Attitude And Interest Of An Information Professional Towards Digital Preservation

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Attitude And Interest Of An Information Professional Towards Digital Preservation


Abstract


The study examined the attitude and interest of an information professional towards digital preservation, using librarians in University of Lagos and Lasu as a study.

Survey research was adopted, University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Lagos State University (LASU) was purposely selected because of the accessibility. The population of the selected institution was 104 according to the administrative department. There was no sampling technique used because the total number the librarians in Lagos was enumeratedly used. A validated questionnaire was employed to collect data. Realiability test of the instrument yielded cronbach alpha coefficient ranging from (α) 0.649-0.755. The response rate of 78%. Descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation and the inferential statistics of Pearson correlation were used for data analysis to show the relationship between attitude-interest and digital preservation. Hypothesis were tested at 5% level of significance.

The study found that there is a positive and significant relationship between attitude of librarians towards digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU; librarians in University of Lagos and LASU are highly interested in digital preservation. It also revealed that apart from their general use of computers in their services, they also allow students regular access to digitally preserved resources; librarians in University of Lagos and LASU are committed to digital preservation based on the fact that equipment for the purpose are available adequately.

The study concluded that there is a positive and significant relationship between attitude of librarians towards digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU. This means that the Librarians in University of Lagos and LASU are highly interested in digital preservation. It also revealed that apart from their general use of computers in their services, they also allow students regular access to digitally preserved resources. In line with the findings of the study, it was recommended that; More ICT equipment should be deployed to the academic libraries in higher institution to encourage digital preservation; Training and retraining of librarians should be done from time to time to inculcate positive attitude and interest towards digital preservation; Efforts should be enhanced by the institution authorities towards digital preservation so as to meet the yearnings and aspiration of the users and researchers; Other accessory facilities should be provided in the academic library to aid the process of digital preservation.

Key words: attitude, interest, librarians, digital, digital preservation.

Word count: 410


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Across the world, effective digital preservation has been directly associated with the attitude and interest of an informational professionals. The application of computer technology to information management services has caused significant changes in many institutions and organizations across the world. Cooper (2018) opined that the advent of the internet, digitisation, e-learning resources and the ability to access information and research materials from remote locations created dramatic changes in the functionality of institutions, organizations and even university libraries.

As the human findings and experience continues to become increasingly intertwined with technological tools, its documents likewise become increasingly dependent on the surrounding technology. Today’s information professionals are faced with the task of preserving digital resources and the related technology required to make sense of them. However, Hedstrom argues that it is not solely the information professional’s concern. The unique aspects of digital objects require early intervention for successful long-term preservation. Thus the traditional preservation roles held by information professionals are creeping across professional boundaries. Government agencies, corporations, and research libraries all hold considerable amounts of digital information that will need to be preserved into the future and it is the organization’s responsibility to ensure preservation (Hedstrom 3).

A discussion of the nature of digital resources helps to explain their increasing ubiquity in organizations and libraries as well as the unique challenges of digital preservation. Electronic documents can improve accessibility to heavily used resources, allow users to manipulate and annotate the information, as well as increase access points to underutilized information. Certainly, these benefits play a role in organizational decisions to include digital resources in their holdings. However, electronic documents have unique preservation needs that cannot be fully met by the implementation of traditional preservation processes, hence, positive attitude and interest of the information professional is required to ensure successful digital preservation. Cook stated that unlike their paper-based predecessors, digital documents are not eye-readable (Cook 301). Instead, digital materials are dependent on technology, which is constantly evolving, for interpretation. Digital preservation is further complicated by the digital material’s reliance on contextual information and documentation (Ross 13). Today’s information professionals, however, are not facing digital preservation empty handed. The archival community has discussed the challenge of preservation of electronic documents through the development of content preservation strategies: attitude of information professional, migration, emulation, and digital archeology. Information professionals and librarians have both been involved in the development of open access digital preservation tools such as PRONOM, an online file format registry and the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS), which provides a framework for long-term digital preservation and access.

Wrubel writes that “Electronic resources constitute an increasingly significant portion of institutional and library collections, both in usage and cost” (Wrubel 225). It seems then, that it is in the best interest of institutions and libraries to implement adequate digital preservation policies to insure the continuing utility of their most valued resources, and justify the expense of creating or obtaining them. However, there seems to be a large spectrum of awareness and application of digital preservation techniques.

In Nigeria nowadays, it is imperative for information professionals to actively participate in a robust digital preservation strategy to preserve both content and access long term, although there seems to be a large majority of institutions that are not actively engaged in or perhaps even concerned with digital preservation. The current researcher is of the opinion that attitude and interest of the information officer will determine if the traditional preservation system is going to be overhauled and replaced with modern digital preservation approach.

Bhatnagar (2006) attempt to inform institutions of the benefits and processes of digitization. He further expresses awareness that obsolescence is a huge threat to digital materials and is careful to note the high financial cost of digitization. An information professional or information specialist is someone who collects, records, organises, stores, preserves, retrieves, and disseminates printed or digital information. The current research is of the assumption that attitude and interest of information officer is the determinant of effectiveness in the discharge of the duties required of the office.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The information resources which are unique in nature because of the content deserve to have the maximum preservation in order to retain the information they contain for a very long period of time. Institutions and libraries in developing countries such as Nigeria, there is a dearth of valuable publication because most of these materials are not properly protected. Despite that these institutions struggled and suffered to acquire these resources which are not easy to be replaced when they are lost are not properly preserved going by the attitude and interests of professionals in charge yet, the information contained in these resources can serve hundreds of users for decades of years.

Just like every other sector, information management has incorporated digital technology into its processes; hence, informational professionals are required to embrace the use of modern technologies in performing their duties of resource preservation effectively. The current research is examining the attitude and interest of information professionals towards digital preservation of resources.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to investigate the attitude and interest of information professionals towards digital preservation while the following are the specific objectives:

  1. To determine the attitude of librarians towards digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU.
  2. To determine the interest of the librarians towards digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU.
  3. To determine the level of digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU.
  4. To determine the factors militating against digital preservation among librarians in University of Lagos and LASU.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the attitude of librarians towards digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU?
  2. What is the interest of the librarians towards digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU?
  3. What is the level of digital preservation in University of Lagos and LASU?
  4. What are the factors militating against digital preservation among librarians in University of Lagos and LASU?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

Outcome of this research will be useful to the government, policy makers, information professional, researchers, information seekers and the general public as it will reveal the attitude and interest of information professionals towards digital preservation. It will also expose the factors militating against digital preservation among information professionals therefore bringing about strategies that will result in the improvement of information management.

This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the attitude and interest of information professionals towards digital preservation, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study will cover all information professionals in Laos State. It will also cover their attitude and interest towards digital preservation.


1.7 Definition Of Terms

Information Professionals:

An information professional is someone who collects, records, organises, stores, preserves, retrieves, and disseminates printed or digital information.

Digital Preservation:

This is the process of storing information resource on a computer for future use


Attitude And Interest Of An Information Professional Towards Digital Preservation


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Attitude And Interest Of An Information Professional Towards Digital Preservation


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