Vol. 9 No.1 (2024)

Value of academic libraries in improving higher education institutions' knowledge management practices

Neema Florence Vincent Mosha
University of South Africa (UNISA)
moshanf@unisa.ac.za

Patrick Ngulube
University of South Africa (UNISA)
ngulup@unisa.ac.za

Abstract

Rationale of Study – Academic libraries are widely recognised globally as necessary for improving knowledge management (KM) practices in higher learning institutions (HLIs). This study investigated the value of academic libraries in improving KM practices in HLIs.

Methodology – A quantitative cross-sectional research design was conducted across academic libraries in selected HLIs in Tanzania. A systematic sampling technique was used to recruit librarians from academic libraries as study participants. Data analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics® 29.0.2 statistical software.

Findings – Findings revealed a low level of KM practices and a lack of KM training among respondents. Knowledge retrieval and access, along with knowledge capture and creation, were mentioned among the critical KM practices performed in academic libraries to enhance KM practices within HLIs. Furthermore, enhancing teaching, learning, research, and innovation were identified as notable benefits resulting from improved KM practices in HLIs. Respondents highlighted a scarcity of KM skills and competencies as the main challenge that limits academic libraries to improve KM practices in HLIs.

Implications – The study will lead to a deeper understanding of the value of academic libraries in supporting KM practices in higher education. Policies will be formulated to implement the identified need. For instance, various policies need to be developed regarding the types of knowledge to be captured and preserved, the duration of preservation, and the methods of processing it.

Originality – This study's uniqueness lies in the fact that limited research has been conducted by academic libraries in the country, and the findings indicate minimal efforts to embrace KM practices in HLIs.

Keywords

Knowledge assets, knowledge management guidelines, knowledge management skills and competencies, knowledge enablers, academic libraries