Vol. 2 No. 1 (2017) 

Knowledge audit at National Archives of Zimbabwe: a step towards implementing knowledge management

Peterson Dewah

Lecturer, National University of Science and Technology
Honorary Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Rationale of Study - The first step to implement knowledge management is preceded by an audit of the organisation’s knowledge and as such, this study sought to investigate the knowledge that National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ) needs, where that knowledge is, how it is being used, the problems experienced, and the improvements which can be made.

Methodology - A case study approach with a triangulation of data collection methods was employed. Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and documentary analysis.

Findings - The study established that NAZ archivists possess vital tacit knowledge required by the organisation. However, they need to acquire knowledge on audio-visual records management, conservation of documents, and reprographics, among other areas. It also emerged that printed documents such as manuals and bookswere very useful sources of explicit knowledge for decision making. Another finding was that internal and external knowledge flow is hindered by poor communication and unwillingness of staff to share knowledge, among other barriers. The gaps established were that archivists very often were not sure about where to find relevant information or what to do. They were also unsure of whom to collaborate with.

Implications - This paper can be used as a stepping stone to initialise the implementation of knowledge management practice at the NAZ.

Originality - The paper presents the findings of a knowledge audit that was, for the first time, conducted at the National Archives of Zimbabwe, an organisation that has suffered knowledge attrition due to employee mobility.


Archives, explicit knowledge, knowledge audit, knowledge management, tacit knowledge, Zimbabwe


Provision of digital reference services in academic libraries in Kenya: a review

James M. Tutu
Acting University Librarian
Muranga University College, Kenya
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Rationale of the study - The popularity of internet as an avenue of communication and source of information has led to decreasing numbers of in-person reference transaction in academic libraries. Consequently, academic libraries have embraced digital reference services in order to provide library and information services far and wide, ubiquitously, and in varied modes and formats. The choice of channels to provide digital reference is essential in that it determines the effectiveness and efficient of the service. Thus it was imperative to establish channels used by academic libraries in Kenya to provide digital reference services, by specifically looking at channels used, factors that inform the choice of the channels and effectiveness of the channels.

Methodology - A descriptive research design and survey research methodology was used for the study. A questionnaire was used to collect data from heads of reference services in accredited and fully chartered academic libraries in Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to sample 19 university libraries that were offering digital reference out of 39 university libraries.

Findings - Twitter, ask-a-librarian or email, facebook, and frequently asked questions (FAQS) are most popular channels for digital reference in academic libraries in Kenya. The least used channels are live chat while those never used include: Skype, instant messaging, and library digital reference consortiums .Factors that informed the choice of the digital reference channels were ease of use; availability; cost; popularity and software features. Support was the least considered factor.

Implications - The findings will provide a reference point for other academic libraries considering offering digital reference service.

Originality - This is an original research study.


Digital reference, virtual reference, reference services, information services, academic libraries, Kenya


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