Adoption and use of open-source software in academic libraries in Ghana

  • De-Graft Johnson Dei
  • Citizen Francis Tetteh
Keywords: Software; Open-source software; Academic Libraries; Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology; Ghana


The study sought to assess the adoption and use of open-sourced software (OSS) in academic libraries in Ghana, specifically, find out the types, user-friendliness, the extent of use, advantages, and limitations of OSS within the academic library domain. This study adopted the descriptive survey and mixed research approach to collect data from 12 academic libraries that have adopted open-source software for managing their resources. The purposive sampling strategy was adopted to select 10 respondents (comprising the head of libraries, head and staff of the IT units of the libraries, and heads of the other units such as electronic resources, cataloging, classification, and referencing, among others) from each of the 12 libraries. Questionnaires (consisting of both closed-ended and open-ended questions) were used to collect primary data directly from the respondents. The study revealed that Koha, DSpace, Destiny, NewGenLib, Evergreen ILS, Fedora, WordPress, and Drupal were the open-sourced software deployed and used in the libraries and provided lots of advantages to the libraries. The open-sourced software was largely found to be easy to acquire, install, update, modify, use, operate; user-friendly; and more reliable and accessible. However, the use of open-sourced software in the libraries is mitigated by some limitations which include lack of continuous training on the use of the open-sourced software and inability of the open-sourced software; lack of expertise to train and manage the software among others. These limitations need to be addressed to alleviate their negative impact on the library. The research focused on the adoption and use of OSS in academic libraries in Ghana. Although the findings of the study are similar to perceptions and practices from researchers around the world, they can not be used as a basis for generalization across other scientific disciplines and settings. The study concludes that the deployment and use of OSS in academic libraries to manage its processes and functions are speedily changing the frontiers of the libraries. It is relevant in achieving optimal efficiency at a minimal cost in the library. The management of the libraries should put measures and policies to realize these benefits and arrest the challenges faced by the use of OSS.


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eISSN: 0855-3033