Electronic information resources utilization by students in Mbarara University Library
The aim of the study was to assess the utilization of electronic information resources by students in Mbarara University. The objectives of the study were ; identifying the availability e-resources in Mbarara University Library, determining the extent of use and the relevance of e-resources in Mbarara University Library, identifying factors for low usage of the e-resources by students and lastly proposing strategies to promote the usage of e-resources by students. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to elicit data from library staff and undergraduate students from four faculties of Mbarara University. Two hundred and sixty six respondents participated in the study. Data was collected by use of Questionnaires, Document analysis and interview guides. Conclusions drawn from the findings indicated that utilization of e-resources was affected by lack of computer skills and information literacy skills, lack of enough computers and a broad band for internet connectivity. The frequency of use of these resources indicated that a lot needs to be done to increase e-resource use. In view of the above results the researcher highlights on some of the recommendations: Information skill training should aim at covering the whole University so as to bridge the varying abilities of students, this should be compulsory for all students irrespective of the disciplines. Sufficient networked computers with fast Internet connectivity should be available in the library. Workshops organized by library should be conducted from faculties instead of the main library this will bring service closer to the users. The University should put in place a policy for faculties to have their computer laboratories and also train end-users. The university library staff should educate students about the decentralized services to faculties since most of these e-information resources can be accessed without necessarily going to the main library. The University library should up-date Faculties on the available-information resources, and the academic staff should sensitize students on the usefulness of electronic information resources to students so that course works assignments requiring the use of e-information resources should be developed. This will compel students to utilize electronic information resources.