THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON NIGERIA’S PUBLIC ACADEMIC LIBRARIES
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought unprecedented changes and transformation to academic libraries and information services. Taking into cognizance the recent trends in ICT and the Nigerian situation, this work elicits the impact of ICT in Nigerian University Libraries. The primary objectives were to ascertain the level of automation; to determine the usefulness of ICT resources; the effectiveness of ICT resources; the required skills in using ICT resources and the factors militating against the effective use of ICT. Nyon Essien library, University of Uyo and Business library, both in Akwa-ibom State of Nigeria were used as case study. The survey research design was employed and the instrument used for data collection was the Questionnaire. Simple tables and percentages were used to analyze the data collected. The research work revealed that both University Libraries are automated/computerized and that they apply Strategic Library Automation Management (SLAM); only three divisions of the libraries are computerized/automated which are Readers Services Division, Technical Services Division and Collection Development division; the major reason attached to the use of ICT resources was for information storage and retrieval; the ICT resources mostly used are CD-ROM, online database, World Wide Web and the Internet. The study also revealed that ICT has an enormous impact based on its effectiveness. Inadequate training and retraining of staff by management; inadequate funding, epileptic power supply and lack of search skills are the major factors militating against the effective use of ICT in Nigerian University libraries. Amongst others, inadequate funding, capacity building, regular power supply were recommended.
1.1 Background to the Study
With the invention of Information and Communication Technology, libraries now use various types of technologies to aid the services they render. Everyday new technological advances affect the way information is handled in libraries and information centers. The impacts of new technologies are felt by libraries in every aspect. Computing technology, communication technology and mass storage technology are some of the areas of continuous development that reshape the way that libraries access, retrieve, store, manipulate and disseminate information to users. The academic library has been from its inception an integral part of institutions of higher learning, rather than an appendix or adjunct. Oyedun (2007) defines academic libraries as those libraries that are mainly found in tertiary institutions, they are established to support learning, teaching and research processes. Over the past twenty seven years, academic libraries have been affected by changes in information and communication technology. The rate of changes is still accelerating in this area. The introduction of various information technology (ICT) trends has lead to reorganization, change in work patterns, and demand for new skills, job retraining and reclassification positions. Technological advancement of the past twenty five years, such as the electronic database, online services, CD-ROMs and introduction of internet has radically transformed access to information. Rana (2009) opines that ICT holds the key to the success of modernizing information services. Applications of ICT are numerous but mainly it is used in converting the existing paper-print records in the entire process of storage, retrieval and dissemination. ICT has impacted on every sphere of academic library activity especially in the form of the library collection development strategies, library building and consortia. ICT presents an opportunity to provide value-added information services and access to a wide variety of digital based information resources to their clients. Furthermore, academic libraries are also using modern ICTs to automate their core functions, implement efficient and effective library cooperation and resource sharing networks, implement management information systems, develop institutional repositories of digital local contents, and digital libraries: and initiate ICT based capacity building programmes for library users. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has brought unprecedented changes and transformation to academic library and information services, conventional LIS such as OPAC, users services, reference services, bibliographic services, current awareness services, Document delivery, inter library loan, Audio visual services and customer relations can be provided more efficiently and effectively using ICT, as they offer convenient time, place, cost effectiveness, faster and most-up-to-date dissemination and end users involvement in the library and information services process. The impact of ICT characterized on information services by changes in format, contents and method of production and contents and method of production and delivery of information products. Emergence of internet as the largest repository of information and knowledge, changed role of library and information science professionals from intermediary to facilitator, new tools for dissemination of information and shift from physical to virtual services environment and extinction of some conventional information services and emergence of new and innovational web based.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Considering the enormous benefits that are experienced in the impact of ICT in Nigerian University Libraries, the Nigerian academic libraries still experience some obstacles or hindrances in the effective ad efficient use of the ICT resources in the library. Today, ICT acquisition and implementation is facing a lot of problems. This research work is being conducted to expose some of the inhibiting factors that are hindering the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic Libraries. Among the militating factors hindering the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic Libraries are a lot of capital investment to buy hardwares, softwares and standby generators for the library. Lack of search skills, automation at infancy level, epileptic power supply, and technical know – how are some of the problem encountered by the academic libraries.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
- To ascertain the level of computerization/automation of academic
- To determine the usefulness of ICT resources in academic libraries.
- To determine the efficiency and effectiveness of ICT in academic library.
- To determine how skillful and knowledgeable the staff are in the use of ICT resources.
- To determine the challenges associated with the application of ICT in Nigerian academic libraries.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent has information and communication technology been employed in Nigerian university libraries?
- What is the usefulness of information and communication technology in Nigerian academic libraries?
- How efficient and effective is the use of ICT resources in Academic
- Do the staff of the academic Libraries have the required knowledge and skills in using ICT resources?
- What are the factors militating against the application of ICT in academic libraries?
1.5 Purpose Of The Study
The purpose of the study is to ascertain the impact of ICT on Nigerian academic libraries. The research work highlights the advantages or merit associated with ICT on academic libraries in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This research work is on the impact of ICT on Nigerian University Libraries using Nyon Essien library and business library in University of uyo.
(BIU) as a case study
1.7 Significance Of The Study
- This study is expected to provide a basis for comprehensive information on information and communication technology procurement and application in Nigeria University Library.
- The study will established the existing gaps in the adoption of information and communication technology in the operations of academic library in achieving their statutory functions.
- The out-put of this study will serve as a blue-print for libraries, information managers/information scientists, researchers, lecturers, students, and teachers to chart the right course of action for the use of information and communication technology in furthering education through policy formulation and implementation.
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