E-resources complexities and their usage A case study of information science students in Mount Kenya University Kigali campus
This study intended to ascertain the usage of e-resources by determining the awareness level, e-resources accessibility complexities and the challenges faced by information Science students while using the e-library resources in Mount Kenya University (MKU)-Kigali Campus. The study considered both undergraduate and postgraduate students and was aimed at addressing the following objectives: establishing the awareness level of availability of e-resources by the information science students in Mount Kenya University Kigali campus, establish the complexities experienced in accessing e- library resources by information science students and to ascertain the challenges faced by the students while using e-library resources. The study employed the use of a descriptive statistical research design. The questionnaire instrument was used whereby the structured survey questions were prepared and administered to the 178 respondents of whom 29 (16.3%) were postgraduate students and 149 (83.7%) undergraduate students. The analysis of the study indicated that a large number of the students were aware of the availability of electronic library resources through library notice board. However, students showed low awareness via other modes of communication such as colleagues (39.7%) for the undergraduate and 34.5% postgraduate, also only 6.4% of the undergraduate and 6.9% of were aware of the e-library resources through e-mail from the library. Many students indicated that they face challenges in accessing and using e-library resources and the main reasons put forward were lack of advanced information searching skills, information overload due to too much information available online. This implies therefore that there is a high need to improve on the awareness campaign via other modes of communication such as e-mails and seminars. Trainings and workshops on how to use e-library resources should be organized by the library staff and management so that the subscribed e-resources databases are used effectively and efficiently to maximize research in higher learning institutions. Also, the study suggested that it would be important to establish information literacy programs so that students and the entire university community are acquainted with the use of electronic resources. Finally, there should be a study about the effect of e-resources on the academic research output in higher learning institutions.