The Impact Of Information Communication Technology On Nigeria’s Public Academic Libraries (A Case Study Of The University Uyo)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

The Impact Of Information Communication Technology On Nigeria’s Public Academic Libraries (A Case Study Of The University Uyo)


Abstract


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought unprecedented changes and transformation to academic libraries and information services. Taking into cognizance the recent trends in ICT and the Nigerian situation, this work elicits the impact of ICT in Nigerian University Libraries. The primary objectives were to ascertain the level of automation; to determine the usefulness of ICT resources; the effectiveness of ICT resources; the required skills in using ICT resources and the factors militating against the effective use of ICT. Nyon Essien library, University of Uyo and Business library, both in Akwa-ibom State of Nigeria were used as case study. The survey research design was employed and the instrument used for data collection was the Questionnaire. Simple tables and percentages were used to analyze the data collected. The research work revealed that both University Libraries are automated/computerized and that they apply Strategic Library Automation Management (SLAM); only three divisions of the libraries are computerized/automated which are Readers Services Division, Technical Services Division and Collection Development division; the major reason attached to the use of ICT resources was for information storage and retrieval; the ICT resources mostly used are CD-ROM, online database, World Wide Web and the Internet. The study also revealed that ICT has an enormous impact based on its effectiveness. Inadequate training and retraining of staff by management; inadequate funding, epileptic power supply and lack of search skills are the major factors militating against the effective use of ICT in Nigerian University libraries. Amongst others, inadequate funding, capacity building, regular power supply were recommended.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

With the invention of Information and Communication Technology, libraries now use various types of technologies to aid the services they render. Everyday new technological advances affect the way information is handled in libraries and information centers. The impacts of new technologies are felt by libraries in every aspect. Computing technology, communication technology and mass storage technology are some of the areas of continuous development that reshape the way that libraries access, retrieve, store, manipulate and disseminate information to users. The academic library has been from its inception an integral part of institutions of higher learning, rather than an appendix or adjunct.

Oyedun (2007) defines academic libraries as those libraries that are mainly found in tertiary institutions, they are established to support learning, teaching and research processes. Over the past twenty seven years, academic libraries have been affected by changes in information and communication technology. The rate of changes is still accelerating in this area. The introduction of various information technology (ICT) trends has lead to reorganization, change in work patterns, and demand for new skills, job retraining and reclassification positions. Technological advancement of the past twenty five years, such as the electronic database, online services, CD-ROMs and introduction of internet has radically transformed access to information. Rana (2009) opines that ICT holds the key to the success of modernizing information services. Applications of ICT are numerous but mainly it is used in converting the existing paper-print records in the entire process of storage, retrieval and dissemination.

ICT has impacted on every sphere of academic library activity especially in the form of the library collection development strategies, library building and consortia. ICT presents an opportunity to provide value-added information services and access to a wide variety of digital based information resources to their clients. Furthermore, academic libraries are also using modern ICTs to automate their core functions, implement efficient and effective library cooperation and resource sharing networks, implement management information systems, develop institutional repositories of digital local contents, and digital libraries: and initiate ICT based capacity building programmes for library users.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought unprecedented changes and transformation to academic library and information services, conventional LIS such as OPAC, users services, reference services, bibliographic services, current awareness services, Document delivery, interlibrary loan, Audio visual services and customer relations can be provided more efficiently and effectively using ICT, as they offer convenient time, place, cost effectiveness, faster and most-up-to-date dissemination and end users involvement in the library and information services process. The impact of ICT characterized on information services by changes in format, contents and method of production and contents and method of production and delivery of information products. Emergence of internet as the largest repository of information and knowledge, changed role of library and information science professionals from intermediary to facilitator, new tools for dissemination of information and shift from physical to virtual services environment and extinction of some conventional information services and emergence of new and innovational web based.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Considering the enormous benefits that are experienced in the impact of ICT in Nigerian University Libraries, the Nigerian academic libraries still experience some obstacles or hindrances in the effective ad efficient use of the ICT resources in the library. Today, ICT acquisition and implementation is facing a lot of problems. This research work is being conducted to expose some of the inhibiting factors that are hindering the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic Libraries. Among the militating factors hindering the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic Libraries are a lot of capital investment to buy hardwares, softwares and standby generators for the library. Lack of search skills, automation at infancy level, epileptic power supply, and technical know – how are some of the problem encountered by the academic libraries.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To ascertain the level of computerization/automation of academic libraries.
  2. To determine the usefulness of ICT resources in academic libraries.
  3. To determine the efficiency and effectiveness of ICT in academic library.
  4. To determine how skillful and knowledgeable the staff are in the use of ICT resources.
  5. To determine the challenges associated with the application of ICT in Nigerian academic libraries.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent has information and communication technology been employed in Nigerian university libraries?
  2. What is the usefulness of information and communication technology in Nigerian academic libraries?
  3. How efficient and effective is the use of ICT resources in Academic
    Libraries?
  4. Do the staff of the academic Libraries have the required knowledge and skills in using ICT resources?
  5. What are the factors militating against the application of ICT in academic libraries?

