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Library & Information Science

Utilization Of Information Resources By Students In Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library, Owerri

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ABSTRACT

The study focused on the utilization of information resources in Federal Polytechnic Nekede Library, Owerri. It was guided by five purposes of study and five research questions. Survey research design was adopted for this study. A sample of 385 students was drawn from the population of 10,400 registered users of the library studied. Rating scale was used as instrument for data collection. Data collected were presented in frequency tables and analyzed using mean scores. The findings showed that journals, textbooks, abstract/indexes, maps/atlases, encyclopedia, dictionaries, audiovisuals and electronic resources are information resources available in the library studied. It also showed that the purpose for students use of library are for assignments, to borrow books, examination preparations, knowledge acquisition and use of ICT facilities, and the problems that militates against the utilization of these information resources are poor attitude of staff, epileptic power supply, low level of technology, inadequate information resources, lack of user education and opening and closing hours of the library. It revealed that Journals, textbooks, indexes/abstracts, electronic resources, audiovisuals and dictionaries are used to high extent. It revealed that users are satisfied to a high extent in the use of journals, textbooks, indexes/abstracts, project work, electronic resources and dictionaries in the library studied. The study therefore recommended among others that, there should be provision of adequate and up-to-date materials, employment of competent staff to promote user education as well as creating a conducive environment for library users.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, the researcher presents the background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study significance of the study and research questions.

Background to the Study

Academic libraries are those libraries established to serve universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other related institution. It can also be seen a library that is attached to a higher institution which serves two complementary purposes to support the school’s curriculum and to support the research of the University, polytechnic, faculties and students. The main purpose of the library is to provide services to the users for the enhancement of their academic pursuit.

Okoro (1999) defines the academic library as library found in institutions of higher learning such universities, polytechnics, colleges of education etc. The objective of the parent institution which is teaching learning and research is being supported by the academic library which provides information materials or resources. The libraries help to equip students with skills and knowledge which will enable them succeeds academically or otherwise. An institution cannot stand without the establishment of a library.

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Nwosu (2002) describes academic libraries as the singular most important resources in the pursuit of general goals and objectives of higher learning. The functions of any academic library are the promotion of teaching; research and learning, through the academic library set goals are achieved. The brilliant, the average and the dull students are given equal opportunity to make use of the library in studying at his or her own time. The tertiary institution as a formal organization exists to pursue and accomplish a common purpose which basically is the enhancement of teaching and learning. The academic library promotes information literacy among students of the institution.

In tertiary institutions, it has been observed that students do not make use of the library as they ought to. The way many students make use of the library has given much concern for opinion to be analyzed. It can be seen that students do not have such patience and time to make use of the library. Opara (1998) posits that the library is regarded as the hand maiden of educational empowerment and research, but the problem is that these libraries are not being put together to effective use. He is of the opinion that the reason for students less concern towards the use of the library is mainly due to the fact that most patrons or users of these academic libraries have not been educated, trained and enlightened enough on the techniques and skills of the library use and its resource application. It supplies lecturers with the resources needed for teaching and professional growth. It enables students develop awareness for inner satisfaction and reward to be derived from reading books. The academic library which supports and complements teaching and learning has wide range of freely available information sources. There are a wide range of information materials found in academic library; they include educational books and general books (Edom, 2002). Educational books are those which helps in enlightening students, they can be humanities, education, social science, technology, law etc. the general books are those associated with usage of the general public which include religious doctrines. The academic library provides students with educational books ranging from books and non-books which include filmstrip, relics, models, periodicals, journals, textbooks, reference books etc. they can also be in form of magazine, research paper, video/audio recordings, research papers, articles etc.

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Ahanene (1997) is of the view that academic libraries are concerned with the collection, processing and organization. The functions of any academic library are summarized in the promotion of teaching, learning and research. These roles are prosecuted through balanced acquisition, paper presentation, proper processing, storage, interpretation and dissemination of relevant information; anything on the contrary renders the institutions impotent in achieving its mission.

The utilization of library resources by students is a pressing issue. The academic library which provides a wide range of information materials is available for students but most students do not consider the library as one which should be used. Some students who visit the library regularly or use the library regularly know that the libraries have resources and information materials which will be utilized by students and such information are rare and hardly found online. It is based on this background that the study on utilization of information resources by students in Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri is carried out.

Statement of the Problem

It has been pointed out that academic libraries are burdened with the problem of inadequate information resources and also non-existent working tools. Academic libraries have shown serious lapses in the area of provision of up-to-date information resources, adequate information materials, qualified library professionals who can help the library users solve their information needs organizing of information materials and funding.

Ifidon (1999) stresses the fact it is important to know the extent of the library use due to the fact that one’s impression of the library is totally different from others and what is on ground. Also timing is a factor which limits the utilization of library resources by both students, researchers and the rest. The opening and closing time of the library sometimes do not suit these scholars.

Researchers have been carrying out researches on the use of academic libraries and most of them revealed that students have not been making use of these libraries as they should. Could inadequate use of the library be attributed to inadequate information resources or lack of standard reading environment? These are the facts the researcher intends to ascertain in the course of this study.

Scope of the Study

The content scope of this study is utilization of information resources in academic libraries. It examines the types of information resources available for use in the library, the extent of use of these information resources, student’s level of satisfaction with the information resources and problems that militate against the utilization of information resources by the student.

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The geographical scope of this study is Imo state. The study covered Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State. It covered the regular students of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State.

Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate the utilization of information resources in academic libraries. The study seeks to;

  1. Find out the types of information resources available for use in the library studied.
  2. Ascertain the purpose for which students use the library
  3. Find out the extent of use of these information resources,
  4. Identify the students level of satisfaction with the information resources
  5. Identify the problems that militate against the utilization of information resources by the students.

Significance of the Study

This study will be of great significance to the following; librarians, lecturers, students, government and the library management.

The librarians will be sensitized on the current state of library resources and the need to improve on their services to users of the library. It will also give a picture of the situation in other institutions within Imo State.

The students will benefit from this study because they would be exposed to wide range of information resources that are available in academic libraries and make use of them in their studies, research, class assignment and so will be more knowledgeable than they were.

The study will draw the attention of the government, university authorities and the library management to the importance of well-equipped academic libraries. It will help them restructure their priorities as regards to provision of information resources in order to improve the performance of the students.

Finally, the result of this research will serve as a valuable contribution to the existing literatures on utilization of information resources in academic institutions.

Research Questions

The following questions are posed to guide the study;

  1. What are the types of information resources available for use in the library studied?
  2. What are the purposes for the use of library by students?
  3. What is the extent of use of these information resources?
  4. To what extent do the information resources satisfy the users?
  5. What are the problems that militate against the utilization of information resources by students?

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