The Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigerian University Libraries

Article excerpt

Introduction

With the invention of Information and Communication Technology, libraries now use various types of technologies to aid the services they render. Everyday new technological advances affect the way information is handled in libraries and information centers. The impacts of new technologies are felt by libraries in every aspect. Computing technology, communication technology and mass storage technology are some of the areas of continuous development that reshape the way that libraries access, retrieve, store, manipulate and disseminate information to users. The academic library has been from its inception an integral part of institutions of higher learning, rather than an appendix or adjunct.

Oyedun (2007) defines academic libraries as those libraries that are mainly found in tertiary institutions, they are established to support learning, teaching and research processes. Over the past twenty seven years, academic libraries have been affected by changes in information and communication technology. The rate of changes is still accelerating in this area. The introduction of various information technology (ICT) trends has lead to reorganization, change in work patterns, and demand for new skills, job retraining and reclassification positions. Technological advancement of the past twenty five years, such as the electronic database, online services, CD-ROMs and introduction of internet has radically transformed access to information. Rana (2009) opines that ICT holds the key to the success of modernizing information services. Applications of ICT are numerous but mainly it is used in converting the existing paper-print records in the entire process of storage, retrieval and dissemination.

ICT has impacted on every sphere of academic library activity especially in the form of the library collection development strategies, library building and consortia. ICT presents an opportunity to provide value-added information services and access to a wide variety of digital based information resources to their clients. Furthermore, academic libraries are also using modern ICTs to automate their core functions, implement efficient and effective library cooperation and resource sharing networks, implement management information systems, develop institutional repositories of digital local contents, and digital libraries: and initiate ICT based capacity building programmes for library users.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought unprecedented changes and transformation to academic library and information services, conventional LIS such as OPAC, users services, reference services, bibliographic services, current awareness services, Document delivery, interlibrary loan, Audio visual services and customer relations can be provided more efficiently and effectively using ICT, as they offer convenient time, place, cost effectiveness, faster and most-up-to-date dissemination and end users involvement in the library and information services process. The impact of ICT characterized on information services by changes in format, contents and method of production and contents and method of production and delivery of information products. Emergence of internet as the largest repository of information and knowledge, changed role of library and information science professionals from intermediary to facilitator, new tools for dissemination of information and shift from physical to virtual services environment and extinction of some conventional information services and emergence of new and innovational web based.

Statement of the Problem

Considering the enormous benefits that are experienced in the impact of ICT in Nigerian University Libraries, the Nigerian academic libraries still experience some obstacles or hindrances in the effective ad efficient use of the ICT resources in the library. Today, ICT acquisition and implementation is facing a lot of problems. This research work is being conducted to expose some of the inhibiting factors that are hindering the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic Libraries. …

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