THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) ON COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT IN THE DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ABRAKA
1.1. Background to the Study
The importance of information as a vital resource in today's society hardly needs emphasis as information brings people and thoughts together. It is the exchanges of ideas, news and data that make a society what it is. In the post-industrial society, it has been said that what counts is not raw muscle power or energy but information, and indeed the advanced economies of the world have already become information intensive (Dysart and Jones 2014). Consequently, large investments are being made in the Information Technology (IT) industry for the purpose of generating, processing and disseminating/transmitting information. IT can be used in libraries and information centres, in the context of Ranganathan's fourth law 'save the time of the reader/staff for many purposes. On the question of the impact of IT on library and information work, (Luijenijk, 2009),as early as 1985, drew attention to what he considers a significant change required in future systems design, as the present information systems have been designed for use by information professionals rather than users (Johnson, 2010). This, perhaps, is true in many libraries even today it becomes now imperative to design information systems for use by end-users, the primary clientele.
However, while libraries and information centres have risen to the occasion and are trying to adapt and adopt IT for their operations, they are being affected by a number of external forces-social, economic, political, technological and internal variables for a change. Thus, the challenge of change, the pressure for accountability, and the emergence of enterprise culture are emphasising the fact that library and information services need to be proactive rather than passive and hence, need to be positively and effectively managed. At this juncture, it may be useful to remember that four interrelated trends of IT-multiple IT, dispersing IT, accelerating IT, and pervasive IT — can alter, for example:
• Objectives and strategies—the nature of sources and services
• Operational structures—the ways in which service(s) are delivered (Line, 2011).
Recent advances in science and technology in general and developments in the field of information technology in particular have vastly influenced the concept of collection development and have brought in sweeping changes in information collection, storage and dissemination (Luijenijk, 2009). Factors like information explosion, budgetary constraints, complex requirements of users, rising cost of publications and other related factors as well as development of digital libraries, internet, e-mail, CD-ROM, electronic publishing etc., have forced the libraries and librarians to change the style and approach of their functioning. Libraries have slowly started giving importance to „accessing the other library’s collection‟ rather than mere possessing almost all documents on a given subject i.e., shifting from „owning‟ to „access‟ and „sharing‟.
Collection development in libraries is tilting towards electronic documents / information sources using network facilities. The trend of printed materials is decreasing and need for accessing electronic information resources is increasing slowly day by day and the concept of collection development which implies building, growing, dealing with selection and acquisition of library materials is changing towards collection management (Seethraama, 2010). Combination of both print and electronic information resources like CD-ROM, On-line, internet is the dilemma faced by the libraries and librarians in recent past. „Information mix‟ is the order of the day.
The organization of information, its storage, access, preservation and retrieval has become both – simplified as well as complicated. It is believed that information has become more garmented, piecemeal and disembodied, resulting into changing its face completely. According to Elaturoti (2000), “we are no longer accessing the whole fabric of information, rather bits of data, sound bites and images torn from it”. Currently “Economic forces and technological advances have combined together to create a new environment, where access to collective scholarly resources that no library could be ever afford, supersedes the historic quest for the great comprehensive collection” (Fayose, 2005).
Collection development in libraries is tilting towards electronic documents / information sources using network facilities. The trend of printed materials is decreasing and need for accessing electronic information resources is increasing slowly day by day and the concept of collection development which implies building, growing, dealing with selection and acquisition of library materials is changing towards collection management. Combination of both print and electronic information resources like CD-ROM, On-line, internet is the dilemma faced by the libraries and librarians in recent past. „Information mix‟ is the order of the day (Jegede, 2009).
Whatever the form the collection development takes, still it requires policies that would govern the acquisition of both electronic resources and traditional forms of documents. Hence, there is a need for redefining a collection development policy on the following identified key issues.
The advantages of IT including accommodation of increased workload, achievement of greater efficiency, ability for generation of new services, facilitating cooperation, etc., can stand in good stead in the quest for quality and productivity of library and information sources (collection) and services.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
The application of modern information technologies to academic libraries’ activities and services in Nigerian tertiary institutions seems inadequate probably due to a variety of factors, including human factors, fear, and the state of infrastructural development of the country. Not a few library practitioners also believe that there is hardly much benefits that can be derived from the use of IT applications thereby giving preferences for the manual library operations. Those who are aware of its benefits are afraid of being eliminated from their jobs; though knowing that its application to library routines such as administration, acquisitions, cataloguing and classification, circulation, information retrieval and serials control would facilitate effective and efficient job performance.
Users complain of inadequate information services. The dissatisfaction may be connected with ineffective collection management. Collection management is most effective when I.Ts are applied to the process. This research explores the extent to which I.Ts are available, how they are used, and how they affect collection management in Delta State University, Abraka.
However, while libraries and information centres have risen to the occasion and are trying to adapt and adopt IT for their operations, they are being affected by a number of external forces-social, economic, political, technological and internal variables for a change.
This study therefore investigates the impact of information technology on collection development and management at the Delta State University Abraka Main Library. Hence, the study is focused essentially on the Delta State University main Library.
1.3. Research Questions
The study is set out to provide answers to the following research questions:
1. How adequate are IT facilities in the university library?
2. Where are IT used for collection development and management in the university library?
3. What effect do IT have on collection development and management in the university library?
4 What are the challenges facing the use of ICT in collection development
5. What can be done to harness ICTs for more effective collection development and management in the university library?
1.4. Purpose of the Study
The main aim of this study is to investigates the impact of Information technology (IT) on collection development and management in the Delta State University, Abraka. Specifically, the study will:
1. Determine how adequate are IT facilities in the university
2. Identify the aspects of collection development and management in the library where ITs are being used
3 Examine the impact IT have on collection development and management in the university.
4. Identify the challenges facing the use of IT in collection development and management
5. Find out what can be done to harness IT for more effective collection development and management in the university
1.5. Significance of the Study
The study establishes an empirical basis for increased library effectiveness in academic library by applying IT which emphasize collection development and management. It will call attention to the fact that mere acquisition of or access to IT facilities does not guarantee effectiveness of collection development and management. It provides evidence for the management of the university and other stakeholders of the need to adopt a positive attitude and favourable policies and programmes to maximally harness the benefits of IT for collection development and management effectiveness.
1.6. Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigates the impact of Information technology (IT) on collection development and management in the Delta State University, Abraka.
Geographically, this study will be carried out in the Delta State University Main Library, Abraka as the case may be.
1.7. Operational Definitional of Terms
The following terms were generally define in this research work
Information technology (IT) is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise (Becker, 2013).
Collection Development: Library collection development is the process of meeting the information needs of the people (a service population) in a timely and economical manner using information resources locally held, as well as from other organizations (Chaudhry, 2012).
Library management is a sub-discipline of institutional management that focuses on specific issues faced by libraries and library management professionals. Library management encompasses normal management tasks as well as intellectual freedom, anti-censorship, and fundraising tasks. Issues faced in library management frequently overlap those faced in management of non-profit organizations (Cogswell, 2007).