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Influence Of User Education On The Use Of Information Resources: A Case Study Of Imo State University, Owerri Library

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ABSTRACT

The study is on “Influence of user education on the use of information resources: A case study of Imo State University, Owerri Library”. The study has four objectives and four research questions. Survey research design was used for the study. The population was 1000 and the sample size was 250 undergraduate students who registered in Imo State University, Owerri Library. Taro Yamanne (1969) statistical formula was used to determine the sample. Questionnaire was used for collection of data while simple percentage and frequency counts table was used to analyse the research questions. The findings show that information resources used by the undergraduate students are basically book materials; library orientation, lecture method and bibliographic instructions are the types of user education students are exposed to. It was also found that lack of user education policy and inadequate library collection are the problems associated with user education programmes and inadequate funding, inadequate current information materials, high cost of audio-visual materials etc are the factors militating against the use of information resources for research in Imo State University, Owerri Library. The study therefore recommended among others that, the library should include in its collections electronic information resources that will enhance the students to be versatile in knowledge and also intensify their user education programmes. 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The researcher in this chapter presents an overview of the study. It is presented under the following sub headings: background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study, and research question.

Background of the Study

          Information resources are collection of book, non-book materials and electronic materials contained in libraries. The book materials include: text books, journals, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, and magazine. While pictures, films, radios, televisions, tape recordings e.t.c. make up the non-book materials. They also comprise the library staff, equipment and facilities. Ija (2003), defines information resources as those materials, both print and non-print, found in libraries which support curricular and personal information needs. To Ija, while books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets e.t.c. are the print formats, the non-print format include; Films, Disc, Records, Filmstrips, Slides, Prints, Audio Tapes, Video Tapes, Compact Disc e.t.c. Ifidon (2017), opines that library resources are basically sources of information. Traditionally, these resources were mostly books, journal, newspapers editorials, encyclopedias and even movie clippings especially from history. These resources have played a large role in research. Although they assist researchers in carrying out their research activities. However, there is need for the users to be thoroughly drilled on the best ways of using library resources for effective and efficient research. The drilling on the use of these resources is often referred to as user education.

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User education is the instruction or library orientation given to library users (usually new students) with the aim of improving and enhancing their skills in the effective utilization and exploitation of library and information resources. Suleiman (2012), defines user education as various programs of instruction, education and exploration provided by libraries to users to enable them make more effective, efficient and independent use of information resources and services. Similarly, Murugan (2012), describes it as instruction and all activities involved in teaching and equipping library users with the skills to enable them make the best possible use of the library resources, service facilities, as well as to become independent and sophisticated library user. It is also formal and informal instruction delivered by a librarian or other staff member one-on-one or in a group.

User education could be done through library orientation, bibliographic instruction, library awareness programmes and issuing of library’s handbooks and library guides. For the purpose of this study, library orientation and bibliographic instruction will be explained.

These library resources and user education programmes vary from library to library. However, the need to determine the resources used in Imo State University, Owerri library and the influence they have on students research ability prompted this study.

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Statement of the problem

Universities in Nigeria adopt various ways of equipping their clientele with skills and knowledge of library and use of its information resources. They also strive to stock the library with information resources in the right quantity and quality. The purpose is to assist their patrons to become better users of the library and good research students. Despite the efforts of the library to provide these information resources and also give instruction on how to use them, it is surprising to note that students’ ability is still low and the researcher now wonders what could be the problem. Could it be as a result of the types of resources provided, the types of user education employed in instructing the users or the people that offer the user education programme?

The need to ascertain this issue makes it imperative for a study to explore the prevailing situations in universities especially those with similar background with a view to critically examine the situation and at the same time, proffer credible solutions.

Scope of the Study

This study is on the influence of user education on the use of information resources in Imo State University, Owerri library. This study covered concepts like; information resources, user education, the problems militating against the use of information resources and factors hindering the provision of user education to students.

Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to ascertain the influence of user education on the use of information resources in Imo State University, Owerri. Specifically, the research seeks to:

  1. identify the information resources used by the undergraduate students.
  2. identify the types of user education the undergraduate students are exposed to.
  3. ascertain the problems associated with user education in Imo State University, Owerri library.
  4. ascertain the factors militating against the use of information resources.
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Significance of the Study

The results of this study will be beneficial to University libraries, librarians, students and researchers.

University libraries as an entity would benefit from this research since it would afford the University library administrators the opportunity of reassessing their user education programmes for relevant services. Imo State University, Owerri would be in good positions to compare the relevance of each of their programmes towards their students research ability thereby providing opportunity for modification and improvement.

Librarians in tertiary institutions will find this study relevant in making selections for the information resources and in adopting the appropriate methods in teaching and implementing user education programmes that will be beneficial to users.

Students will appreciate the usefulness of library resources and user education programmes as it will ease the challenges they face in using the library and its resources. Hence, it will lead to enhancement of their research skills in all fields, and this will ultimately lead to new discoveries as well as enhance their reading culture.

Researchers in the field of Library and Information Science will find this study useful because the library resources will assist them in carrying out their research activities. Also, it will add to the existing body of knowledge and create the user education programmes in their various institutes of learning.

Research Questions

The following research questions are posed to guide this study;

  1. What are the information resources used by the undergraduate students?
  2. What are the types of user education the undergraduate students are exposed to?
  3. What are the problems associated with user education programmes in Imo State University, Owerri library?
  4. What are the factors militating against the use of information resources?

Pages:  59

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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