Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Use and Impact of Electronic Resources at the University of Lagos

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Use and Impact of Electronic Resources at the University of Lagos

Article excerpt

Introduction

The twentieth century was shaped by sweeping changes in communication technologies. The emergence and use of information technology is the century's most significant development affecting scholarly communication. The application of computers to information processing has brought several products and services to the scenes. Consequently, the academic community has undergone tremendous changes during these years, assuming new dimensions influenced by technology-driven applications. Libraries have witnessed a great metamorphosis in recent years both in their collection development and in their service structures. Thus Libraries are using technology to improve the management of scholarly information to strengthen and speed access to scholarly information not held locally. Over the last several years a significant transformation has been noticed in collection development policies and practices. Print medium is increasingly giving way to the electronic form of materials (Sharma, 2009). Ani (2008) quoting Tsakonas and Papatheodorou (2006), states that "the transition from print to electronic medium apart from resulting in a growth of electronic information, has provided users with new tools and applications for information seeking and retrieval. Electronic resources are invaluable research tools that complement the print-based resources in a traditional library setting.

Commenting on the advantages of electronic resources, Dadzie (2007) writes that electronic resources are invaluable research tools that complement the print--based resources in a traditional library setting. Their advantages, according to her include: access to information that might be restricted to the user due to geographical location or finances, access to more current information, and provision of extensive links to additional resources related contents. This rapid emergence and development of electronic information technologies therefore makes it possible to envision radically different ways of organizing the collections and services the library has traditionally provided. While libraries approach a crisis point in financing collection development, these new technologies offer possible ways to mitigate costs and revolutionize ways to access information. Navjyoyi (2007) also finds that speedy publication and availability on the desktop are the key advantages that attract research scholars.

Electronic Resources in Nigerian Academic Institutions

In recent years, there have been a number of changes in the higher education sector in Nigeria and in particular, academic institutions.

The emergence of electronic information resources has tremendously transformed information--handling and management in Nigerian academic environments, and University libraries in particular (Ani and Ahiauzu, (2008). These dramatic changes include the way in which information is provided to the University Communities. A number of electronic resources initiatives have been put in place in Nigeria to assist in the development training and use of electronic resources in a number of academic institutions among who are the Morlenson Center for International Library Programs acting on behalf of MacArthur Foundation to support some selected grantee university libraries; The Electronic Information for libraries Network (eiFL.Net) and MTN Foundation. Their fundamental objective has been to create interfaces with the global knowledge systems.

These initiatives notwithstanding, some inadequacies in the development provision and utilization of electronic resources had been identified in a number of academic institutions. A number of studies have been made with a view to proffering solutions to problems encountered in the development of electronic information resources. However, little or no efforts have been recorded in the identification of influence and impact of electronic resources on productivity of lecturers and student in University of Lagos. …

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