n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - Knowledge management in academic libraries in developing countries : a case of Southern Africa

Volume 4, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534


Due to revolution in university libraries, the role of librarians has changed drastically. Knowledge management (KM) is no more a fad, but a reality to be productive and a means to gain and sustain a competitive edge over rivals in all areas of life. This paper presents the findings of a study entitled, "Knowledge Management in University Libraries: A case of SADC countries" carried out by the author to investigate knowledge management (KM) practices in SADC (Southern African Development Community) university libraries. The preliminary findings of the study were published in an Open Access book chapter titled, "An Empirical study of Knowledge Management in University Libraries in SADC countries". The focus of the paper is the impetus to practise KM and how KM is being practised, including the challenges and benefits associated with it. A questionnaire survey was used to carry out the study, including both quantitative and qualitative questions. The main reasons for practicing KM were recognized as: to improve library services and productivity, to produce more with less due to financial constraints, and to leverage already existing knowledge. The major challenges were distinguished as constant budget decline, lack of incentives, inadequate staff training, limited expertise, lack of clearly defined KM implementation guidelines, and insufficient technology and knowledge sharing culture.

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