Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Digital Technology Acceptance in Transformation of University Libraries and Higher Education Institutions in Kenya

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Digital Technology Acceptance in Transformation of University Libraries and Higher Education Institutions in Kenya

Article excerpt

Introduction and background information

Digital revolution is powering and creating a wide array of information and knowledge products and services in organizations depend upon the state of the art of information communication technology systems. Development in digital systems has provided technological solutions for academic institutions and information management organizations to access education and knowledge in virtual environments. Higher education and learning institutions across the globe have developed digital technology platforms so as to realize and achieve the goals of the millennium culture and social value. This development affects university libraries because of their perceived role in creation, management, diffusion and utilization of information and knowledge (Makori, 2012). Applications of digital technologies and social computing are fundamental electronic planning solutions not only in institutions of higher learning but also information and knowledge based organizations. Modern digital information environment and global internet access are transforming and changing the role of higher education and learning and information management institutions through institutional repositories for capturing and preserving the intellectual knowledge (Ezema, 2013, Shukla & Poluru, 2012, Zaman et al, 2011).

Popularity of the digital environment and internet of things (IoT) or internet of everything (IoE) are impacting on all aspects of academic and educational practices because of their central responsibility and significant role in supporting research, learning, information and knowledge activities in universities and libraries. In the contemporary world, digital technologies has transformed and changed the role of information professionals, although university libraries face immense challenges of big or gigantic data repositories (Lu et al, 2011) and inadequate innovative new information technologies (Ezema, 2013). Modern information communication technology provides digital components and systems that support information organizations rather than inhibit the use of social computing and electronic resources, although institutions of higher learning have been grappling with management of intellectual output such as theses, dissertations, teaching materials, research and journal articles (Radojicic & Jeremic, 2012). Academic and research institutions, and information management organizations as mass centers of intellectual and scholarly communication are involved in creation and dissemination of knowledge through global digital initiatives that are embedded and supported by libraries (Chimezie, 2012). Ultimately, the purpose of this study was to determine the preparedness of university libraries and information professionals in the modern digital revolution and transformation, and provide knowledge on how to be compliant. The study examined digital technologies and its applications, popularity of the digital environment, modern information environment, and information professional responsibilities and accountability.

Research context

This empirical study was conducted in five selected higher education and learning representing three public and two private university libraries. In Kenya, the Commission for University Education is in the process of harmonizing the two sectors into one, although public universities are well funded and supported. In the latest web ranking of higher education institutions, Kenyan public universities emerged among the top (Webometrics Ranking, 2015). In addition, the university libraries have developed effective digital repositories that enhance the global visibility and attention of the academic and research outputs. The libraries provide information and knowledge that support the goals and objectives of the academic institutions.

Statement of the problem

In the modern digital environment, institutions of higher learning are supposed to provide the necessary informational and technological facilities and tools to support research, teaching and learning practices. …

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