• Moses Mong’are Gekara Kisii University
  • Ben Wekalao Namande Kisii University
  • Cyprian Ratemo Makiya Kisii University


Background of the study: Information literacy practices have been recognized as essential educational goals to judge and evaluate student’s aptitude for critical thinking, decision making and problem-solving. Inculcating information literacy skills to students is not only significant to survival but also enables them to know when they need information, how to locate information and how to use information hence success in their studies. However, the state of information literacy practices in secondary schools in Kenya has not been adequately investigated to determine their degree of effectiveness.

Objective of the study: Consequently, this study aimed at investigating information literacy practices as a tool for accessing and utilizing information in secondary schools in Kenya.

Methodology: The study was based on a pragmatic paradigm where both quantitative and qualitative approaches were adopted. Data was collected from a targeted population which consisted of 288 teachers, 12 school/teacher librarians and 1785 students from 12 sampled schools. Questionnaires were administered to teachers and students while an interview schedule guide was used to gather data from school/teacher librarians. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, and presented in form of tables, charts and graphs and verbatim reports. The study was important as it elicited discussions that could be used for purposes of adoption of an information literacy programme in secondary schools.

Results and findings: The findings show that some information literacy practices were available in secondary schools but not effectively practiced resulting to students proceeding to institutions of higher learning without adequate information literacy skills.

Conclusions and recommendations: The study concludes that information literacy is a prerequisite tool for accessing and using information in secondary schools. Information literacy skills enables students to conduct independent information search, efficiently retrieve information using modern technologies, critically evaluate their findings and effectively apply relevant information into their day to day situations. Therefore, the incorporation of information literacy practices into secondary schools’ curriculum would institutionalize information literacy in secondary schools.

Keywords: Accessing, Information literacy, Information Literacy Practices, Secondary Schools, Kenya.

Author Biographies

Moses Mong’are Gekara, Kisii University

School of Information Science and Technology, Kisii University, Kenya

Ben Wekalao Namande, Kisii University

School of Information Science and Technology, Kisii University, Kenya

Cyprian Ratemo Makiya, Kisii University

School of Information Science and Technology, Kisii University, Kenya


Adeyemi, I. O. (2017). An empirical study on the traits of information literacy level among senior secondary school students in Ilorin, Nigeria. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). 1587.

Anyaoku, E., Anunobi, C., & Eze, E. M. (2015). Information literacy skills and perceptions of librarians in Colleges of Education in Nigeria, Journal of Information and Knowledge Management. 5(8), 83-89.

Baji, F., Bigdeli, Z., Parsa, A., & Haeusler, C. (2018). Developing information literacy skills of the 6th grade students using the Big6 model. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, 23(1), 1-15.

Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Deepak, A. & Sarman, K. (2017). Understanding information literacy: a view from its models and standards. International Journal of Advance Research in Science and Engineering, 6(10), 1917 – 1927.

Demasson, A., Partridge, H. & Bruce, C. (2019). How do public librarians constitute information literacy? Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 51(2), 473-487.

Eisenberg, M., & Berkowitz, R. E. (1990). Information problem solving: The big six skills approach to library and information skills instruction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.

Eisenberg, M. B., & Berkowitz, R. E. (2011). The Big6: Information and technology skills for students’ achievements. Retrieved April 2, 2017 from:

Eisenberg, M., Lowe, C. A., & Spitzer, K. L. (2004). Information literacy: Essential skills for the information age. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

Emisiko, M. & Severina, N. (2018). Enhancing lifelong learning tendencies through information literacy practices in higher institutions: a case of Cooperative University of Kenya. International Journal of Social Sciences and Information Technology, 4(10), 169-180.

Flierl, M., & Maybee, C. (2020). Refining information literacy practice: Examining the foundations of information literacy theory. IFLA Journal, 46(2), 124–132.

Foo, S., Majid, S., & Chang, Y. K. (2017). Assessing information literacy skills among young information age students in Singapore. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(3), 335-353.

Gikungu, J. M., Karanja, B. & Thinguri, R. (2014). A critical view of the historical development and concerns of curriculum in Kenya. International Journal of Education Development and Research, 2(5), 195 - 204.

Jabeen, M., Yun, L., Rafiq, M., Jabeen, M. & Tahir, M. A. (2016). Information literacy in academic and research libraries of Beijing, China: Practices, methods and problems. Information Development, 32(3), 579-591.

