Relationship between Perceived Self-Efficacy and Information Literacy among Library and Information Science Undergraduates in a Nigerian University of Education

Article excerpt

Information Literacy is a critical input in today's learning environment and indeed for lifelong learning. Information literacy could be contingent upon an intrinsic element such as self-efficacy belief. Thus, this study investigates the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and information literacy among library and information science (LIS) undergraduates in Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu - Ode Nigeria (TASUED). Ex-post facto research design was adopted. Using total enumeration technique, data were gathered from all the 108 LIS undergraduates in TASUED using an instrument tagged Self-efficacy and Information literacy questionnaire (SILQ) with reliability values: (a = 0.78) information literacy and (a = 0.75) self-efficacy. All questionnaires were returned, however 100 (93%) were found usable. The study found out that respondents had high self-efficacy beliefs on more items on the scale; the level of information literacy was high in eight of the fifteen indicators on the scale. Perceived self-efficacy had a significant relationship with information literacy (r=0.329; p<0.01). There was no significant difference in the information literacy of LIS undergraduates based on gender (t=2.26 df=98; p<0.05). There is significant difference in perceived self-efficacy based on gender (t=0.085; df=98; p>0.05). The study recommends standardized information literacy competency training and periodic morale boosting orientation and re-orientation programs for the undergraduates.

Keywords: Perceived self-efficacy, Information literacy, Library and information science, Undergraduates, Nigeria.

Introduction

Information professionals had for long sought to understand the factors that propels an information seeker towards finding relevant information. Focus of research has been on the factors that play important roles in information use; the process of information search, retrieval and continuous learning. These investigations have assumed greater importance today because of the growing influence of information technology (IT) on information management generally.

The information environment of the 21st century thrives on some competencies that are necessary for life long learning. As such, the idea of information literacy (IL) , which emerged with the advent of information technology had grown, taken shape and strengthened to become recognized as a critical literacy for the 21st century (Bruce, 2002). Webber and Johnston (2002) define information literacy as the adoption of appropriate information behavior to obtain, through whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, together with critical awareness of the importance of wise and ethical use of information in society.

There are many definitions of information literacy, however, the American Library Association (1989) provides the world with a simple and direct conceptualization of an information literate person as someone who must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively, the needed information. Information literacy has increasingly been an area of interest to librarians and information professionals (Virkus, 2003). This has been demonstrated through a number of projects, conferences, workshops, working groups and adaptations of information literacy competency standards by professional organizations, institutions and countries (Maughan, 2001; Virkus, 2003). Information literate persons are people who have learned how to learn, how knowledge is organized, how to find information and how to use information. They are prepared for lifelong learning.

Information literacy would enable an undergraduate to perceive, encode, decode, retain and use effectively information or learning materials. Through information literacy, students become more thoughtful and versatile in seeking and using information. In recent times, information literacy has been identified as a key graduate outcome and an integral part of undergraduate curriculum model (Radomski, 2000; Wright and Mcgurk, 2000). …