Library Catalogue And Accessibility Of Information Resources In Academic Libraries

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Library Catalogue And Accessibility Of Information Resources In Academic Libraries


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine library catalogue and accessibility of information resources in academic libraries using Gboko Polytechnic library as a case study. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of library staff in Gboko Polytechnic library. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 41 respondents and 35 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. The result of the findings reveals that the extent to which library catalogue are easily accessed in academic libraries is high. Furthermore, the study revealed that the library catalogue is important in the retrieval of information resources in academic libraries. And the extent to which library information resources are utilised in academic libraries is high Therefore, the library should improve its overall stock (information resources) to include multiple formats instead of limiting itself to prints and non-prints material. And digital communication is paramount to successful hosting of information in multiple channels, therefore, the library should adopt strategic planning in its acquisition policy to cover the information needs of all library users.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The purpose of the library is to enable user to have access to and to make use of it resources. There has been a shift in definitive position of what a library used to be, that is a place where collection of books is kept for users to come and use. The academic library has a responsibility to perform that duty to support academic work on campus.Alemna (2000) states that libraries century also served as repositories for information and knowledge, and further adds that they have provided the vital underpinnings for socio- economic, political and cultural development in every civilization.

Aina (2004) distinguishes a college library from academic library by saying university library has a Collection of broad spectrums of subjects’ fields a college library has a collection of limited number of subject’s field.

Library resources found in developed countries support teaching and learning functions by facilitating research and scholarship of students and lecturers but this is not the situation in most developing countries because the libraries are struggling to survive due to financial constraints.

With the age of information explosion, there is growing concern about the use of reliable information retrieval tools, such as catalogue, abstract, indexes, bibliographies and citations. The library having been described as the heart of learning community is supposed to provide a place for the students to carry out their research and advance their information retrieval skills.

Therefore, awareness of the library catalogue is the ability of the students to have communication and consciousness of its essence, its retrieval technique as well as their relevance to the information user. Students’ skills in search catalogue can be created through library tours, orientations, seminars, lectures, library staff, hand- books and use of library studies (Perera, 2005).

Although, much awareness of the retrieval tools may be created in the libraries, it does not necessarily mean its accessibility, not to speak of its use. The major importance is that they help library users to locate and retrieve the information materials they need.

Generally, these access points are the means through which library users gain access to materials available in the library. They are important in the library services, since many users are not aware of the bibliographic information materials they are looking for. Awareness and accessibility are propelling factors to effective utilization of library catalogue (Obichere and Amaechi, 2008). The need to facilitate access over the years has not been given utmost concern which has in turn placed low use of catalogue and inaccessibility of her resources by students. This will directly or indirectly have tremendous impact on library services.

To this end, library catalogue has created wider range of information resources availability of libraries in general and academic libraries in particular. Generally, they are an interface of information retrieval system which assists information searchers to access resources of libraries using several access points.

Edoka (2000) affirm that they appear to be the most extensively tools use for information search and retrieval, because of its bibliographic details and its reliance in quick access and usage. Furthermore, Ola (2011) assert that the catalogues are mostly seen in academic libraries because of their method of arrangement which could either be in the dictionary or classified order, and in the dictionary arrangement all entries that is; title, subject, author and added entries are combined and arranged in alphabetical file or sequence. While classified arrangement are filled according to the classification number or any other symbol assigned to the materials, as a representative of the subject. Library catalogue exist in different form. Like the card catalogues, sheaf catalogues, books, machine readable catalogues (MARCs) and online public access catalogues (OPACs) (Perera, 2005).

With emphasis been placed on library resources, and users been more interested in access rather than awareness, libraries are facing low use of the catalogue and lack of adequate knowledge on how best they can be used for information acquisition. These hinder effective library services and in turn affect library users. By providing adequate awareness programmes and satisfactions to users, students can understand the techniques required in information access and use.

