Access and Use of Newspapers at Makerere University Library
The study examined access and use of newspapers at Makerere University Library (Maklib) as well as justifying the need for and against print newspaper subscriptions in light of the available online versions. The objectives were to: establish the most consulted newspapers, identify the type of information sought by newspaper users, determine users’ preferences for print or online newspapers, and to identify challenges encountered by newspaper users. The study adopted a mixed methods research design. Data was collected using documentary review, questionnaires and interview methods. Convenient and purposive samplings were used to collect data from newspaper users who were assumed to be well versed with the topic under study. The study established that participants had different reasons for their preference of certain newspapers and versions. Reasons ranged from the quality of information provided to the language of the newspaper, the ease of access of a given newspaper and the infrastructure at Maklib. The study recognised the general IT infrastructure improvements at Maklib in recent years, such as the Learning Commons and the extended Local Area Network that has greatly increased online access, although the number of students tends to overwhelm the existing facilities. The study recommended that Maklib should reconsider its expenditure on print newspapers vis a vis subscription to online versions. A Return on Investment study on print newspapers at Makerere University was recommended as an area to consider for future research.