Community and health science Libguides: A case study on the use of Libguides to enhance library electronic resources and services at the University of the Western Cape Library
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Academic libraries worldwide are using the digital content management and information sharing LibGuides as a platform to provide and promote subject or course orientated information resources, to share knowledge, to provide information literacy education, utilize the Web 2.0 features to communicate with users to support teaching, learning and research. This study explored the use of LibGuides by four departments in the Community and Health Science (CHS) Faculty at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) among students, academics and the faculty librarian. A descriptive case study research design with a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach was adopted. As data gathering tools web based questionnaires, face to face interviews and system generated LibGuides page views were employed. Findings revealed that although the CHS librarian spent quality time to create LibGuides and to expose faculty members to them, only a few students and teaching staff actually used the LibGuides and that there was confusion between LibGuides and study or course guides. Those who used LibGuides, found the information resources they contained useful – especially course specific resources. Students and teaching staff being made aware of LibGuides demonstrated willingness to use them, thus librarians should deploy strategies to market, promote and educate users of LibGuides by amongst others, seeking collaboration. The impact of the study was revealed by a teaching staff embedding CHS LibGuides in e-learning courses, teaching staff introducing LibGuides during lectures and students approaching the CHS librarian for training. It is recommended that the CHS librarian incorporate suggested information resources into LibGuides, that LibGuides awareness should be raised, more training be done and that further research to explore the use and benefits of LibGuides at UWC be undertaken. It is recommended that library managers deploy strategies to reach out to faculties to enhance the use of library resources using LibGuides.