However, with the numerous retrieval tools and improper organization of information resources, the role of librarians towards ensuring such knowledge has been too slow towards ensuring information access. It is against this reason that this seeks to explain library catalogue and accessibility of information resources in academic libraries.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Inability to use the catalogue for information access may arise due to low awareness and inability to have access through it. University libraries are responsible for creating awareness and access to students in their academic pursuit and information quest (Perera, 2005). The use of library catalogue as a major information retrieval mechanism has brought many changes, making information access easier, better and accurate. However, even with this relevance, most libraries still lack the basic skills and awareness programmes for its effective utilization of the library catalogue. This leads to difficulty in accessing information resources, chaos and inability to use the library catalogue in retrieving information resources by undergraduate students (Perera, 2005). Students often prefer to browse directly through the archive, as they felt it guaranteed quick and easy access to information resources.

Thus, every student information desire is to achieve results and satisfaction of his/her information needs. This cannot be met when access and utilization is not satisfied with library resources and services due to awareness effect. It therefore becomes pertinent to ask how awareness programmes, access points and effects of library catalogue hamper undergraduate student’s utilization of library catalogue.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this study is to examine library catalogue and accessibility of information resources in academic libraries. Specifically, this study seeks to:

  1. Determine extent library catalogue are easily accessed in academic libraries.
  2. Determine whether library catalogue is important in the retrieval of information resources in academic libraries.
  3. Determine the extent to which library information resources are utilised in academic libraries.
  4. Identify the type of library information resources used in academic libraries.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. To what extent are library catalogue easily accessed in academic libraries?
  2. Is library catalogue is important in the retrieval of information resources in academic libraries?
  3. To which extent are which library information resources utilised in academic libraries?
  4. What are the types of library information resources used in academic libraries?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be of great benefit to school managements, library authorities, students and scholars in library and information science profession.

To school managements, the findings of this study will help to properly establish and place the library in its rightful position within the set-up of the polytechnic. It will also help to identify availability or non-availability, accessibility or inaccessibility and inadequacies of the information resources in Gboko Polytechnic library with a view to alerting the authorities on its implications.

Furthermore, the findings will constitute a useful tool to library authorities with particular regards to polytechnic library development.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is focused on library catalogue and accessibility of information resources in academic libraries. Specifically, this study is focused on determining extent library catalogue are easily accessed in academic libraries, determining whether library catalogue is important in the retrieval of information resources in academic libraries, determining the extent to which library information resources are utilised in academic libraries and identifying the type of library information resources used in academic libraries.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Library:

Is a collection of sources of information and similar resources principally print and non-print professionally, made accessible to a defined community for reference, reading or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to materials, and may be physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both.

Information Resources:

Are those information bearing materials that are both in printed and electronic formats. They are the raw materials that the library acquires, catalogue, stock and make accessible to users as well as use to provide various other services. They include, textbooks, newspapers, magazines, journals, encyclopedia, internet, CD-ROM technology, diskettes, tapes/cassettes, computers, etc.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings into library catalogue and accessibility of information resources in academic libraries using Gboko Polytechnic library as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine library catalogue and accessibility of information resources in academic libraries using Gboko Polytechnic library as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at determine extent library catalogue are easily accessed in academic libraries, determine whether library catalogue is important in the retrieval of information resources in academic libraries, determine the extent to which library information resources are utilised in academic libraries, and identify the type of library information resources used in academic libraries.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 35 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are library staff in Gboko Polytechnic library.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. The extent to which library catalogue are easily accessed in academic libraries is high.
  2. The library catalogue is important in the retrieval of information resources in academic libraries.
  3. The extent to which library information resources are utilised in academic libraries is high.
  4. The types of library information resources used in academic libraries include; databases, archives, electronic books, dictionaries and encyclopedias, journals and eJournals, and publications.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. The library should improve its overall stock (information resources) to include multiple formats instead of limiting itself to prints and non-prints material.
  2. Most especially, the library should adopt technology as a major information resource, which will enable the library enjoy online information such as open access (OPAC) and online databases.
  3. Digital communication is paramount to successful hosting of information in multiple channels, therefore, the library should adopt strategic planning in its acquisition policy to cover the information needs of all library users
  4. Finally, there should be a general improvement of the library with current and modern facilities of which digital technologies are paramount.

Library Catalogue And Accessibility Of Information Resources In Academic Libraries


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