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Influence Of User Education On The Use Of Academic Libraries In Tertiary Institutions In Imo State A Study Of Federal University Of Technology Owerri Imo State

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ABSTRACT

The study was carried out to investigate influence of user education on the use of academic library in Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Six research questions were posed and answered by the study. The study employed descriptive survey research design for gathering data, through the use of a rating scale. The sample for the study was 100 students randomly selected from the entire population. The data for the study were collected and analyzed using mean scores. The findings of the study revealed that students are taught how to use the library, methods used in education of users are lectures, freshmen’s orientation and shelf guides, user education is taught in one semester, the staff responsible for user education are the English language lecturers and the library staff, user education has influence on library use, the challenges of user education are inadequate fund to execute user education programme, combining it with use of English course and not assigning credit load. As a result of these findings, the study recommended that school management in collaboration with the head of library and staff who teaches user education should adopt other methods such as library tour, handbook etc., audio visuals should be used so that all the students will hear what is being taught. Apart from the usual one semester course with use of English, the library can organize library week with attractive programmes that can attract students to the library and acquaint students with the resources, services and operations of the library, use of the library should be separated from use of English course and made a credit carrying course so that students will be serious with it. The school management should provide adequate funds for effective teaching of user education, paying the staff responsible honorarium will be a step in the right direction in motivating them to take it serious.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

This chapter is an overview of the study on the influence of user education on the use of academic libraries in tertiary institutions in Imo state: A study of Federal University of Technology, Owerri. It is discussed under the following headings: background of the study, statement of the problem, scope of study, purpose of the study, significance of the study, and research questions.


Academic libraries are integral part of any tertiary institution because they support teaching, learning and research needs of these institutions. These libraries provide user access to knowledge and information they need to do their assignment, projects and conducive environment to read and study.

Background of the study                                                                             

The main goal of an academic library is that the resources (book and non-book) must be well consulted. The librarian has to acquire and provide access to information stocked in the library. The user is very important in the practice of librarianship, because the library process revolves around the users.

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The academic library provides user education in order to equip a user with enough knowledge on the use of library so as to enable them use the library resources effectively. User education impacts confidence in the user. So many studies carried out on availability and use of school libraries discovered that most secondary schools in Nigeria do not have school libraries at all while the once that have are not effective. For this reason, most of the students gaining admission in tertiary institutions do not have background knowledge on use of library which makes user education very necessary.

Some higher institutions incorporate user education in their curriculum for fresh students as general studies (GST/GNS) course, so that they can learn how to use the library effectively. The reason for the provision of user education in the library is because library process could be so complex that an average user may not easily comprehend how to utilize the available resources, as a result of the era of information explosion in which we are, information is expanding at a very fast rate and new resources are being introduced into the library (Aina, 2014). The ultimate objective of any library is to enable users exploit its resources to the fullest.

Fjallbrant (2010), Defines user education as: “the teaching of those skills that will enable students to locate and use materials effectively and feel confident in using the library”. Also, its aim is to acquaint users with the use of materials in the library. Similarly, Fleming (2009) defined user education as, “various programmes of instruction, education and exploration provided by academic libraries to users to enable them make effective, efficient and independent use of information sources and services to which these libraries provides access”.

Bello (2013) defined user education as: “A device by the librarians to educate users on how to use the resources available in the library in a result oriented ways”. Thus it’s concerned with information retrieval, since the objectives of the user education in academic library, according to Osagie (2013) are as follows:

  • To enable users to know how to use the library catalogue independently in any library with particular reference to author, title and subject catalogues.
  • To enable users to understand the classification schemes in any library so as to be able to locate materials with little or no problem.
  • To be able to see library catalogues as indexes to the entire collection and use the as such.
  • To enable the users to see the library as a repository of knowledge that determines the success of the students academic programme because it’s not possible for an individual to have the collection of the library.
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Students in the universities are introduced to the library in one form or the other, in order that they might know what to consult in their quest for information. Today, most students in higher institute of learning find it difficult to explore the world of information resources in the library, which contributes their inability to undergo meaningful researches or at best become poor library users. It is believed that a concerted effort to know and understand library more will eventually, enable the individual to develop him/her to the fullest potentials. This become very important as it will enable man to contribute effectively and positively to the development of the society at large.

Effective user education cannot be achieved if the staff in charge is not competent. Proper organization and effective method to carry out user education by skilled persons promote utilization of library resources by patrons of the library and performance of students in their various course offered in the institution. Okon (2012) posits that one of the major impediments to full appreciation of user education is the use of unqualified personnel to teach the use of library in some institutions or the use of some lecturers who are not learned in the use of library to teach user education as a resource method course. It is worthy of note that where user education is poorly organized and thought in an institution, there will be poor utilization of library resources and academic performance.

Until the issue of user education is given its rightful place in tertiary institutions, effective use of the library may not be guaranteed. It is against this background that this study is being carried out.

Statement of the Problem                                                                                      

  User education is intended to enhance maximum use of the library resources and services by undergraduates in tertiary institutions. There are assertions that with the way students make use of the library, one wonders if they are aware of the purpose and functions of the library. Sadly enough some students pass through higher institutions without making use of the library while those who do, do not use it effectively. There is an insinuation that students do not use the library because they have not been educated on the use of the library. This may be wrong method of handling it, incompetence of the staff or lack of priority given to it by the management of tertiary institutions. This is a gap in knowledge which this study intends to fill.

Scope of the Study                                                                                               

    This study examined the influence of user education on the use of academic libraries in tertiary institutions in Imo State. The study will focus on types of user education, methods, frequency, influence of user education, staff responsible for user education, problems of user education. This study will concentrate on regular users of the library and it is limited to Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

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Purpose of Study                                                                                                    

This study aims to:

  1. Identify the constituents of user education in Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
  2. Find out the methods used in educating students on library use.
  3. Ascertain the frequency of user education in Federal University of Tehnology, Owerri.
  4. Identify the staff responsible for handling user education.
  5. Determine the influence of user education on library use.
  6. Find out the challenges faced in carrying out user education in the stated university.

Significance of the Study                                                                                        

This study would be beneficial to students, library staff, library management, institution, lecturers and researchers.

The students will benefit in the sense that they will know the importance of user education and thereby make every effort to be present whenever the programme is being carried out. It will also enhance their skill on library use.

With the establishment of the influence of user education on the use of academic libraries by this study, the library staff will become more exposed to the importance of user education in effective use of the library. This will enable them to carry it out effectively as it will lessen delinquent behaviors in libraries.

Through this study the library management will have a better understanding of the importance of user education which will lead to the appointment of staff who are competent enough to carry out the programme. Also the recommendation that will be preferred by this study will help in ameliorating the challenges faced by these libraries in carrying out user education if implemented.

In institution where the issue of who should handle user education is a problem, it is believed that this study will open the eyes of management to know who is competent enough to carry it out.

Lecturers will also benefit since the literature reviewed can help them in preparing lecture notes on user education.

Researchers will use this study as a reference source to conduct further investigations. This study will also add to existing literature on this subject.

Research Questions                                                                                    

In line with the purpose of the study, the following questions will guide the study:

  1. What are the constituents of user education in Federal University of Technology, Owerri?
  2. What are the methods used in educating students on library use?
  • How frequent is user education carried out in Federal University of Technology, Owerri?
  1. Who are the staff in charge of handling user education in Federal University of Technology, Owerri?
  2. What is the influence of user education on library use?
  3. What are the challenges faced in carrying out user education out user education in Federal University of Technology, Owerri?

Pages:  72

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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