An Assessment of the Resources and Services Provision for the Disabled Library Users in University of Ilorin and Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo.

Author:Adesina, Olabisi F.
Position:Oyo, Nigeria - Report
 
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Introduction

Impairment is a term used to describe deviation from normal. According to Crisp (2002) a person who has a physical or intellectual problem is said to be impaired e.g. a person who is short-sighted has a visual impairment. In a situation whereby the person's impairment means that he is unable to function in the same way as most people in that particular area, then he is considered disabled. For example, a person who has glaucoma does not have a full field of vision as most people and therefore has a visual disability.

Disability is the term used to define a restriction in the ability to perform normal activity of daily living which someone of the same age is able to perform. Okoye, (2010) defined disability as a condition resulting from permanent injuries to the brain, spinal cord, eyes and other parts of the body, as a result of motor accidents, wars, natural disasters and diseases such as polio. A typical example is the condition of a three-year old child who is not able to walk; a normal three year old child should be able to walk independently.

Handicap is the term used to describe a person who, because of disability, is unable to perform normal activities in the society. For example, inability of a sixteen year old person to prepare his own meal or care for his/her own self without the help of someone is handicap. On the other hand, a sixteen year old who can walk only with the assistance of crutches but who attends a regular school and is fully independent in his/her daily living activities is disabled but not handicapped. All disabled people are impaired and all handicapped people are disabled, but a person can be impaired and not necessarily be disabled, and a person can be disabled without being handicapped. An individual may also be called disabled if he/she has had impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard or norm. Such impairments may include physical, sensory and cognitive or developmental disabilities. Mental disorder also known as psychiatric or psychosocial disability and various types of chronic diseases may also be disabilities. Some people object to describing certain conditions (notably deafness and autism) as "disabilities" arguing that it is more appropriate to consider them developmental differences that have been unfairly stigmatized by society (WHO, 2006).

Library Resources

Library resources are objects or materials that can be used to gain knowledge in libraries or information centers and these resources can be divided into human and material resources. Human resources include the professionals (Librarians) and Paraprofessionals Librarians working in the library. These people have to make sure that all the users of the library are attended to and all their needs are met irrespective of their status, age, and cadre. The qualification for a professional Librarian is Bachelor's degree in library and information science while Para-professionals must have at least a diploma in the same field. Apart from this, he /she must be intelligent and must be somebody that is patient. (Williamson,et al2007).

Material resources are the reading or accessible materials in the library, which may be physical or non-physical materials. Physical materials are those printed materials, which can be seen and handled by the users. They include books, journals, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts and government publications. Non-physical or non-prints are materials that can only be assessed with the help of a gadget such as computers, CD ROM search, mobile phones, book readers which give information from online.

Library Service

This is a kind of services that the library provides for its users and it varies from library to library according to the type of materials and resources contained and the kind of users that patronize them. These services can be general services or specialized services. They include:

  1. Current awareness services: Services provided by libraries to keep clientele up to date on new acquisitions of library resources and other new developments in the library.

  2. . Reference service: This is a service library where the librarian provides clientele or library user with direction to library materials and also provide library resources that are meant for consultation.

  3. Selective dissemination of information service: This is a service provided where by tools and resources are used to keep clientele informed of new resources on specified topics.

  4. Referral service: This is a process of linking a person who has an information or problem with a service that will meet the information need or solve the problem.

  5. Lending service: A basic service whereby libraries lend out their resources to only registered users of the library.

  6. Photocopying service: Some libraries also provide photocopying services to library users at a subsidized rate.

All these services are supposed to be provided for all library users irrespective of gender, age, status, background, etc. unfortunately, this is not so because libraries always had problems in providing information for people with disabilities (Williamson et al., 2007).

Statement of the Problem

Information is an important element to the development growth of an individual irrespective of one's status. With adequate information, one can be self reliance. However, disability has compelled some people to depend on others simply because they do not have any form of training that would help them adjust. As noted by Anjiode (2011) people with disability in Nigeria who do not have access to rehabilitation or any form of educational training end up being fully dependent on their extended families or engaged in begging as the only source of livelihood. The few disabled people in Nigeria that have the opportunity to acquire education do not attend conventional schools. Those who attend conventional schools find it difficult to properly utilize the schools' educational facilities, because they were not originally designed for people with disability. Apart from the enrollees, this also affects the acquisition and dissemination of information resources that caters for their health, education, jobs and businesses. These individual never deter to contribute to the development and sustenance of the society value systems. It becomes imperative to access information resources and service for disabled library users in University of Ilorin and Federal College of Education (special) Oyo to investigate how well has the needs of disabled users has been meet, what are in stock, has been in consonance with the admission in the tertiary institutions whose reputation reveals them to be foremost in graduating disabled individuals from first degrees and diploma programmes (Okoye, 2010). Noted that if the right resources are acquired, made available and accessible to the people with disability under a conducive and controlled environment, then their information needs would be met.

Research Questions

This study will provide answers to the following research questions:

  1. What categories of disabled library users make use of the libraries in University of Ilorin and Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo?

  2. What are the types of information resources available to disabled library users in University of Ilorin and Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo Libraries?

  3. What services do the libraries in University of Ilorin and Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo provide for their disabled library users?

  4. For what reasons do the disabled library users in University of Ilorin and Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo use library resources and services?

  5. How accessible to the disabled library users are the resources and services of the...

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