Use of Digital Reference Services in Selected Academic Libraries in Zambia
Mwiinga, Thabiso M.
M’kulama, Abel C. M.
Chisunka-Mwila, Chitundu P.
Daka, Kaoma L.
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Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) especially web technologies are transforming the way libraries provide information to their users. Digital reference is one such service that is trending in most academic libraries worldwide. However, there is a significant lack of scholarly research focusing on digital reference service in academic libraries in developing countries, let alone Zambia. This paper, therefore, discusses the use of digital reference services in academic libraries in Zambia. It specifically investigated the status of digital reference services in academic libraries; types of digital reference services; and challenges of using digital reference services. The study used both quantitative and qualitative research method designs. Forty (40) Librarians in different institutions across the country were conveniently sampled and a structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The findings suggest that the full potential of digital reference has not yet been maximized in most academic libraries in Zambia. The study recommends that academic libraries should fully adopt the use of digital reference services considering the advances in ICTs. There is also need for a study that looks into students’ attitudes towards digital reference services in academic libraries in Zambia.
Zambia Journal of Library & Information Science