Application Of Social Media For Reference Services In Selected Private University Libraries In Edo State

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Application Of Social Media For Reference Services In Selected Private University Libraries In Edo State


The general purpose of the study was to ascertain the application of social media by students to access reference services at the Igbinedion University, Okada. The survey research design was used for the study using questionnaire as the instrument for data collection. The research adopted both the proportionate/stratified and simple random sampling techniques to investigate a sample of 742 students in Igbinedion University, Okada. Self- constructed and validated questionnaire with a reliability coefficient of 0.87 was used to collect data for the study. Four research questions and one hypothesis were framed for the study. The hypothesis was tested using chi-square (x2) statistical analysis at 0.05 level of significance. Findings show that there are core different types of social media platform in reference services available to the students in Igbinedion University, Okada; students use social media to retrieve information and conduct research. The hypothesis tested shows that there is no significant difference between the challenges experienced by students in accessing reference services to that encountered by other students in Nigeria university libraries. The study recommends that more contents should be made available on these social media platforms, in order to meet the information needs of the library users. The study also recommend that both the library staff and library users should be made aware of the social media platforms.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Over the years, there has been invention of new technologies to better the lives of mankind as well as organizations. At first, it was the invention of the printing technology which made it possible to reach several persons in the world. As time goes on, man quest for something new and different led to the invention of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ICTs are technologies made by man for the purpose of executing activities in organizations for effectiveness and efficiency.

Information and Communication Technologies has been defined by various scholars from different perspectives. In the work of Ogbomo and Ogbomo (2008) citing Anyakoha (1991),information technology is seen as man-made tools used for the collection, generation, communication, recording, re- management and exploitation of information. It includes those applications and commodities, by which information is transferred, recorded, edited, stored, manipulated or disseminated. Afolabi and Abidoye (nd) defined ICT as the use of electronic devices such as computers, telephones, Internet, satellite system to store, retrieve and disseminate information in the form of data, text, image and others.

Kpangban (2010) also defined ICTas electronic technologies that are used for information storage and retrieval. Alberta (2003) stated that ICT is about the new ways in which we can communicate, inquire, make decisions and solve problems. It is a processing tool and techniques for gathering and identifying information; classifying and organizing;summarizing, synthesizing; analyzing and evaluating; speculating and predicting.Ogochukwu and Charles (n.d) pointed out that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the processing, maintenance and integration of information, and the use of all forms of computer, communication, network and mobile technologies to mediate information.

For the purpose of this study, ICT shall be seen as a device that helps in the processing, storing, packaging, retrieving and communicating information to those who have need of them. The Information and Communication Technologies is an immense leap in the field of communication and it has made a tremendous impact all over the world. In line with this therefore, the birth of the Internet which has been an outstanding innovation in the coming of technologies in the history of mankind was brought into existence.

Technological changes have always been seen as a strong evolutionary force but the coming of the Internet is something that has shook almost all spheres of personal, social and professional human life. Right from the mere ways of interaction to the running of huge systems, there has been conveniences provided by the existence of the Internet. A lot of developments have been made in the Internet applications which are beyond our imagination. No one would have imagined that the networking tool that was developed solely for military purpose in U.S in 1969 would become a rich source of knowledge, entertainment, communication and many more. The Internet has been of great importance right from its inception due to the fact that it serves as a medium of connection and communication tool. Internet users all over the world have received tremendous help especially researchers to achieve many things in their various fie lds of study. Due to this, the World Wide Web was created which made the Internet to see a tremendous growth in the technological sector leading to the development of other tools that are used with the Internet such as the social networking media that finally boost the communication process.

In recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the utilization of social networking media amongst people mainly for the purpose of communication, recreation, entertainment and acquiring information. This single act was made possible after the creation of the World Wide Web by Timothy Barners Lee in 1989, which made it easy for the Internet facilities to be accessed far and wide in different countries all over the world.

