n Mousaion - Role of librarians in teaching information literacy in Zimbabwean and South African universities : a comparative study

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Information and communications technologies (ICTs) and the Internet have to a large extent influenced the way information is made available, published and accessed. More information is being produced too frequently and information users now require certain skills to sift through this multitude in order to identify what is appropriate for their purposes. Computer and information skills have become a necessity for all academic programmes. As libraries subscribe to databases and other peer-reviewed content (print and electronic), it is important that users are also made aware of such sources and their importance. The purpose of this study was to examine the teaching of information literacy (IL) in universities in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and the role played by librarians in creating information literate graduates. This was done by examining whether such IL programmes were prioritised, their content and how frequently they were reviewed. An electronic questionnaire was distributed to 12 university libraries in Zimbabwe and 21 in South Africa. A total of 25 questionnaires were returned. The findings revealed that IL was being taught in universities library and non-library staff, was compulsory and contributed to the term mark in some institutions. The study also revealed that 44 per cent of the total respondents indicated that the libraries were collaborating with departments and faculty in implementing IL programmes in universities. The study recommends that IL should be an integral part of the university programmes in order to promote the use of databases and to guide students on ethical issues of information use.

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