Information literacy in Tanzanian universities: Challenges and potential opportunities

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A study was undertaken in four Tanzanian universities to investigate the status and practice of information literacy (IL)so as to determine the best ways of introducing or improving IL programmes. This article reports on the findings related to challenges and opportunities that could influence the effective implementation and introduction of IL programmes in Tanzanian universities. Data for the study was collected using a questionnaire-based survey administered to teaching staff, librarians and undergraduate students. Semi-structured interviews collected data from Deputy Vice Chancellors (DVCs) for academic affairs, Faculty Deans, Library Directors and a Library Head. The findings of the study showed that IL was new in the university curricula although some IL rubrics were being practised. Lack of adequate resources, lack of an IL policy, lack of proactive solutions among librarians coupled with the need for adequate library staffing and training, and collaboration between librarians and teaching staff in IL activities were all identified as challenges facing IL effectiveness. Also identified were potential opportunities such as the support by the majority of university stakeholders to mainstream IL and make it a compulsory course. These opportunities would allow the introduction of effective and sustainable IL programmes. The article concludes that librarians should seize the opportunities that are available to spearhead IL while at the same time making sure they tackle the identified challenges.


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curriculum integration, information literacy, information literacy policy, productivity