Original Research

Analysing information literacy practices at selected academic libraries in Zimbabwe

Thakazile Tshuma, Joel Chigada
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 20, No 1 | a976 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v20i1.976 | © 2018 Joel M. Chigada | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2018 | Published: 29 August 2018

About the author(s)

Thakazile Tshuma, Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, South Africa
Joel Chigada, School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Background: Information literacy (IL) skills are significant in the knowledge and information economy because the IL skills allow information users to cope with the challenges of an evolving and complex information landscape. IL is one of the most important aspects in academic libraries because it equips university communities with the skills of finding, locating and using information effectively and efficiently.

Objectives: The study focused on evaluating the IL programmes and practices, as well as the challenges of implementing IL at selected academic libraries in Zimbabwe. The objective was to establish the existing policies and skills required by institutions of higher learning to implement and teach IL.

Method: Qualitative data collected using face-to-face interviews and focus group interviews were analysed with the assistance of Qualitative Data Analysis Software (Atlas. ti version 8). Participants of the study included the library directors and assistant librarians with regard to IL modules and the Zimbabwe Universities Library Consortium policy documents.

Results: The results revealed that all librarians understood the importance of IL in academic libraries; however, there were no IL policies and skills in existence, either at national, consortium or institutional levels. The study revealed that Zimbabwean academic libraries used different and incoherent methods in implementing and teaching IL and that IL initiatives were confronted with a myriad of challenges.

Conclusion: The study concluded that academic libraries should have IL policies in place which aid in the implementation and teaching of IL in Zimbabwean academic libraries, as well as guide all the consortium members especially on collaboration issues, teaching aspects, as well as the recognition of IL by university stakeholders other than the librarians.


information literacy; academic libraries; information professionals


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