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ERIC Number: EJ972888
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-0337
Library Automation in Sub Saharan Africa: Case Study of the University of Botswana
Mutula, Stephen Mudogo
Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, v46 n3 p292-307 2012
Purpose: This article aims to present experiences and the lessons learned from the University of Botswana (UB) library automation project. The implications of the project for similar libraries planning automation in sub Saharan Africa and beyond are adduced. Design/methodology/approach: The article is a case study of library automation at the University of Botswana. Findings: The successful implementation of the library automation project was attributed to a number of factors, among them ensuring strategic management buy-in, extensive consultations with key stakeholders, alignment of library automation with goals of the university, capacity building of librarians and assuring librarians that their jobs were safe. The impact of the automation project included increased access to diversity of electronic resources, enhanced image of librarians, introduction of new services, freeing of library physical space, transformation of the library into a social learning environment, access to local content made possible through digitisation, new skills acquisitions, access to library electronic resources from remote sites, and increased roles and responsibilities for librarians. Challenges faced included staff anxiety about the prospect of losing jobs, learning of new skills, added responsibilities for librarians, raised expectations of users, high costs of subscription to full text journals, and bandwidth bottlenecks among others. Research limitations and implications: This article is based on a case study of library automation at the University of Botswana. The results may not therefore be widely replicated. Besides, the article did not delve deep into technology acceptance and diffusion of innovation issues that could illuminate further the case study. Practical implications: Most university libraries in sub Saharan Africa are yet to successfully and fully automate their information services. Consequently the lessons learned from the University of Botswana case could help inform the planning and implementation of automations projects in similar libraries. Social implications: The automation of the University of Botswana library resulted in enhanced quality of information services, re-skilling of librarians, enhanced image of librarians, user satisfaction and transformation of the university into a learning and research hub. Originality/value: This article is based on practical experiences of library automation at the University of Botswana and its impact on services, and human and physical resources. Previous studies on this subject at the university only covered migration from one system to another and the technical perspectives of the process of library automation. This study is broad in scope covering both technical and managerial processes of managing change in the context of library automation at the University of Botswana.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Botswana