Challenges Facing Academic Libraries in Utilizing Mobile Devices in Access and Use of Information in Kenyatta University and University of Nairobi in Kenya
Mobile devices are extremely important in informational facilities. Apart from providing convenience, mobile devices open up new avenues for academic libraries to enhance access to information. However, few studies have been carried out that directly look at the use of mobile devices in enhancing access and use of information. The study objective was to identify the challenges faced in utilization of mobile devices and suggest ways of addressing them. The study adopted descriptive research design. The target population for the research included 1620 students, 47 teaching staff from three academic departments, 91 library staff and 38 ICT staff thus the entire target population was 1796 respondents. To select users (academic staff and students), stratified random sampling was used, and purposive sampling was used to identify senior library and ICT employees. A sample size of 10% was drawn from each stratum (age, department, course experience, duration at the university) forming a total sample of 181 respondents. Primary and secondary data were gathered using a semi-structured questionnaire and photographic evidence. The collected data was evaluated using descriptive and inferential analysis. Descriptive statistics included means, percentages, and frequency ranges. In inferential statistics, chi-square analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between factors, in this case, the usage of mobile devices and the associated benefits. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, Version 22). Tables, maps, and graphs were used to display the data that had been analyzed. The study established that majority of the library users in universities use mobile devices. The use of mobile devices was mostly associated with the new university entrants. This age group has highly technical perceptiveness and prefer digital access of information and communication. The use of mobile devices in university libraries was mostly in accessing library e-resources, internet searching of learning materials and communicating with fellow peers. The study established significant relationships between use of mobile devices and ease of access of library resources. The use of mobile devices had challenges, notably, lack of mobile devices technical support, limited power sources to charge the devices, poor Internet connectivity, and expensive repair and replacement costs associated with the use of mobile devices. The study concluded that the use mobile devices in university libraries is greatly beneficial to the users and it reduces the stress on traditional library facilities.
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