Date of this Version
Buruga, B.A., Osamai, M.O."Operational challenges of providing library services to distance education learners in a higher education system in Uganda" (2019). Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal).
This study investigated operational challenges of providing library services to long distance learners at higher education institutions in Uganda. The study adopted a survey research design, and the population was drawn from distance learners and librarians at Uganda Martyrs University (UMU). Quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed, online Google Form questionnaires were sent to 50 distance learners and 5 library staff. A total of 33 and 4 filled questionnaires were received back from students and library staff respectively and registering a response rate of 74%. The study revealed that 75.8% of the student respondents were not satisfied with the library services and resources. 81.8% of the respondents were not easily accessing library services and resources and mentioned the challenge lack of login credentials for accessing e-resources; Lack of access to a library nearby with relevant textbooks and journals; poor Internet Connectivity; get assistance from library staff; Not trained to access online library resources; and Geographical isolation. The study recommended the following to the management of UMU library; the library should consider establishing distance learning desk at their main library to address distance learners information needs; coordinators for distance learning programs should collaborate and work together with librarians in planning for new students orientation program; libraries in Uganda whether academic, community or public should form collaborations and sign resource sharing agreements that allow their students to freely access any library resource or services from neighbouring libraries.