Role Of Electronic Text-Based Collections With Multimedia Content

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Role Of Electronic Text-Based Collections With Multimedia Content


Abstract


The purpose of this study is to investigate e-library resources and services: improvement and innovation of access and retrieval for effective research activities in university e library in Kogi State Nigeria. A total of 134 respondents were selected from the population figure out of which the sample size was determined. The primary source of data collected was mainly the use of a structured questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on the role of electronic text-based collections with multimedia content. Data collected will be analyzed using frequency table, percentage and mean score analysis while the nonparametric statistical test (Chi-square) was used to test the formulated hypothesis using SPSS (statistical package for social sciences). The prevailing state of these elibraries in the area of information resources and service reflects in the overwhelming majority of the respondents 118 (49%) that were dissatisfied with the digital library resources and 117 respondents constituted(49%) who were dis satisfied with the online library services in universities in the region. Considering the pivotal position of the elibrary in academic research of the university, respondents acknowledged areas for improvement and innovative to enhance access to/retrieval of e’library resources.


Chapter One


Introduction

Background of the Study

University e-libraries have made research more interesting and have attained the status of intellectually organized information resource Centre and a world of knowledge at researchers’ fingertips. Adoption of university e-library is a good match towards making researchers, students, faculty members and the university more research driven. The rationale for adoption of e-libraries in universities in Nigeria is solely to provide electronic and online resources for staff and students in order to enhance educational development and provide educational resources for effective teaching, learning and research activities. Electronic library achieves its objectives by creating opportunities for the users to access and retrieve appropriate information that cater for their information needs at their “beck and call”. University e-library is responsible for providing instant access to digitized information, electronic information resources and services with the aid of computer or telecommunication technologies. Electronic library acquires, processes, stores, evaluates and disseminates information via electronic means to the audience in need of information. It can serve as a medium for achieving national and community development through provision of relevant information necessary for decision making and policy enhancement. Electronic library is a multi-disciplinary concept that shares various branches of computer science including data management, information retrieval, library science, document management, information systems, the web, image processing, and artificial intelligence. Multidisciplinary nature of electronic library engenders flexibility in the definitions which makes it difficult to have a singular definition of e-library. However, the format, form and nature of digital libraries give clearer picture of what digital library means.

Electronic library is the library where some or all of the holdings of the library are available in electronic format, and the services of the library are also made available electronically-frequently over the Internet so that users can access them remotely (Onwuchekwa and Jegede, 2011). According to Hirsh (2014), the mission of e-library is to provide both information services and resources that are capable of meeting the research, teaching and learning needs of the faculty and students. Of course, academic researchers see e-library as research Centre and intellectual energy house where knowledge, ideas and directions are generated to achieve research goals of the university.

Digital library provides library and information resources in electronic format other than print format and enhances searching of electronic collections distributed across networks, rather than merely creating electronic repositories from digitized physical materials. A digital library is a library in which collections are stored in digital formats (as opposed to print, microform, or other media) and accessible by computers. The content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely (Arora, Trivedi and Kembhavi, 2013).

Daniel in Akpoghome and Jerome (2010) opine that the potential of e-library lies in its use of electronic wide area network in the library in which the users enjoy the euphoria of being in distance and still access library collection. The foregoing reveals that e-library eliminates physical boundaries of data storage, access, retrieval and dissemination of information to users within and across the globe with the use of internet network.

The Library of Congress Collections Policy Statements Supplementary Guidelines (2008) stressed that electronic resource are any work encoded and made available for access through the use of a computer. It includes electronic data available by remote access referring to the use of electronic resources via computer networks; and direct access (fixed media) referring to the use of electronic resources via carriers (e.g. discs/disks, cassettes, cartridges) designed to be inserted into a computerized device or its auxiliary equipment.

Ugwu and Onyegiri (2013) clearly gave examples of electronic resources which include, but are not limited to: web sites, online databases, e-journals, e-books, electronic integrating resources, and physical carriers in all formats, whether free or fee-based, required to support research in the subject covered, and may be audio, visual, and/or text files. Similarly, Okore, Asogwa and Eke (2009) define electronic information resources as any information resource that is accessed via the internet including CD-ROMs. They further enlisted specific types of electronic information resources as consisting of electronic books (e-books), electronic journals (e-journal), and indexes, collections of journal articles, reference works, digital collections and databases. According to Ekere, Omekwu and Nwoha (2016), electronic information resources include World Wide Web; WIFI; search engines; online indexes; video CDs VSAT based Internet connectivity; online Library catalogue; online databases; portals; E-journals and Ebooks.

