Availability And Accessibility Of Information Resources By Students In Tertiary Institution

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Availability And Accessibility Of Information Resources By Students In Tertiary Institution


Abstract


The research was designed to investigate the availability and accessibility of information resources of federal polytechnic Nekedestudents. The library promoter’s economic and social growth of the student daily needs to be more appreciated in our society.A purposive sampling technique was used to select 200 students from each of the faculties of the Polytechnic, as the population of the study, including 15 library and school staffs. A survey questionnaire developed by the researcher was employed to determine the use of the library while a face-to-face interview was conducted to gathered data from library and school staffs. The available resources of the library emanate from direct purchase, gift, inter library organize the information material preserves and makes them accessible to user of the library. The findings show that more than half of the library users at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede visit the library once a day. They use the library to read, to borrow books, and to make photocopies. Students were satisfied with the library collections and services but not with electronic resources. As the library is neither networked nor connected to the Internet, students usually patronize the cyber cafe close to their school as an alternative.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The effect of any organization’s operations depends, to a large extent on irritability, management and accessibility of relevant information. Every organization needs information and records that are vital for it operations. These records are of two kinds. The entire which are needed to conduct the day activities, and the erective, which must be filled and retained for or definite number of years are specified by how or organizational poly.

The polytechnic system came into Nigeria in late 1970s came with the idea of providing Nigerians with another level of tertiary institutions besides the university system. This followed the promulgation of Decree no. 33 of 1979. The provisions of the decree, among others, state that the main purpose of the polytechnic education is to produce the middle-level manpower for the nation’s economy. These institutions are to engage in research suitable for the development of both human and material resources needed by the nation’s industry and economy.

Information according to Ajiboye and Tella (2007), is used primarily for academic purposes. These findings agree with Kakai et.al (2004), when they observed that student’s information-seeking behaviours promote academic excellence. Mabawonku (2005) highlights ways in which students seek for information, which include colleagues, the internet, library, friends, family members, etc. Furthermore, Akinade and Ogunyade (2002) and Onohwakpor (2007) asserted that valuable information to students determines to a very large extent their success and future development. Sequel to this, it is imperative for Academic libraries, which are attached to tertiary institutions to support the Teaching, Learning and Research processes in such institutions. Students, according to Adesina (2003), have been found to be majority of library users in an academic library.

As a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development seeks to strengthen universal peace and freedom. For effective development in any nation there must be peace and freedom, therefore the university library as a knowledge system has a lot to do in the area of information dissemination to ensure peace and freedom for all citizens of the world and to support sustainable development. Sustainable development goals are transformative changes needed to cater for the immediate needs of the present generation without causing harm to the future generation in terms of meeting their own needs. The items which formed the sustainable development goals were carefully selected and included after a wide consultation by the UN. There are seventeen of them. However, this study will be anchored on the fourth goal which is to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (United Nations, 2015). Inclusive and equitable quality education is important for sustainable development. UNESCO (2009) stated that inclusive education is concerned with all learners with focus on those who have traditionally been excluded from educational opportunities – such as learners with special needs and disability and children from ethnic minorities. Stubbs (2008) stated that “inclusive education is a wide range of strategies, activities and processes that are geared towards making the reality of a universal right to quality, relevant, and appropriate, education.” In addition, the paper described learning as a continuous process which takes place in both formal and informal forms. The goal of inclusive education is to create a world of peace, tolerance, sustainable use of resources, and a world where basic needs are met.The need to have ready access to relevant information for improving knowledge is of strategic importance to society (Lakos, 2004). The Internet is expanding fast in response to this, and the amount of digital information available is increasing daily. The importance of information to the success of any academic institution cannot be over – emphasized. Akinade and Ogunyade (2002) ascertain that it is a valuable resource required in any society or an institution to meet its objective. Ready available information to students determines largely their success and future development. Aguolu and Aguolu, (2002) asserts that, the basic tripartite function of any university is to conserve the existing knowledge, to transmit knowledge through teaching, and to create new knowledge through research. There is no doubt that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be a major source of sharing knowledge and information, and they have come to complement physical library resources.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study looks at availability and accessibility of information resources by students in tertiary institutions. The importance of information to the success of any academic institution should not be underestimated. Ukpanah (2006) affirms that in an academic community, information is used for learning, teaching, research and leisure. Availability of information resources must be distinguished from accessibility. Availability of information sources means ensuring their presence in libraries for immediate use (Aguolu and Aguolu 2002). Learning materials might be available, i.e., the library has acquired them, but inaccessible to those in need of it for whatever reason (uncatalogued, miscataloged, miss helved, etc.). Accessible means that users can identify and use the resources.

