Investigating reading culture among students in higher learning institutions in Tanzania
This paper presents findings of a survey conducted in some selected higher education learning institutions in Tanzania to determine the reading patterns of students when they undertake extracurricular activities.. The purpose was to ascertain whether students utilize their time in reading various informational materials for purposes other than academic activities. Electronic questionnaires were conveniently distributed to students at DUCE, IDRP Dodoma, Law School of Tanzania, RUCU Iringa, SLADS Bagamoyo, SUA Morogoro, SUZA, Tumaini University (DSM campus), UDSM and Zanzibar University. The study findings indicate that students spend their spare time reading print and e-newspapers, books and magazines, and access social media that cover aspects such as sports, economic, technological and social issues. They are motivated to read by their desire to learn new aspects of life, expanding their vocabularies, improving reading skills, and acquiring new information. The findings also indicate that students spend their time watching TV, talking to friends, listening to radio, playingand watching games. Furthermore, it was revealed that too much academic work, limited internet connection and family responsibilities are among factors that inhibit their reading habits. The study recommends that academic libraries should work out means to create conducive reading environment for students by stocking more reading resources, conduct more outreachprograms to attract more readers, create reading and writing clubs at schools to empower students in education at large and launch TVprograms which will attract more students to read and learn when undertaking extracurricular activities. .
Keywords: reading culture; reading habits; information resources;; problem-solving skills; academic libraries
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