A framework for stocktaking in academic libraries: a case of three selected university libraries in Uganda
Mwebe, Maria Nankya
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A study was carried out to identify needs for stocktaking, to appraise its processes and practices, to examine the challenges faced during stocktaking and thereafter develop a framework that might guide stocktaking activities in university libraries. Three university libraries were selected namely, Makerere University Library, Uganda Christian University Library and Nkumba University Library. It was necessary since in MakLib, the exercise was not done regularly and was not comprehensive. There was absence of stocktaking reports at NUL, and UCUL only assists the Facilities office to carry out the exercise. The purpose of the study was to generate a stocktaking framework that might be used to ease, regulate and guide regular and comprehensive stocktaking in academic university libraries. A sample of 29 library staff was purposively selected and the study used a case study design. The methods used for collecting data were the questionnaire for quantitative data and document analysis, focus group discussion (FGDs) and observation for qualitative data. The findings of the study revealed that the university libraries view stocktaking as a library management activity that provides information on the state of the collections and gives a true picture of the collection status since it, identifies what should be added to or withdrawn from the collection and what has been lost or stolen. In addition it ensures proper, efficient and effective book loans management, enables correction of both the catalog and collection anomalies and helps to account for library resources by providing figures for accountability, annual library reporting. It therefore contributes to service delivery of the libraries using the stocktaking facilities, application of stocktaking methods and information technology and practices for frequency, schedules, responsibility, report writing, strategies to curb book losses and doing minor book repairs. The major challenges during the stocktaking exercise in the three libraries included absence of a policy, lack of updated accession registers and catalogues, inadequate time to cover all collections and massive stock size. Minimal administrative support leading to low funding, poor facilitation, exclusion of ICTs, poor records keeping and management, book safety and losses, insufficient staff that lack motivation, skills, morale and team spirit. Lastly, the study proposed a Framework as a guide that might set realistic steps for effective and comprehensive stocktaking in academic libraries.
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