1.0 Background of the Study
University libraries play a vital role in supporting students and faculty by providing the information needed for research, learning, and academic activities. Aina (2004) emphasizes that the primary purpose of a university library is to align with the objectives of the university, which encompass learning, teaching, research, and service. This perspective is echoed by Ekere (2006), who underscores the role of the university library in promoting teaching, learning, and research.
A 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. It maintains various collections tailored to the needs of different departments and faculties, facilitating research, assignments, and even leisure activities (Reitz, 2004). Ekere (2006) reinforces this notion by identifying any library affiliated with a university as a university library, emphasizing its mission to serve the objectives of the parent institution.
The primary function of a university library is to support the educational pursuits of students, professors, and academic staff. In addition to this, academic libraries offer various services, including study rooms for group work, collaborative tools, modern technology resources, and electronic materials such as CD-ROM databases, electronic journals, electronic databases, and electronic books.
Electronic resources, as defined by IFLA (2012), encompass materials that require computer access, whether via the internet or local systems. These resources include e-books, e-databases, electronic journals, CD-ROMs, and more. The advent of electronic resources has significantly impacted university library collections, offering access to a wealth of information in diverse formats.
University libraries aim to support teaching, learning, and research in a manner that aligns with the mission and goals of their respective institutions. However, the diversity of information needs among library users, in terms of quality, depth, and currency, necessitates the incorporation of electronic resources. Electronic information is integral to facilitating learning, teaching, and research.
Despite the numerous advantages of electronic resources, several challenges hinder their optimal utilization by library users. These obstacles include irregular power supply, poor network connectivity, information overload, insufficient subscriptions to electronic resources, and limited information literacy skills among students. However, university libraries are striving to overcome these challenges by providing electronic resources, maintaining access tools, offering information literacy skills training, and promoting electronic resources to benefit their clients.
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1.2 Statement of the Problem
Electronic information resources are fundamental components of libraries that greatly assist users in their academic pursuits, encompassing learning, teaching, and research (S. Kumar & Singh, 2011). Recognizing the advantages of electronic resources, Dadzie (2007) emphasizes their value as research tools that complement traditional print-based resources in libraries. The benefits cited by Dadzie include access to information that may otherwise be restricted due to factors like geographical location or financial constraints, access to the latest information, and the provision of extensive links to additional resources. Naik (2009) highlights the vast potential of electronic resources, including their ability to conserve physical space, eliminate restrictions related to time and location, reduce costs, facilitate content archiving, and provide organized and readily accessible subject matter, available around the clock, seven days a week.
In most universities, electronic resources are integral components of the electronic library and serve as essential academic assets that support teaching, learning, and research activities. Zhang and Liu (2011) underscore the importance of electronic resources as invaluable research tools for students in their academic pursuits. These resources offer accurate and timely information to students, heavily influencing their academic success. Students often rely on online resources for information retrieval, preparation for class discussions, and the completion of their final-year research papers.
However, despite the promising opportunities offered by electronic information resources, observations in some universities reveal that students encounter challenges in accessing these resources in their libraries, even after receiving literacy training, attending workshops, and participating in user orientation programs. It is these challenges and more that have prompted the researcher to investigate "student information retrieval and utilization of electronic information resources in the University of Kano Main Library.Top of Form
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1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study aims at examining the students information retrieval challenges in the utilisation of electronic resources in University of Kano Main Library. The study seeks to expose the challenges students encounter in the utilization of electronic resources in University of Kano Main Library. The main objective of the study is:
To investigate students information retrieval and utilization of electronic resources in university of Kano Main Library.
The specific Objectives of the study are:
- To find out if slow internet connectivity relates with student utilisation
of electronic information resources in university of Kano Main Library
- To examine if irregular power relates with student utilisation of
electronic information resources in University of Kano Main Library
iii.o examine if inadequate literacy skill relates with student utilisation of
electronic information resources
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent has the slow internet connectivity relates with student's utilisation of electronic information in the University of Kano Main Library ?
- What is the relationship between irregular power supply and student utilisation of electronic information resources in the University of uyo?
- To what extent does student’s inadequate literacy skill relate with the utilisation of electronic information resources in university of Kano Main Library?
1. There is no significant relationship between irregular power supply and student utilisation of electronic information resources in university of Kano Main Library
2. Slow internet connectivity has no significant relationship with utilisation of electronic information resources in university of Kano Main Library
3. Inadequate literacy skill of the students has no significant relationship with utilisation of electronic information resources in university of Kano Main Library
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study therefore focuses on the electronic resources utilisation and the students information retrieval challenges. The Library is spending a lot of money to purchase and manage the resources therefore resources should be fully utilised. From the results of the study the library is also going to strategize on how students can be motivated on how to effectively utilise electronic resources as they can boost their academic achievements. This study is important because it examine the utilisation of electronic resources at University of Kano Main Library and findings of this study will contribute to the body of knowledge on students information retrieval challenges . The study will also be beneficial to academics, researchers, students and professionals interested in this area of study. The main beneficiary of the research will be University of Kano Main Library. After in-depth understanding of the impediments and their origin, viable solutions to increase utilization of electronic information resources would recommended.
The results of the study will assist University of Kano Main Library to implement adequate and appropriate training and measures to facilitate effective utilization of electronic resources.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study is based at university of Kano, located at Kano. The study explores how undergraduate students retrieve and utilise electronic resources in order to fulfill their academic needs at University of Kano. The study is confined to the usage of electronic resources only. Participants are chosen on the premise that they have fresh technical knowledge to the subject under study as they receive information literacy skills training.
1.8 Definition of terms
Electronic Resources - are those materials that require computer access whether through a personal computer, mainframe, or hand-held mobile device. They may be accessed remotely via the internet or locally. For instance e-journals, e-books, full text (aggregated) databases, audio/visual resources etc. IFLA (2012)
Information Retrieval: Is defined as an individual’s ability to recognize a need for information: identify and locate appropriate information source : know how to gain access to the information in those sources, evaluate the quality of information obtained, organize the he information and use the information effectively.
Library: In this study, a library is defined as a designated building where information in prints and in other formats are collected, organized, carefully prepared according to some specific or definite plan, and make accessible for reading and consultation by all ages and interests.
University library: in this study, A university library is a kind of academic library that serves the information needs of the university community through provision of information resources that supports learning, teaching and research. The university library is usually centrally located where students can access the library with ease.
Utilization: in this study, utilization of a resource is the act of exploiting a resource to satisfy an information. For information resources to be effectively used by students, they have to be accessible