The Contribution of Information Literacy Competencies Towards Utilization of Information Resources Among Second Year Nursing Students of Aga Khan University, Uganda

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The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of Information Literacy (IL) competencies towards effective utilization of information resources among Aga Khan University (AKU) Second Year Nursing Students. The study addressed the following objectives: review how IL programmes are managed at AKU, establish which IL competencies AKU Nursing Students acquire from the library staff, examine the contribution of IL competencies in the effective utilization of information resources at AKU, and identify the factors that either hinder or facilitate the utilization of information resources at AKU. The study adopted a case study research design with a qualitative research approach to collect qualitative data from 31 Second Year Nursing Students, 14 Faculty and 2 Librarians. Findings from the study revealed that most Second Year Nursing Students were not able to use the information resources because they lacked the crucial information literacy competencies (knowledge and skills). The study further revealed that way the IL programme is organized at AKU is the reason for the low levels of IL among the Second Year Nursing Students. Furthermore, the study revealed a number of factors that hinder Second Year Nursing Students from utilizing information resources at AKU to included: Lack of or slow internet connectivity, Limited IL competencies, Limited time for visiting the library while on campus, Inaccessibility to information resources, Lack of awareness of the available information resources, Users perceptions to the library collection, Poor reading habits and the bulkiness of the books. The study concluded that AKU IL programme has not effectively disseminated IL competencies to the Second Year Nursing Students because: IL course unit was not embedded in the curriculum, the training was designated for only freshmen, the model of training and time allocated are not effective for this complex subject, there is minimum Faculty-Librarian collaboration. The researcher recommended that the library should engage in aggressive IL advocacy, adoption of ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Nurses, designing of an IL policy to guide the IL implementation and teaching activities, promote current awareness of library information resources, and implement and market the library online spaces like OPAC and remote access.
Information Literacy, Access to Information Resources, Utilization of Information Resources, Information Literacy Competencies