Mathangani and Otike (2018)
|Mathangani and Otike (2018)|
|Title:||Copyright and information service provision in public university libraries in Kenya|
|Author(s):||Salome W. Mathangani, Japheth Otike|
|Citation:||Mathangani, S.W. and Otike, J. (2018) Copyright and information service provision in public university libraries in Kenya. Library Management, Vol 39, Issue 6-7, pp 375-388|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The research involved an examination of seven public university libraries in Kenya, from which 77 respondents were selected, being librarians of varying degrees of seniority. Through semi-structured interviews, the researchers sought to understand the influence of copyright law, as well as the librarian’s awareness and training in this area.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“Purpose – Copyright law supposedly brings a balance between copyright owners and information users as a way of creating a harmonious relationship. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Kenya’s Copyright Act and the provision of information services in public university libraries in Kenya.
Design/methodology/approach – The study was informed by both the organization theory and the social systems theory which, respectively, provided a base for discussion on the library and its basic functions, and an interdisciplinary approach that accommodate library services and law. Data were collected from a sample of 77 librarians from public universities libraries, and analyzed using the qualitative method.
Findings – The study established that librarians were reasonably aware of the copyright Act. However, they were apprehensive and uncertain about copyright effect on the library. Evidence from the study showed that librarians needed to extend their knowledge and understanding of the copyright law for the effective provision of information services. The paper concludes that there is scope for librarians, using their wealth of knowledge and expertise, to make relevant and useful suggestions on copyright. Such contribution would assist in bringing harmony in the use of copyrighted materials.
Originality/value – These findings are original and will be useful in giving general direction on copyright. The study highlights the important issue of universities as parent institutions providing needed leadership in the copyright area.”
Main Results of the Study
Whilst most respondents were aware of Copyright legislation (51%), librarians in Kenya generally work in an environment of uncertainty in regards to copyright law. This is exacerbated by lack of formal training (only applicable to 47% of respondents), as well as the lack of guidelines or policies. With the introduction of new electronic resources, this creates a climate of confusion. For example, the study finds that most librarians did not appreciate the need to create new policies in response to the rise of eBooks and eJournals.
Most librarians have a Master’s Degree (78%), though still feel the need for additional specialised expertise in relation to e.g. legal contracts, and technical knowledge. Copyright is generally taught as “background” information as part of broader licensing practices.
Furthermore, as University terms of service may not indemnify librarians for any infringement which occurs during the course of their employment, this leads to fear and apprehension. This may unduly constrain the provision of information services.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The research calls for a better dialogue between policy-makers and librarians, noting that they will likely call for clearer definitions, and information regarding electronic resources. Librarians should also be represented in the Copyright Board. At University-level, specialised offices for copyright concerns should be introduced, which may produce guidelines or policies for the use of librarians.