Adoption of Knowledge Management Practices for Service Delivery in Selected North-West Nigeria Federal University Libraries
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Knowledge management practices entail generation, acquisition, organization, sharing, preservation, applying and re-use of knowledge. In libraries, the practice aims at improving services and administration. Evidence indicates that university libraries in Nigeria are facing a series of challenges ranging from lack of mentorship, reluctant to share knowledge, lack of research collaboration, inadequate training, seminars among others and the cause of these challenges is not known. The purpose of this study was to establish whether North-West Nigeria Federal university libraries have adopted knowledge management practices (KMP) in acquisition, organization, and sharing and also evaluate the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the whole process. The objectives of the study was to assess the knowledge acquisition, to determine the knowledge organization, to establish the knowledge sharing and assess the role of ICT in enhancing KM practices. This study reviewed literature in the area of knowledge acquisition, organization, sharing and ICT application. It applied descriptive research design and had a target population of three hundred and ninety-three (393) respondents from the selected north-west Nigeria university libraries. The sample size of the study was 191 which was calculated using Krejcie and Morgan. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used for data collection from different categories of librarians in university libraries. A pilot study was conducted in Gusau University Library and data analyzed to ensure the validity and reliability of the instruments. Descriptive statistic methods were used in analyzing the data into tables, frequencies, percentages, and charts were used for tabulation and presentation. Among the key findings, were practices amenable to knowledge management were in place in all the selected university libraries. The acquisition of knowledge was in place, though a lot were still inclined to explicit knowledge while tacit knowledge was limited. Knowledge organization was mostly done using classification scheme while expert based knowledge was not adequately used. A variety of methods were used for knowledge sharing. Information and communication technology (ICT) were available and used to support library services. Lack of mentorship service, lack of management support and research collaboration were major challenges in knowledge sharing. The study concludes that the adoption of knowledge management practices in the selected university libraries would not be a challenge as practices amenable to knowledge management are in place. The study also recommends the acquisition of tacit knowledge among librarians, the use of expertbased knowledge to organize knowledge in the library and to improve knowledge sharing through mentoring services and research collaboration as methods of sharing knowledge.