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The practices and challenges of students’ use of the library: the case of three selected public universities in the south nation, nationalities and peoples’ regional state of Ethiopia

Author: 
Tegegn Gobana Dulla and Zeleke Arficho Ayele
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This research was meant to find out whether or not university students regularly spend more time in the library and to identify challenges students face not to regularly spend more time in the library with reference to three selected public universities (Hawassa, Wolaita Soddo and Wachemo) in the South Nation, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State of Ethiopia. A descriptive design with a mixed approach was employed. A seven-point and five-point scale questionnaire was used to gather data from 1500 students (500 students from each university). A semi-structured interview was also held with 24 students (8 students from each university) randomly selected from among those students who had filled in the questionnaire. Data gathered by the questionnaire were analyzed quantitatively, whereas data collected by the interview were analyzed qualitatively. The study found that the vast majority of university students spend less time in the library; among those students who spend more time, only few of them do that regularly and effectively use their time as well as reference materials/resources available in the library. Moreover, instructors hardly inspire students to regularly spend more time in the library and hardly guide them how to effectively use their time as well as the resources. Furthermore, the university library faces a shortage of ICT infrastructure, furniture, and clean toilet rooms and water access. Lastly, generally speaking, the university librarians are ineffective to identify and provide reference materials/resources they are asked and they have poor communication skills. Accordingly, recommendations have been made.

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