STUDY ON THE AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF ICT FACILITIES IN PUBLIC LIBRARY (A CASE STUDY OF IMO STATE PUBLIC LIBRARY, UNUAHIA)

Project code: LIS725672   |   Pages: 72   |   Words: 8,479   |   Characters: 54,879   |   Format: Word & PDF

ABSTRACT

This study is on the availability and utilization of information and communication technology facilities in public libraries (A case study of Imo state public library, Unuahia). The population comprises of all the staff of Imo state public library. The sample was a total number of 50 staffs and 50 copies of the questionnaire in all were distributed to the staff under study and to test the validity of the assumption. Data generated were analyzed using frequency tables and mean. It was found among others that ICT availability and utilization in Imo state public library is necessary. It was also recommended among other that training on internet search skill should be given to the managements and for staffs, a course concerning ICT usage and practical make adequate sue of the ICT facilities.

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The term “information and communication technologies” (ICT) is defined as a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate and create, disseminate, store and manage information (Blurton 1999:46). It is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and internet hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning.
The key purpose of any library is to provide a quality service: access to relevant information (Buckland, 1992) to computers, information networks and software applications. These technologies are making it possible for libraries to provide a variety of library and information services to clientele. All the functions and services that academic librarians used to provide manually can be provide now through the use of ICTs which can do things better and faster. To mention some of the opportunities presented by ICTs to the librarians according to Haliso (2007) and Chisenga (2006) are:

  1. Organization of information for use
  2. Capacity building
  3. Management information system
  4. Digital libraries
  5. Resource sharing / document delivery

Academic libraries are libraries in institutions of higher learning which are devoted to academic activities of their parent institutions. They support teaching, learning and research, they include university, polytechnic and college libraries. Their mission is providing quality information services and knowledge products (print and electronic) to resident community of scholars in other to function and provide timely information at a faster speed to lecturers, researchers and students, it would appear that administrators of academic libraries realized the important role information and communication technologies (ICTs) play in the job performance and so made information and communication technologies (ICTs) available to their work force.
From the global point of view, it appears that there is tacit consent that a relationship exists between use of information and communication technology and job enhancement of libraries (Ajayi, 2001). Stephen (1995) submits that the use of information technology provide significant benefits in work measurement, cost reduction, productivity improvement and better services to customers and clients. Actually it is availability which make use possible and it is sue that make performance attainable. So, the combined effect of availability of information and communication technologies can enhance the job performance of the library staff through the application of the ICTs by the librarians (Rosenberg 2005; Mphidi 2004; Chitene, 2000; Lancaster and Sandore, 1997; Siddique, 1997). This cannot be achieved unless academic libraries realize the tremendous role information and communication technologies could play to enhance effective services. Rosenberg (2005) submitted that libraries need to develop a strategic information and communication plan that would enhance the deployment of ICts in their libraries. The ICT deployment and application is done by academic librarians who are trained to man specific sectors of the library (Tenant, 1995).
In Canada, the use of ICTs and job performance of librarians is recorded. A report prepared by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) revealed that in the year 2000/2001, academic libraries subscribed to 436, 731 electronic journals. The same report also states that librarians are leaders in using technology to transform traditional library resources and services to meet the challenge of the 21st century.
In Singapore, Chia, Lee and Yeo (1998) report that a committee was set up by the government and mandated to design an information technology plan for the nation. The National library of Singapore on its part took an initiative in ensuring all libraries especially academic libraries are ICT based. In Saudi Arabia, Siddique (1997) carried out a study on the sue of ICT in academic libraries and the finding reveals that out of the six universities surveyed majority of the libraries had internet, one kind of library software or the other, CD-ROM facility, OPAC services, FAX and E-mail services. It is eight years since Siddique carried out this study and if the same study were to be carried out today; the findings would be totally different.

