Student experience of the University of the Western Cape library:sourcing the problems

D.W. Ruth


This article reports on research on the student experience of the library of the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Despite dedicated and hardworking library staff, and lecturers keen that students learn to use the library, efforts to establish effective use seemed to flounder. Due to the nature of the problem, which revolved around experience and perceptions, the phenomenological qualitative research approach was adopted, based on the open question: what is it like using the library? It revealed that many problems which students experience in the library originate elsewhere, such as in general study conditions, design of assignments and curricula content. The importance of the affective aspect of student learning was also made apparent. These findings seem to support the argument that a library education programme needs to extend beyond the library itself, and be a holistic effort entered into by a ra'nge of players who are aware of the interrelatedness of the various aspects of student learning. Although this article discusses findings at UWC, both a review of the literature and experience at the University of the North seem to support the argument.

Die navorsingsresultate van studente se belewing van die biblioteek van die Universiteit van Wes-Kaap (UWK) word in hierdie artikel weergegee. Ten spyte van toegewyde en hardwerkende biblioteekpersoneel en dosente wat gretig is dat studente die biblioteek leer gebruik, misluk pogings om effektiewe gebruik van die biblioteek te bevorder. Omdat die probleem wentel om menslike ervarings en persepsies word die fenomenologiese kwalitatiewe narvorsingsmetode aangewend. Die ondersoek het aan die lig gebring dat baie probleme wat die studente in die biblioteek ervaar hulle oorsprong elders het, soos in algemene studietoestande, ontwerp van take en kurrikulere inhoud. Die belangrikheid van die affektiewe aspek van leer het ook duidelik geword. Hierdie bevindinge blyk die argument te staaf dat 'n biblioteekopleidingsprogram verder behoort te strek as die biblioteek self. Sodanige program behoort 'n holistiese benadering te volg. Die rolspelers behoort bewus te wees van die onderlinge verband tussen die verskillende aspekte van die leerproses. Alhoewel hierdie artikel die navorsingsresultate van 'n ondersoek by die UWK reflekteer, word die resultate ondersteun deur 'n literatuurondersoek en ervarings by die Universiteit van die Noorde.

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