Social networking media is a channel that gives room for interaction or relationship between individuals, two or more people using computer systems such as phones, laptops or desktops with the aid of Internet connection services. In the same vein, Mislove (2009) defined social networking media as a system where (a) users are first class entities with semi-public profile (b) users can create explicitly links to other users or items and (c) users can navigate the social network by browsing the links and profile of other users. In addition to this, Boyd and Ellison (2007) also asserted that “social networking media is a web based service that allow individual to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and (3) view and traverse their list of connection and those made by others within the system.” The growth in this social networking media such as Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, Fickretc became so popular as a result of the increase in their usage. A social networking media is a huge leap in technological evolution in the world of Internet. The social networking media began to grow and also expanded. That was why Ahmed and
Tehmina (2011) opined that the evolution of the social networking media started with which was founded in 1995.

The purpose of its creation was to provide students a means of connection during or after the completion of their degree programme. Recently, social networking media is no longer seen as the only platform for students to connect themselves after the completion of their degree rather it is seen as a source and a means of communication that can be employed into the academic library to perform operations or services. Currently, the activities of the library is no longer limited to its four walls which means, the library is set to reach out to its users wherever they might be.Socialnetworking media is useful because it is a collaborating tool that can help both thelibrarians and patrons in an active interaction and communication processes.

Libraries have always been repositories of learning resources. From earliest time, they have been source of information for scholars and researchers. The primary role of the library is to provide information service to support the educational,recreation, cultural, economic and technological endeavours of members in their respective communities. The National Policy on Education (2004) identified the library as one of the most important aspect of educational support services. They are used as media for disseminating information and enhancing literature search and as a tool for the development of intellectualcompatibilities and promotion of cultural and social integration. There are six types of libraries and the various types of libraries play their ro les based on the nature they possess but for this study, the researcher will be considering the academic library.

According to Uwaifo (2010) academic library is a library established and maintained by tertiary institutions of learning such as universities, polytechnics, college of education, schools of nursing, petroleum training institutes etc.

In the same vein, Okiy (2012) stated that:

Academic libraries are libraries established in tertiary institutions. They include libraries in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. The roles of these libraries are similar and that is to effectively support institutions to attain the key functions of teaching, research and community service. These institutions are responsible for the production of middle and higher level manpower for national development. The extent to which they are able to effectively accomplish that task depends largely on how well their libraries are equipped with the relevant information resources.

Okiy(n.d) citing Akintunde (2004), stated that:“the libraries in many tertiary institutions have either earned the institutions accreditation or failed them because libraries are regarded as a tool for academic excellence.” The libraries in the tertiary institutions assist them in the discharge of their functions by acquiring all the varied and relevant in-depth information resources necessary for pursuing the teaching, learning, research and public services functions of these institutions which enable them to produce high caliber graduates into the labour market to further national development. Thus, the academic institutions play a major role in the manpower development of any nation providing the high as well as middle level manpower for the acceleration of social, economic and political advancement of a nation. According to Edoka (2000), the academic libraries is set to provide the following functions: to provide information materials required for the academic programmes of the parent institution;to provide research information resources in consonance with the needs of faculty and research students; to provide information resources for recreation and for personal self- development of users; to provide study accommodation in a useful variety of locations; to provide protection and security for these materials;to co-operate with other libraries at appropriate levels for improved information services; and to provide specialized information service to appropriate segments of the wider community.

Academic libraries are relevant entities that any higher or tertiary institution of learning needs not to take for granted because of the kind of roles they play to the parent body as such, the library should be given a priority and a sense of belonging because academic institutions play a vital role in man power development of any nation since they provide the high as well as the middle manpower needed for the social, economic and political advancement of a nation. This can be actualized through the programme of teaching, learning, research and community service which is aided by the role of the academic library. In an academic library, there are several resources and services rendered to its users. One of these services is reference services. This is a very important service rendered in the academic library and it is seen as the root of librarianship or library and information science. Reference services are personal assistance librarians in academic libraries provide to users that come to make use of information resources in the library. The librarian working in the reference section is called a reference librarian and the reference librarian serves as a good communicator who links the library users to the resources of their choice.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The reference section is the image maker of the library because of the essential role it plays. It is an aspect of the academic library that seeks to assist the library clientele either directly or indirectly.However, academic library users today are less dependent upon the traditional library due to the rise of electronic and Internet resources, library patrons no longer feel the need to step inside the physical library or use a library n in their research. It is discovered with evidence both anecdotal and recorded that increasing number of people have turned to the Internet as their preferred source of information and it is reflecting in the reference desk (McMillan 2003). In addition to the above Wurman (1989) in Gbaje (2007) noted that “several studies have shown that somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of people searching the web for information failed to find what they were looking for”

Thus, many reference librarians advocate reaching library patrons in their preferred environments in order to extend library services beyond the traditional library walls. Academic library is a strong advocate of reaching patrons where they are, in doing so, they may help the library patron that may be stranded in trying to make use of the electronic and internet resources.

