IMPACT OF LIBRARY EDUCATION ON THE UTILIZATION OF LIBRARY RESOURCES IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
IMPACT OF LIBRARY EDUCATION ON THE UTILIZATION OF LIBRARY RESOURCES IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
- Background to the Study
Students enrolled in a higher institution require the usage of library resources to succeed in their academic endeavors and to continue their education throughout their lives. For the most part, students use information resources to complete their academic assignments, tests, and research; they also use information resources to meet their personal development, health, and worldwide information needs (Ochai, 2011). As a result of the phenomenal increase in the number of students’ enrollment in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, as well as the knowledge explosion and scarcity of learning materials, every institution of higher learning in Nigeria must strive to provide excellent library services to its students in order to achieve the goals that have been set for it (Akimbola, 2010). First and foremost, the goal of an academic library is to assist in the implementation, enhancement, and support of the educational programs of the parent-institution. Other goals include the development of reading skills and teaching in the use of books and libraries, among other activities. This training in the use of books and libraries is a programme that teaches students/library users how to make the most use of the resources available to them by utilizing them to their full potentials. A common term for this type of training in the use of books and libraries is referred to as “User Education.” It includes all efforts carried out to assist students and library patrons or users in locating and evaluating the information they require. Finally, the purpose of user education is to connect those who are seeking knowledge with the resources they require. When potential library users are taught how to make efficient and effective use of the library and its resources, they are more likely to use the library and its resources more efficiently and effectively. This is accomplished through the acquisition of knowledge and skills in identification, location, retrieval, and exploitation of information. In addition to orientation/training programs, workshops, and seminars, the library may periodically offer “know your library programs” for both new and returning patrons to help them become more familiar with the resources available at the various sections of the library. Depending on the programme or activity, physical copies such as manuals or handouts, or soft copies such as compact CDs, may be used to package and distribute it. The fundamental goal of user education is to expose, acquaint, and instill in clients the fundamental and basic knowledge, understanding, and skills that are required for the effective and efficient use of library resources and services, knowledge and skills to enable them to make judicious use of the information resources and services available in a given library is, thus, the goal of user education. The adoption and implementation of technological devices inevitably place the responsibility of facilitating library use on the shoulders of library service providers, who must do so through the design and packaging of high-quality ‘user education,’ which determines the rate of use of any library and also actualizes the most optimal user satisfaction over the long term. In addition, a badly packaged user education programme may be responsible for a low rate of usage of library resources and services, which is in direct conflict with the library’s user satisfaction policy, which is also in conflict with the user satisfaction policy (Uwakwe et al, 2016).
The primary goal of every library is to fulfill the informational needs of its patrons. When the library acquires information items and prepares them for use, library users who are unfamiliar with the way the information materials are structured may find it difficult to locate what they are looking for in the library. Consequently, it is essential for library staff to educate patrons on how to make good use of the materials available in the library. Users would become familiar with the way library resources are structured after this has been completed. As a result, library patrons would be encouraged to make full use of the resources available to them. User education, according to Fleming (1990), as cited in Suleiman (2012), is “a variety of programs of instruction, education, and exploration provided by libraries to users in order to enable them to make more effective, efficient, and independent use of information sources and services to which these libraries provide access.” Murugan (2012) defined library user education as instruction that provides library users with the skills necessary to enable them to be autonomous and sophisticated users of libraries and their resources, according to the ALA. At the year use the activities involved in educating patrons how to make the best possible use of library resources, services, and facilities, including formal and informal training offered by a librarian or other staff members one-on-one or in groups, were also included, according to him. Because of the tremendous increase in the number of information resources available in a variety of formats, it is necessary to instruct library users on how to use the contents in the library. For the purposes of higher education, it is presumed that students who are new to the institution have not taken advantage of the library services offered by their secondary schools. This is one of the reasons why students are required to take the Use of Library course in their first year in the college and to pass it in order to be eligible to graduate.
In this age of the digital library, electronic resources are purchased and subscriptions are made to them. These resources may necessitate the use of a password and a user identification to access them. These information resources cannot be used effectively unless the users have the necessary method and skill, which is provided by library staff. They required the ability to retrieve resources either on their own or with the assistance of a library catalog of the type of Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC). Suleiman (2012) indicated that all library users feel that the user education programme assist them in retrieving materials more effectively via the library’s online catalog.
User education is a programme of ensuring that users have sufficient knowledge about how to utilize a certain library. User education enables users to obtain any information they seek while also gaining the skills necessary to access the library’s resources on their own (Aina, 2014). Educating users about library resources is being planned in higher institutions in order to showcase the work of librarians while also accelerating the efforts of patrons to obtain and use library materials. In response to users’ perceptions of libraries as a dead institution that is unable to service their needs, the article presents the question, “How have libraries and librarians responded to the forecast that libraries would be closed?” According to Oyesola (2014) and Sulciman (2012), library user education improves students’ ability to locate materials they require, increases their knowledge of useful library tools, encourages learners to make extensive use of the library, and provides them with rudimentary knowledge of proper study methods. One of the goals of the user education programme is to empower students to use libraries for their academic pursuits on their own without the assistance of a teacher. Kumar and Phil (2009) stressed the need of library user education and the several reasons for this necessity. Their argument is that due to the great expansion in the volume of publications, the accompanying complexity of libraries, as well as the techniques by which literature is structured and disseminated, user education is required. In light of the rapid changes in teaching methods and the accompanying tendency toward a greater use of multi-media learning resources ranging from the press cutting to the slide tapes package and the multiple kit, there is a pressing need for library user education.
