An investigation into the use of smartphones in accessing electronic resources at the University of Namibia

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University of Namibia
This thesis is based on the use of smartphones in accessing electronic resources (eresources) at the University of Namibia (UNAM). The main objective of this study was to investigate the use of smartphones in accessing library electronic resources at UNAM. The study was informed by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Convenience Concept Model (CCM) and Connectivity Theory (CT). In line with the pragmatic research paradigm, the research design was a case study and a survey was in this case one of the data collection methods in this mixed methods research approach. The population for this study consisted of UNAM librarians and undergraduate students. The sample for this study comprised of three hundred and seventy-two (372) students. To ensure representation at all levels of undergraduate students, the researcher used the proportionate stratification sample method to determine sample sizes of each stratum which resulted to 125 first years, 105 second years, 76 third years and 66 fourth years. Students were selected by means of systematic sampling method. Four (4) librarians were purposively selected as the researcher targeted librarians who had a better understanding of the topic under study. In-depth interviews were conducted with librarians and questionnaires were administered to students. Content analysis method was used to analyse qualitative data and IBM SPSS was used to generate quantitative data through descriptive statistics. The study revealed that majority of students had smartphones. Students found smartphones convenient because of portability. Furthermore, the study showed that majority of students were aware of library e-resources, which they mostly got to know through their lecturers. The study further discovered that students had at some point accessed e-resources via their smartphones. However, low frequency of access was recorded. Factors that hinder the access and use of smartphones revealed in this study include: network problems, lack of training on how to access e-resources, small screen sizes of smartphones, no access to e-resources off-campus, difficulties in navigating web links through smartphones and a lack of searching skills. The study recommends UNAM Library to take a leaf from the UNAM ICT Policy which supports gadgets like smartphones, to be clear on using mobile library applications, create a mobile Library App for e-resources and introduce a core course on Information Literacy that will include training on how to access e-resources. The study proposes a study on offcampus access to e-resources as an area for further research.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts (Library and Information Science)
Smartphones, Electronic resources