Current trends in libraries require that students are able to access information and services beyond library buildings. Makerere University Library (Maklib) faces a number of challenges with regard to online and remote access to library resources and services. One possible solution to this problem lies in the use of mobile technologies. This study attempted to investigate how mobile technologies can be used to provide mobile-based library services at Makerere University library. A pilot study was conducted involving 31 postgraduate and 37 undergraduate students using questionnaires as the data collection tool. Qualitative data was collected and analyzed using Google Drive and was presented in form of text and graphs. Findings indicate that majority of Makerere University students own mobile phones that are internet enabled and those who do not own them have expressed interest in acquiring them in order to stay abreast with new technology. Although students owned internet enabled phones, they mainly used these devices to make and receive calls, and access different kinds of information ranging from news, social media to academic information. The services that students wanted to access using their mobile devices were: search the catalogue, request an e-book, request an item, chat with a librarian, view library news, access subject guides, search the library database, view library opening hours, View library contact information, Quick response, renew library items, book study group rooms, text messaging, book computer labs and view library map. There are also various resources that students expressed interest in and these include: Google searches, Google scholar, e-books, reference materials and e-journals. Convenience, flexibility, time saving, affordability are some of the reasons for acceptability of Mobile library services and resources. The majority of the respondents were positive about the implementation of the mobile services at Maklib however, some of the challenges mentioned by students include high cost of the devices and the ability to access internet services while in office. The study concludes that:
Mobile technology awareness is rapidly increasing among Ugandans especially students in higher education such as those at Makerere University.
Ownership of mobile devices is widespread among both the postgraduate and undergraduate students.
Both postgraduate and undergraduate students expressed their interest in accessing mobile library services and resources.
Recommendations that ought to be adopted by Maklib and any other academic library willing to implement mobile library services are discussed.
Mini Dissertation (MIT)--University of Pretoria, 2013.