Perceived Influence Of Information Literacy Skill On Acquisition And Use Of Library Resources Among Students Of Academic Institutions
The purpose of this study is to assess the perceived influence of information literacy skill on acquisition and use of library resources among students of academic institutions. A survey research design was adopted in the study. The population of the study comprised 387 students and considering the manageable population size, all members of the population was used for this research. The major instrument used for the study was a questionnaire. Out of the 387 copies of the questionnaire administered, 376 were returned and found useable. The questionnaire return rate was 90%. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics for the objectives and multiple regression analysis for the hypothesis. From the result and findings of the data analyzed, the major findings are outlined below:The extent of information literacy skill of the students was found to be to a great extent as more than half of them were able to identify a lack of knowledge in a subject area, could identify a search topic/question and define it using simple language, identify different formats in which information may be provided, determine their search question clearly and in an appropriate language among others were identified. The student do face challenges when acquiring information literacy skill due to lack of well-equipped library for practicing information literacy, lack of access to computers, inadequate information and communication technologies/ infrastructure for teaching information literacy, lack of understanding of the concept “information literacy”, lack of seriousness of lecturers in teaching information literacy, lack of professionals trained in information literacy, lack of interest among librarians and information professionals, and absence of curriculum or well developed syllabus on information literacy were identified among others. It was recommended that students should be properly trained on how to effectively use the computers and other information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background to the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objectives of the Study
- 1.4 Research Question
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisation of the Study
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 The Concept of Information Literacy Skill
- 2.3 Concept of Use of Information Resource By Students
- 2.4 The Need for Information Literacy Skill in Tertiary Institutions
- 2.5 Access to Information Resources By Students
- 2.6 Use of Information Resources and Information Literacy Skill Of Students
- 2.7 Challenges of Information Literacy Skill Acquisition by Students
- 2.8 Theoretical Framework
- 2.8.1 Sconul Seven Pillars of Information Literacy Model
3.0 Research Methodology
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population
- 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
- 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
- 3.5 Validity of the Instrument
- 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
- 3.7 Method of Data Collection
- 3.8 Data Analysis
4.0 Results and Discussion
- 4.1 Result
- 4.2 Discussion
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background to the Study
University libraries are set up to provide the information requirements of students, staff, and others within the institution community. Oyewusi and Oyeboade, (2009) Stated that the key reason for establishing university libraries is to uphold the teaching, learning, and research in a manner reliable with, and helpful of, the institution’s mission and goals. Moreover, the library resources and services should be satisfactory in worth, depth, variety, and up to date to support the institution’s curriculum. Iyanda and Salawu (2006) defined the library as an educational and self improvement place that functions as a vital component of a university or a school. Adeoye and Popoola (2011) stated that libraries make available information resources that offer knowledge attainment, for leisure, for individual interest and lastly for inter-personal relations for every group of clientele; however in an academic environment, attention is placed basically on academic, non-academic staff, students and researchers.
Information resources/library resources on the other hand according to Popoola and Haliso (2009) are all manner of information materials which are both printed and electronic formats: Like textbooks, journals, indexes, abstracts, newspapers and magazines, reports, CD-ROM databases, internet/E-mail, video tapes/cassettes, diskettes magnetic disk, computers, micro forms etc. In time past, library resources were usually in the print format like books, journals, encyclopedias, gazetteers, atlases, newspapers, and maps, and also audiovisual materials like records, audiocassettes, videocassettes, etc. But with the adva ncement in technology, most libraries have now expanded their collections to include electronic resources such as: CD-ROM, online databases, e-books, e-journals. The change in formats of information resources and their availability, which is now in various media, calls for users of libraries to be guided and educated in their use. To educate users, most university libraries organize seminars, one on one instruction and orientation for new students in order to continually update users with knowledge on the retrieval and ethical use of information resources which is also known as information literacy.
