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Outsourcing information communication technology services in selected public university libraries in Kenya

Naomi Mwai
Joseph Kiplang’at
David Gichoya


Outsourcing is a management strategy that is gradually proving its worth in library and information science. The purpose of this study was to investigate the outsourcing of ICT services in selected public university libraries in Kenya in order to establish the challenges facing libraries in outsourcing ICT services. The study adopted a multicase study strategy in four selected public university libraries in Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to identify respondents. Data collection was done using a semi-structured interview schedule. The findings reveal that public university libraries in Kenya outsource ICT services such as Internet, e resources and derive benefits such as cost cutting, knowledge and skills acquisition and economies of scale. The study noted that ICT policies and procurement laws are inadequate in guiding the outsourcing processes. The study found that ICT service processes had various challenges such as high cost and loss of control of the services due to relying heavily on the vendors. The study concluded that there was a need for the library management to be conversant with outsourcing procedures, such as negotiation of contracts, to gain more from outsourced ICT services. The study recommended that the university libraries develop, review and implement ICT outsourcing policies. The university management should involve librarians in the outsourcing process and implementation.

Keywords: Information Communication Technology, Information Systems, Outsourcing, ICT Outsourcing, Public Procurement Act, Public University Libraries

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2077-8317
print ISSN: 2077-2815