The Use Of ICT In Promoting Library Resources
The study investigated The use Of ICT In Promoting Library Resources. The descriptive survey design was adopted for the study and population comprised of seven (7) academic libraries in Kwara State. The study adopted purposive sampling technique to collect data required from the selected academic library staff in Kwara State. The total number of academic librarians in the selected academic libraries was 83. A census approach was used to cover all academic librarians. A self developed questionnaire titled survey questionnaire on the application of information and communication technology on academic library services (SQAICTSAL) was used to collect data. Data were analysed using percentage and frequency count to answer the research questions. Result from the study shows that most academic libraries in Kwara State are in developed stage in terms of provision of ICT facilities. Despite this fact, the study reveal that majority of the surveyed academic libraries were lack computerized security door with 0.0% and smart board with 9.6% while the availability of all other ICT facilities are rated high especially computer system, CD/DVD, internet connectivity and slide projector with 100%, CCTV camera with 95.2%, electronic database with 92.8%, library automation software with 91.5% and barcode sensor reader with 73.5%. The study concluded that provision of adequate ICT facilities in academic libraries will revolutionised effective information service delivery and the advancement in the use of ICT in day-to-day operations in academic libraries will dramatically enhanced information provision to the library users. Therefore, the concerned library authorities should provide proper support to the library professionals in the application of ICT and also provide opportunities for staff development on the use ICT through attendance to seminars, workshops and shot courses to enhance their technical skills for proper implementation and provision of effective and efficient services to the library users.
1.1 Background to the Study
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be defined as the application of computers and other technologies for easy acquisition, organisation, storage, accessibility, retrieval, and dissemination of information. ICT is one of the greatest inventions of mankind which played unprecedented role in changing the landscape of human and organisational activities around the globe including libraries. ICT is also a revolution that provides the platform and technical means of handling information and communication for the benefit of mankind. The impact has been vital in all activities of humans such as banking, health, transportation, education and libraries. ICT has immensely changed the system of traditional library services; that were hitherto laborious, repetitive and boring. Obotu, Chukwuka and Gambo (2019) regard Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the acquisition, analysis, manipulation, storage and distribution of information; and the design and provision of equipment and software for these purposes. Omosor and Nelson (2017) defined ICT as computers and other technologies that are used in the acquisition, organisation, storage and dissemination of information in libraries. No doubt, ICT is a catalyst for generating, processing, storing and disseminating information (Kwofie, Aigbavboa & Thwala, 2020).
The convergence of ICT in academic libraries has brought about the maximum utilisation of all the technologies that enable the handling of information of various formats within the library. Onuoha and Obialor (2015) argued that ICT has influenced the traditional library services in the process of identifying, acquiring, processing, organizing, storing, retrieving and dissemination information. Supporting the assertion, Anunobi and Edoka (2010) reported that user expectations from any information providing system is to make resources available directly or remotely in real time and appropriate format. Notwithstanding, library routines are the major activities done in the library through the divisions or unit, such as acquisition, processing, storing, disseminating and preservation of information resources among others. While library operations are functions librarians carry out in the library on daily basis, such as selection, ordering, classification, cataloguing, charging and discharging of information resources in the various division of the library. Omini and Esin (2019) identified library operations that could be carried out with ICT, these include; acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, serials control, selective dissemination of information services and preparation of management information. According to Sokari, Olayemi and Abba Haliru (2019) using technologies on operations peculiar to the library has improved efficiency in resource organization service delivery and dissemination of information making them effective and easy while at the same time eliminating repetitive and routine tasks in the library.