The term Information literacy is synonymous to user education and orientation in the use of libraries. Information literacy has been expanded to deal with the needs by the concept such as information over load brought about by the speedy growth in digital technologies, and the desire of the information society for competent information patrons, and as well as meet with the prerequisites of the knowledge economy for a sensitive and well-versed labour force amongst medical practitioners (Andretta, 2005).
Bruce (2003), affirmed that information literacy is further than the capacity to read and write any type of information to the desired audience, it is also the capability to locate, access, evaluate, organize and use information to learn, solve problems and make right decisions, in any contexts, either at work, at home and even in learning situations. Information literacy skill as described by Kovalik, Jesen, Schloman and Tipton (2010) is an individual’s aptitude to recognize the need for information, and be capable of identifying, locating, evaluating, and effectively use the information for the problem. Mitchell (2009) specified that information literacy skills are displayed by ideas such as the abilities to find, retrieve, and use information, the capability to handle information, and the ability to make decisive choices about information resources.
Pejowa (2002) added that the inadequate information literacy skills possess by users of information resources in developing nations like Nigeria might continue to under use technology related resources that are provided for their use cause of low information literacy skills, there by leading to waste of resources. Boekhorst (2003) observed that every single definition or whichever way IL has been described or brought to the fore over the years can only be reduced into three concepts such as: The concept of Information Communication Technology, this refers to the competence which is required for the utilization of I CT for retrieval and dissemination of information. The information resources concept, this is the competence required to locate and make use of information by one’s self or by means of the help of intermediaries, lastly,, the information process concept of information literacy, this means the process of knowing the need for information, getting information, assessing, using and disseminating information to obtain or expand knowledge. Both the ICT and use of information sources are all included in the concept.
Several studies (Sahead & Saad (2012); Ojo and Akande (2005) corroborated with the fact that users/students of the library are often confronted with the challenge to effectively and efficiently locate, evaluate, manage and use information from a variety of sources. These challenges not only hinder the effective use of library resources but also result in time wastage for library users. Sahak and Saad (2012) investigated the usage of information resources, services and facilities among first and third – year students in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Putra Malaysia (UPM). All respondents, 205 (100%) claimed that they visited the library to study and use the Internet. Majority of the students 199 (97.1%) also regularly visited the library to do their assignments discussions with friends. Online databases, library (OPAC), project papers, full text journals, encyclopedia, thesis and statistical reports were, however, found to be less frequently used. The low rate of use allied with these resources, particularly the OPAC which is the pointer to library resources implies that respondents may possibly have poor knowledge of how to exploit these resources due to lack of information literacy skills.
In the same view, Ojo and Akande (2005) examined undergraduates’ access, usage and awareness of e-resources at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Nigeria. The study establishes the low level of electronic resources usage. It also acknowledged the lack of information retrieval skill for exploiting e-resources as a major restriction to the use of information resources. It is in line with this that Mwiges (1990) as cited in Kavulya (2003) commented that not being familiar with exploring, discovering and retrieving information from the library sources, bring about a waste of time going through wrong sources and using retrieval tools on trial and error basis. The concept of information literacy is vital to the library profession; hence, the Association of College and Research Libraries, (ACRL, 2000) provided a standard for information literacy in higher education. The standard asserts that information literate individuals should be able to: discern the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources, assimilate information into one’s knowledge base, use information effectively to achieve the particular goal, comprehend the economic, legal, and social matters that has to do with the use of information and also the access, ethical and legal use information.
On the basis of this affirmation, it is evident that users of information resources should possess information literacy skill so that they can benefit from the information resources available to them. In order to be abreast and effectively respond to an always -changing technological environment, all categories of users of information resources need not only knowledge base, but they also need techniques for exploring it, this in turn will connect to other knowledge bases and thus making practical use of it for rational decision-making or problem solving in their area of specialization; In order for students to access and use the various information resources that meet up their needs, they have to acquire information literacy skill and knowledge to use the available resources (Owusu-Ansah, 2004).
