Serving remote users in selected public university libraries in Kenya: Perspectives of the section heads
The provision of information services to support teaching, learning and research has long been a major objective of libraries in higher education. The students being served by these libraries, specifically in Kenya, may consist of on-campus and remote user groups. This study set out to explore the library section heads’ perspectives of the support services and resources meant for remote library users in selected public university libraries in Kenya with a view to recommending measures towards improving library services for this emerging group of library users. The study used a case study research design whereby qualitative data was collected using focus group discussions (FGDs) with section heads in four selected public university libraries in Kenya, namely the University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenyatta University (KU), Moi University (MU) and Egerton University (EU). The findings of the study are discussed under four main subject areas: services for remote users, physical facilities available for remote users, how libraries create awareness of their services to remote users, and policies and regulations that govern remote use of library resources. It is hoped that the study’s findings will not only create awareness of the existence of remote users in academic libraries in Kenya, but will also open up debate on how effectively and efficiently this category of users can be served.
Keywords: Academic libraries, Kenya, universities, library users, remote users