A Critical study of computerized information systems in some selected Kenyan Libraries
Njuguna, Ignatius Kamau
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The computer has become central in many aspects of modern life ranging from business administration for example banking, insurance, airline industry: government operations, that is, salary and payroll preparation, data analysis and computation, records and statistics: medical field, for example medical diagnosis; research and general records keeping and others. Other areas where computer technology is being utilized include: education, publishing, libraries, private firms and individuals. One of the areas that has seen dramatic changes as a result of computers is the area of information and its communication because modern society is in a state of transition, that is, passing from an industrial society to a post industrial society-referred to by many people as an information society. The computer being the primary agent of this transition has become very useful in libraries and other information handling routines and factors that have enhanced its widespread application have been highlighted in the study. These include speed, accuracy and efficiency; ability to perform complicated tasks within minimum time, compact storage, reduction of paperwork and costs and others. This study has attempted to examine the strengths and advantages of computerized information services in four Kenyan libraries. In so doing, the study has also examined the limitations and disadvantages, explored the current and potential problems, including any problems associated with procurement of hardware and software for the libraries included. The study has ended with a section on conclusions and recommendations where useful findings have been recorded and several recommendations put forward. It is expected that most of these will be adopted by practicing librarians in Kenya as initially the study aimed at making useful contributions to the existing state of information services in Kenyan Libraries.