The Use Of Information Technology In University Library Services In Nigeria
1.1 Background of the Study
Information is extremely crucial in our life. Since the mid-twentieth century, the importance of information has grown immensely as a result of societal progress and rapid advancements in science and technology. Furthermore, Trostnikov (1970) observed a rapid increase of a mass of diverse information, which he referred to as “information explosion.” As a result of the information explosion, the necessity for scientific approaches to information and explanation of its most distinguishing qualities has resulted in two major shifts in the understanding of the idea of information. Initially, it was expanded to incorporate information sharing not just between humans but also between machines, as well as signal communication in the animal and plant worlds, according to (Ogunsola, 2004). The rapid speed of change brought about by these emergent technologies has had a significant impact on how people live, work, and play throughout the world. It is clear that this new technological trend is challenging the old methods of teaching and learning, as well as the way education is managed.
University libraries in Nigeria began as important academic aspects of universities, supporting teaching, learning, research, and personal development, with the foundation of the first educational institution (university of Ibadan and its library) in 1948. As a result, there are as many university libraries as universities. With the increased reliance on ICT, the library’s important purpose is to enable unrestricted access to information. Libraries are increasingly playing an important part in the implementation and administration of a country’s information society programs. Based on information collection, organization, storage, and retrieval, the university library serves as the hub of learning and research activities at academic institutions.
The success with which a library is able to fulfill and satisfy users’ information demands determines its efficacy as an educational instrument. The twenty-first century is recognized as the age of the information revolution. Advances in information technology have resulted in far-reaching innovations in the higher education industry, such as the use of digital information in learning. Libraries and information centers in Nigeria are not only supplied with conventional format materials, but also with electronic formats: they provide users with a diverse range of information resources.
Prior to the advent of ICT, the operation of libraries in Nigeria was laborious and time-consuming, with little possibility for flexibility. However, with the advent of ICT in Nigeria, particularly at higher educational institutions, there is simultaneous access for many users at the same time, which aids in closing the global knowledge gap and creating a brighter future for students (Ogunsola, 2004). The distinctiveness of information services generated in libraries has been effectively modified by information technology. ICT has resulted in enormous changes in libraries during the last two decades. The advancement of technology has had a great influence on the extension of knowledge and the unleashing of human talent. The influence is abundantly obvious in information resources, services, and people in libraries.
The word “Information Technology” (IT) has been defined in a variety of ways. Marshall (1984) described it as the integration of computing and telecommunications for the purpose of information handling; the application of technology to information handling, including generation, storage, processing, retrieval, and dissemination. It is also involved with the gathering, processing, storage, and distribution of textual, numerical, visual, and vocal information. Information and communication technology, commonly abbreviated as (ICT), is a broad term for information technology (IT). (Khan, 2016) defined ICT as “a broad-based term that encompasses the gathering (acquisition), organization (packaging), storage, and retrieval (dissemination) of information that can be in textual or numerical (books, documents), pictorial and vocal forms (audio-visual), or a combination of all the above (multi-media), using a combination of computers and telecommunications telephony distance learning.”
It is clear from the preceding that IT in libraries includes all electronic infrastructure and equipment used by libraries to improve and deliver effective services. In general, such facilities comprise of hardware, software, and communication linkages connecting service outlets of different libraries to promote the sharing of shared resources, particularly library networks. According to Onyeneke, (2007)., today’s library must do more than only keep and preserve materials; it must also design methods enabling the contents of such documents to be quickly and effectively communicated for use. Alison, (2007) asserted that there is a fast increase of a mass of diverse information, which has been dubbed the “information explosion.” As a result, there was a need for a scientific approach to information and the elucidation of its characteristic properties, which resulted in two major changes in the interpretation of the concept of information.
One, it was expanded to include information exchange not only between humans but also between machines. According to Onyeneke, (2007)., the rate of change brought about by new technologies has had a significant impact on the world. The application of ICT in Nigeria academic library is justified in that it offers access to learning materials, information and knowledge until now unavailable by reason of distance technology.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There have been several research and opinions on the use of ICT facilities for ordinary library operations. ICT facilities at Nigerian university libraries were mostly employed for serials purposes and are still in use. The usage of ICT in the workplace to achieve desired goals is proportional to the level of ICT literacy. As a result, this has an impact on ICT proficiency and work performance efficiency. Many research on librarians’ information literacy have been conducted. The most notable are (Aina, 2004) on ICT literacy among librarians in Nigerian institutions and (Alhasan, and Adepoju, 2007) on ICT literacy among Engineering professors in India. All of these attempted to determine the degree of ICT literacy without taking into account the impact of ICT facility availability and ICT literacy acquisition on its application for use in their professional day-to-day operations.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of this study is to examine the the Use Of Information Technology In University Library Services in Nigeria.
Other objectives of this study are:
- To ascertain the benefits in the use of information Technology in University Library Services in Nigeria.
- To find out the extent of use of information Technology in University Library Services in Nigeria.
- To find out the problems in the use of information Technology in University Library Services in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are the questions this research will answer.
- What are the benefits gotten through the use of information Technology in University Library Services in Nigeria.
- To what extent is the use of information Technology in University Library Services in Nigeria?
- What are the problems encountered in the use of information Technology in University Library Services in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will significantly help university Libraries administrators to know the usefulness of information Technology in academic library. It will also be beneficial to University administrators thus they will help equip their school libraries with the latest information technology. Further more, it will be beneficial to the students as it will let them know how effective information technology is in the Library.
Finally, this research will serve as existing material for further research and future reference.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will focus on the Use Of Information Technology In University Library Services in Nigeria. It will also focus on the benefits and challenges Of Information Technology In University Library. This study will be using librarians and students of University of Uyo as enrolled participants.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
This study will be limited to the Use Of Information Technology In University Library Services in Nigeria. This study will also be limited to the impacts, benefits and challenges Of Information Technology In University Library. It will not be offering solutions to the problems of Information Technology encountered by university libraries.
Finally, this study will be limited to the university of Uyo and as such the findings of this study cannot be used anywhere else unless further research is carried out.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The study or use of systems (especially computers and telecommunications) for storing, retrieving, and sending information.
A high-level educational institution in which students study for degrees and academic research is done
Resources and activities provided by libraries to address information needs of users.
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