Computer Skill among Librarians in Academic Libraries in Ondo and Ekiti States, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Globalization is a concept developed during the 1970s. The concept brings countries into a global economic and industrial market in which they can compete freely without economic or legal restrictions. Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of the concept, it has engulfed the whole world. Ogunmodede (2006) contends that for many countries and people, "globalization is a propelling dream, a momentous vision that must be realized in the new millennium vision or never ... from all indications, it seems to be catching fire and its fire is already burning deep leaving some positive as well as overwhelming devastating effects in developing countries". This paper considers one of the most profound positive effects of globalization, and the challenges it poses to librarians, particularly in use of computers and the competence it requires.

This paper considers one of the most profound positive effects of globalization, and the implications and challenges posed to librarians and their profession in the use of computers and the competence it requires.

ICT has catapulted the world into an information-driven society that relies on ideas and information. The exponential growth in ICT has caused socio-cultural, political, educational, and economic change. ICT has engendered a new approach to work and service delivery, and is a technological devlopment that has come changed work and job expectations (Salisu 2002).

ICT has collapsed barriers and promoted fast communication and interactions across boundaries. Hence, the need for a sound mind with the ability to produce sound responses under pressure is essential to meet the daily responsibilities and challenges of life. The need to meet these basic challenges and responsibilities has also informed the invention and the use of information technologies.

Prominent among the several offshoots of information technologies is the computer. It is an all embracing mechanism. It is also an electronic device that is capable of accepting storing, retrieving and processing data based on predefined instructions (Owoyemi 2001).

Prominent among the several offshoots of information technologies is the computer. It is an all embracing mechanism that is capable of accepting storing, retrieving and processing data based on predefined instructions (Owoyemi 2001). Before the advent of computer technology at the close of the 20 th century, computers were rare in libraries. The basic functions of librarians were carried out manually. The computer is capable of quickly accomplishing a large volume of what can be done manually. The computer has become a basic tool for generating and processing information.

Nwachuku (2005) contends that using computers to make information accessible and consumable engages diverse skills needed by information professionals, especially librarians. He goes on to say that computer skills for academic librarians will mean the use of computers for giving service quickly and inexpensively. Computers have enhanced efficiency and librarians must acquire relevant computer skill and competence to make their profession and roles relevant in this information-driven age.

Literature Review

The advent of ICT and the ready availability of information have redefine librarians' roles and duties. Griffiths and King (1985) contend that three major factors have led to the information age: new technologies, social adaptation to information availability and use, and the emergence of a new information profession.

The appearance of ICT on the global scene has caused a revolution in libraries and all service providing industries. ICT has changed the ways and patterns in which information and other services are dispensed. Nwachukwu (2005) supports this by observing that with all the changes in information and the processes of access, storage, transmission, and reproduction, and librarians and libraries must adapt to new roles and skills to cope with change. …