Availability and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in six Nigerian university library schools.

Author:Abubakar, Bappah Magaji


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have taken a central position in all spheres of human endeavor. Their roles in societal development have been considered pervasive. In fact Karisiddappa (2004) asserts that "for a sustainable development of a nation, today ICT has become essential knowledge to every nation and more so to the developing nations". This clearly indicates that ICTs now serves as backbone for societal development in all ramifications. Information and Communication Technology are now applied to all fields of human endeavor.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a term that has various meanings. Some scholars see it as a term that encompasses a lot of activities involving the acquisition, storage, processing and dissemination of information through the use of appropriate software and hardware designed for that purpose. Wirsiy and Shafack (2002) have defined Information Technology as: a broad-based term that encompasses the gathering (acquisition) organization (packaging), storage and retrieval (dissemination) of information that can be in textual or numerical (books, documents), pictorial and vocal forms (audiovisual) or a combination of all the above (multi-media), using a combination of computers and telecommunications (telephony). Womboh and Abba (2008) notes that ICT and Information Technology (IT) are similar concepts that can be used interchangeably. According to them IT implies communication and therefore the two terms are synonymous. Information and Communication Technology have a positive effect on library profession and should therefore be embraced by Nigerian Library Schools just as their counterparts in other parts of the world.

Literature Review

LIS Education in Nigeria

Nigeria is the cradle of library and information science (LIS) training in West Africa. Librarianship training in Nigeria started at the Institute of Librarianship at the then University College Ibadan (now University of Ibadan) in 1959. The training was at the leadership level because it was started at a graduate level, and it produced the first set of indigenous librarians for West Africa (Aina, 2007). The Ibadan LIS school was established with the assistance of the Carnegie Corporation of New York after Harold Lancour's report of 1957.The establishment in 1959 of the Institute of Librarianship at Ibadan with its initial enrollment of six students in 1960-1961 session marked the beginning of Information education programs in Nigerian Universities (Nweke, 1995).

The establishment of the second school of Librarianship in Nigeria was preceded by the famous F.A. Sharr's report on the library needs of Northern Nigeria. According to Mohammed (2008) the 1963 F.A. Sharr's report on library needs in Northern Nigeria gave birth to the establishment of the second LIS school in Nigeria in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1965 to educate and train librarians at the undergraduate level as opposed to that of Ibadan's Postgraduate Diploma level.

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