An assessment on the use of library information resources by medical students at MUHAS and HKMU academic libraries in Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
The main objective of this study was to assess the use of library information resources by medical students in selected academic medical libraries. The study was conducted at MUHAS and HKMU libraries. Specifically the study sought to; examine the patterns of access and use of library resources by medical students; identify library resources utilized by medical students; examine methods/techniques medical students use to locate library resources; find out medical students perceptions on library resources and services and solicit views on strategies for enhancing use of information resources among medical students in academic libraries in Tanzania. The study employed a survey research design, and involved 131 respondents including 10 library staff, 79 undergraduate and 42 postgraduate students, who were conveniently and purposively selected. Empirical data for this study were collected using a standardized questionnaire and interviews. Key findings revealed that majority of medical students visit the library for general reading, borrowing books and consulting research materials. The study also revealed that a majority of students are of textbooks but not other library resources, and that textbooks are the main source of information frequently used by medical students to meet their information needs. The study found out that many medical students lack appropriate search skills since majority browse through shelves and require guidance from library staff and colleagues as means to locate library information resources, OPAC system was less used as a tool installed to assist students access library resources. This study also found out that available library resources within academic libraries in Tanzania do not fully meet all students’ information needs, the reasons being the inadequacy, irrelevancy, and out datedness of library resources. The study found that there are various challenges that impede medical students’ effective use of library information resources and services, including insufficient internet access points, lack of relevant library information resources, inadequate reading space, constant breakdown of internet facilities, related subjects not properly linked, power outage, obsolete library facilities, poor customer services and inadequate search skills. In view of the above, the study recommends the development of effective user-centred library information services to determine users’ information resource requirements and to strengthen customer care service to enhance library staff cooperation with library users. The study also recommends strengthening of ICT infrastructure to improve internet connectivity and facilities in the library and marketing of library information resources in order to create awareness of library services. The study concludes that medical libraries must be adequately resourced with current and relevant library information resources and IT facilities, in order to meet students’ information needs and curriculum requirements in all disciplines taught in the university.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library.
Information resources, Medical students, Library information resources
Mviombo, W. J. (2018). An assessment on the use of library information resources by medical students at MUHAS and HKMU academic libraries in Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.