Original Research

Information and communication technologies for knowledge management in academic libraries in Nigeria and South Africa

Rexwhite T. Enakrire, Dennis N. Ocholla
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 19, No 1 | a750 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v19i1.750 | © 2017 Rexwhite T. Enakrire, Dennis N. Ocholla | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2016 | Published: 31 May 2017

About the author(s)

Rexwhite T. Enakrire, Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa
Dennis N. Ocholla, Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Presently, libraries, especially academic libraries, have increasingly used information and communication technologies (ICTs) to automate their core functions in order to implement efficient and effective library operations and services. This now requires library and information professionals as knowledge workers to intensify managing both explicit and tacit knowledge for the organisational growth of the libraries.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the use of ICT facilities that support knowledge management (KM) in academic libraries in Nigeria and South Africa.

Methods: Both quantitative through survey and structured questionnaires and qualitative by content analysis and interview research methodologies were applied in the initial study. The qualitative approach of content analysis was applied to literature review, and key informants were also interviewed. One hundred and thirty-two professional librarians and six key informants across the sampled academic libraries in the two countries were targeted for information. The study sampled only six academic libraries, three in each country, which renders generalisation difficult. This article largely focuses on quantitative aspects of the study in the reported findings.

Results: Availability and accessibility of ICTs for KM among the sampled libraries were not uniform, even within one country. Infrastructural support has affected some of the university libraries to a great extent. The knowledge and skills for using ICT for KM were largely adequate, but varied within the libraries and librarians as well. The challenges facing the libraries border on inadequate infrastructure and professional staff, but irrespective of the challenges faced, libraries have devised strategies for coping and rendering services. The study has provided new information relating to the use of ICT facilities and services for KM in academic libraries that calls for rigorous continuing education for re-skilling the librarians. The changing user behaviour also calls for major attention. Government support for academic libraries with policy and funding is still crucial.

Conclusion and recommendation: The study concludes that because ICTs have had robust histories as used to support information services, both staff and students’ information needs to be met in a variety of ways in academic libraries. This would help to foster and improve the understanding of how librarians manage the organisation in present-day library operations. We recommend that staff development be intensified to enable how librarians could cope with changes and new technologies for modern information services being encouraged and acquired. This article provides a unique long-term survey on the use of ICT facilities and services, strategy and structure in an academic and/or university library services.


Keywords

ICT facilities; ICT services; academic libraries; university libraries; Africa; Nigeria; South Africa

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