Information behaviour of Makerere University Masters and Doctoral students with specific reference to the use of information technology (IT)
Kiwanuka, Luke Francis
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Academic libraries are facing a major task of coping with the changing information needs and seeking and searching behaviours of their users. This situation is further complicated by the changing nature of the formats in which scholarly information is being produced. Most scholarly information resources are increasingly produced in digital formats, hence changing and potentially enhancing the library’s outlook on providing services to its users. This is one of the major factors leading academic libraries to install and integrate the use of information technology tools so as to improve the library and information service delivery to the users. This study explores the ways in which the information technology systems are integrated in information service delivery by the Library (MakLib) and have influenced the information seeking and searching behaviour of the Masters and Doctoral students at Makerere University. The main research question of the study is “How has the integration of information technology influenced the information seeking and searching behaviours of the Masters and Doctoral students at Makerere University Library?” The study employs a qualitative approach in its research design. Data was collected from 101 respondents by means of a self-administered questionnaire. The major findings from the study indicate that the students are aware of and use the installed IT tools to satisfy a variety of information needs, though they face challenges with the user interfaces of the different electronic resources databases. Furthermore, the problem where some resources are accessed through the LAN and usernames and passwords also greatly hinders them from satisfying their needs. The study therefore recommends that the library management should place more emphasis on information literacy training to improve the searching skills of the users, as well as installing proxy servers which will enable them to access the electronic resources even when they are off campus.
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