The role of librarians in Knowledge Management (KM): An exploratory study of academic libraries for public/ state owned colleges in Swaziland

DLAMINI, Lungile Elizabeth (2017) The role of librarians in Knowledge Management (KM): An exploratory study of academic libraries for public/ state owned colleges in Swaziland. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session S04 - Satellite Meeting: Knowledge Management Section.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1708
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

The role of librarians in Knowledge Management (KM): An exploratory study of academic libraries for public/ state owned colleges in Swaziland

Swaziland, being one of the developing countries, has a vision of attaining first world status by 2022 (Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, 2013). In driving this vision, one of the country’s mandate is upgrading tertiary institutions, including three (3) of its oldest public/ state owned colleges (Ngwane Teachers Training College, William Pitcher Teachers Training College and Swaziland College of Technology) into university status. Therefore, librarians in these colleges need to develop their roles. In order for these to be achieved, they need to enhance Knowledge Management (KM) practices. The aim of this study was to investigate the librarians’ role in preparedness for the university status in terms of KM. It sought to identify the perceptions of the librarians concerning KM; it further sought to explore its practices and activities in these academic/ college libraries; it sought to discover the benefits of KM practices in these academic libraries; moreover, it sought to investigate the skills and competences needed for proper implementation of KM activities and determine the degree of involvement of academic librarians in KM sharing. In addition, the challenges encountered by the librarians in implementing KM were identified. Findings indicated that librarians understand the concept of KM. It has even been realised that they possess minimal skills and competences needed for proper implementation of the KM activities. The identified challenges that these librarians encounter include not having KM policies in place, lack of funds which results in some knowledge sharing practices not being implemented especially because these libraries are not automated. It also transpired that there is a strong need for academic librarians to be equipped on KM skills. Finally, the study recommends a need for further research in this field, especially on aligning KM with the demands of upgraded academic libraries.

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