Application of Information Technology to Library Services at the Federal University of Technology, Akure Library, Ondo State, Nigeria

By Issa, Abdulwahab Olanrewaju; Ayodele, Agun Emmanuel et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, October 2011 | Go to article overview

Application of Information Technology to Library Services at the Federal University of Technology, Akure Library, Ondo State, Nigeria


Issa, Abdulwahab Olanrewaju, Ayodele, Agun Emmanuel, Abubakar, Usman, Aliyu, Mulikat Bola, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

The term "Information Technology" (IT) has been variously defined. Marshall (1984) defined it as the coming together of computing and telecommunications for the purpose of handling information; the application of technologies to information handling; including generation, storage, processing, retrieval and dissemination. It is also concerned with the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information-textual, numerical, pictorial and vocal. It is a broad-based term comprising the gathering (acquisition), organization (packaging), storage and retrieval (dissemination) of information that can be in textual or numerical (books, documents), pictorial and vocal forms (audio-visual) or a combination of all the above (multimedia), using a combination of computer and telecommunications devices. Emuakpor (2002) defines it as all forms of technology applied to the processing, storing and transmitting information in electronic form; stressing that the physical equipment used for this purpose include computers, communication equipment and networks; fax machines and electronic, pocket calculator. Ayo (2001) viewed it as the use of computer system and telecommunications equipment in information handling; consisting of essentially three basic components viz: Electronic processing using the computer; Transmission of information using telecommunication equipment; and Dissemination of information multimedia.

It becomes explicit from the above that IT in libraries comprises all the electronic infrastructure and facilities employed by libraries to improve and provide efficient services. Such facilities, in broad term, consist of hardware, software and communication links between the service outlets of different libraries to facilitate the sharing of common resources; especially the library networks. Osundina (1973) pointed out that the library of today should not merely store documents and preserve them; it must also devise means by which the contents of such documents can be rapidly and effectively transmitted for use. Trostinikor (1970) opined that rapid expansion of a mass of diversified information is occurring, which has received the name "information explosion". Thus, the need arose for a scientific approach to information and for elucidation of its characteristic properties, leading to two principal changes in interpretation of the concept of information. One, it was broadened to include information exchange not only between man and man; but also between machine and machine. Ogunsola (2004) explained that the pace of change brought by new technologies has had a significant effect on the way people live, work and play worldwide.

Capron (2000) revealed that mail, telephone, television, radio, books, newspapers and periodicals are the traditional ways users send and receive information. However, data communications system-computer system-also transmits data over communication lines such as telephone lines since the mid-1960s. Internet use has, today, revolutionalized access to information for the business world, libraries, education and individuals. A few of the most popular include E-mail, www (World Wide Web), FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Usenet, and Telnet. All these technological devices are regarded as central to the concept of globalization. The Internet and its technology continued to have profound effects on the promotion of information sharing; especially in the academic world, making possible rapid transactions among businesses and supporting global collaboration among individuals and organizations. These technologies have the potentials to develop "virtual campuses" and "virtual libraries" thus, increasing students' access and participation (Ogunsola, 2004). According to Daniel (2000) Nancy Schiller was one of the first writers to use the expression "virtual library" which she defined in 1992, simply as "libraries in which computer and telecommunications technologies make access to wide range of information resources possible". …

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Application of Information Technology to Library Services at the Federal University of Technology, Akure Library, Ondo State, Nigeria
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