Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

Summer 9-3-2013

Citation

Lwoga, ET (2013). Faculty perception and practices in health sciences information literacy instruction in Tanzania. Library Philosophy and Practice

Comments

Edda Tandi Lwoga holds a PhD in Information studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is also a Senior Librarian and Director at the Directorate of Library Services of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. Dr Lwoga has been working in the library and information science field for the past ten years. She is supervising a number of PhD and Masters students. She is also teaching e-learning, web 2.0 tools and information literacy programme to undergraduate students at MUHAS. She has also facilitated a wide number of workshops in the field of information searching skills, and other related areas such as scientific writing, web 2.0, reference management etc. Her area of research interests includes information literacy/ search techniques, open access, web 2.0 technologies, ICT for rural livelihoods, e-learning, knowledge management and indigenous knowledge systems. Dr Lwoga has published widely in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, books and conference proceedings.

Abstract

This study assessed the information literacy (IL) instruction perceptions and practices of faculty at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. An online survey was distributed to all faculty members in five schools and one institute at MUHAS (235 in total) from 2011 to 2012, with a response rate of (34.5 percent). The study findings show a general support for IL development, and its importance in enabling students to do library-based research. To a large extent, faculty believed that the IL competencies of students, including their ability to find, use and evaluate information, was average at the lower levels (first and second year students), and improved at the upper levels (third year undergraduates, and all postgraduates). Although faculty usually asked their students to conduct library research for their course assignments, students did not make sufficient use of library due to inadequate IL skills. Although faculty did not often collaborate with librarians in teaching IL, faculty believed that IL should be an independent, mandatory and credit earning course, and it should be taught by either a librarian only or undertaken collaboratively by both instructors and librarians. Faculty also indicated having seen some impact on the improvement in their students’ research process after receiving library instruction. Based on the survey results, the study recommends the following: Universities should embed IL programmes into institutions, and librarians should include IL in professional development courses for teaching IL to faculty, use more proactive and interpersonal marketing strategy to promote IL, conduct regular IL needs assessment, use a flexible pedagogical approach and participative, student-centred methods in teaching and developing IL curricula, and expand the sources in which IL articles are published.