Use Of Information And Communication Technology In Academic Libraries In Nigeria
Academic libraries play a prominent role in providing information services in various forms to researchers, scientist, policy makers, planners etc. a well organized academic library should have ICT to assist both patrons and information professionals in the libraries. This research work highlights the use and problems of I.C.T in Nigeria academic libraries particular interest on the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka. ICT facilitates access to electronic information which has become invaluable and complementing traditional library resources. This study describes what an ICT is all about. It identifies the role of ICT in academic libraries to improve the standard of information in the country. This research work also describes the types of ICTs found in academic libraries and the problems facing the use of ICT and also suggest strategies on how to overcome ICT problems in Academic Libraries.
1.1 Background of the Study
Layman tends to equate the application of ICT in any profession to being online, meaning connected to the internet. Although the internet is an integral part of the ICT, it is not all there is to it. This paper seeks to investigate the many opportunities for the application of ICT in Nigerian academic libraries. It is hoped that the use of ICT in academic libraries will assist both the patrons and the library and information professionals in the libraries.
However, what is the ICT? ICT is an acronym for information and communication technology but beyond this acronym, “there is not a universally accepted definition of ICT why? Because the concepts, methods and applications involved in ICT are constantly evolving on an almost daily basis. It’s difficult to keep up with the changes they happen so fast. A good way to think about ICT is to consider all the uses of digital technology that already exist to help individuals, businesses and organizations use information. ICT covers any product that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive information electronically in a digital form. For example personal computer, digital television, email, robots (wwwtutor24.net.2006)
Also ICT is an umbrella that includes any communication device or application encompassing radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them such as video conferencing and distance learning.
From these definitions, some of the application of ICT has become clear such as video conferencing and distance learning, both of which can be facilitated by the academic library. Other applications of the ICT specific to libraries could include access to online resources on the internet such as e-journals, e-books and e-magazines, e-publishing, using CD-ROM for literature searches, access to local or network data bases on LAN (local area network) or WAN (wide area network). The opportunities for the application of the ICT in an academic library especially in a developing nation like Nigeria seem endless.
The application or sue of ICT in Nigeria academic library is justified in that it provides access to learning resources, information and knowledge until now inaccessible by reason of distance technology.
However, since according to the European commission the importance of ICT lies in the technology itself in its ability to create greater access to information and communication.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
There are copious studies and opinion on the use of ICT facilities for library functions in general. In Nigerian university libraries, ICT facilities were primarily used for serials functions and are still in use. The use of ICT in achievement of desired goals in workplace is proportional to the ICT literacy possessed. Therefore, this affects the proficiency of ICT use and efficiency of job performance. Many studies have been carried out on information literacy among librarians. The most outstanding ones are that of Adeyoyin (2005) on ICT literacy among librariansin Nigerian universities and the one in India by Babu, Vinayagamorthy and Gopalakrishnan (2007) on ICT literacy among Engineering faculty. All these tried to find out the level of ICT literacy without determining the effect of ICT facilities availability and ICT literacy acquisition on its application for utilization in their professional day-to-day activities.
However not much has be found in literature as regards the areas of functions they are used and the facilities is use. Hence the survey tends to address this gap by identifying the extent of ICT use in the academic libraries operations.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To find out the level of existence of ICT in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library.
- To ascertain the extent of use of ICT in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library.
- To find out the level of utilization of ICT in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library
- To show the advantages and benefits of the use of iCT in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library
- To identify the problems encountered in the use of ICT in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following null and alternate hypotheses will be used to guide the study.
- H0: there are no ICT facilities available in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library.
H1: there are ICT facilities available in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library.
- H0: the university staffs does not make use of ICT facilities in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library.
H2: the university staffs make use of ICT facilities in Nnamdi Azikiwe university library.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The result of this survey will help academic libraries which do not apply ICT facilities in their library to know their importance in the use of ICT in the academic library. And the areas of the library in which ICT can be used, and the ICT they can use, with that they can strategize on their use.
For libraries using ICT facilities for various operations, they will be acquainted with other areas ICT can be employed in the Library operation and the institutions applying such. Donor agencies will also be aware of the state of ICT facilities application in Nigerian university library operation and decide on the areas to assist such institutions.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This research topic is wide both in scope and study; therefore it cannot be adequately covered. For this reason the researcher will limit herself to the NnamdiAzikiwe University digital library and the librarians, staffs, and students within the institution to gather their views on the use of ICT in academic library in Nigeria.
The scope of study with advantage and befits on the use of ICT in their academic library. The researcher is also going to find out how staff and students make use of the digital facility as well as the challenges facing the use of ICT in the university library. In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some limitations which limited the scope of the study;
In most cases the staffs of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and the librarians, staffs, and students often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
The oxford advance learner’s dictionary 7th edition defines information as facts or details about somebody or something.
The oxford advance learners dictionary 7th edition defines communication as the activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings or of giving people information.
Oxford advance learners dictionary 7th edition defines technology as scientific knowledge used in practical ways in industry for example in designing new machines.
Academic libraries are libraries attached to tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnic institutions, colleges of education, colleges of agricultures, colleges of technology and also research institutes (Apkorhonour, 2005).