According Ogunsola and Aboyade (2015) librarians have begun to adopt new designations to reflect their new roles, i.e, information scientists, system librarians, digital librarians and information managers etc. Uzohue and Yaya (2016) observed that the common theme behind ICT application in the library is to enhance library functions and make service delivery such as selection, acquisition, arrangement, storage, retrieval, dissemination of information relevant to users. The library is the nerve centre of information activities; it is a depository of knowledge with varied and useful information in numerous formats. The core functions of all kinds of libraries are; acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, serials control, interlibrary loan, management and delivery of information in both electronic and traditional format. They assist in achieving the goals and objectives of their parent institutions through the provision of current and relevant information resources that are necessary for sustaining the learning, teaching, research, other functions and activities within the institutions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Advancement in the provision of library services through the use of ICT have dramatically changed the system of information provision (Afolabi & Abidoye, 2011). The tasks of these libraries have been simplified by the use of ICT facilities in the acquisition, organization, management, and preservation of library resources among others. Oketunji (2012) noted that the library tasks have not been fully exploited because of its numerous challenges such as power failure, inadequate funds, computer system failure, staff attitude towards use of ICT, lack of ICT policies and shortage of competent staff to manage the ICT facilities, which hinder the application of ICT in many Nigerian academic libraries. Okiy (2015) asserted that libraries, as centres for learning, teaching and research can no longer cope with information management through the use of traditional methods; where the process of acquisition, processing and organisation of information resources may take up to six months before the patrons use them. Igun and Adogbeji (2017) stated that human capacity building is critical to the success of the ICT use. Even where funds and resources are readily available, libraries are expected to upskill their staff in order to enable them to perform better. Based on the identified gaps, the study seeks to investigate the Use Of ICT In Promoting Library Resources in Kwara State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is to assess The Use Of ICT In Promoting Library Resources in Kwara State, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are to:
- Ascertain the types of ICT facilities available in selected academic libraries in Kwara State;
- Examine the extent of ICT use in the selected academic libraries in Kwara State.
- To identify operation performed with ICT in the selected academic libraries in Kwara State
- Identify the challenges of ICT use in selected academic libraries in Kwara State.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the types of ICT facilities available in selected academic libraries in Kwara State ?
- What is the extent of ICT use in the selected academic libraries in Kwara State ?
- What are the operations performed with ICT in the selected academic libraries in Kwara State ?
- What are the challenges of ICT use in selected academic libraries in Kwara State.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be significant to the following: librarians in public libraries, public library managers (Directors of State Library Services), state governments, and researchers. In specific terms the findings will be useful to librarians in public libraries in the sense that they can apply the recommendations in improving the performance of their operations and services to library users. It will also enable them be up-to-date with current practices in public librarianship, thus fully equipping them to render efficient services to library patrons.
Public library managers, who are often addressed as Directors of Library Services in their states are the link between the library services and state governments. The findings of this study will serve as a reference document or tool for the library managers in educating the state governments on the need to adequately fund public libraries in respect of providing ICT services and facilities. It will also enable public library managers to be equipped with the knowledge of state-of the-art technology in library management, thus enhancing their managerial ability in managing information and human resources. State governments are usually responsible for providing public library services to the public in their domain. The findings of the study will therefore assist state governments in formulating policies on ICT utilization and services in public libraries.
The findings will also enable them appreciate the role of ICTs in enhancing public library operations and services, and consequently enable them be more responsive to their grievances. The findings of the study will be useful to researchers in the field of librarianship and information science by allowing them identify the gap (s) that need filling. It will also afford researchers the opportunity to see the link or relationship of this study with other studies that have been conducted in the area and enable them identify the areas that need further investigation. This work is the researcher’s contribution to existing knowledge in ICT services in libraries and will serve as a useful resource material for researchers. Finally, the study may lend further support to the theory, specifically Library 2.0, by examining whether effective utilization of ICTs in libraries involves the input of both staff and users. If answered in the affirmative, this would support the theory’s tenet of being interactive and communally innovative as a means of sustaining the library’s viability.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study covered the utilization of ICTs in public libraries in Nigeria. These libraries are located in kwara states. For the purpose of this study, ICTs include computer facilities such as computers, printers, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), barcode and document scanners and power point projectors; computer software resources – storage media, online databases, CD-ROMs, library application software, and Internet connection; audio-visual media/equipment – satellite connection, digital camera, radio, television, audio tapes, video tapes, DVD/VCD and photocopier; and communication media – telephone (intercom), and GSM. The content scope covers ICT facilities that are available in public libraries in Nigeria, the perception of librarians on the benefits of utilizing ICTs in public libraries, the extent to which ICTs are utilized for the various public library operations, the extent to which users utilize ICT facilities in public libraries, the barriers to effective utilization of ICTs in public libraries, and the strategies for enhancing ICT utilization in public libraries. The population of the study included librarians, library officers and users (including adolescent and adult users). The potential beneficiaries of this work are librarians, information scientists, information managers, library managers, state governments, and all those interested in the progress and development of public libraries in Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of Study
Finance, inadequate materials and time constraint were the challenges the researchers encountered during the course of the study.
1.8 Definition Of Operational Basic Concepts
i. Library Resources:
Books and printed materials meant to convey information to the clienteles (Madu, 2003).
Professional who is shouldered with the responsibility of supervising the services and operations in the library, he/she may be a teacher who has acquired the training of a librarian (Onwubiko and Uzoigwe 2004).