Services in e-library include the typical traditional library and information services and other global information services through computer and telecommunication system. Ekere, Omekwu and Nwoha (2016) showed the various services provided at digital library which include: online internet search services; e-mail services; online reference services; online cataloguing and classification service; customer care services; management of online databases; Subscription services; awareness and workshop services; Audio and video communication services; news groups/dialogue databases; electronic document delivery Services;

Interoperability services; Technical training in ICT for staff and users; online inter-library services; digitized finding aids such as online indexes and bibliographies and online cataloguing and classification services.

Digital library has become an integral part of academic research activities. It provides academic researchers with electronic access to national and international scholarly journals. These journals span wide areas of natural and physical sciences, social sciences and humanities, and address a long-standing need of the university community for access to scholarly publications for effective research and development activities in the universities. Okerson (2009) posits that digital library is a place of hope and adventure for every sort of searcher after knowledge. It is a place where people and ideas meet and new ideas are ignited, making possible new relationships and new possibilities.

University e-library plays prominent roles in promoting research in academic through provision of wide arrays of researchable information resources, mechanized access and retrieval information system. Having all the research articles, abstracts, thesis, dissertation, conference proceedings, textbooks, index and other reference material, students and academic staff tend to produce a better and more quality research project timely and with relative ease. Impact of digital library on research according to Trivedi (2010) includes provision of access to large amounts of information to users wherever they are and whenever they need it, access to primary information sources, support multimedia content along with text network accessibility on Intranet and Internet, user-friendly interface, hypertext links for navigation, client-server architecture.

The role of e-library to research activities impacts significantly on nation’s social and economic development. Report by World Bank (1998) states that generation and transmission of knowledge through research has long been recognized as an essential requirement for a country’s long-term growth and competitiveness as well as for creating capacity to solve social and academic problems. Research productivity of academic researchers in the institutions of higher learning is regarded as a yardstick for academic advancement. This assertion holds credence to the fact that academic institution is a centre for learning, discoveries, finding of solution to societal problems, national developments, cultural values and character molding. Therefore, the quality and number research publications of academic researcher reflect their research productiveness. Kendagor, Kosgei, Tuitoek and Chelangat (2012) opine that research activities of academic researchers in academic institutions is determined by the number and quality of articles published by the affiliated faculty. Research productivity in universities reflects the active engagements of academic researchers. Research productivity of academic researchers is the totality of publication output in terms of articles published in peer review journals, conference proceedings and book chapters aimed at contributing to the existing body of knowledge. The quality and quantity of research publications by the academic researchers in universities are essential for their performance evaluations, promotions, securing tenure or permanent appointment, research grants, status enhancement, recognition, and other benefits. Perhaps, to ensure effective research productivity in universities, academic researchers must make effective use of reliable information resources.

University e-library, according to Kesavan (2009) was adopted to increase access to resources and facilitate new research; mechanize conservation, preservation and add value to the collection of the parent organization; offer consistent access and retrieval of online resouces, give flexibility, provide enhanced capabilities for analysis and manipulation of information or data and to “save the time of the users”; support e-learning and online research; supplement traditional print resources, and integrate multimedia library resources on a common platform; to increase productivity, and provide better service to users; to make collections accessible to concurrent users; and to deliver a complete and complex round-the-clock set of aggregated information services irrespective of users’ location.

The objective of university e-library is limited if access and retrieval of e-resources and services are ineffective. However, access to and retrieval of digital information resources has remained one area of growing concern for e-librarians. According to Taylor and Francis (2013) pointed out areas in which improvement and innovation are needed to facilitate access to and retrieval of e-resources. They suggested creation and adoption of metadata standards to signal how ‘open’ content is; improved identification of free articles in hybrid journals; permanence of access and reliable archiving for free content; comprehensive indexing of quality free resources by discovery systems; provision of usage statistics for free online content, consistent across publishers; improved integration of free content with link resolvers; development of a wider range of trusted repositories linking to free content; improved user interfaces for accessing library-surfaced content; more training and support in information literacy skills for students and faculty; development of metrics for evaluating impact of content on institutional performance.

Trivedi (2010) states that improved access to e-library resources enhances research activities, promotes efficient delivery of information economically to all users; encourages cooperative efforts in research resources, computing, and communication networks; strengthens communication and collaboration between and among academic researchers and take leadership role in the generation and dissemination of knowledge.


Statement of the Problem

University e-library has tremendously advanced research activities and academic excellence in universities by providing relevant information resources to the users. E-library collects stores and organizes information in digital form; promotes efficient delivery of information economically to all users; encourages co-operative efforts in research resource; using communication networks to strengthen communication and collaboration between or among academic researchers and plays key roles in the generation and dissemination of
knowledge.

