Evaluating user education programmes for postgraduate students in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Keywords: User education, library instruction, library orientation, information literacy, bibliographic instruction and academic library


Notwithstanding the wealth of information available in the knowledge economy, many academic library users still lack essential knowledge and skills to locate materials. This deficiency might be attributed to the fact that the information environment is complex and is changing quickly. The main purpose of a university library is two-fold. It involves providing information sources relevant for learning, teaching and research. It also involves empowering users by furnishing them with knowledge and skills that will assist them to be independent and lifelong users. The library is regarded as the core of any educational institution, particularly a university. The study described in this paper was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of user education programmes for postgraduate students in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus. The study used both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, employing questionnaires for postgraduate students and interviews for subject librarians and academic coordinators. These data collection tools were presented sequentially, with questionnaires for students followed by interviews with library and academic coordinators. The findings revealed that, although there are pockets of good practice in user education, there is a need to reconsider the content, the mode, the scope, presentation strategies and overall relevance and suitability of user education programmes in line with user needs. There is also a need to consider issues of appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of instructional methods and pedagogical matters.

Author Biographies

Smangele Pretty Moyane, Durban University of Technology
Department of Information and Corporate ManagementLecturer
Luyanda Dube, University of South Afica
Department of Information Studies
Ruth Hoskins, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Department of Information Studies


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