Evaluation Of Library Information Resource Display Pattern For Enhanced Information Access By Undergraduates In Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, UNN

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Evaluation Of Library Information Resource Display Pattern For Enhanced Information Access By Undergraduates In Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, UNN


Abstract


This study investigated the evaluation of library information resource display pattern for enhanced information access by undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. Data relevant to the study were collected using questionnaire. The population of registered students and librarians was sampled using proportionate stratified random sampling technique. Instrument was administered by the researcher and trained assistant. Descriptive statistical analysis was used where responses were tabulated and analyzed using tables, percentages and frequencies to answer research questions.

Major findings revealed that apart from the fact that most of the information resources available were not adequate, they were not highly accessible and utilized. Most of the bibliographic tools were not in use as adequate library orientation are not offered to the students. Respondents said that they were not satisfied with the accessibility and utilization of information resources. The problems hindering the effectiveness of accessibility and utilization were lack of current information materials, lack of library orientation given to students, the absence of conducive reading environment, non-friendliness of the library staff incessant power supply, and lack of funds. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that government should provide funds in order to procure current information resources. Library staff should be approachable as well as having good relationship with the clients. In order to ensure accessibility and utilization of information resources and services, user education should be imbibed in the curriculum or be taught from time to time.

 


Table of Content


Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Concept of Reference and Information Services in Libraries
  • 2.3 Concept of Reference and Information Resources
  • 2.4 Constraints to Effective Accessibility and Utilization of Library Resources
  • 2.5 Strategies for Improvement of Accessibility and Utilization of Reference and Information Services
  • 2.6 Theoretical Frame Work
  • 2.6.1 James I. Wyer’s Theory of Reference Service

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validity of the Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Result
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The nomenclature of the instructional programme on how to use the library varies from one institution to the other. It is variously referred to as: Library Use Instruction, User Education Programme, Bibliographic Instruction, Library Skills or Library Orientation. It consists of “instructional programme designed to teach library users how to locate the information they need quickly, efficiently and independently. It involves teaching library users to acquire basic library use and information literacy skills. It usually covers practical knowledge of the access tools to available information, the library’s system of organizing knowledge, electronic resources, reference resources and services, library rules and regulations. It prepares individual library users on how to make immediate and lifelong use of information effectively by teaching the concepts and logic of information access and evaluation, and by fostering information independence and critical thinking. Fleming (1990) defined library use education as various programmes of instruction, education and exploration provided by libraries to users to enable them to make effective, efficient and independent use of information sources and services to which these libraries provide access.

A library is an information agency saddled with the responsibility of creating access to existing information resources and services for the user community. The information provided is dependent, to a large extent, on the type of library in question. For academic libraries, like the University of Calabar library, the vision of the parent institution is a major determinant of the range of resources and services provided. In academic libraries, emphasize is on research, teaching, learning and community development which formed a major part of the responsibility of their parent institutions. Thus, library resources should be assembled based on the needs of the research community. The various categories of users and their areas of specialization should be considered in addition to making provisions for all the academic programmes and courses offered by the parent institution in the collection development programme of the library. In Library and Information Science profession, provision of relevant information resources in different formats is the focus, while access, utilisation and users’ satisfaction with these resources and services is the major goal. To achieve this goal, accessibility, research skills, information literacy and library use competences are basic prerequisites.

These skills are necessary as the first step towards effective utilization of available library resources and services. No matter how large and well stocked a library is, if the resources cannot be accessed and utilized, such a library is meaningless. It is the utilization of library resources and services that infuses life into a library, determine its worth and the perception of its users. Library use leads to users’ perception and users’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction as the case may be. If library use leads to positive perception of the library and its services, users will find fulfilment for the time spent in the library and a good reason to return to the library again and again. To guarantee accessibility and utilization of library resources and services, both the library and its users have some obligations to fulfil. The library is expected to create a variety of access points to its resources and services by systematically developing their bibliographic surrogates needed to access the resources in the library. The users on the other hand, needed to be equipped with basic information literacy competences and library use skills needed for information search and retrieval. Such competences will place library users in the right perspective to explore available resources and services in the library independently. It becomes imperative to introduce Library Use Instruction Programme designed to teach library users the basic routine processes involved in the search and retrieval of information.

Library resources and services vary and different approaches could be adapted to access and use these invaluable resources and services. The physical library system has its resources and services as well as the access points to these resources. The electronic library also has its resources and services with specific approaches to access and use them. A comprehensive library user instruction programme will instruct users to acquire the competences needed to effectively use both the physical and the electronic library resources and services. Academic libraries work together with other members of their institutional communities to participate in, support, and achieve the educational mission of their institutions by teaching the core competencies of information literacy: the abilities involved in identifying an information need, accessing needed information, evaluating, managing, and applying information, and understanding the legal, social, and ethical aspects of information use. The systematic delivery of instructional programs and services should be planned in concert with overall strategic library planning, including the library’s budgeting process.