1.5 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to ascertain the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic libraries. The research work highlights the advantages or merit associated with ICT on academic libraries in Nigeria.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This research work is on the impact of ICT on Nigerian University Libraries using Nyon Essien library and business library in University of uyo (BIU) as a case study


1.7 Significance of the Study

  1. This study is expected to provide a basis for comprehensive information on information and communication technology procurement and application in Nigeria University Library.
  2. The study will established the existing gaps in the adoption of information and communication technology in the operations of academic library in achieving their statutory functions.
  3. The out-put of this study will serve as a blue-print for libraries, information managers/information scientists, researchers, lecturers, students, and teachers to chart the right course of action for the use of information and communication technology in furthering education through policy formulation and implementation.

Chapter Five


Summary of Findings, Conclusion Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

The primary aim of this research work is to ascertain the impact of ICT Nigerian University Libraries. 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:

  1. The female respondents were more than the male respondents.
  2. 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.
  3. Majority of the respondents had OND/NCE/Diploma and ND Certificate.
  4. Both University libraries understudy are computerized/automated, and both of them apply Strategic Library Automation Management (SLAM) in their libraries.
  5. Only three divisions of the library are computerized/automated, which are readers services division, technical service division and collection development division.
  6. The ICT resources mostly used by respondents, were CD-ROM, online database, World Wide Web and the Internet.
  7. The major reason attached to the use of ICT resources by the respondent is – storage and retrieval of information.
  8. ICT has impacted enormously, base on its effectiveness on the Nigerian University Libraries.
  9. The respondents had not been assisted in the area of training and retraining by management.
  10. 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.


5.3 Recommendations

Arising from the findings and conclusion are the following recommendations.

  1. More generous financial support should be made available to provide the basic ICT infrastructural facilities,
  2. Since Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has come to stay, library staff that are not computer literate should take positive steps to remedy their deficiencies so as to flow along with the reforms. By this, library and information services will become ennobled through the acquisition of adequate ICT knowledge/skill and its full application in Nigerian University Libraries or else they will become irrelevant in this era of ICT.
  3. Effective and efficient power supply supplemented with standby generators should be provided to check the menace of frequent electricity power failure. In the same vein, the government should address the problem of erratic power supply more seriously not through military order but through research and development.
  4. The assistant of some donor agencies such as Education Trust Fund (ETF) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa must be actively enlisted (OSIWA)
  5. Every division of the Nigerian academic libraries should be automated in order to facilitate and create an avenue for effective services.
  6. Short computer training and retraining programs should be organized from time-to-time to assist Librarians who do not have knowledge and computer skills. This will also aid awareness of computer potentials and capabilities.
  7. Orientation programs on the use of computer for information retrieval should be conducted and made compulsory for new entrants into the profession.
  8. Imported ICT equipments should be tax free.

5.4 Conclusion

The inevitable conclusion that the researchers have arrived at in this study is that ICT has fulfilled its promise in academic libraries, there is remarkable rise in the use of ICT, many of the libraries activities are now ICT driven. This has led to the speed on acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination operations. ICT has also help to curb the problem of information explosion in this information era.


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