Network Literacy and Utilization of Electronic Resources Among University Students: The Case of Kabarak University, Kenya
Libraries acquire and facilitate access to electronic information resources that support core functions of universities they serve. Despite substantial investments by universities in infrastructures and resources to facilitate access to electronic resources, studies have revealed that these resources are at times not optimally utilized as expected. Network literacy is defined as the knowledge of web-based information resources, ability to effectively use ICT tools to access resources available online, ability to judge the relevance of information retrieved, and capability to use computer-mediated communication tools to manage or utilize the accessed information. The purpose of this study was to assess network literacy and utilization of electronic resources among Kabarak University students in Kenya and consequently provide some insight into usage of networked resources at the university. Objectives of the study entailed assessing users’ awareness of internet applications and utilization of electronic resources; assessing users’ awareness of Social Networking Sites (SNS) and utilization of electronic resources, establishing the levels of user awareness of electronic resources available at Kabarak University, evaluating users’ competencies in using electronic resources and establishing challenges encountered in utilizing electronic resources at Kabarak University. The study was anchored on the Digital Library model that depicts users’ interaction with networked environments, taking into consideration the various systems involved. The study was undertaken at Kabarak University main campus library. Stratified sampling was used to segregate students and librarians whose opinions were also sought on matters covered by the study. Simple random sampling was used to select students for the study while purposive sampling was employed to select resourceful librarians for the research. The study adopted a descriptive research design and used an approach where qualitative and quantitative data were gathered using a set of structured questionnaires that contained open and close ended questions based on objectives that guided the study. The questionnaires were first pilot – tested at Moi University Eldoret Town campus to determine their validity and also subjected to Cronbach’s Alpha reliability test to determine that acceptable internal reliability levels were attained. These questionnaires were then directly issued to the selected respondents. Analysis of the collected data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software version 23 and thereafter, responses arranged in themes as appropriate. Frequencies and percentage distributions were used to highlight patterns in the data and facilitate interpretation. Among the findings was that students were aware of existence of electronic resources though some of them were not aware of what these electronic resources entailed specifically, and that among the greatest challenges they faced in using the electronic resources were slow internet connectivity speeds and inadequate points of accessing the internet. The study also established that the library relied majorly on orientation to sensitize students on electronic resources. Reinforcement and regularly conducting orientation programmes were recommended as a means of promoting network literacy at the University.
Copyright (c) 2021 Fredrick Omondi Owidi, Rose Njoroge
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copy Right of the published articles is retained unconditionally by the author(s).