It is in the light of the above discussion therefore that this study seeks to examine the impact of library education on the utilization of library resources in Federal College of Education, Pankshin.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Students in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions should be required to participate in a mandatory library user education programme in their first year, with the goal of developing skills in the effective and efficient use of library resources. The ability to educate a user is critical for the successful operation of any system, especially one that is new or complex. A modern library is an example of a system that necessitates the implementation of an appropriate user education programme for its patrons. According to Wilson (2010), a user education programme is specifically the process by which potential users of information, such as those involved in the development of national information policies, are educated on the importance of information in specialized fields of activity and in everyday life, are instilled with a positive attitude towards the need to seek information, and are motivated to use or develop information resources.
The majority of students, head straight to the bookshelves to look for information, only to be disappointed when they find nothing. Some people are unsure of which reference materials or books to consult in order to obtain the knowledge they require. Others who are aware of potential sources to approach are frequently unable to sort through the information that they receive from them. The information presented above supports the notion that user education in higher institutions is related with a wide range of issues and concerns. The current study represents an attempt to take things a step further by studying the issues and proposing solutions to them. The explosion of information on a daily basis necessitates the need for users to have sufficient knowledge and ability to navigate and select relevant information from a variety of available information. Library user education programs are essential, especially for new students, because they provide orientation on how to access and use information resources available in the library (Joseph, 2014). As observed by the researcher, users at the Federal College of Education Pankshin Library often times find it difficult to access information resources on their own. It is therefore against this background that user education is necessary so as to assist the users. User education can assist users in developing the skills they need for research and lifelong learning, as well as in making the most of the library resources that are accessible to them. In this context, the study’s goal is to determine the influence of library user education on the consumption of library resources in order to make recommendations.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine impact of library education on the utilization of library resources in Federal College of Education. Other specific objectives of the study are:
- To determine various types of library education programmes that are offered in Federal College of Education Pankshin Library.
- To identify the types of materials available to users at the Federal College of Education Pankshin Library.
- To determine the obstacles that prevent users from accessing information resources at the Federal College of Education Pankshin library.
- To examine the impact library education on the utilization of library resources.
- To find out the strategies that can be adopted to improve the effective and efficient use of information resources in the Federal College of Education Pankshin library.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are the research questions that were chosen for the study:
- What are the various types of library education programmes offered in Federal College of Education Pankshin Library?
- What are the types of materials available to users at the Federal College of Education Pankshin Library?
- What are the obstacles that prevent users from accessing information resources at the Federal College of Education Pankshin library?
- What are the impact library education on the utilization of library resources?
- What are the strategies that can be adopted to improve the effective and efficient use of information resources in the Federal College of Education Pankshin library?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Information is power. In the light of this statement, this study will be beneficial to school management, school librarians, students, curriculum planners, government and future researchers.
The study will be significant to school management of Federal College of Education Pankshin as they will see the importance of library education. Therefore, management will encourage library education which will inturn help learners to identify the information they need to read for their exams and assessment. This will enhance their academic performance.
School librarians will benefit from this study as they will be able identify the various types of library education which will help staff working in the library to arrange the books or information in the library which will help students to locate their desired information in an easier way.
Students will benefit from this study because the library education will help them to locate relevant information in the library that will help them in their academics. It will also serve as an improvement of academic performance of these students in Federal College of Education, Pankshin.
Curriculum planners will benefit from this study because they will see the importance of library education in the identification of information in the library. Therefore, they will make it a course that can be taken for four semesters to grand the students in the use of library for proper identification of information.
Finally, when this study is completed, it will serve as a reference material to future researchers who will want to research on library education and utilization of library resources. It will serve to the already existing literature on library education.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study covers the impact of library education on the utilization of library resources. The study is restricted to Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau State. The types of user education programmes available in Federal College of Education Pankshin. The variables to be covered in this research include types of library resources available to users in Federal College of Education, Pankshin, the challenges users encounter assessing Federal College of Education, Pankshin library and the strategies that can be adopted to improve effective use of library.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Information: the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence.
Information needs: this refers to the wants or demand of an information user aimed at satisfying or filling an information gap.
Library: a place where information materials of different formats are systematically selected acquired, organized, stored, preserved and disseminated to users at the appropriate time to meet their information needs.
Library Service: this refers to facilities which are provided by a library for the use of the books and the dissemination of information.
Information resources: is an element of infrastructure that enable the translation of certain selected significant so as to provide information that can be used by user.
User Education: It encompasses all activities undertaken to help students/users of libraries to locate and evaluate their information needs.
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