Collection Development Strategies for Electronic Resources in Two Selected University Libraries in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa




electronic resources, collection development, academic libraries, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Purpose: Electronic resources have become critical and instrumental for academic work in the technological era and, as such, useful for students and researchers. This study reports on collection development as a strategy for electronic resources.

Design/methodology/approach: An interpretivist research paradigm was adopted, followed by a qualitative research approach. A case study research design was deemed appropriate for the study. The target population comprised librarians from two academic libraries in KwaZulu-Natal. The study employed purposive sampling and used semi-structured interviews to collect data from the participants. Due to Covid-19 regulations, these interviews were conducted online using Google Teams. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data collected.

Findings: The findings revealed that both universities provide different types of electronic resources to support teaching, learning, and research activities. The electronic resources provided in the two selected academic libraries included online databases, e-books, e-journals, e-references, e-magazines, and videos from the JoVE databases and packages. The findings showed that these academic libraries encounter major challenges with limited library budgets and high subscription costs of e-resources. The study recommends that adequate funding to acquire more e-resources should be allocated, and that the consortium must become more involved in the process of purchasing electronic resources so that cost could be shared.

Research limitations/implications: This study focused on librarians in two institutions, excluding the management and executive management of these institutions, which are planners and decision-makers influencing finance and some processes.

Practical implications: Electronic resources subscribed to by academic libraries play an important part in addressing different user information needs. With the emergence of information and communication technology (ICT), academic libraries strive to remain relevant in their collection development through the provision of electronic resources. The research offered librarians additional collection development strategies through electronic resources that they can adopt in order to provide sound collections to their users, regardless of financial constraints.

Originality/value: The study investigated enhancing collection development through electronic resources as a strategy in the selected academic libraries in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It may serve as a valuable resource for academic librarians in carrying out the effective collection development of electronic resources, as currently, world development is driven by technology. It also adds to the body of knowledge in the field of electronic resources, academic librarianship, and information science.


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Author Biography

Ncamisile Majola,

Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand


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How to Cite

Jiyane, Glenrose Velile, and Ncamisile Majola. 2023. “Collection Development Strategies for Electronic Resources in Two Selected University Libraries in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”. Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies 41 (2):13 pages .



Received 2022-09-18
Accepted 2023-08-02
Published 2023-10-23