Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of virtual references services of some academic libraries before and during the COVID 19 era in some Africa countries. The case study was the research design used for the study. Seven Sub Saharan African countries, that is, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Botswana were purposely chosen because of their burgeoning establishment in VRSs in Academic Libraries. The researcher sampled academic librarians from these countries as respondents to respond to the online questionnaire. A total of 141 librarians responded to the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics (Means and Standard Deviation), inferential statistics (Multiple Regression and ANOVA) were used for the quantitative analysis of the data. Data were analysed using Microsoft Excel. The analysis of the findings suggests that there is a high rate of VRSs implementation among academic libraries in Sub- Sahara Africa despite the plethora of challenges related to it. The correlation analysis to determine the patronage of VRSs before and during the COVID 19 outbreak established that, there was an increase in the implementation and integration of these services during the pandemic than before. From the study, inadequate internet connectivity, intermittent power supply, financial challenges, inadequate staff training on VRSs, poor staff attitudes, poor management support and inadequate training on digital service to students and faculty were the major challenges in operating VRS.