Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Access to Research Information in Cybercafés: The Challenge to Academic Libraries

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Access to Research Information in Cybercafés: The Challenge to Academic Libraries

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information is increasingly becoming a critical determinant of the success of human endeavour. It is crucial to the performance of academics who are both consumers and producers of information. Information and documentation including printed and online materials are the most important means to control and access scientific result. For the academics to have rightful information, the university libraries have a part to play. The vision, mission and strategies which are selected by universities as a guide for meeting the core function of teaching, learning, research and providing information form the foundation on which the role of the university library is established. Based on these functions, Oyewusi and Oyeboade (2009) emphasised that the primary purpose of university libraries is to support teaching, learning and research in ways consistent with, and supportive of the institution's mission and goals. In other words library resources and services should be sufficient in quality, depth, diversity and currency to support the institution curriculum. In line with this, Aino (2006) opted that university libraries are expected to provide information materials in all kinds of format, providing wider access of information in form of electronic journals, books, full text journals, CD-ROM, databases and internet. Failure to have access to information has numerous consequences like duplication of research work, frustration, low morale and low productivity in research and teaching. This lack of access to information has resulted to academics seeking for information in the cyber-café, which they feel offers similar information access services. In addition Popoola (cited in Oyewusi and Oyeboade, 2009) submits that the inability of university libraries to meet the information requirements of some library users might have force them to use personal collections including internet resources when conducting research. This implies that if the libraries neglect to match library services capabilities to users' needs, then the libraries run the risk of being marginalized and therefore users will seek alternative competitive offerings in order to satisfy their many academic needs. Broadly-Preton and Barnes (2002) was of opinion that the success of organisation depends on ability to respond to the needs of customers more effectively and organisation must avoid complacency at all cost. In order for university libraries to fulfil their objectives, there is need to improve on library services. The paper is then aimed at finding out the extent computer services that are available in the university libraries and the extent university libraries meet researchers' information needs.

Literature Review

The changes in scholarly communication associated with electronic publishing, however have led to a variety of economic policy and technological issues. The implication is that most scholarly works are created in electronic form and much of the publication process are electronic, regardless of whether the end result is a print or an online publication. Brown (1999) and Cronin (2002) believed that increased use is being made of electronic means of communication facilities such as electronic mail (e-mail), fax, electronic bulletin boards, computer conferencing, newsgroup and other telecommunication channels. Oyewusi and Oyeboade (2009) established that researchers prefer internet in Nigeria because internet provides up to date information than the library resources, also retrieval of information is faster and there are various source to consult. They are various form of electronic according to Jirjwong and Wallin (2002), which include; on-line databases, online public access catalogs (OPAC), e-conference, e-mail discussion, full- text databases, books, scholarly websites, pre-print archives and bulletin boards. Some of these sources are available in few university libraries and cyber-café in Nigeria. Oyewusi and Oyeboade also found out electronic data bases, OPAC, close circuit TV (CCTV), e-journal, microfilm and facsimile were not accessible for use in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria. …

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