1.3 Objective of the Study

  1. To determine the types of social media tools used by Igbinedion University library for the delivery of reference services
  2. To examine the types of reference services rendered in Igbinedion University Library.
  3. To investigate the problems encountered in the use of social media tools in the reference services at the library
  4. To proffer the possible solutions to the identified problems

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the types of social media tools used by Igbinedion University library for the delivery of reference services?
  2. What are the types of reference services rendered in Igbinedion University Library?
  3. What are the problems encountered in the use of social media tools in the reference services at the library?
  4. What are the possible solutions to the identified problems?

1.5 Hypothesis of the Study

The following hypothesis will be tested

  • Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the use of social media and reference services at the Igbinedion University, Library.
  • Ho1: There is a significant relationship between the use of social media and reference services at the Igbinedion University, Okada, Library.

1.6 Significance of the Study

It is no longer strange neither is it surprising to hear that the academic library is the heart of the institution it serves. It is the repository of information resources where both students and lecturers go to seek for answers to their individual academic challenges. It is widely and generally known that the reference section or the reference services rendered in the library helps to publicize the good image of the academic library.

The significance of this study is that, it will help the libraries to render services to patrons beyond the four walls of the library building. The study will also give room to patrons who are having difficulties to confront librarians face-to-face due to one reason or the other to seek the assistance of a librarian with the aid of social networking media. This study will instill in students, lecturers or library users a new belief over the already existing notion they are having that the academic library is a store house of outdated information materials or resources.

The study will help academic libraries to improve on their existing consortia role or to begin one in case there is none with the application of social networking media. This study will also help to reverberate the activities of the academic libraries in order to attract the attention of patrons to the library.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focused on ascertaining the application of social media for reference services in Igbinedion University academic libraries. This research is concerned with reference librarians working in Igbinedion University, Okada academic libraries.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Academic Library:

These are libraries established and funded by tertiary institutions of learning which include libraries in Universities, Polytechnics and College of Education.

Reference Services:

This is the help or assistance a reference librarian gives to library users that come to use the library either directly or indirectly.

Social Networks:

These are web based tools that communities of people who share the same interest use to communicate and interact with each other.

1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the application of social media for reference services in selected private university libraries in edo state, Igbinedion University, Okada as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.

5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the impact of accounting on organization effectiveness using federal pay office, Igbinedion University, Okada as case study. The study is was specifically focused on examining the the types of social media tools used by Igbinedion University library for the delivery of reference services; examining the types of reference services rendered in Igbinedion University Library; investigating the problems encountered in the use of social media tools in the reference services at the library and proffering the possible solutions to the identified problems.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff and student of Igbinedion University, Okada.

5.3 Conclusions

With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;

Conclusively, based on the result, the researchers drew some conclusions the library managers/management should make rule to mandate students/staffs to accept or register certain media services before having access to registration of library resources this will handle the issue of unawareness and thereby creates more visibility of the library resources. Up-to-date resources should be posted i.e. relevant to the school curriculum. The library managers/management should see to stable and strong network is the bedrock of all social media services and promotional services of the library

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings the following recommendations were proposed.

  1. More contents should be made available on social media platforms, in order to meet the information needs of the library users. It will also help to increase users’ preference for e- resources.
  2. Effort should be made to enlighten the students on the references service where they can deploy the use of the social media.
  3. The library management should subscribe to wider internet bandwidth to improve the quality of reference services delivered through the social media platforms.
  4. The university/library management should look into the epileptic power supply in the library and make away foreword by introducing solar system and standby generator in order to give users adequate value to the service delivery.

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