1.8 Historical Background of the Case Study Nnambdi Azikiwe University Awka
Following the split of the former Anambra state into two states, Anambra and Enugu states the Awka and Nnewe campuses of the former Anambra state university of etchnology, were by the Anambra state Edict No 5 of November 26, 1991 constituted into NnamdiAzikiwe University. The Edict up hold Awka and Nwewi as campuses of the university.
The university was taken over by the federal government with effect from September 1, (1992, by Decree No 34 of July 15, 1992).
The RT. Hon. Dr. NnamdiAzikiwe, the Owelle of Onitsha after whom the university is named was in the vanguard of the fight against colonialism in Africa and was the doyen of the independence struggle in Nigeria. Believing in the use of education was a veritable tool in the liberation struggle and in the enthronement of the dignity of man. He founded the autonomous Nigerian university. His choice of a name for that university the University of Nigeria, is an eloquent testimony to his belief in a commitment to Nigerian unity.
The main campus of the university is located at Awka sited thirty-five kilometers to the South-West of Awka and the second campus is at Nnewi.
The university has a population of twenty-four thousand seven hundred and six (24,706) for the full-time and twelve thousand, four hundred and seventy-six (12,476) students for the part-time programmes during the 2004/2005 academic year.
The UNIZIK Digital Library
“A GIGANTIC VISION”
The UNIZIK Digital library has been described as the foremost and biggest on-line library in the country. UNIZIK bulletin crew was informed of this fact when they visited the Digital Librarian, Dr. ChinweAnunobi, at her office on the 8th of February 2011.
The Digital library is a unit of the university library. The library is located at the centre of the university called Prof. Festus AghagboNwako library.
The purpose of the visit was to find out how staff and students make use of the digital facility as well as the challenges facing it. Dr. Anunobi, who called the digital outfit “a gigantic vision” spoke volumes about the indispensable position of the library to modern scholarship and research in the life of any university that must reckon with the global challenges of the 21st century.
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 (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
- Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods 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.
Summary Conclusion and Recommendation
It is pertinent to note that this research was aimed at finding out application of ICT in libraries in Nigerian universities, thus the topic “use of information and communication technology in academic libraries in Nigeria.
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 information and communication technology in academic libraries in Nigeria.
The result of this study reveals that the adoption of ICT has improved the quality of undergraduates in the Nigerians universities. The finding is in line with the response by Rana’s (2009) opinion that ICT holds the key to the success of modernizing information services. This result is in line with the result of the study conducted by Rehman et al., 2011 where it was revealed that users have good perception and satisfaction with the services at the digital reference section of the Universities in Nigeria. Despite the problems highlighted above against the use of ICT to the Nigerian university libraries, it is obvious that the environment in which these libraries operate is open to rapid changes; hence, introduction of new technologies can accelerate almost all the sphere of human endeavours. Information management is now vital not only to progress but even to survival. Nigerian libraries need the technology to develop. The earlier it is understood by the populace the better as this stands to remove the barriers of free flow of information. It is quite possible to succeed after a false start provided the right lessons are learnt and there is a will to make a success of it all. The prospects of application of information telecommunication technology in the libraries are very bright if there is a strong institutional support for the project and regular finance provisions. Added to this is the contribution of a committed and dedicated staff who are prepared to work and take instruction.
This study is an affirmation that librarians in academic libraries in Nigeria lacks the facilities of information and communication technologies in their libraries. There is a general positive feedback that technologies make their work easier, with increase speed of accomplishment and accuracy. This is in consonance with Ennis (2005). However, Librarians believed that technology had added more responsibility to their jobs. There is great enthusiasm amongst librarians with technology as they looked forward to learning new technologies. Inadequate staff, inadequate training and lack of equipment emerged as items causing librarian’s stress in the workplace. As affirmed by the study, insufficient professional library staff in the workplace is a major source of stress. This will in no doubt affect overall work output. Dearth of technical staff is a cause higher stress levels. The availability of qualified librarians (system specialist and trouble shooters) is crucial to effective library and information service delivery inacademic libraries in recent times. Lack of equipment such as computers, scanners, printers, barcode readers etc is a major cause of stress; when these equipments are absent, efficient services are hampered thereby causing frustration and disenchantment among the workforce. Notwithstanding these inadequacies, technology has brought about great efficiency in library and information service delivery.
This study therefore suggest and recommends the following; as a means of enhancing and facilitating maximum use of ICT in library service and operations.
- Recruitment and retention of technical support staff in academic libraries. The availability of technical staff helps to maximize systems accessibility and efficiency
- Provision of relevant equipment for library and information service delivery. Inadequate workstation and printers to meet patron needs causes discontentment for the users, thereby creating tension for librarians. Academic libraries must take practical measures to constantly provide and upgrade equipment and software.
- Library management should design and implement strategies for training and retraining of librarians in order to keep them abreast with relevant skills and abilities necessary for effective and efficient library and information service delivery in Nigeria.
- There must be adequate planning and survey by any library before the introduction of ICT in order to forestall frequent change in the use of the hardware and software;
- Libraries in their zeal to provide qualitative service should open an electronic library where users and library community who do not have the knowledge of the use of ICT can be trained so as to develop the skill on how to exploit the information available for them in the ICT media.
- Adequate funds should be provided by the government and all stakeholders in education sector. This is necessary to enable libraries acquire and procure all ICT equipment that can improve the quality of their services.
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