Knowledge of copyright issues and strategies used in solving copyright queries among academic librarians in Kenya
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Intellectual property and copyright in particular has become highly regulated through laws and treaties. In spite of stronger copyright mechanisms being put in place in Kenya over the years, copyright infringement has persisted and the library community looks to the librarian for guidance. How well librarians are prepared to evaluate and enforce intellectual property rights is little understood, especially in developing countries like Kenya. This study seeks to find out whether different cadres of academic librarians based on academic qualifications, department, and duration of service differ in knowledge about copyright issues and in strategies they employ in solving copyright queries. 167 librarians were surveyed, then 32 were conveniently sampled for the think aloud protocol and the critical incident technique. Librarians were found to be moderately knowledgeable about copyright issues. Significant differences exist in tested knowledge of copyright issues among librarian cadres. No significant difference was found in self-reported knowledge about copyright issues among librarians based on their education level. No statistical significant difference in both tested knowledge and in 3 of the 4 factors used in assessing self-reported knowledge were found in relation to duration that a librarian has worked in libraries. Two of the 4 factors measuring self-rated knowledge were statistically significant based on the department librarians works in. Ignorance of the Kenyan Copyright law was evident. Learned helplessness existed among lower cadre librarians.