A survey of the need and scope of computerization of libraries in Kenya
Muriuki, Margaret N
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This study set out to determine the need for computers in libraries in Kenya, the image held about computers by library staff and to establish the extent of computerization in the country. The survey for the study was conducted between 7th April and 15th May, 1988. The reviewed literature revealed that computers have alleviated problems of inefficient systems, eased the pressure caused by increased demand and work load and have enabled libraries to give new and varied services. It also indicated a trend towards cooperation and development of networks in an attempt to cope with the ever-increasing information in the face of increasing costs. The literature also revealed that computerization brings about a revolution in the library set up. It has implications for the whole fabric of the library. Being a growing technology it has its own drawbacks and pitfalls which should be taken into account. Hence there are varying opinions on computerization. The current study was. aimed at finding out the Kenyan librarians stand on the issue. The population of interest included all the libraries in Kenya except primary and high school libraries. The required information was collected through the use of a structured questionnaire. One hundred and two libraries completed the questionnaire and this provided the information used in this report. The findings of the study suggest that the needs of Kenyan librarians are pressure of work, and the need to 'offer new services and systems that are slow, inefficient and cumbersome. Some libraries have turned to computers to satisfy these needs while others are in the process of doing so. The majority of the libraries, however, are still struggling with their manual operations and systems which were reported to be unsatisfactory in the sense that they are slow and inefficient. Regarding the views held about computers by library staff it was shown that on the whole the image is moderate to poor, especially among the majority who fall in the non-computerized libraries category. Concerning the extent of computerization, it was found that eleven libraries had implemented computerization. Most of these were special libraries. However, there are forty one libraries which have plans for computerization of some of their operations and these fall in all the three categories, namely special, academic and public libraries. The functions which have been computerized or are planned for computerization by most libraries are information retrieval, cataloguing and periodicals control. In conclusion, it was found that library cooperation in this area would receive overwhelming support.
CitationMasters of business administration
SponsorhipUniversity of Nairobi
school of Business, University of Nairobi