Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Evaluation of Use of E-Resources by Academic Staff of Navrongo Campus of University for Development Studies through Workplace Information Literacy Programmes

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Evaluation of Use of E-Resources by Academic Staff of Navrongo Campus of University for Development Studies through Workplace Information Literacy Programmes

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

People may be well read in their relevant literature but they still need to keep up-to-date with latest development in their specific field. Workplace Information Literacy (IL) provides the skills and training for staff to enhance their work performance for organizational growth and individual development. According to the Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science, information literacy is the ....

"skill in finding the information one needs, including an understanding of how libraries are organized, familiarity with the resources they provide including information formats. The concept also includes the skills required to critically evaluate information content and employ it effectively, as well as an understanding of the technological infrastructure on which information transmission is based, including its social, political, and cultural context and impact" and automated search tools, and knowledge of commonly used research techniques (Reitz , 2010).

According to ACRL (2000), information literacy is essential due to the amount of information that is available in this 21st Century. Simply being exposed to a great deal of information will not make people informed citizens; they need to learn how to use this information effectively. IL skills allow us to filter out the information we do not need. However, familiarity and use of electronic information resources (EIR) is often a challenge. That is why at the University for Development Studies (UDS) use workshops and seminars programmes to sharpen or enhance the skills of staff.

In Ghana, even though there is no direct policy on IL, strong efforts are being made by some universities to incorporate IL in their curricula by Faculty. For example, UDS started incorporating IL in their curricular in the 2016/2017 academic year. The Ghana Library Association (GLA), the professionally- recognized body of librarians has also for the past years providing training for its members to upgrade and enhance their skills as information providers at their work places. Thus, "becoming information literate is part of lifelong learning and being a lifelong learner is part of being information literate" (Botha et al, 2006).

1.1 Brief Profile of University for Development Studies, Navrongo Campus and Library

The University for Development Studies (UDS) is the fourth public university established in 1992 to serve the needs of Northern Ghana in particular and the country in general. It operates a multi-campus system across the Northern (Tamale, Nyankpala), Upper East (Navrongo) and the Upper West (Wa) Regions. All four campuses have libraries manned by professional librarians with the Central Library at Nyankpala, Campus.

The Navrongo Campus (NC) which is the focus of this study is located in the Kasena-Nankana Municipality about thirty kilometers away from the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatnaga and situated along the Kolgo-Naga road between the St John Bosco's University College of Education, and the Navrongo Senior High School (Navasco). It has two Faculties, namely; Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) and Faculty of Mathematical Sciences (FMS). Courses such as Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry and Biology are run by FAS whiles Statistics, Computer Science, Actuarial Science, Mathematics and others are also run by FMS.

High quality research work is paramount for running undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that effectively combine academic work with community participation and extension in order to grapple with environmental problems and the socio-economic deprivations of rural Ghana. It therefore requires that staff will need information to compile their lesson notes as well as for research purposes while students will also need information to do assignments and projects. The University therefore provides the necessary facilities and resources such as the Library to make these possible.

Since 2004 the UDS Library is a member of the Consortium of Academic Libraries in Ghana (CALIGH). …

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