In spite the roles of electronic libraries, users of university e-library still face challenges in access and retrieval of e-resources and services which grossly affect effective research activities. If improvement and innovation for access and retrieval of e-resources and services are not put into consideration, the users of the library would be scared to patronize the e-library and that would culminate into low research output and falling standard of the university.

In university e-libraries in Kogi State, it appears that the e-resources and services have not been fully utilized as a result of access problem and retrieval difficulties which required improvement and innovation in other to sustain adequate patronage. Studies indicate that postgraduates and academic staff in universities in Kogi State utilize e-library for their research works but it is not empirically known the areas in which improvement and innovation are needed to enhance access and retrieval of research activities. It appears no study has yet been carried out on this topic and this gives rise to the present study.


Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate e-library resources and services: improvement and innovation of access and retrieval for effective research activities in university e-libraries in Kogi State Nigeria.

Specifically, the study intended to:

  1. Identify e-library resources in university e-libraries in Kogi State.
  2. Identify e-library services provided in university e-libraries Kogi State
  3. Ascertain the level of user’s satisfaction with the effectiveness of digital library resources in university e-libraries
  4. Ascertain the level of user’s satisfaction with the effectiveness of digital library services in university e-libraries in Kogi State
  5. Determine the areas for improvement and innovation to enhance access to e-library resources?
  6. Determine the areas for improvement and innovation to enhance information retrieval from e-library resources?

Research Questions

  1. What are the e-library resources in your library?
  2. What are the e-library services provided in your library?
  3. What is the level of your satisfaction with the effectiveness of e-library resources in your elibrary?
  4. What is the level of your satisfaction with the effectiveness of e-library services in your libraries?
  5. What are the areas for improvement and innovation to enhance access to e-library resources?
  6. What are the areas for improvement and innovation to enhance information retrieval from e-library environment?

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Conclusion


Digital library has come a long way in Nigeria. It is a means of assisting the librarian to render effective and efficient services to the users. 21st century libraries cannot afford to render services to users without digital contents added to the prints resources. Therefore, Nigeria libraries and information centres must cooperate in a formal consortia building; this will go a long way to reduce the burden of all participating libraries.

University e-libraries are adopted to complement university conventional libraries in providing students, faculty staff, academic researchers and members of university community with equal access to relevant information in digital formats without discrimination and at no cost to the patrons. Though many resources and services are provided, the analysis on Table V and Table VI leaves no doubts about the dissatisfactory nature of e-library resources and services of university e-libraries in Kogi State Nigerian. The prevailing state of these e-libraries in the area of information resources and services reflects in the overwhelming majority of the respondents 118 (49%) that were dissatisfied with the digital library resources and 117 respondents constituted (49%) who were dissatisfied with the digital library services in universities in Kogi State Nigeria . Considering the pivotal position of the e-library in academic research of the university, respondents acknowledged areas for improvement and innovation to enhance access to/retrieval of e-library resources. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made by the researcher:

  1. Federal Ministry of Education and other agencies should support the university libraries financially to enable them acquire e-library resources that will meet academic researchers’ information needs.
  2. The universities should enhance and upgrade the e-library resources and services to facilitate access and retrieval of information.
  3. There should be regular training of e-library users on information retrieval skills 4. There should be employment of qualified digital librarians. University e-libraries are adopted to complement university conventional libraries in providing students, faculty staff, academic researchers and members of university community with equal access to relevant information in digital formats without discrimination and at no cost to the patrons. Though many resources and services are provided, the analysis on Table V and Table VI leaves no doubts about the dissatisfactory nature of e-library resources and services of university e-libraries in Kogi State Nigerian. The prevailing state of these e-libraries in the area of information resources and services reflects in the overwhelming majority of the respondents 118 (49%) that were dissatisfied with the digital library resources and 117 respondents constituted (49%) who were dissatisfied with the digital library services in universities in Kogi State Nigeria . Considering the pivotal position of the e-library in academic research of the university, respondents acknowledged areas for improvement and innovation to enhance access to/retrieval of e-library resources. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made by the researcher:
  4. Federal Ministry of Education and other agencies should support the university libraries financially to enable them acquire e-library resources that will meet academic researchers’ information needs.
  5. The universities should enhance and upgrade the e-library resources and services to facilitate access and retrieval of information.
  6. There should be regular training of e-library users on information retrieval skills 4. There should be employment of qualified digital librarians
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