Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

6-8-2021

Abstract

Digital libraries play an integral role in the success of any distance education programme and as a result, must be adopted by distance learners. At the same time, digital skills and access are instrumental in achieving digital library readiness. This study investigates the digital library readiness of distance learners in a large public multi-mode university in Ghana. The study adopts a survey design through the use of a questionnaire to ascertain the perspectives of distance learners on their computer and digital access and consequent digital and information skills and how this improves their perception of their digital library readiness. The population of the study consisted of 1,834 distance education students who were students of three distance education centres of a public university in Ghana. Stratified purposive sampling was applied to select three distance education centres and a total of 247, 276, and 118 distance learners from centres A, B, and C respectively to participate in the study. The results indicate that distance learners generally lacked advanced ICT skills to effectively use digital libraries. Furthermore, while most of the respondents indicated that they possessed above average ICT skills, this did not translate into skills in the formation of search queries and the use of electronic library tools. However, their basic ICT skills constituted a solid ground to consolidate their digital library readiness. Libraries in multi-mode universities must design tailor-made training programmes for all classes of students including distance learners to enhance their use of digital library resources.

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