Constraints to utilization of electronic books by academic staff in private university libraries in Kenya: the case of Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Kivuva, Salome Wairigu
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This study was designed to find out the constraints to electronic books utilization in private university libraries in Kenya. Although E-books have been around for some time and in spite of the advantages that may accrue from their use, they remained less utilized compared to other electronic resources in private university libraries in Kenya. The factors for their low usage had been established through a study. The study investigated academic staff awareness of the availability of e-books, their skills in information technology for effective utilization of e-books, the e-books usage by the academic staff in these libraries and Academic staff attitude towards e-books and its impact on their utilization. Literature reviewed the following themes: Electronic Information Resources; Awareness of e-books, users’ ICT skills, Users’ attitude towards e-books and e-book usage. The researcher used descriptive survey design. A pilot study was conducted at United States International University (USIU). Questionnaires were used as the research instruments. Both open ended and closed ended questions were used. Contingency questions were used as well. The target population was 400 academic staff from which a sample size of 162 academic staff chosen. The general response rate was 92% as 150 questionnaires were answered and returned. The researchers applied simple random sampling respondents and applied a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques in data collection. The data from respondents was analyzed using computer-based Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), the output was analyzed, presented and discussed using descriptive statistics and presented in percentages, frequencies, tables, bar graphs, sphere and pie charts for further clarification. The study established that though e-books have been in existence of in private university libraries in Kenya, their usage remained limited. Findings showed that low utilization of e-books was due to factors such as awareness of their existence as very few academic staff were not aware of their existence. Findings also showed that the academic staff had negative attitude towards e-books as there was expression of a lower preference for e-books compared to printed books; and that hindered their use. The study also revealed that the academic staff lacked adequate ICT skills for effective utilization of e-books and they admitted that they required additional training in various areas. It was recommended that the library should conduct aggressive awareness campaigns so as to enhance the visibility of e-books thereby accelerate utilization of e-books. In addition compulsory training of the academic staff so that they acquire he needed skills for effective utilization of e-books. It was recommended that libraries collaborate with E-books Stakeholders so that they can derive the subsidiary benefits from them. Areas for further research was also outlined.