Library use pattern is a reflection of the attitude and the approaches adopted in the search for information in a library. It is a measure of the level of importance attached to the library by its users. There are users who perceived that the library is the ultimate destination in the search for information and therefore they ensure compliance to rules and regulations guiding users conduct while in the library. This category of Users would politely approach a staff for assistance where necessary in other to get the desired information. There is another category of users who showed good knowledge of information handling skills. This category of users can independently access and retrieve information from the library. There are users who display delinquencies while using the library: mutilation of library resources, stealing, writing and painting on the pages of books and journals. Each of these library use pattern is a reflection of the users’ orientation and information handling skills. That explains the need to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the training provided during library use instruction programme.

The content of Library Use Instruction varies among academic institutions. Instruction programmes in academic libraries should have clearly articulated in order to achieve learning outcomes that are aligned with the objectives of the programme. Instruction should employ active learning strategies and techniques that require learners to develop critical thinking skills in concert with information literacy skills. Planning such active learning strategies and techniques should be carried out collaboratively with the various faculties to increase overall students’ engagement and to extend opportunities for a more reflective approach to information retrieval, evaluation, and use. The course content of the instructional programme should be designed to address all routine process needed for information search and retrieval. The instructional process should emphasise obedience to library rules and regulations in addition to acquisition of information literacy and library use competences. The philosophy of the library use instruction should be to prepare library users to acquire basic information literacy and library skills needed for independent search and retrieval of information from both the physical and the electronic library while respecting and obeying the library rules and regulations. Therefore the course content should be designed to address this philosophy in all its ramifications. To be able to achieve this philosophy, and considering the enormity of the course content, the instructional programme should be structured to cover two semesters to guarantee dept and proper training of library users. The teaching method should be diversified to include library visits and practical experience in the university library in addition to the formal training in a classroom setting. Instruction in library use competences and information literacy skills is a valuable and essential part of the school’s educational programme. Essential library use competences and information literacy skills encompass more than just location of, and access to resources. The Library Use Instruction Programme’s curriculum should emphasize general information related problem-solving skills, research processes and the specific skills to enable users access and apply information to specific needs. Knowledge of bibliographic surrogates and their utilization in information search and retrieval is most paramount. Library and information skills should not be taught in


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Granted that in an academic library there may be high standard of reference and information resource available, it is not sacrosanct that these resources are regularly accessible to the students. At the University of Nigeria for instance, given the high status of reference and information resources, it is not obvious the extent to which they are made accessible, the pattern of information resources, and the extent to which the students make use of them. On the other hand, although the University library may not be quite satisfactory with regard to reference and information services and patterns, it is on the contrary not obvious that the available materials are not made accessible to students within limits of their availability and also not obvious that the students do not make maximal use of the resources as available.

However some researchers such as Aguolu (2002) and Ugah (2008) have observed that availability of information resources does not necessarily translate into accessibility or use because of many factors. This shows that there is significance difference between availability and use. This is also worrisome and calls for investigation of these factors to fill the gap between availability, accessibility and utilization. It is also important to find the extent of adequacy, accessibility, utilization, usefulness and satisfaction derived in the use of resources by the students. The rational for the study thus become clear that there is need to investigate the evaluation of library information resource display pattern for enhanced information access by undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to investigate the evaluation of library information resource display pattern for enhanced information access by undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;

  1. To identify the display pattern of reference and information resources available to students.
  2. To determine the extent of accessibility of reference and information resources.
  3. To find the extent of utilization of reference and information resources by students.
  4. To identify factors hindering effective access and use of information resources by students.

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:

  1. What is the display pattern of reference and information resources available to students?
  2. What is the extent of accessibility of reference and information resources?
  3. What is the extent of utilization of reference and information resources by students?
  4. What are the factors hindering effective access and use of information resources by students?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • HO1 There is no significant impact of library information resource display pattern on enhanced information access among undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria
  • HA1 There is a significant impact of library information resource display pattern on enhanced information access among undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study are expected to be beneficial to librarians, management, undergraduates, government, researchers as well as the general public.

The librarians as information providers will benefit from the result as they will improve on the approach for information provision to students. They will also identify information resources that are lacking and provide them in their various institutions. The findings will guide them on the best way to process information resources in a way that they can easily be accessible to students for effective utilization.

The result will also be of help to the students who will benefit from the provision of information resources example, internet, books, and journals, available in their college libraries and access them for maximum utilization.

The management of Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria as parent institution will be sensitized on the role they are expected to play in library development for the library to contribute viably to the achievement of the aims and objectives of the institutions which are effective teaching, learning and research. It will make them to appreciate why the libraries make some financial demands on them.