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Since the information communication technology is available to wide sectors of the world’s population, many educational establishment have seized on its educational potentials, it is assumed that the development today is measured by the penetration of the information communication technology from the available trend, the mobile information communication technology is a strong innovation in the unfolding world of mobile facilities.
With the advent of the information communication technology, education has benefited in more ways than can be mention. Although it will not take over the traditional methods of education, it can be said that, up till now the information communication technology has continued to play a major role in the educational sectors.
Information communication technology browsing came into Delta state polytechnic (DSPO) Agborain the year 2005 with establishment of Afribank, powered by Zinox computer over 100 computer systems were installed in the ICT centre and students have access to the information communication technology browsing facilities on campus. Students that don’t have the ideal of information communication technology browsing were taught through the arrangement made by the school management in collaboration with Afribank LLC and this helped many students to solve their problems online independently especially in handling assignments and research works.
Although the use of the information and communication technology as an educational tools has many advantages, there are also some draw backs because the information communication technology can be unfriendly environment for first time users but with frequent usage, one can become familiar pretty quick.
Irrespective of the fact that students have access to the information communication technology for unlimited researches, there are mixed appraisal on the extend of availability and utilization of information and communication technology in public library Delta state polytechnic Agbora.
In polytechnic system, there are facilities that facilitate teaching, learning and research, apart from the classroom, teaching materials, chairs and desks. One of this is ICT.
ICT facilities in the words of Ebijuwa (2005) is described as tools for collection, processing, storage, transmission and dissemination of information. To Anyakoha (2005) ICT is the electronic means of capturing, processing, storing and disseminating information.
Information technology (IT) is the application of computers and telecommunications equipments to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data.
However, there are kinds of ICT facilities. They include mobile phones, television, computers, radio conferencing outfit, the internet and expert systems to name but a few.
Indeed ICT has been beneficial to both staffs and managements. Mobile phones ahs made communication easy. According to (Okoye and Nwegbu 2008) mobile telephony has increased people’s sense of security and fundamentally altered the volumes, practices and overall culture of communication. Text messaging provide means of creating and strengthening social bonds particularly among staffs.
Televisions are not left out, as another kind of ICT facilities, with the help of satellites, television broadcasts can be viewed with across continents. In addition to educational, informational as well as relaxation and entertainment programmes which television provide, picture from television broadcast convey horrors of war, disasters and famine all this educated both the staffs and management in other hand also sue the computer to types and carryout research.
For teaching and research, the managements prepare for lectures and carryout research through the aids of the internet has made, most times in writing their textbooks and handout.
It is said that everything that has advantage also has a disadvantage. ICT has its own problems. Most staffs are not aware of ICT facilities and its uses. Some are ignorant of the computer illiterate. They do not know how to make use of the computer to retrieve information from it. Staffs spend more time on the television learning more on things that has its threats to the society. For example, foreign television stations are fond of shooting criminal films such as kidnapping, armed robbery, drug abuse and drug trafficking, prostitution and unbridled use of short guns by the undergo this has a way of contributing negatively to the academic sector and the society at large.
To provide solutions to the above problems, schools are to encourage computer education by introducing a course that will expose the staffs on the educational use of computer and also the importance of computer knowledge and internet. Management should also be sent for computer training course often to increase their educational skills which will aids them in teaching and research. Staffs should be warned against danger and implication of internet fraud, hacking and all other social vices caused by ICT.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Information communication technology (ICT) have been portrayed as double-edged saws. They have been acclaimed as very useful tools which have changed the work processes endowed both staffs and managements with skills and have advanced developments especially in developing countries in the academic and employment sector yet, they have been implicated in the skilling some staffs in renderings some categories of staffs facilities. The problem of this study is to therefore identify the extent of availability and utilization of ICT facilities by library staff from learning and research.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study include the following:

  1. To identify the extent of availability of ICT facilities by Imo state public library.
  2. To identify the kinds of ICT facilities available to these staffs.
  3. To identify the rationale of using ICT facilities in learning and research.
  4. To identify the challenges associated with ICT utilization by library staff of the Imo state public library.
  5. To proper solutions to these challenges.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study will find answers to the following questions.

  1. What is the extent of availability of ICT facilities by Imo state public library.
  2. What kind of ICT facilities available to these staffs?
  3. What are the rationale of using ICT facilities in learning and research?
  4. What are the challenges associating with the ICT utilization by the library staff of Imo state public library.
  5. What are the proper solutions to these challenges?

