Follow-up or tracer studies have enjoyed popularity in LIS training needs/ assessment analyses over the past 20 years in Africa in studies by scholars such as Anadiran (1988) in Nigeria; Alemna (1991, 1999) and Kisie du (1993) in Ghana; Rosenberg (1989, 1994) in Kenya; Ocholla (2001 and 2005) and Stilwell (2004) in South Africa Rugambwa (1998) and Mammo (2007) in Ethiopia; Aina and Moahi (1999) in Botswana; and Lutwana and Kigongo - Bukenya (2004) in Uganda. Mammo (2007) conducted a study on the status of LIS education in Ethiopia and the perceptions of graduates on the LIS program me. The study revealed that in one university ,the LIS program me changed to Information Systems because of university-wide changes ,while in another university, the LIS curriculum remained the same. Graduates indicated that they were not satisfied with the LIS programme.2 Lutwana and Kigongo-Bukenya (2004) conducted a study on the appropriateness of the EASLIS (East Africa School of Library and Information Science) curriculum to professional practice in Library and Information Science field in Uganda. The purpose of the study was to establish where graduates worked, what they did, and whether their education met employers’ expectations. It further identified areas of curriculum revision. The study revealed that most graduates were employed in academic institutions, government departments, banks and NGO’s libraries, where they performed various professional activities. The study also revealed that employers complained about the lack of practical skills among the graduates, citing specialization through electives as inadequate .
Aina and Moahi (1999) conducted a tracer study of graduates from the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Botswana. The aim of the study was to determine the curriculum of the Department of LIS at the University of Botswana. The study revealed that the graduates were employed in traditional library settings. The study also found that their training was relevant to the tasks that they performed, although they advocated the strengthening of the information technology component of the curriculum .Kaijage (n.d.) conducted a tracer study on the skills and knowledge of B.Com graduates of the University of Dares Salaam. The study concluded that the knowledge and skills that the graduates obtained from the university were relevant to their jobs. But it also suggested that changes should be made to the program me. There are also many other tracer studies conducted all over the Africa and the rest of the world. In South Africa, Stilwell (2004) conducted a survey of alumni perceptions of thepost graduate ILS (Information and Library Science program me at the University of Natal).Critical issues, such as balancing the human centre approach with IT, were identified. The findings of the study indicated that the program me achieved its outcomes because it prepared alumni well for the work place. Ocholla’s (2001) tracer study of LIS graduates from 1996 -1997 determined whether the skills and attitudes they gained during their training at the University of Zululand applied in their jobs. The results of the study indicate that graduates obtained sufficient knowledge from the degree program me .These examples indicate that tracer studies are generally conducted to find out about the fates of departmental graduates or alumni. They investigate where graduates are, whether they are employed, and employers’ perceptions about the skills and knowledge that LIS graduates have. They are also used to obtain feedback from employed alumni and employers on the relevance of the program me offered by different departments. Like most tracer studies, this study addresses the same questions: Are the graduates employable? Is the curriculum relevant? What are the perceptions of graduates and employers about the graduates’ skills, knowledge and education?
At the Palanca literary...