Challenges confronting postgraduate library and information science student in the use of electronic resources in southern Nigeria.

Author:Amina, Akporhonor Blessings
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

Electronic information sources are a wide range of products going from electronic periodical to CD-ROMs, from mailing list to databases, all of them having a common feature of being used and sometime modified by a computer (Thanuskodi, 2012).

The electronic resources are systems in which information is stored electrically and made accessible through electronic systems in which information is stored electrically and made accessible through electronic and computer network. These resources include online public access catalogue (OPAC), CD-ROMS, (Compact Disc-Read Only Memory), Online-databases, e-journals, e-books, internet resources etc. Multiple accesses speed, richer in content, reuse, timeliness, anywhere access is some of the features of e-resources (Prangya and Rabinda, 2013). Postgraduate students use electronic resources is a resource for several purposes, it is expected that as students of higher institutions: generally, academic purpose is what comes to mind. The use of electronic information resources by postgraduate students in Nigerian Library and Information Science Schools comes with a couple of challenges. According to Adomi (2005) the nation's poor telecommunication infrastructure has been a subject of debate to researchers and higher institutions. In the factor of poor telecoms infrastructure poor skill in navigating electronic resources, cost and restricted access to electronic information resources by postgraduate students in Nigeria. Prangya and Rabindra (2013) found that lack of training; poor infrastructure and high cost of usage are the obstacles to proper and full utilization of electronic resources.

Objective of the Study

  1. Challenges encountered by postgraduate library and information science in the use of information resources in Southern Nigeria.

Research Question

What are the challenges encountered by postgraduate students of library and information science in the use of electronic information resources in Nigeria.

Literature Review

Researchers examined the domain of open and distance education programs in Nigeria. The introduction of ICT usage, integration and diffusion has initiated a new age in educational methodologies. Thus, it has radically changed traditional methods of teaching and learning and students. The discussions were made in terms of (a) the contexts of distance education in Nigeria (b) the role of ICT in distance education (c) the challenges facing ICT usage, integration and diffusion and (d) the need to consider and to promote long-term policies outcomes when evaluating distance education programs. The study was carried out using a qualitative research method. The use of document materials and observation were an essential part of the instruments for data gathering. The study find that the high hope and enthusiasm for open and distance education interfered with, as the nation is faced with inadequacies in essential services and infrastructure; electricity, postal and telecommunication services and so on (Ololube, Ubogu and Ossai, 2008). This finding is in line with the findings of Ejedafuru (2010) when he pointed out that none of the libraries he studied were fully using ICT for resources sharing. Much remain to be done by Nigerian libraries to enhance resource sharing services. The four reference librarian unanimously agreed that the reason for the failure of resources sharing in their libraries were poor communication infrastructure, negative attitude to automation, not being technically ready, lack of co-operative spirit, inadequate photocopy services, slow document delivery system, inadequate funds, lack of policy and lack of union catalog.

Dilek-Kayaoglu, (2008), Madhusudhan, (2008); Muller and Chandrasekhara, (2006) found that the major problems in the use of e-resources was a lack of subscription in particular fields of study; lack of user orientation or training, low bandwidth, a lack of printing facilities; terminals and trained staff. The study conducted by Shukla and Mishra (2011) found that the majority of research scholars treated the problem of low internet connectivity as the major infrastructural problem in accessing e-resources. The study conducted by Madhusudhan (2010) in India, showed that for the majority of respondents, the most common problem was that of slow access speed. Responded stated that it took too long to view or download pages and they found it difficult to get relevant information. Some respondents were of the opinion that too much information was retrieved and that they could not make use of e-resources effectively due to the lack of proper IT knowledge. Another study conducted by Mulla (2011) in India revealed that the majority of academics faced a problem of lack of timing or that lack of training was the main problem while using e-resources. Others were troubled by hardware and software problems respectively.

Bhatt and Rana (2011) identified that the most common problems with eresources were low speed connectivity, lack of awareness about statutory provision for accessing e-resources by the institutions, technical problems (software and hardware), unavailability of sufficient e-resources, doubts in permanency, high purchase price, lack of legal provision, Bashurun, Isah and Adisa (2011) showed that the use of e-resources by academic staff in Unilorin, was not at the expected level that would effectively enhance the learning and resource process as stated in the mission statement of the university, low usage was reported for e-books, bibliographic databases and e-journals in their study.

Bhatt and Rana (201) identified that the most common problems with e-resources were low speed connectivity, lack of awareness about statutory provision for accessing e-resources by the institutions, technical problems (software/hardware) unavailability of sufficient e-resources doubt in permanency, high purchase price, lack of legal provision.

Bashorun, Isah and Adisa (2011) showed that the use of e-resources by academic staff in Unilorin was not at he expected level that would effectively enhance the learning and research process as stated in the mission statement of the university low usage was reported for e-books, bibliographic databases and e-journals in their study. Obuh (2009) conducted a study in Nigeria, where it was observed that there is a general endorsement by respondent of issues like a large mass of irrelevant information; therefore the need to filter the results from search were...

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