Effectiveness of Information Literacy Programmes in Academic Libraries: A Case of Tangaza University College Library, Kenya.
Were, Grace Adhiambo
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In this age of information society, research relies significantly on individual’s ability to seek, and search for information, as well as organizing the information for easy retrieval. Academic libraries play a major role in enhancing the capacity of individual researchers to locate, evaluate, organize, effectively utilize and communicate information.This study was conducted at Tangaza University College Library (TUCL) to explore the effectiveness of information literacy programmes in academic libraries. The aim of the study was to enhance information literacy programmes in academic libraries for purposes of ensuring effectiveness of such programmes. The study adopted the use of a descriptive research design and employed the use of both qualitative and quantitative research approaches in dealing with different aspects of the research to ensure validity and reliability of findings. The target population of the study was 148 in number comprising of 8 staff members at the TUCL, and 140 undergraduate students from the School of Arts and Social Sciences. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 103 undergraduate students from the School of Arts and Social Sciences as respondents from the total population of 140. Data was gathered from both secondary and primary sources. The quantitative data gathered was sorted, coded, cleaned, entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software whereas qualitative data was analyzed based on key points in the major thematic areas of the study. The findings were presented as summarized results in the form of simple frequency tables and graphs depicting opinions of the respondents. The research findings reveal that the most prevalent practice used in the delivery of the IL programme at the institution of higher learning was teaching IL as a curricular course. It was found that some major institutional IL practices include teaching of IL programmes a curricular course, library orientation was also selected by the majority of the respondents as well as user education and use of seminars. It was further found that information literacy practices, the study established that institutions have made the IL programme mandatory and teaching it as a curricular course is more the standard practice than any other approach. The study found out that the majority of the respondents agreed that the libraries provide services that adequately meet the objectives of IL programmes at the learning institutions. Also, the libraries ably identify steps and formats of potential sources of information, and very well understands the academic, legal, ethical and social issues surrounding access and use of information by library users, besides making such information more relevant, meaningful and helpful to the information seekers. Majority of the respondents indicated that focus groups, self-assessments, classroom assignments and student’s work portfolio were the most effective mechanisms for evaluating IL programmes. On the other hand, case studies, performance appraisals, oral tests and satisfaction surveys/exit interviews were found to be less effective IL evaluation methods in institutions of higher learning. To understand impact of IL programme on learners, the study established that Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) and Term Papers were the most used learner-impact evaluation methods adopted by instructors as found from the interview schedules. From the inferential statistics, it was found that support from institution administration (0.013<0.05.), teaching of IL as a curricular course (001<0.005), collaboration between librarians and faculties (0.05=0.05), and embedding of IL across the curriculum (0.00<0.05) were the major factors influencing achievement IL objectives. The study recommends that IL programme be made mandatory and ensure it is taught as a curricular course. The management should streamline internal institutional processes that influence the efficacy of IL programme.