Assessment of Mainstreaming of Information Literacy into Academic Programs in Selected Universities in Nairobi And Kiambu Counties, Kenya.
Webala, Selina Nabukhwami
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The primary purpose of this study was to assess mainstreaming of information literacy into universities’ academic programs as outlined by Commission for University Education standards and guidelines for university libraries in Kenya. The standards require universities to integrate information literacy into the curriculum under common units for both undergraduates and postgraduates to ensure information literacy skills are imparted to all students in institutions of higher learning in Kenya. The study sought to examine the perceptions of librarians and faculty regarding mainstreaming information literacy into academic programs; their involvement in mainstreaming IL into the curriculum; the extent to which Information Literacy has been incorporated into the academic curriculum; availability of adequate resources in terms of equipment and human to facilitate mainstreaming as well as the challenges encountered in mainstreaming IL into curriculum. This research was guided by the socio-cultural learning theory by Vygotsky. The target population was 267 librarians and faculty coordinators of information literacy in the main university campuses in Kiambu and Nairobi counties. The sample size comprised of 57 librarians and 7 faculty coordinators of information literacy. Descriptive survey design was used and the research used questionnaires to collect data. A pilot study was undertaken at KCA University to determine the validity and reliability of the instruments. Data from completed questionnaires was analysed using descriptive statistics and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings were presented in form of pie charts, tables and bar graphs. The study established that librarians are strongly in agreement that mainstreaming information literacy into universities’ academic programs can raise standards in use of electronic resources which universities acquire annually but had less positive perception on whether mainstreaming IL could make students more responsible users of information. It also revealed that universities are involving librarians in aspects of designing IL curricular, setting study topics and establishing search strategies. In terms of resources universities have reliable internet connection though have a shortage in application programs and equipment. In determining the extent of IL incorporation into curriculum all universities have embraced the idea where most of them have adopted the inter-curricular model. However major challenges faced by all universities were inadequate resources. The study recommends that universities should acquire adequate resources in terms of equipment and human to cater for the large numbers of students, establish a new curriculum so that IL can be taught as a core unit to all students as well as promote strict adherence to Commission University Education (CUE) guidelines in regard to Information Literacy