutions’ libraries. His study revealed that application of ICT has impacted most library operations including reference services.

Similarly, Krubu &Osawaru (2011) conducted a study on the Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigerian University Libraries using interview as method of data collection. The results reveal that the challenges of ICT in Nigerian academic libraries include epileptic power supply, technical know-how, and lack of search skills, inadequate funding and infancy level of automation in libraries. Kaman (2013) studied the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) in academic libraries; his study revealed that use of ICTs in libraries has become great advantage for its users as they open up opportunities for interoperability and information exchange. Users can now access wide variety of information resources such as text, sound, images etc. Furthermore, the study reported that application of ICTs has provided considerable benefits on the way libraries relate to their user communities and become an essential part of evolving information society.

Ogbomo & Muokebe (2014) examined briefly how library and information services have undergone various stages of transformation from inception. Other factors that have hastened the growth of library and information services were discussed and how changes in technology have influenced changes in library and information services in Nigeria. The impacts of ICT in Nigerian libraries were discussed. Measures in place were needed to improve the use of ICT in Nigerian libraries. Initiatives and programs was also discussed with the aimed at strengthening the effectiveness and set backs of ICT in the Nigerian libraries.

Waghmare & Salve (2014) reported in their study that adoption of ICT in libraries has resulted into various improvements in the rendering references services including ask a library, electronic/remote access to reference librarians, 24/7 references and so on. Eguaroen (2011) in his study on attitude towards the use and implementation of ICT by librarians from University of Ibaddan, found that librarian knowledge and training on ICT influence the positive attitude towards ICT.

2.10 Knowledge Gap

With all the literatures reviewed, it is clear that there is a need for ICTs in University libraries. For the developing countries like Kenya, we need to have a well-designed ICT policy which will develop ICT infrastructure of the libraries in the institutions of higher education to meet the competitive information society advantages. This study, therefore, attempted to fill the gap with the existing literature by considering the fact that less developed countries are not alike that it is an imperative to investigate the factors influencing ICT adoption of ICT in University libraries in Kenya.

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