An investigation into the factors influencing utilization of parliament library: the Kenyan experience
Kamau, Esther Muthoni
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Parliament is the supreme institution of a state. It is in this institution that the laws of a country are made. These laws shape the social, political and economic destiny of the nation. Democratic laws can only be made by well-informed Members of Parliament (MPs) and therefore the role of Parliament library is paramount. A Parliamentary Library can be defined as an organization or a body that serves a legislature and provides its Members and other clients with information services including research, analysis and/or reference services. It is indispensable to the functioning of any legislative institution. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors, which influence utilization of parliament library: the Kenyan Experience. The main objectives of the study were-: to identify the major limitations to effective use of the library, to find out how the quality of services and resources in the parliament library influences its utilization by the legislators and to identify frequency of use of the available resources and services. The research study identified important factors, which influence utilization of the Kenyan Parliament library. These include inadequacy and inappropriateness of some resources, poor marketing and promotional strategies, limited sitting space, inappropriate staffing procedures and insufficient library resources among other factors. To obtain the study sample the researcher applied the systematic sampling techniques to the Members of Parliament (MPs) Questionnaires, interviews and direct observation methods of data collection were used. The results obtained from the study were used to make the conclusions and recommendations that the researcher has made. Some of the major recommendations that the researcher has made include: the need for the library to come up with a written collection development policy, computerization of the parliament library as a matter of urgency, expansion of the existing physical space and initiation of staff development programs among other recommendations. These recommendations if implemented can greatly improve the delivery of services in this important institutions.