Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Assessment of New Academic Programmes in University of Ghana and Their Implication on Library Services: Case Study

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Assessment of New Academic Programmes in University of Ghana and Their Implication on Library Services: Case Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

A well-established library is essential for any academic institution. As a focal point for teaching, learning, and research, it is expected to provide standard information resources. Today; academic libraries are struggling to keep their place as the major source of inquiry in the face of emerging digital technology. Digital technology has revolutionized not only the way information is packaged, processed, stored, and disseminated, but also how users seek and access information. Academic libraries no longer restrict themselves to print services such as collection development, cataloguing and classification, circulation and reference services, current awareness, selective dissemination and other bibliographic services, but have extended their efforts to interdisciplinary concepts and computer software and hardware and telecommunication engineering and technology (Anunobi & Ifeyinwa, 2008).

As observed by Campbell (2006), "numerous creative useful services have evolve within academic libraries in the digital age: providing quality learning spaces, creating metadata, offering virtual reference services, teaching information literacy, choosing resources and managing resource licenses, collecting and digitizing archival materials, and maintaining digital repositories". Academic libraries presently are faced with not only the decision on what books and journals to acquire to satisfy faculty and students but also on who to remain relevant in the digital era, mindful of low budgets and resentment on the part of institutional administrators.

The establishment of libraries is not a new concept. For centuries, libraries have served as repositories of information and knowledge that have provided the vital underpinnings for socioeconomic, political and cultural development in any civilization. Their relationship with cultural progress has been so interdependent that it is needless to argue whether man's cultural advancement merely produces libraries as by-product (Alemna, 2000).

In order to meet the growing needs of users the library system has been greatly improved and upgraded to meet new challenges. These improvements include the introduction of electronic resources like database services and computers with Internet connectivity which enhances students' access to information. In addition, reference services have improved by Librarians anticipating the information needed by patrons and selecting them to answer these queries of patrons. The services offered by libraries have also undergone a great change. With the advent of new technologies in the field of computers and telecommunications, revolutionary changes have taken place in the field of library and information science. The shape of traditional libraries containing a large number of printed documents in the process of being transformed to paperless libraries containing a large number of digitized documents. The facilities offered by networking have not left libraries untouched. Modern libraries are not only digitized but networked also. This has led to the creation of virtual libraries that is, libraries without walls through which the user has access to information at anytime, anywhere in the world by using the modern tools of communications, such as computers and internet facilities.

Basically, there are five major types of libraries and these are academic libraries, public libraries, special libraries, school libraries and national libraries with each associated with the parent institution. For the purpose of this study, the academic library will be used to bring the study into perspective. Aina (2004) defines an academic library "as all libraries that are attached to postsecondary institutions". Notwithstanding this definition, Alemna (2000) also gave a definition in the Ghanaian context by stating that "an academic library comprises of the libraries of the country's tertiary institutions". These include libraries of tertiary institution such as universities, polytechnics, training colleges and some professional institutions like the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ghana). …

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