Members’ Perceptions on Information Proffessional Associations: The Case of Kenya Library Association and Kenya Association of Archivists and Records Managers
Odari, Sherry Andisi
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The study focused on members’ perceptions on information professional associations specifically Kenya Library Association and Kenya Association of Archivists and Records Managers. Perceptions is intellectual processes of interpreting what members see, hear, filter, organize and use to judge and give verdict on performance. The information associations’ landscape in Kenya is riddled with turf wars resulting into splinter groups, a scenario that does not augur well with national associations such as KLA and KARMA. The study was guided by the following objectives among others: assessing the contributions of the associations under study to professional development in library and information landscape in Kenya, assess members participation and perceptions in their associations’ activities and the challenges facing the associations in meeting their obligations. The independent variable was members’ perceptions about KLA and KARMA and the dependent variable were the two professional associations. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory was used in the study. The theory postulates that behavior is an outcome of choices that aim at increasing pleasure and reducing pain. The study design used was descriptive survey in which both quantitative and qualitative approaches were applied. The study used convenience and purposeful sampling techniques to sample156 respondents out of which 102 belonged to KLA and 54 to KARMA respectively. A pilot study of 10 respondents at the Association of Government Librarians (AGL) helped refine research instruments. The study reviewed literature on all aspects of members’ perceptions on library and information science associations. Collected data was cleaned, coded and analysed using SPSS program and data was presented in tables figures and percentages. Findings showed that the most of respondents participated in KLA and KARMA programmes and agreed that the associations contribute immensely to the development of the information profession in Kenya. However, the majority of the respondents did not give their approval of the activities of the two associations. By implication, the programmes and activities of KLA/KARMA are not appealing to most of the members. The study recommended increased members participation in decision making; increased enrolment of new members; improved communication from the secretariat and cessation of in-house rivalry and in-fighting among officials. Further research on performance of the associations since their inception is recommended.