Students are acquiring university education and training for lifelong learning to serve as information providers and practitioners. Hence it is vital for students to acquire information literacy skills to enable them to discern when and why information is required, where to find it, how to evaluate, use and communicate information ethically and legally. Lifelong learning will help a student to have a profound understanding of how and where to find information, and also the ability to evaluate if that information is important or not, and how best that information can be integrated into solving the problem. Information literacy enables students’ to get used to and comprehend course content and widen their study further than the classroom, this will make students become more autonomous and will help them to take good control over their own learning activities.
Nevertheless, students need knowledge and competence to explore the information resources of the university library. Due to the importance of technology in the provision of information in the 21st Century, information literacy can no more be considered or be defined without taking into consideration technology literacy. For individuals to function in an information rich, technology infused world, it is imperative, for everyone to be ICT literate because Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy will empower and allow individual or groups and indeed students to work productively in their search for information.
Students in universities in Enugu State are, therefore, expected to possess all the attributes and competencies necessary to: determine the extent of information needed, access needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its’ sources critically, incorporate selected information into one’s intellectual capacity, use information effectively to bring about a specific purpose understand the economic, legal, and the social issues surrounding the use of information. bearing in mind the challenges associated with the lack of competencies needed to access and use library resources and the inappropriate or unethical use of library resources generally referred to as “cut and paste” which has come to characterize information use due to the ease of copying library materials.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Information literacy skill is essential in today’s information- rich environment due to the rapid growth in information resources which comes in various media and with the advancement in information communication technology (ICT). Literature has also established the importance of information literacy, as a means of empowering people in all walks of life to access, evaluate and use information effectively and efficiently to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. However, observation and research indicate that students encounter difficulty when using library resources which could be attributed to the fact that they lack search or retrieval competencies for exploiting resources, thus, making the level of use of resources very low. Likewise, information retrieval tools are often used on a trial and error basis, thereby resulting in time wasting.
No matter how rich or enormous the resources provided by the library, without the competencies to use them, these resources will end up wasted. Therefore, it is pertinent to carry out a research to investigate the information literacy skill and use of library resources by students in Universities in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to assess the perceived influence of information literacy skill on acquisition and use of library resources among students of academic institutions.
Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;
- To determine the degree of information literacy skill of students of academic institutions in Nigeria;
- To determine the methods of acquiring information literacy skills among students of academic institutions;
- To examine the influence of information literacy skills on use of library resources among students of academic institutions;
- To find out the challenges students face in acquiring information literacy skill for use of library resources in academic institutions.
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:
- What is the degree of information literacy skill of students of academic institutions in Nigeria?
- What are the methods of acquiring information literacy skills among students of academic institutions?
- What is the influence of information literacy skills on use of library resources among students of academic institutions?
- What are the challenges students face in acquiring information literacy skill for use of library resources in academic institutions?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- HO1 There is no significant influence of information literacy skill on acquisition and use of library resources among students of academic institutions
- HA1 There is a significant influence of information literacy skill on acquisition and use of library resources among students of academic institutions
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study would create awareness among students on the need to possess information literacy skill in order to increase their search efficiency thus bringing about effective and efficient use of information resources. It would further expose information providers and librarians to the challenges faced by users/students in locating and using information resources both in print and electronic format. The finding of this study would equally enable policy makers in the library to put in place machinery to assist library users with the acquisition of information literacy skills in order to reduce challenges faced in the quest for information. Finally, it would contribute to existing literature on information literacy
1.7 Scope of Study
The focus of this study was limited to the perceived influence of information literacy skill on acquisition and use of library resources among students of academic institutions. The geographical location of this study was limited to students in University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In the course of this study, the researcher encountered some limitations. There was unwillingness of respondents to fill the questionnaires. Some of the copies questionnaires were also reported missing and it was severally replaced and this affected the researcher negatively finance wise. Also, the researcher faced time constraints and had to combine the research with other academic activities and coursework. Lastly, the researcher made use of University of Nigeria, Nsukka since all the academic institutions in Enugu state could not be exhausted.
