An e-reference services system for Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Lubaga branch, library
Ssebadduka, Allen K
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The study aimed at designing an e-reference service system to support the provision of reference and information services to the library users at Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Lubaga Branch. The study objectives were to examine the state of reference services offered at UMU Library, identify the challenges in e-reference services system for UMU Library, find out the user requirements for designing an e-reference services system for UMU Library and design an e-reference service system for UMU Library. The study employed a case study design while adopting the qualitative and quantitative approaches in the data collection. Purposive sampling technique was used to select lecMers and the librarians who participated in the study whereas simple random method was used to select the students who participated in the study. Questionnaires, interviews and observation guides were used to collect the data for the study. The study revealed that UMU provides different reference services to the users such as clientele visiting the library reference desk to seek, library website that the library use to offer reference services and via use social media such as face book, twitter and others. The study also established that UMU Nkozi Library use various ways while offering reference services to its users. These included; through face to face interaction, use of emails, access the reference services through the use of social media, and access reference services through phone calls. There different challenges affecting the provision of reference services to the library users of UMU Nkozi Library. The study revealed that these challenges include; face a challenge of long line at the reference desk, a challenge of busy reference desk, a challenge of few reference materials from the libmry, few reference workers, and lack of a separate reference section. The study concluded that there was a need to; acquire more information reference materials, use both the tradition method alongside the electronic reference services, collaboration of UMU Nkozi Library with other university libraries, conducting in house meeting and training sessions and to design an e-reference services system for the university library to solve the above challenges. The study recommended the University library to: implement the system in order to effectively provide reference services to the users of the library.