Access and use of electronic resources by students at the selected campuses of the University of Namibia

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University of Namibia
Academic libraries are now using electronic resources to fulfil the information needs of their clients. The study was carried out at the University of Namibia and was aimed at investigating access and use of electronic resources by undergraduate students at the selected campuses of the University of Namibia. The investigation utilized the descriptive survey study design, which is quantitative in methodology. The target population was 1,460 undergraduate students enrolled at Neudamm, Khomasdal and José Eduardo dos Santos campuses were targeted for this investigation and, using stratified random sampling, a corresponding sample of 292 undergraduate students was obtained. The study utilized two questionnaires to collect data from undergraduate students and twelve library staff and data were analyzed by using SPSS software. The study established that UNAM libraries were signed up to an extensive variety of electronic resources and that students were commonly mindful of the presence of these electronic resources. However, students were not using electronic databases, e-books, and e-journals provided by the library, to their fullest potential. Additionally, the study settled that students preferred to use search engines, such as ‘Google search, over other licensed databases for various purpose, including current and general information, preparing for examination, writing assignments and projects. Furthermore, the study reported lack of searching skills among students and ineffective information literacy program. Limited space in the training venues, limited online library guides and inappropriate timing of the training impedes the effectiveness of training programs. The findings also reported that a lack of ICT infrastructure, such as the unavailability of web network connectivity, inadequate number of computers, and slow internet connectivity were the primary elements limiting students from accessing and adequately utilizing electronic resources. Lastly, the study infers that students showed a desire and readiness to access and utilize electronic resources for their course work and research purposes regardless of some recognized difficulties that hindered their effective usage of these resources. To encourage more noteworthy access to, and utilization of, electronic resources, various recommendations based on the findings were presented. These were that students should be assigned academic tasks that compel them to access and use licensed databases, that Internet bandwidth be increased to ensure high speeds, the number of networked computers in the libraries be increased, the plug in points in the libraries be expanded to allow students to plug in their own devices, training venues be expanded, online library guides be developed to guide all library users and structured information literacy programs be developed and integrated into the university curriculum.
A thesis submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of Master of Information Science
Electronic resources, Academic library, Social influence, Information access