1.9 Definition of Terms
It is a storehouse of knowledge wherein all human knowledge in various formats are acquired, processed, organized, and preserved for easy retrieval and use by patrons.
These are print and non- print resources that could be sourced or accessed manually or electronically by information seekers in the library. Such as: books, journal, monographs, magazines, on-line databases, e-books, e-journals, audio books etc.
Information literacy is the ability to locate, evaluate, manage and use information resources from a variety of sources for problem solving, decision-making and research purposes
Information Literacy Skill:
This is the knowledge, competence and attitude which are applied towards recognizing information and is used to interpret, locate, access, retrieve, use and communicate information ethically and legally to a particular situation for successful learning and living.
Academic institution is an educational institution dedicated to education and research, which grants academic degrees.
1.10 Organisation of the Study
This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The purpose of this study is to assess the perceived influence of information literacy skill on acquisition and use of library resources among students of academic institutions. A survey research design was adopted in the study. The population of the study comprised 387 students and considering the manageable population size, all members of the population was used for this research. The major instrument used for the study was a questionnaire. Out of the 387 copies of the questionnaire administered, 376 were returned and found useable. The questionnaire return rate was 90%. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics for the objectives and multiple regression analysis for the hypothesis. The instrument was also subjected to a reliability test using the Cronbach’s Alpha method. This was achieved by distributing copies of the instrument to 30 students. The Cronbach’s Alpha returned a correlation coefficient result (0.94) information resources use, (0.87) extent of information literacy skill, while the overall result revealed (0.94) which indicates that the instrument is very reliable enough for the conduct of the study. The overall value for the entire instrument is 0.94, the instrument was said to have acceptable reliability coefficient and suitable for the study. From the result and findings of the data analyzed, the major findings are outlined below:
- The research findings on the demographic characteristics of the sampled students on Table 4.1 shows their distribution in terms of: name of institution, ages gender, and marital status.
- The extent of information literacy skill of the students was found to be to a great extent as more than half of them were able to identify a lack of knowledge in a subject area, could identify a search topic/question and define it using simple language, identify different formats in which information may be provided, determine their search question clearly and in an appropriate language among others were identified
- The student do face challenges when acquiring information literacy skill due to lack of well-equipped library for practicing information literacy, lack of access to computers, inadequate information and communication technologies infrastructure for teaching information literacy, lack of understanding of the concept “information literacy”, lack of seriousness of lecturers in teaching information literacy, lack of professionals trained in information literacy, lack of interest among librarians and information professionals, and absence of curriculum or well developed syllabus on information literacy were identified among others.
The main essence of information literacy skill is to equip oneself with the knowledge necessary for acquiring relevant information and for making effective, efficient and ethical use of information resources which is essential for students. Information literacy skills place a new demand on students in terms of team-based learning, medical practice and choice making. The researcher therefore concludes that more attention should be given to information literacy by ensuring that students acquire relevant competencies which are essential to use information resources in the library which will enhance evidence based practice; without which information may seem a bit difficult for students and this will affect the use of resources.
Based on the findings of this study, the following are recommended;
- The University authority should provide state of the art infrastructures/equipment and all necessary things like ICT. The institutions should work with lecturers and professionals to adopt teaching methods that will be fascinating to students.
- Students should be properly trained on how to effectively use the computers and other information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure
- Students should be given access to computers in order to practice information literacy with the aid of the infrastructures provided by the institutions and not just oral teaching alone so that students will further understand the concept of IL.
- The university authority, library management and lectures should include information literacy as a stand – alone course in the university curriculum whereby student can be taught and trained extensively on the concept instead of being introduced early in the students life at university during one hour in a week library orientation programme.
- The university authority and library management should build up the interest of librarians and information professionals by integrating them into the IL programme; make them tutors/facilitators and also provide the necessary tools/materials for them to work with.
- Lastly, the university authority and /library staff should ensure that students are trained on how to effectively use information resources (print and e-resources) in the library; they should be trained in the basics of using the computer and other related technological infrastructure to further improve their competency level.
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