Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Strategies for Enhancing the Utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-Based Library Resources in Research

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Strategies for Enhancing the Utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-Based Library Resources in Research

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is daily giving birth to new concepts, new products, and new ideas. It transforms not only industries and business but also other aspects of life activities such as educational research (ICT library resources). Numerous problems have been militating against the utilization of these ICT-based library resources. Many reasons have been attributed to the non-availability and under utilization of ICT library resources in school and public libraries. The authors have given various reasons for this; however, each reason differs based on the situation surrounding each of the libraries. The top on the list of problems plaguing ICT library resource utilization has been the issue of fund. This was noted from Kisiedu (1999) account of a survey of the situation among University Libraries in Africa, undertaken by the London-based International African Institute (IAI). The report encapsulates a number of problems such as gross under-funding, inadequate ICT infrastructure, donor-dependency, poor collections and high postage/delivery charges as some of the constraints that have militated against document delivery as an alternative to large core collections in sub-Saharan African University Libraries. The basic problem here is lack of funding because it is when funds are available that ICT infrastructure can be procured and high quality collections can be made. Funds form the basic requirements in order for the library to make available any resources before we now talk of its utilization. This is to say that lack of funds prevent collection of library resources. Going by the idea of those authors collection precedes availability and availability precedes utilization. So any problem that hinders collection will surely affect utilization. That is the reason why librarians need to face the problems of collection first, to ensure that the library resources are there in the library before thinking of utilization. The above obstacle to the use of library resources was noted by Erens (1996) when he said that inadequate library collections is a problem in the use of the libraries. He said as well that access to important journals is increasingly difficult. This has caused a decline in satisfaction with libraries.

The initiatives in Nigeria's university system are a recent development (ICT-based library resources) and are changing the culture of research, knowledge production and dissemination and this seems to pose serious challenges (such as ability to use computer in accessing, manipulating, and evaluating electronic information resources and devices) to students in their utilization of ICT-based library resources in Nigerian universities. These challenges call for an empirical study to analyze the situation for in-depth understanding of the issues at play with a view to devising appropriate measures to be taken to address observed deficiencies. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to:

(1) Find out the influence of University ownership status (Federal, State, and Private) on the extent of utilization of ICT-based library resources for postgraduate research.

(2) Ascertain the influence of area of study specifically the Faculties of Education, Social Science, and Engineering on the extent of utilization of ICT-based library resource for postgraduate research.

(3) Determine the problems associated with the utilization of ICT-based library resources for postgraduate research.

(4) Ascertain ways to enhance the utilization of ICT-based library resources for postgraduate research in the libraries.

In the light of the foregoing discussions and purpose of study, the following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

1) How does the University ownership Status (Federal, State and Private) influence the extent of utilization of ICT-based library resources for postgraduate research?

2) What is the influence of area of study represented by faculties (Faculty of Education, Social Science and Engineering) on the extent of utilization of ICT-based resources in postgraduate research? …

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