The application of ICTs has transformed higher education and university libraries play a crucial role in this transformation by acting as a bridge between digital content and the end-user. However, the process requires adequate finance both to implement and maintain the electronic systems and services. The University of Zimbabwe Library has progressed in building a digital library despite the constraints experienced during a period of national economic decline. This case study tells the story.
Members of staff from the library have each contributed a chapter describing the ways in which the digital future was built. Topics covered include automation and the development of the OPAC, digitization of local information, information literacy education, the use made of ICTs in the health and law libraries. The first chapter gives an overview and context.
Success is attributed to: digitization was the library's own plan and the library determined its own targets, resources followed the vision; support from the Vice-Chancellor's Office was total; external support – human, financial and material – was constantly sought; internal partnerships within the university were forged; library staff at all levels were trained and re-skilled.
This volume is the second in PERI's Research and Education Case Studies series to be published. The intention is that other libraries in the developing world will be inspired by the example of University of Zimbabwe to embark on digital transformation even when financial resources are limited. It will also be of interest to all those assisting libraries to automate and offer electronic resources and services.
International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), Oxford, UK. ISBN: 978-1902928-30-2. 92 pp.