n Mousaion - An investigation into the use of standards in university libraries in Kenya




This article sets out to describe the usage of standards in the development of quality library services in universities in Kenya. Standards represent opportunities for librarians to add value as information providers and for the library profession to raise its visibility as an authority on information quality. The mixed research method was used for data collection. A total of 27 (87%) of the 31 respondents from private and public higher education institutions (HEIs) completed and returned the questionnaires. Based on the findings from the questionnaire survey, five heads of university libraries were interviewed. The findings revealed that the majority of the university libraries had used only five out of the ten Commission for Higher Education's (CHE 2007), namely: vision, mission and objectives; organisation and access of information resources; information resources; ICT resources; and library building. The higher usage of these five standards could have been attributed to the eligibility requirements for licensing of the external quality assurance regulatory body, namely, the CHE. However, the least utilised standards were those that were crucial to demonstrate that students had mastered the specific objectives of education. The CHE standards used for evaluation of university libraries in Kenya only covered inputs. The article concludes with a number of recommendations for improvement. The standards should focus on outputs and outcomes of the library programmes as primary indicators of quality.


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