Use Of Information And Communication Technology In Academic Libraries In Nigeria
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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 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 Nnamdi Azikiwe 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. Nnamdi Azikiwe, 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 an 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. Chinwe Anunobi, 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 Aghagbo Nwako 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.
1.3 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 fro serials functions and are still in use. 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.
1.4 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
1.5 Research Question
The following research questions will be used to guide the study.
- What are the ICT facilities available in the university library?
- What are the reasons for using the ICT resources by the students?
- What are the inhibiting factors against the usage of ICT resources?
- Which of the ICT facilities are used mostly by the students?
- Do the university staffs make use of ICT facilities?
- Does a student feel better in making use of the ICT facilities?
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This research topic is wide both in scope and study; therefore it cannot be adequately covered. Fro this reason the researcher will limit herself to the Nnamdi Azikiwe 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 ad students make use of the digital facility as well as the challenges facing the use of ICT in the university library.
1.7 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.
1.8 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).
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