Julien, H., Gross, M. & Latham, D. (2018). Survey of information literacy instructional practices in U.S academic libraries. College of Research Libraries. Retrieved December 9, 2019 from 10.5860/cr1.79.2.179.

Kanyengo, C. W. & Kamau, N. (2020). Information literacy policies and practices in health science and medical libraries in Kenya. Zambia Journal of Library & Information Science, 4(1), 39 – 54.

Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research methodology: Methods and techniques. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Limited Publishers.

Krejcie, R., & Morgan, D. (1970). Determining Sample Size for Research Activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30, 607-610. Retrieved December 1, 2018 from:

Lwehabura, M. J. F. (2018). An assessment of IL skills among first-year postgraduate students at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 50(4), 427-434.

Malliari, A., Togia, A., Korobili, S. & Nitsos, I. (2014). Information literacy skills of Greek high school students: result of an empirical survey. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries (QQML), 1, 271-281.

Maurer, A., Schlögl, C. & Dreisiebner, S. (2016). Comparing information literacy of student beginners among different branches of study. Libellarium, 9(2), 309-319.

Meghann, W. (2015). Situated information literacy: history instruction at a high school early college. Reference Services Review, 43(2), 292 – 308.

Michalak, R. & Rysavy, M. D. T. (2016). Information literacy in 2015: international graduate business students’ perceptions of information literacy skills compared to test-assessed skills. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 21(2), 152-174.

Mudave, E. (2016). Information literacy (IL) learning experiences: A literature review. Journal of Human and Social Science, 8(1), 57 – 68.

Ngo, H. T., Pickard, A. J., & Walton, G. (2019). IL capabilities of upper secondary students: the case of Vietnam. Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, 68(6/7), 453-470.

Ngo, H. T., Pickard, A. J. & Walton, G. (2019). An information literacy teaching model for Vietnam’s schools. Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, 68(3), 191-206.

Oluwaseye, A. J. & Oyetola, M. K. (2018). Information literacy and social media use by students in selected private secondary schools in Ibadan, Nigeria. Covenant Journal of Library & Information Science, 1(2), 18-31.

Pickard, A. J. (2013). Research methods in information. London: Facet Publishing.

Pinto, M., Garcia-Marco, F. J., Ponjuán, G., & Sales, D. (2019). Information literacy policies and planning in Ibero-America: Perspectives from an international digital survey. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 51(2), 511– 526.

Raish, V. V., & Rimland, E. E. (2016). Employer perceptions of critical information literacy skills and digital badges. College & Research Libraries, 77(1), 87-113.

Republic of Kenya (2019). Ministry of Education Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2019 on a policy framework for reforming education and training for sustainable development in Kenya towards realizing quality, relevant and inclusive education and training for sustainable development. Nairobi; Government Printer.

Saunders, L., Severyn, J., & Caron, J. (2017). Don’t they teach that in high school? Examining the high school to college information literacy gap. Library & Information Science Research, 39(4), 276-283.

Togia, A., Korobili, S., Malliari, A., & Nitsos, I. (2015). Teachers’ views of information literacy practices in secondary education: A qualitative study in the Greek educational setting. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47(3), 226 - 241.

Ukpebor, C. O., & Emojorho, D. (2012). Information literacy skills: A survey of the transition of students from secondary to university education in Edo State, Nigeria. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Retrieved November, 2 2017, from

Varlejs, J., Stec, E., & Kwon, H. (2014). Factors affecting students’ information literacy as they transition from high school to college. School Library Research, 17, 1-23. Retrieved December 25, 2019 from

Were, G. A. (2019). Effectiveness of information literacy programmes in academic libraries: a case of Tangaza University College Library, Kenya. Unpublished MSc thesis, Kenyatta University, Nairobi.

Yeboah, P., Dadzie, P. S., & Owusu-Ansah, C. M. (2017). Information access and evaluation skills of secondary school students in Ghana. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Retrieved June 6, 2018 from:

Yu, H., Abrizah, A., Rafedzi, E. R. K., & Abdullah, S. N. M. (2018). Reinforcing information literacy development through a subject-focused resource-based project. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 50(4), 386-398.

Zulkifpeli, B., Yu, H., & Ismail S. A. (2016). The importance of information literacy skills among high school students. Research Hub, 2(2), 29-34.
How to Cite
Gekara, M. M., Namande, B. W., & Makiya, C. R. (2021). INFORMATION LITERACY PRACTICES AS A TOOL FOR ACCESSING AND UTILIZING INFORMATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KENYA. African Journal of Emerging Issues, 3(2), 39 - 61. Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)