1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study was limited to staffs of Imo state public library Owerri. The research will cover virtually the availability and utilization of ICT facilities.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The result will show the need for ICT availability and utilization. It will also benefit the staffs, as it will awaken them on the frequent use of ICT facilities in public library which they will all appreciate.

1.7 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Historical background of Imo state public library, Unuahia Imo state library from the year 1976-2011. Imo state library board came out from eastern regional library board. It was later part of eastern central library. On 3rd February 1976, more states were created in Nigeria and Imo state was one of those states. It was carried out of the former eastern central state.
As a result of this creation, the east central library board broke into Anambra and Imo state library board.
However, it was only in September 1976, that the indigenous Imo state staff in Enugu transferred to Owerri to establish the administrative headquarters of Imo state library board. The mobility was in part because printing binding and reprography staff was the last to move by the end of September, 1976 prior to the movement, the assets and liabilities of the former east central state library board were shared. The Anambra state library board retained the buildings and fixed asset whole fiscal cash and information resources were shared consequently, Owerri divisional library which was under completion was hurriedly finished and sued as the headquarter.
The new library was opened to the public on the 12th of November, 1976 by the military governor commander Godwin Ndubuisis Kanu. The building is also designed to house on the ground floor the children’s library, the acquisition and cataloguing departments, the information consultancy unit, the staff reading room and the reprographic unit as well as the auditoria housing. There is also the handicap section which was opened by the military governor of Imo state commander Amadi Ibekweghe on 1st November, 1989 and the exhibition which was taken over by the NTA.
The first floor contains one references, circulation and adult lending section. The library began its operation with a financial provision of N564,837-66 for the financial year 1976/1977.
The sum was made up of N246,832 66 being financial inheritance from the east central state library board and N360,000 as financial addition, a sum of 500,000 was to cover its capital expenditure for the year 1877.
The library started its operation with a total of 150 staffs and a stock of 1,350 volumes. At present the total staff is 108 December 2006 and June 2007, the staff strength is 112.
The history will be incomplete without mentioning the carving out of Abia State from Imo state in September 1991. The resultant effect of this emergence of Abia state library board. This led to the sharing of assets and liabilities between the new Imo state library board and Abia state library board. This sharing was completed in November 1991. It is worthy of note that most of the divisional libraries and branch libraries want Abia state out of 17 divisional and branch libraries, Imo state library board inherited only 7.
The library materials and utilization provided by the library under this study is as follows:

  1. Orientation of new users
  2. Inter-library loan of the library materials
  3. Bindery and reprographic library material
  4. Readers advisory library material
  5. Holding of library exhibition including display of new addition of the library etc.

1.8 DEFINITION OF BASIC CONCEPTS
The following are defined to make the indepth understanding of the study:
ICT: Information Communication Technology
AWARENESS: Knowledge gained through one’s own perceptions or by means of information, enlightenment.
UTILIZATION: The act of using
LEARNING: The act, process or experience of gaining knowledge or skill
RESEARCH: Scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry
MOTIVATION: is concerned with what energizes human behavior is maintained or sustained to achieve organizational goals improved staff production and low turnover (Onwubiko, 2004)
PERSONNEL: is a staff or employees of an organization (Nwachukwu, 2005)
RELICS: The materials of the evidence of something which has caused to exist or surviving from a paragraph.
ARTEFACTS: There are man-made objects that provide evidence of an ancient culture, a work of art, it stressing, its character as a product or making a structure.
PRESERVATION: the process of keeping something in it original state or in a good condition.
CONSERVATION: The prevention of loss, waste, damage, or the case and management of materials for effective use and to last long.
ARCHIVES: Public records or historical document kept in a recognized repository of document which formed part of official references; these include document specially made for and those included in an official transaction.
ARCHIVAL DOCUMENT: A document which is expected to be kept permanent as near as possible in its original form, for the evidence which might attend both itself and in its context.
ARCHIVIST: A person whose job is to develop and manage an archive.
RECORDS - CENTRE: A record also called limbo is an intermediate record depository which receives, stores services, process and provides security for records that are sufficiently active to be retained in office space but are not fresh to be returned.