Assessment of e-resources utilisation by BLIS students in Makerere University Library
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The study aimed at assessing the utilisation of electronic resources by BLIS Students at Makerere University Library. The objectives of the study were to: identify the electronic resources available for BLIS students, examine the extent of use and relevance of e-resources by BLIS students, determine the challenges encountered in using electronic resources, and propose strategies that could be adopted to improve the usage of e-resources by BLIS students. The study used a case study research design while adopting both quantitative and qualitative research approaches of data collection. Purposive and convenience sampling methods were used to select five (5) librarians and sixty-two (62) BLIS Students from Makerere University Library respectively. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect the data for the study. The different types of electronic resources in the library were; the Internet, electronic journals, OPAC, electronic books, email, database of thesis and dissertations (DATAD), and the CD- ROMs among others. Majority of the BLIS Students rarely access electronic resources from the university despite of the fact that they are aware of the presence of these resources. The study findings also established that electronic resources are useful to BLIS Students because they are time saving, more informative, less expensive, easy to use. BLIS students access these resources for academic purposes, email services, sending and receiving messages. Majority of the BLIS Students had not received any training in access and use of electronic resources. The challenges in utilisation of electronic resources were; insufficient computers, slow Internet connectivity, time wastage, lack of proper guidance, too much information retrieved in a search, lack of I.T Skills. The suggestions to solve the challenges were; soliciting for funds to purchase adequate electronic resources, sensitize BLIS Students on the use of electronic resources in the library, and purchase of more Internet packages. The study concluded that there was a need for the guidelines for utilisation of electronic resources by BLIS Students. The study recommended conducting awareness and orientation programmes on the utilisation of e-resources, acquisition of more electronic resources in the library, training of the BLIS students on the use of computers, provision of more networked computers, and lecturers should insist on BLIS students using e-resources.