Date of this Version
A descriptive survey method was used as the research design, which involved three sampled universities in Tanzania,namely the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) and Tumaini University-Dar es Salaam College (TUDARco). Purposive sampling technique was used to select respondents, comprising undergraduate and post-graduate students, academic and research staff chosen due to their proximity and degree of involvement in the generation and usage of information in both print and electronic formats in their academic and research endeavours as well as consultancy. Empirical data for the study was collected using the questionnaire survey and interview guide. Out of the 400 copies of questionnaire administered, 350 (87.5%) were successfully completed and used for the study. Data collected using questionnaires were coded, entered into a computer, analysed and intepreted with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 whereas data obtained from interview was subjected to content analysis. The qualitative data analysis process entailed collecting, sorting and eventually organising the information according to emerging themes in line with the objectives of the study .
Findings: The study found out that a positive majority 163 (50.5%) of the respondents, prefer the use print over electronic resources. These findings are not in congruency with a popular assumption that the ready availability of online resources has supplanted print resources, which is not necessary the case. However, one significant finding in this study is that e-resources popularity has started to gain ground accross the three universities under review.
Recommendation: Finally, (267 (52.5%) of the respondents) recommended fostering the use of both print and electronic resources in universities, for wider access of knowledge, particularly in the resource-limited contexts prevailing in Tanzania.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, the study concluded that a hybrid collection is the panacea to optimizing resources as it provides users with more access choices between the two formats.
Key words: User studies, universities-Tanzania,Print resources; electronic resources; digital resources; hybrid library.