Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

E-Marketing of Library Resources and Patronage by Students in University Libraries of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

E-Marketing of Library Resources and Patronage by Students in University Libraries of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

Academic libraries exist to provide specialized information services and resources to members of the academic community where it is situated. It is indeed the primary source of information to students, faculty, staff and the entire academic community due to the fact that its resources and services satisfied the academic and curricular needs of members of the institution. It acts as vehicle for disseminating information and the related computer technologies through the best practices for utilization by its community of users and also for the exchange of information among its users. (Sumadevi, 2014).

This position has been in doubts in recent years due to the emergence of new technologies. These technologies have certainly cast suspicion on the continuous existence of the library since students and faculty and other researchers are no longer conscious of the presence of the library. The use of smartphones, laptops and other digital devices connected to the internet gives information users unlimited access to information at the comfort of homes, offices, classrooms and other convenient places. The presence of these technologies has drastically reduce the patronage of academic libraries.

Aside of the presence of emerging technologies, academic libraries in Nigeria are plagued with other problems such as explosive growth of information and documents, increase in users information needs, changing demands in research and teaching, increased cost of the documents and information materials, new techniques and concepts in handling of information etc. Xia (2009) asserts that popular internet search engines such as Google.com and Yahoo.com have altered the role of libraries by offering students easier ways to discover research materials online and are cutting the necessity of physically visiting a library. Li (2009) affirmed that computer technology and web tools have radically altered the functioning of many academic libraries and have permanently altered the professional duties and responsibilities of academic librarians. Helinsky (2008) warned that if libraries, do not act now to demonstrate how important they are and how significant a resource they constitute for the whole of society, they will just not be noticed in the ongoing information flow.

E-marketing remains the most effective antidote to remedy poor patronage and sustain library services in Nigerian academic libraries. E-marketing is the process of utilizing information technology in the conception, distribution, promotion and pricing of goods and services that satisfy individual and organizational objects. The financial times (2015) described it as an umbrella term for the marketing of products and services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (2017) viewed it as the electronic management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. In the library point of view, it is conceptualized as the process of creating awareness of the existing resources and services in the library using digital technologies. The application of digital tools such as email and web 2.0 technologies helps create awareness of the existing resources and services in the library. Aloysius, Eyo & Effiong (2017) enumerates web 2.0 technologies useful in marketing library's resources and services to include Wikis, blog (web log), Facebook, Podcasts, Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0), Instant Messaging (IM), Flickr, Twitter, Tagging, Myspace, YouTube and email. The combination of text (websites, email, Facebook) and video (YouTube and Instagram) digital tools and its implication on marketing of academic library resources will be examine in this study.

Website is a collection of related web pages, including multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. A website may be accessible via a public Internet Protocol (IP) network, such as the Internet, or a private local area network (LAN), by referencing a uniform resource locator (URL) that identifies the site. …

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