Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Emergence of Digital Libraries Services in Northwest Nigerian Universities: Challenges and Prospects

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Emergence of Digital Libraries Services in Northwest Nigerian Universities: Challenges and Prospects

Article excerpt


Digital libraries as occasioned by the information and communication technology (ICT) revolution has given Nigeria a chance to stamp and showcase her authority in knowledge and subsequently contribute as never before in the national development through university education. Hence, university education in Nigeria began with the establishment of the University College Ibadan in 1948 during British Colonia masters. Immediately after the Nigerian Independence celebration in 1960, four additional universities were established. Thus: University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. These were referred to as the first generation universities in Nigeria with the aimed to lead in man-power development and advancement in educational development of the country. However, in the 1970s, seven more additional universities were founded, and they were referred to, as the second generation universities, which among them were: Usmanu Danfio University Sokoto and Bayero University, Kano. these were found in the North West Zone. These universities greatly help bringing university education closer to the citizens of the country, Ogunsola (2005).The third generation universities came on board in the 1980s with the establishment of Federal University of Technologies and Agricultures. None was established in the northwest zone.

For the purpose of the high quest for education and also the need to increase man power development in Nigeria state own universities began to spring up by individual states in Nigeria. In line with this, all states in the Northwest zone of Nigeria (seven states) established their own state universities which marked the fourth generation Universities. In 1990s the law for the establishment of private universities was legalized and led to the establishment of private universities across the nation which the zone was not an exception. Today, there are over one hundred accreditated public and private universities in Nigeria. On record, sixteen of them are from the Northwest zone of the country. All aim at working towards the educational advancement and human resources development of the nation, (NUC, 2014).

Generally, the university library objective is to support academic activities in their university community. To achieve this, relevant resources of all kind need to be put in place to satisfy the learning, teaching and research needs of users. According to Ani and Edem (2012), the resources utilized in the university libraries were mostly in printed format made up of books, journals, magazines, dissertations/theses and other local materials.

However, in the recent development, libraries experience new technological transformation identified as the electronic information era been powered by Information and Communication Technologies (I.C.T.) with its capabilities in promoting and improving information services in all facer of live led to the establishment of digital libraries in Nigerian universities. In line with this development, all universities in the Northwest zone also adopted the trend of setting up the digital libraries. From the foregoing, this paper seeks to explore the emergence of the digital libraries in Nigerian Universities in Northwest Zone and also identify challenges and prospect of digital libraries using documentary and secondary data.


There is no single definition for digital libraries. The definition evolves as research progresses. Within the context of libraries, digital libraries may be viewed as technical services performed electronically with an entirely electronic application. The e-libraries are "a set of electronic resources and associated technical capabilities" and that are designed to serve specific users community, (Buckland's electronic library, 2012). Trivedi (2010) defined digital library as "a library in which collections resources are stored in digital formats (as opposed to print, microform, or other media) and accessible by computers. …

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