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ELECTRONIC RESOURCES UTILIZATION AND STUDENT INFORMATION RETRIEVAL CHALLENGES IN UNIVERSITY OF UYO MAIN LIBRARY
1.0 Background of the Study
University library is of great importance to students and lecturers as it provides relevant information to respond to their information assist in research work and their studies. This concurs with the idea of Aina (2004) which states that the main purpose of a university library is to support the objectives of a university, which are in the areas of learning, teaching, research and service. Ekere (2006) also shared this view by making an assertion that the main purpose of the university library is to support the objectives of the university which is to promote teaching, learning and research.
University library is defined as a library or library system established, administered and funded by a university to meet the information, research, and curriculum needs of its students, faculty and staff. Its possess various collections for the department and faculty in the University which aimed to help both students and lecturers carrying out research, assignment and even leisure activities. (Reitz, 2004). Ekere (2006) confirmed this when she declared that any library attached to a university is called a university library. It exists to serve the objectives of its parent organization. Every library programme must support university total programme. In other words, a university library should aim to advance the functions of its university. It should reflect the character of the school.
The first and main function of a university library among others is to support all the student, professors and other academic staff in their educational pursuit. Also services rendered in an academic library are;
- The various sizes study rooms for groups of student to study together
- Simple or electronic tool for collaborative work
- Up to date technological tools
- Provision of electronic resources such as CD ROM databases, Electronic journal, Electronic database, Electronic books and many more.
Electronic resources refer to those materials that require computer access, whether through a personal computer, mainframe, or handheld mobile devices. They may either be accessed remotely via the internet or locally IFLA (2012). Some of the resources include, e-books, e-databases, electronic journals, CD- ROMs, subject gateways among others. Dhanavandan and Tamizhchelva (2012) also defined an electronic resource as a resource which requires computer access or any electronic product that delivers a collection of data, be it text referring to full text bases, electronic journals, image collections, other multimedia products and numerical, graphical or time based, as a commercially available title that has been published with an aim to being marketed. These may be delivered on CD ROM, on tape, via internet and so on. Over the past few years, a number of techniques about related standards have been developed which allow documents to be created and distributed in electronic form. The e-resource on magnetic and optical media has a vast impact on the collections of university libraries. It is the main aim of University Libraries to support teaching, learning and research in a consistent way which supports the mission and goals of the institutions they belong to.
However, the diversity of information needs by library clients, in terms of quality, depth and currency makes it difficult for libraries to adequately fulfill user needs through traditional information sources alone. Electronic information forms an integral part of libraries assisting the users in learning, teaching and research. So it's the responsibility of library to keep pace with technological developments and cope up with the users demand for e-information resources Kumar & Singh (2011).Commenting on the advantages of electronic resources, Dadzie (2007) writes on electronic resources as invaluable research tools that complement the print resources in a traditional library setting. Their advantages, according to her include: access to information that might be restricted to the user due to geographical location or finances, access to more current information, and provision of extensive links to additional resources. Naik, (2009) states that the potentiality of the e-resources are huge, do not occupy physical space, elimination of time, space, cost limit, easy archiving of the content and organized subjectively and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, among others The advantages of electronic resources have prompted University libraries to provide electronic resources in order for them to meet the users need?. In spite of these huge advantages of e-resources, a number of factors or obstacles still serve as impediments to the utilization of these e-resources by library users. These include irregular power supply, poor network connectivity, struggling with information overload, non-subscription of electronic information resources ,as well as students inadequate literacy skills, to mention but a few. The Library has managed to put in place Electronic resources for its clients, maintains access tools and also imparts lifelong skills through information literacy skills training and also promotes the electronic resources.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Electronic information forms an integral part of libraries assisting the users in learning, teaching and research. S Kumar & Singh (2011).Commenting on the advantages of electronic resources, Dadzie (2007) writes that electronic resources are invaluable research tools that complement the print based resources in a traditional library setting. Their advantages, according to her include; access to information that might be restricted to the user due to geographical location or finances, access to more current information, and provision of extensive links to additional resources. Naik, (2009) states that the potentiality of the e-resources are huge, do not occupy physical space, elimination of time, space, cost limit, easy archiving of the content and organized subjectively and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, among others. Electronic resources, in most universities, are integral part of the electronic library and stand as vital academic resources that support teaching, learning and research activities (Zhang & Liu, 2011) reported that electronic resources are invaluable research tools for students in their academic pursuit. Electronic resources provide accurate and timely information for students for their academic success students heavily use online resources for their information seeking, to prepare for their class discussion and to write their final year research paper
However, despite these possible opportunities, observation in some university shows that students are still having challenges in retrieving electronic information resources in their libraries despite literacy training, workshop, and other user orientation regularly given to them. This and other challenges prompted the researcher to investigate the “student’s information retrieval and utilisation of electronic information resource in university of Uyo main library