Both variables have a relationship with the use of library resources.

This study is seeking answer to the following question.

  1. What are the available resources in Federal Polytechnic Library?
  2. What is the procedure for making the resources available to its user?
  3. What are the problems encountered by users in trying to have access to information resources?
  4. What are the problems encountered in accessing the information resources?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to;

  1. Determine the various types of information resources available in the Library.
  2. To find out the various forms of information resources in Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library.
  3. To what extent can the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library improve on the accessibly and availability of information resources to its users.
  4. Proffer recommendation and suggestion on how the problem could be remedied.

1.4 Research Question

  1. To what extent can the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library improve on the availability and accessibility of information resources to its users?
  2. What are the available materials in the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library?
  3. What are the problems encountered by users in trying to have access to information resources?
  4. What do you understand by availability and accessibility of information resources?

1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is limited to Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library. It focused is on the availability and accessibility of information resources of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library, in achieving the aims and objectives of the student. It covers all the direct services to users. However, the availability and accessibility of information resources, which are the services to users, have been manifested.This project was constrained by the following factors:

Financial Constraints

Bearing in mind the economic state of the nation, it was found difficult in making both ends meet, because of the exorbitant nature of things nowadays in travelling for the collection of data needed for the project.

Time Constraints

Looking at the interval between the resumption and vacation of the final semester for the project to be completed, the time given seemed to be short for the collection of required information for better work to be done.

Non-Availability of Material

During this project, it was noticed that the required materials needed for the project are not documented. Those that were documented lacked storage facilities where they can be reached.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The study is essential because it is hoped to provide an insight into availability and accessibility of information resources of Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library (Owerri).It is expected that the findings of this research work will assist students to have access to information in their respective institutionslibraries. The findings of this study are expected to be of benefit to students as it will reveal to them the various library resources that are been computerized to enable them carryout effective learning and research. The findings of this study will be of help to lecturers in diverse fields of knowledge by providing access to information related to the topics that would be beneficial to them; also, it will enhance their research outputs. The findings of this study will be of benefit to the public, as it will also help widening their horizon in the knowledge of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) processes in the libraries.


1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Below is the definition of the contextual use of terms in the study

Availability:

Is information the Library has in stock that is ready for use.

Information:

The collection of processed data for easy retrieval

Accessibility:

Permission or opportunity to use a document.

Academic Staff:

Faculty (in North American usage) or academics (in British usage) are the academic staff of a university: professors of various ranks, lecturers, and/or researchers.

Tertiary:

Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education. The World Bank, for example, defines tertiary education as including universities as well as institutions that teach specific capacities of higher learning such as colleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, and distance learning centers. Higher education is taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, while vocational education and training beyond secondary education is known as further education in the United Kingdom, or continuing education in the United States.


1.8 Historical Background of the Case Study

The Federal Polytechnic NekedeOwerri was initially established as the college of Technology Owerri by Edict No. 16 dated 1st April 1978. in 1987, it was renamed the Polytechnic by Imo State Government. The Institution was taken over by the Federal Government in April 1993 and is now governed by Federal |Polytechnic Act. The Institution is Located in Nekede about 5Km from the metropolitan capital of Imo State, Owerri. The campus comprises of B. 8 lectures of land.

The permanent site of the Library is opposite the famous Imo lecture Hall (School of Business). The current building was completed in the year 2000 and commenced services to public in 2001.

The Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library has different sections which include: the technical section (acquisition, classifying and cataloguing) circulation section, Administration leader’s service, serial section and the audio-visual section. It also has the reprographic section which has different machines for the reproduction of Library materials. The library users the library of congress classification scheme which has mixed notation.

The Polytechnic Library stores, a collection of materials relevant to student of the institution teaching and non-teaching staff and people living around Nekede who are carrying out research. Presently, the Library has about 38 staffs.


1.9 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), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlight 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 Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is pertinent to note that this research was aimed at cross examining the availability of information resources to undergraduates in higher institution, thus the topic “availability and accessibility of information resources by students in tertiary institution”.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges associated with availability and accessibility of information resources in Nigeria.


5.2 Summary

Since information is generally seen as a commodity that can be acquired, processed, bought and sold. As a result, all people do not enjoyed equal access to information and globalization has brought a deepening divide between the information haves and have not, a divide between privileged and unprivileged, rich and poor (Dike, 2007). This brought challenge to the libraries and the inability of librarians to master and apply the art and science of the profession in their work environment, coupled with the reluctance to learn the operations or manipulations of the new information technologies which has restructured the work of the library to creating access to information and knowledge irrespective of its location in the world through the virtual nature to make librarians relevant in the world of information and knowledge acquisition. The challenge is now for us to stand up to our professional responsibilities to claim our professionalism to other contending professionals in the field of information and communication theory and knowledge management. Library services are our core need in the knowledge acquisition and development which has been acknowledged. The librarian must not be relaxed in his/her duty to be relevant to the profession in general.


5.3 Conclusion

From the findings of the study it is certain that, library and librarian has recognized the expanding nature of the challenges that is before them and the range of competencies required of them. The challenges represented by these competencies must be seized and acted upon today so as to ensure that professionals in the libraries are viable. Students in these universities have a negative perception on the library services rendered by these university libraries. This perception arise from lack of awareness by the students on how to search forinformation materials and ignorance on information search/retrieval strategies. Also carefully examined is the issue of outdated materials in the libraries. Students are frustrated when in search for current materials on a topic and cannot lay their hands on it easily, they resort to other means of information retrieval to the library which should serve them better and is free for all. Secondly, it was discovered that the attitude of most librarians and library officers toward students in search for information or awareness about library use and services is not encouraging. They should improve on their approach to library users and ensure that information delivery in each of libraries get to all users. Based on the above statement, library which is both knowledge society and information society is the key to achieving sustainable development which is said to meet the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Summarily, the roles of the library are ever growing because an attempt to educate a man invariably is an effort towards educating the society. Based on this argument put forward the library is the store house of these knowledge/development. It therefore behooves on the library professionals to possess the requisites competencies to be able to collect, process, store and disseminate information effectively so that knowledge and information management will not only affect communities but the society at large.


5.4 Recommendations

For students to be able to see libraries and its supporting technologies as the life blood and arteries of the university and for the libraries to be able to serve the students better, every library administrators or information gate keepers must be aware of the relationship between the management of human resources, and the need to plan for more effective and efficient use of the staff through motivation, in-house, or on-the-job training and staff development.

These are recognized techniques for improving individual performance and efficiency for successful and effective service delivery to students in university libraries.The followings are also recommended:

  1. Library should be made to acquire and store modern information technological resources while the librarian should master the art and science of the profession in their work environment.
  2. The libraries should grow alongside information technology which has restructured the role of the library to creating access to information and knowledge irrespective of its location in the world through virtual nature of technology.
  3. As our counterpart in Europe, America etc prove the relevance of the role of the library; we must not out of laxity make ourselves irrelevant in our provision of information to the communities we serve.
  4. Library should provide comprehensive and balanced information resources relevant to the activities of its parent organization.
  5. Recognizing the increasing rate and nature of information, libraries should be adequately funded to enable them provide necessary infrastructure for knowledge acquisition and provision of services.
  6. Public enlightenment programme, lectures, symposia, conferences should be organize in a non-formal scheme through the rural communities of the state through Federal Ministries of Education.

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