Library automation in school libraries and media centres in Zambia: case study of selected schools in Lusaka city
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The availability of both commercial and free and open source library management systems has presented a window of opportunity for libraries to automate their operations with a view to improving the management, and delivery of information resources to their clients. This study sought to find out the level of library automation in some selected school libraries and media centers in Lusaka city of Zambia. The study was both quantitative and qualitative in design and a survey method was used. A sample of 62 respondents from school libraries and media centres took part in the study and that snowball sampling method was used. This sampling method was used because of lack of a sampling frame of both government and private schools with libraries or media centres in Lusaka city. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire and interview guides. The research findings show that 72% of the respondents understand the concept of library automation while 28% do not. In terms of library automation, 2 (3%) of the surveyed library schools were automated while 60 (97%) were not. Further, it was discovered the two school libraries that had automated their operations were from private international schools and that they use the library management system called Destiny. Among factors that hinder automation in school libraries include among other things; lack of ICTs skills among school librarians and lack of political will from school administrators to fund school libraries and media centres. In view of the above findings, it was recommended that school managers adequately fund school libraries to enable them automate their operations and that qualified librarians be employed in schools.
Department of Library and Information Science