Library Automation in Higher Education Institutions in Zambia

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Tuesday Bwalya Able Mkulama


For many years now, libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa have laggard behind in terms of automation and modernisation of library operations due to among other factors, budgetary constraints, and the high cost of information communication technology (ICT) facilities. Libraries in Zambia including those in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are not an exception. This study sought to determine the extent to which libraries in higher education have automated their operations and the type of library management systems used. It also sought to determine the most used library management systems and factors hindering library automation in the higher education sector. The study was quantitative in design, and a survey method was employed in which 142 HEIs libraries were studied. The findings show that 38% (54) of libraries in HEIs have automated their basic functions while 62% (88) reported not having automated their operations. The study also revealed that the majority (77.8%) of libraries in HEIs have automated their operations with free and open source software while 22.11% have used commercial library management systems. Koha was found to be the widely used free and open source library management system among HEIs libraries in Zambia. The challenges to library automation in HEIs in Zambia include a lack of technical support, intermittent internet connectivity, and inadequate ICT skills among librarians in HEIs in Zambia. Given the low level of library automation among HEIs in Zambia, it was recommended that HEIs management should prioritise library automation as this will improve efficiency in library operations.


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How to Cite
BWALYA, Tuesday; MKULAMA, Able. Library Automation in Higher Education Institutions in Zambia. Zambia Journal of Library & Information Science (ZAJLIS ), ISSN: 2708-2695, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 1, p. 28-37, june 2024. ISSN 2708-2695. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 july 2024.
Library Management Systems


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