Those information material that are not dependent on reaching tools rather through the sense of sights as visual resources (Jonathan, Crowther 2000).
iv. Resource Centre:
Room that houses the information materials, be it printed or non-printed materials for clienteles use (Edward, 1993).
v. Library Policy:
Guide line and standard on how the operations and services of the library should be carried out. (Uzoigwe and Onwubiko, 2004).
1.9 Organizations of the Study
The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.
The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The primary aim of this research work is to ascertain the use of ICT in promoting library resources. The chapter elucidates the summary of findings, recommendations and conclusions. As no research is ever perfect, the limitations of the study are highlighted and suggestions for further research made.
5.2 Summary of Findings
Arising from this research are the following the following findings:
- The female respondents were more than the male respondents.
- The respondent between the age range of 25-56 year and above, but the respondent between the ages of 36-45 years were highly populated compare to others.
- Majority of the respondents had OND/NCE/Diploma and ND Certificate.
- Both University libraries understudy are computerized/automated, and both of them apply Strategic Library Automation Management (SLAM) in their libraries.
- Only three divisions of the library are computerized/automated, which are readers services division, technical service division and collection development division.
- The ICT resources mostly used by respondents, were CD-ROM, online database, World Wide Web and the Internet.
- The major reason attached to the use of ICT resources by the respondent is – storage and retrieval of information.
- ICT has impacted enormously, base on its effectiveness on the Nigerian University Libraries.
- The respondents had not been assisted in the area of training and retraining by management.
- Respondents agreed that Capacity Building (DB) by way of Staff training in librarianship and ICT would go a long way in keeping librarianship profession at the top edge especially in this epoch of globalization.
The factors acting as impediments to the impact of ICT on Nigerian University Libraries were inadequate funding which has given birth to some other problems e.g. automation at infancy level, lack of training facilities, lack of competent search skill on the side of the library staff at both strategic and operational level. And some that are also caused by the government for example epileptic power supply which has become a thorn in the flesh of an average Nigerian organization or establishment which also disrupts or acts as a breakdown to computers. Also interrupted network caused by poor electronic gadgets and so many others that also hinders the positive impact of ICT on Nigerian University Libraries.
Respondents were given opportunities to air their view in regards to the areas in which Nigerian University Libraries need further improvement. Most of the respondents suggested adequate funding of Nigerian University Libraries, some of the respondents also suggested evaluation of automation facilities, system upgrade and adequate training of staff by management of the Nigerian University Libraries. So as to enable them cope with the current trend or the new technological revolution.
Despite huge benefits provided by ICT, some academic libraries are yet to be fully equipped and where they are fully equipped, the extent of some of these ICT use is low. It is obvious from the study that ICT have set a greater pace by playing a prominent role in the promotion of library and information services. While the success of most academic libraries is largely dependent on the effective and efficient use and implementation of modern ICT facilities, it is indeed important for academic libraries to fully deploy it usage. The present study indicates that most academic libraries in Kwara State are already in developed stage in terms of provision of ICT facilities, its extent of use, implementation and operation of library services. Although, the surveyed selected academic libraries have some of these facilities in place but not all were fully exploited for library operations. Some of the surveyed selected academic libraries are yet to fully exploit available ICT facilities which include CD/DVD, computerized security door, barcode sensor reader, CCTV camera and smart board. Based on these findings, the study concluded that provision of adequate ICT facilities in academic libraries in Kwara State will revolutionised effective information service delivery and the advancement in the use of ICT in day-to-day operations in libraries which will dramatically enhanced information provision to the library users.
Based on the findings, the following g recommendations were made:
- The academic libraries should acquire relevant ICT facilities to enhance the library operations and the parent institution should increase their budget to libraries in order to enable them provide and maintain their ICT facilities.
- Library authorities should intensify effort on the constant acquisition and provision of ICT facilities to libraries, especially academic libraries in Kwara State.
- The academic library authorities should provide proper support to the library professionals in the application of ICT and also provide opportunities for staff development on the use ICT through attendance to seminars, workshops and shot courses to enhance their technical skills for proper implementation and provision of effective and efficient services to the library users.
- The concerned authorities should also formulate helpful ICT policies and increase their budgets to libraries in order to enable them provide and maintain their ICT facilities.
- Proper initiative should be taken on the part of the policy makers for making stable policies for libraries for implementation ICT and its maintenance.
- There should be provision of constant power supply in academic libraries in Kwara State and others which will enhance the effective use of ICT facilities. This is the only way through which the effective usage of ICT in Nigerian academic libraries can be guaranteed.
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