International Journal of
Library and Information Science

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Lib. Inf. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2537
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLIS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 244

Article in Press

Making E-resources Accessible to Users with Visual Impairment: Lesson from Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, University of Dar es Salaam


  •  Received: 09 August 2018
  •  Accepted: 17 October 2018
Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to examine efforts undertaken by academic libraries in Tanzania in making sure that visually impaired readers access electronic resources at Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library University of Dar es Salaam. Design/Methodology/Approach: A survey was conducted on visual impaired library users at Dr. Wilbert Chagula library. A total of forty (40) respondents including thirty (30) visually impaired readers and ten (10) library staff were involved in this study. A mixed approach was used in studying a phenomenon. Data was collected using documentary review, interview guides, observation and questionnaires. Quantitative data were analyzed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), while qualitative analyzed descriptively using content analysis procedure. Findings: It was found that large number of visually impaired were in the category of "low vision". Majority of the VI readers were unable to access e-resources independently. The leading method of access were through the use of screen magnifier, screen reader, help from library staff and fellow full sighted readers. Among the challenges identified were: shortage of assistive technology, inadequate computers for VI and shortage of computers fixed with assistive technology. It was recommended that visual impaired readers should be motivated and encouraged to use electronic resources. This can be done through frequent training and provision of adaptive technology to improve their capacity in utilizing e-resources. Practical Implication: This paper informs both academic and public libraries in Tanzania on the need to adhere to the local and international agreements which advocates for individuals equal right in access to information. Originality/value: This article builds on existing literature and contributes on body of knowledge in access of electronic resources by visually impaired readers in Tanzanian context.

Keywords: Visual impairment, e-resources, adaptive technologies