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Managing electronic resources at selected tertiary institutions in the Western Cape, South Africa
Sikhosana, Regina Balengane
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The aim of this research study is to explore the management of electronic resources used in libraries. Three tertiary institutions were used as case studies. The unit of analysis was the three libraries, with library employees (14) working and managing electronic resources being the unit of observation. Non-random, purposive sampling techniques were used. The finding of this study suggests that the participants do not use the Aleph integrated library system (ILS) optimally to manage electronic resources. Library employees do not keep up with current and new emerging technology trends in the library and academic environment. There is a lack of training, as well as understanding, of business processes and workflows. This is emphasised by a lack of knowledge of library system environments and, finally, the high cost of implementing the library systems. Electronic resource management (ERM) systems emerged in the early 2000s, and it became clear that traditional integrated library systems did not have sufficient capacity to provide efficient processing for meeting the changing needs and challenges of libraries at tertiary institutions. Libraries find it challenging to manage the wide range of licensed electronic resources, collaborating, cooperating and sharing resources with different libraries. The increasing number of electronic resource demands from users for remote or off campus access makes it difficult for libraries to manage electronic resources. As a result of this inability to manage the electronic resources, libraries are not effectively and efficiently using appropriate electronic resource systems to meet their business requirements.
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