Challenges of journal collection development in selected academic libraries in Tanzania
This study investigates the challenges that academic and research libraries in Tanzania experience in their quest to enhance and sustain systematic journal collection development and management and sought views and suggestions in order to ensure constant availability and access to scholarly journals. The study adopted the Evans Model of Collection Development. Six purposively selected institutions participated in this study. A triangulation approach for data gathering was adopted. In the first instance, a structured and standardized self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 339 respondents who were randomly selected. The population sample comprised library staff, teaching staff and researchers. Key informant interviews were conducted with 6 library directors and 6 heads of periodicals sections to complement the questionnaire survey. Data were analyzed using SPSS and content analysis. Key findings reveal that journal collection development in academic and research libraries in Tanzania is constrained by inadequate funding, lack of policies to guide collection development, low level of involvement of stakeholders in the selection process, lack of support and commitment from management, and limited training opportunities for library staff on IT skills. Findings further revealed that journal collection development is donor-dependent. A major recommendation is that librarians should lobby top management to consistently allocate adequate funding for journal collection development activities, and also explore alternative ways to generate income internally to meet user information needs.
Keywords: collection development, academic libraries, collection development policy