Role Of The Library As An Information Resource In Globalization
Information technology is currently taking center stage and transformed the whole world into a global village with a global economy, which is increasingly dependent on the creative management and distribution of information. The enormous advantages it has in easing the delivery of information around the world. The paper discussed about Role of the libraries as information resources in globalization. It also highlights the problems faced by the Library & Information Service (LIS) sector in India and achievements over the years using modern information technologies.
1.1 Background of Study
Information technology has transformed the whole world into a global village with a global economy, which is increasingly dependent on the creative management and distribution of information. Over the past decades the world has been experiencing significant changes in which the need to acquire, utilize and share knowledge has become increasingly essential. Now, in the 21st century, the age of knowledge and information is in its higher gear. This is an age when invisible knowledge and information take the role of prime movers leading all sector. The World Bank has used metaphor “knowledge is development”. Lack of knowledge is largely responsible for under development. In a knowledge and information-oriented society, creative brains become leaders of economy and knowledge workers are in greatdemand. if knowledge can be equated with development, then the wider the knowledge gap, the broader the development gap.
1.2 Statement of Problem
In the present ever changing information environment, libraries are encountering both opportunities and challenges. Information technology has introduced many changes in the way information is identified, procured, processed and disseminated to library clientele. Libraries and information centers are witnessing new paradigm shifts. These shifts include: Furthermore, information technology has created a sense of urgency among library users and librarians themselves.
Transition of information sources and systems from paper to electronic media. Complexity in information needs of highly demanding clientele.
Increase in the cost and quality of information.
It is an accepted fact that the information technology has influenced all the components of a library system: information sources, services, human resources and users (Ramesha and Kumbar, 2004). It is more so in case of management libraries where the emphasis is more on the currency of information. The industry-oriented, case study methods and hands-on methods of imparting management education require management libraries to be ever responsive to the changing information needs of their clientele.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To find out influence of demographic characteristics of staff and students on the use of library information resources in Nigerian Universities.
- To establish influence of ICT resources’ availability and user skills on the use of library information resources in globalization.
- To assess the influence of information quality and system quality on the use of library information resources in globalization..
1.4 Research Hypothesis
- H0: There is an influence of demographic characteristics of staff and students on the use of library information resources in Nigerian Universities
- H1: Library information resource do not impact globalization.
1.5 Justification and Significance of the Study
Information Technology enhances easy information retrieval of documents. Retrieval of information from electronic resources and Internet is simpler, easier and faster in comparison to manual systems. The impact of Information technology in collection development is very prominent in library. The help of web, acquisition work has become very much simplified. Order placing, duplication checking, price checking etc are done very effectively using IT technique. Online bookshops and publisher’s websites save the time of the librarians. For the procurement of journals, order is placed in the prescribed format to the publishers through Internet. Invoices can be downloaded from the Websites that makes service faster and avoids postal delay. E- mail helps in sending reminders to the publishers, vendors and even to the borrowers of the books. IT also helps in the process of the serial control in the library.
The findings and recommendations of the study may particularly be useful to the library users (staff and students) due to reduced errors, improved speed and access, a wide range and variety of information resources and services. The Management in the institutions of higher learning will enjoy benefits such as improved productivity, reduced staff, reduced unit cost of operation, improved control, and increased range and depth of service, etc. The study will also benefit the Government and policy makers in assessing and coming up with sound strategies relating to theuse of information resources and ICT resources. Finally, the study will make significant contribution to the research literature in the field of information resources.
1.6 The Scope of the Study
The study was conducted at Lagos state University Library as a case study and the population of study was the staff and students of Lagos state University. The location is chosen due to proximity and convenience.
1.7 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study
The study was carried out in one academic library (Lagos state University Library) which was relatively young in terms of growth and therefore, the findings may not give a general conclusion of the usage of library information resources in all the academic libraries in the Nigerian private and public Universities that are widely distributed in the country. The study recommended further study to cover both public and private universities.
The researcher faced lack of cooperation and willingness to answer the questionnaires by few respondents. To alleviate this problem, the researcher involved class representatives to administer the questionnaires to students in lecture halls and personal visits to lecturers in their offices to administer the questionnaires
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1 Summary of Findings
The study sought to find out the extent of influence of various factors on the use of the digital library information resource. Accordingly, influences of demographic factors, availability of resources, and satisfaction with the digital library information resource were examined. From the descriptive statistics, University ICT centre was most popular point of access for the users. In respect of user categories, there were significant usage differences between students and staff, even though age differences did not account for any differences in the system usage. Also accounting for no differences in the usage of the system was the users attained level of education and gender. Though in most instances availability of resources were associated with increased usage with library systems usage frequency, it was also found that adequacy of resources and usage was not significant indicating that this may have been brought about by lack of access to resources especially when users were outside the campus. In respect of the relationship between user satisfaction with the library information and usage, it was found that both information quality and system quality contributed to increased use of library information resources.
The future of the automated libraries in the developed/ developing countries seems to be very promising and it can be hoped that more and more libraries will adopt automation techniques/systems in the very near future, sooner rather than later. The new generation of computers and its use in libraries is not only modernization but it has become a necessity. In coming times, computers hold good future. It is expected they would be found useful in handling information explosion and respective routine jobs in libraries economically .the remarkable growth of Internet has made significant Revolution in all the areas of science and technology. Rather than using it as a tool for searching and retrieving information, Internet has become the king of all media, by which we can access virtual information and can build a virtual library to provide timely, quality service to the users. Librarians of this digital era are in the position to change their role as arbitrary information scientists/gatekeepers and to meet the Challenges of the Internet, World Wide Web, and online access in the knowledge society. So they must enrich their knowledge with special skills of the latest IT developments, to browse, access and retrieve particular information across the global networks and to organize and manage the information by building digital libraries and by which they can provide quality-information service to the knowledge society. Library staff must be capable of working effectively in partnership with faculty members to enhance the strength of teaching and research.
Based on the conclusions above, it is recommended that:
Provision of funds on a regular basis. The mandatory 10% of the budgetaryallocation of set aside for the Library should be so disbursed and monitored for judicious utilization. If this is realized, the Library Management should make automation top on its priority list and pursued conscientiously and to a logical and beneficial end.
There should be provision for alternative power supply by having a dedicated generating plant. This is especially important because of the total dependence of the IT use on electric power supply.
Students also need to be trained on how to use these facilities towards achieving academic excellence. This may be through continuous orientation and the inclusion of such courses like: Use of computer for Information retrieval, Use of Internet/world wide web and IT applications.
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