Finally the study will serve as a guide to other researchers in other academic institutions who would want to conduct similar research in the area in their respective states as well as add to the existing literature in the field of librarianship.


1.7 Scope of Study

The study is limited to Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria. The study is restricted to the evaluation of library information resource display pattern for enhanced information access by undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of this study, the researcher encountered some limitations. This includes: the geographical spread of the areas of study was a big limitation because the researcher could not move around the whole of the academic libraries in order to access the respondents, however the study used trained assistant in collection of the questionnaire. Again there was unwillingness of respondents to fill the questionnaires. Some of the copies questionnaires were also reported missing and it was severally replaced and this affected the researcher negatively finance wise.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Evaluation:

Refers to the assessment of the impact of library information resource display pattern on enhanced information access among undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria

Library Information Resource:

The library information resources have been defined as those information bearing material both in printed and electronic formats, such as textbooks, journals, indexes, abstracts, newspapers, magazines, reports, CD-ROM databases, internet/E-mail, video tapes/cassettes, diskettes, magnetic disk, computers and micro films etc.

Display Pattern:

Refers to the mode of representing or making available the various library information resources

Information Access:

Is the ability to identify, retrieve, and use information effectively. Access to information is vital to social, political, and economic advancement.


1.10 Organisation of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The study which is on evaluation of library information resource display pattern for enhanced information access by undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria adopted the descriptive survey research method which involved the study of population through use of samples. The population of the study which is made up of registered students. However proportionate stratified sampling was applied bringing the total sampling that is to be investigated. The instrument used in collecting data was the questionnaire which was administered to both students and librarians in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria.

Major findings of the study are that even though there is majority of information resources and services available there is no adequate accessibility and utilization of the resources. The bibliographic tools for information search are not well used. Text books, journals and newspapers are the most used sources of information, the purpose of use of these resources is mainly for assignment, examination, research and recreation. On the whole, respondents were discovered not satisfied with the level of accessibility and utilization of the reference and information resources and services available in the library. Problems were identified and recommendations made for the improvement of resources and services accessibility and effective utilization. Accessibility and utilization of reference and information services and resources in our college of education libraries remains the best way of enhancing teaching profession in our colleges of education.


5.2 Conclusion

The aim of this thesis was to investigate the evaluation of library information resource display pattern for enhanced information access by undergraduates in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria. The study has some implications for effective accessibility and utilization of reference and information resources in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria. One of the results showed that most of the information resources were reported by respondents to be available. However, the same respondents unanimously agree that they were not adequate. This implies that most of the student will be denied access to them.

Another implication is that most of the students will not be able to make good use of the resources and so will not get satisfaction in using them. This trend is dangerous for a programme that is expected to train and produce branded and well qualified graduate teachers that will teach at the primary and secondary levels of education. The findings revealed that students are denied essential library services such as SDI, CAS, interlibrary loan and indexing/abstracting services which are very useful to them. The implication of the study is that students in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria will not be in a good position to carry out their academic work with efficiency.

This is because the presence of library services create awareness and access to library resources. This implies that there is relationship between availability, accessibility and utilization of library resources and services. There is also need to motivate students in the colleges to improve on their use of the libraries so that the bibliographic tools for information search will be used by the students to high extent.

The study equally showed that there are actually many problems confronting the effectiveness of accessibility and utilization of reference and information services and resources such as lack of funds, lack of facilities, lack of library orientation, lack of current resources, and lack of proper organization/shelf reading to ease access. This is not healthy for academic performance of the students. This implies that Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria are not properly stocked and organized for academic programmes and unless conscious efforts is made at solving these problems, effective accessibility and utilization of the resources in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria will be a mirage. There is therefore need for all relevant bodies and authorities to invoke the essential strategies so as to control the factors of hindrance and forestall the harmful effects.


5.3 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this study, the following are recommended;

  1. Academic libraries should introduce such services like selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), Current Awareness Services (CAS), Indexing and abstracting services and interlibrary loan services which are either not available or not adequate in the four college libraries under study. These services if provided, will go a long way in enhancing academic activities and access to information.
  2. Library authorities should as a matter of policy enforce library orientation to its students for effective utilization of library resources.
  3. There is also need to motivate the students to ensure that the bibliographic tools for information search will be used to a high extent.
  4. University management, stakeholders and government should as much as possible provide facilities in the academic libraries so that the information services and resources will be accessible to students to high extent and equally the percentage of students using the different resources and services of the library will remarkably increase.
  5. University management should as a matter of priority provide internet services in academic libraries to students at affordable cost to boast their quest for global and current information that may be lacking in printed form.
  6. All relevant bodies and authorities like the University management, stakeholders and government should invoke the essential strategies. This is to ensure control of the factors of hindrance.

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