Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Use of Electronic Information Sources by Postgraduate Students in Nigeria: Influencing Factors

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Use of Electronic Information Sources by Postgraduate Students in Nigeria: Influencing Factors

Article excerpt


Information is the pivot of which the survival of any society rests. It remains the major ingredient in taking decision; and assist in reducing the degree of uncertainty. Information and its use are as old as man. Indeed, without information there can't be communication. The technology embrace has led to the proliferation of electronically available information resources. These resources include CD - ROM databases, electronic mails, Online Public Access Catalogues (OPAC) and internet browsing (Oduwole et al 2003). The Internet which is the most prominent of this source has made possible access to electronic books and journals; various databases and search engines. All these resources constitute Electronic Information Sources.

An area that has been affected by the Information technology embrace is education. It has affected the way education is delivered and research conducted especially in the Universities. Agboola (2003) while discussing the ways in which Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has affected the education sector writes that "using ICT, it is possible for a researcher in his office to access the full text digital contents of local and distant libraries and databases using computers and the internet. Students as well have access to this opportunity, though majority access through the commercial cybercafes (Oduwole 2004).

The opportunity brought about by electronic information sources has in recent years exerted pressure on the educational intuitions and their libraries. The pressure on the institutions is the provision of the necessary infrastructure and the actual access to these sources. The pressure on the library and information centres is in the sourcing, acquisition and repackaging of these sources; as well as the provision of necessary guidance to end users. Fatoki (2004) submits that "academic libraries work together with other members of their institutional communities to participate, support, and achieve the educational mission of their institutions by teaching core competencies of information literacy--abilities involved in identifying need, accessing needed information, evaluating, managing and applying information, and understanding the legal, social, and ethical aspects of information use.

Libraries all over the world make available a wide variety of electronic information sources (EIS) for use by the undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and staff in their respective institutions. These EIS form an essential part of the reference services provided by the academic libraries. The cost incurred in acquiring and maintaining both the material and human resources required to provide electronic information sources are enormous. It is in view of this, that it is necessary to ensure maximum utilization of these sources. Hence, the need to appraise the factors contributing to the effective use or otherwise of the sources. In view of the foregoing, the paper looks into the factors influencing the effective use of electronic information sources among postgraduate students in Nigerian Universities.

Objectives of the Study

This study aims to achieve the following objectives:

* To determine the level of Postgraduate student's frequency of access to Electronic Information Sources

* To verify what encourage the use of Electronic Information Sources

* To ascertain level of awareness of postgraduate students of the availability of Electronic Information Sources in their institution libraries

* To identify the challenges faced in the use of Electronic Information Sources

Research Questions

* What is the postgraduate student's frequency of access to Electronic Information Sources?

* What encourages the use of Electronic Information Sources?

* What is the level of awareness of postgraduate students on the availability of EIS in their institution libraries? …

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