Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Summer 7-13-2023

Document Type



Libraries and Information professionals in Cameroon are in crisis, undergoing a somewhat paradigmatic paralysis in information and knowledge dissemination. The emergence of Information technology and Artificial Intelligence have worsened the situation by transforming the way information is captured, organized, packaged, stored, and disseminated for utilization. As if that is not enough, the covid-19 came unexpectedly which took everyone, including libraries and information professionals by surprise bringing along several challenges. Library and information professionals have no other option but to face these challenges, transform some of these challenges into opportunities, and design strategies to enable them remain resilient during the covid-19 and the post covid-19 period. This study seeks to find out the different challenges faced by library and information science professionals working in university libraries in Cameroon during the covid-19 period; the opportunities that come along with the paradigm shift in information organization and dissemination during the pandemic, and also strategies put in place to mitigate these challenges. This study is a survey of three public universities in Cameroon. The methodology used for data collection was qualitative by collecting data through in-depth interviews of purposely selected librarians as well as document analysis from websites. The major challenge was the transition from physical collections to digital amidst insufficient budget, unskilled human resources, and lack of state-of-the-art technological infrastructure. The major opportunity was the enhancement of digital resources. It was discovered that some librarians took the opportunity to start digitizing their resources. The strategy adopted was to redesign the library’s policies and develop a new strategic plan. The study concludes that Covid-19 is an eye-opener for information professionals to think and plan strategically ahead of time in case of another health crisis like the covid-19 pandemic. As a whole, findings reveal the need for the University board to appoint librarians to head academic libraries, recruit library professionals to work in academic libraries, reinvest in training librarians, step up library budgets, and provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to transform library services and resources into virtual open access and sustainable libraries.