Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Literacy Skills and Awareness of Electronic Information Resources as Influencing Factors of Their Use by Postgraduate Students in Two Universities in South-West Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Literacy Skills and Awareness of Electronic Information Resources as Influencing Factors of Their Use by Postgraduate Students in Two Universities in South-West Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information is the bedrock to the development of any society. It is the major factor applied in decision making and helps to reduce the level of uncertainty. The idea and application of technology in handling of information which is also known as information technology, came into being in the Mid-twentieth, 20th century as a result of the proliferation of print information resources also known as information explosion. This gave rise to the invention of electronic information resources such as computers, CD-ROM databases, the internet, electronic mails, Online Access Public Catalogue etc to reduce the bulkiness of print information resources as well as proper handling of information for accessibility.

One of the areas that has been affected with this trend of information management is the area of education, in the sense that it facilitates teaching, learning, training of manpower and research in at various levels of formal educational institutions most especially the higher institutions. Agboola (2003) noted that using Information and Communications Technology (ICT), it is possible for researcher in his office to access the full text digital contents of local libraries and databases using computers and the internet. This has given room for the libraries and information centres attached to these institutions of learning to play significant roles in the management of information within and beyond the environment they operate, whereby reducing the use of print resources to satisfy the information needs and enabling them to integrate the use of print resources with the acquisition and utilization of electronic information resources such as CD-ROM databases, E-books, electronic journals, locally stored databases(OPAC), electronic mails and the internet to meet the information needs of their user.

Information literacy is a competence, a set of skills possessed by an individual to interact with information through of the use information resources in making rational decision. Association of College and Research libraries (2002) reveal that information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information searching, and evaluation. It is a vital ability for the modern information-intensive world, enabling personal, economic, social and cultural development.

In the Nigerian university environment, the coming of electronic information resources and their awareness have tremendously changed information handling and management. Ani and Ahiauzu(2008) assert that electronic information resources have gradually become a major resource in every university community. (Ehikamenor, 2003, Jagboro, 2003: Shuling 2006; Tsakonas and Papatheodorou, 2006) agree that electronic information resources are provided in electronic form and these include CD-ROM database, online databases, online journals, OPACs, internet and other computer-based electronic networks.

Statement of the problem

The world is a global village, because the use of the internet and other electronic information resources to search for information which contributes to knowledge is highly becoming more relevant to the world and it has no limitation to time, accessibility and location. Such purpose cannot be accomplished without acquiring good skills in the ability to search, locate, identify, retrieve, evaluate and use information.

It has been observed that some postgraduate students in Nigerian Universities have poor information literacy skills and awareness of electronic information resources which could be due to inadequate end user training, poor search skills, mass irrelevant information, slow internet connectivity, the need to filter the results from the search of information, failure to find information, inaccessibility of some information sources etc. This therefore raises a question of what could be done to assist postgraduate students with these challenges. …

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