Determinants of library use among students of agriculture: a case study of Lagos State Polytechnic.

Author:Abosede, Ajayi Taiwo


There has been growing concern about students' use of the library in higher education institutions in Nigeria, due to the importance of the library in the successful completion of their studies. Academic libraries foster information literacy and provide resources to both students and staff. Libraries provide numerous services to users, addressing their diverse needs, characteristics, and interest (Andaleeb, 2001). Fowowe (1989) notes that a library can fulfill its function best by pursuing a policy of constant self-evaluation in order to be alert to the changing needs of its users. Library services must create a balance between specific research and information needs and a usable collection of information materials to meet the needs of the institution's academic programmes (Osaghale 2008).

According to Mason (2010), an academic library has the mission to build and maintain a collection that will support and enhance the instructional needs of the institution. He also supported other researchers that academic library is to provide access to all sources of information. The services of the library depend on processed data from users to understand their information need and make corrections on past mistakes and improve on the future. This can be achieved by library users; they determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the services provided by the academic library.

Franscotti, et al. (2007) say that libraries are trying to reinvent themselves to be more appealing to students. They are doing this by fostering literacy information through resources and services to encourage their clients visit and use the library. In spite of this, studies show that attitude of students to the use of library and what characterized their use, their reasons for using the library, and information used vary, and where there is low use, there are often pedagogic reasons for it.

The availability of the Internet and electronic resources may have a negative effect on the use of an institution's library by students, while socio-economic and demographic characteristics of students can also have a significant impact. It is possible that while some students go to the library to use the available services, others may not go to the library, perhaps due to the availability of alternatives like personal e-resources and Internet connection.

Yusuf and Iwu (2010) found in their statistical study that 88% students in Covenant University visited the library to read for examination and Online Public Access Catalog is more used than manual cataloging. Adetoro (2008) explained and affirmed that statistics has become necessary for libraries to compile and gather data which is the basis for the establishment of standards Ifidon (1983). Oyesiku and Oduwole (2004) submitted that male students in Olabisi Onabanjo University used the library more than their female counterparts. Kamin (1984) showed the relationship between age, race, sex, income level and level of education and use of the library. There is negative relationship between library use and age but positively related to education attainment. Popoola (2008) established an inverse relationship between age and research output and invariably use of information sources and services otherwise called the library.

Ford (1986) as cited by Mason (2010) was of the opinion that library can be a stimulating place for some students and for others, may not be the case. He found that students come to university unprepared and unequipped to handle the demands of their course work primarily because they do not have experience with large research library, or that they do not understand how library work and are yet to acquire the skills needed to do meaningful research. George et al (2006) cited in Ossai (2009) noted that students library use pattern amongst others is influenced by the attitude of the university library staff. Franscotti et al (2007) conducted a survey to determine the level of usage by students and current resources of the library while Lange (1998) through Tear (1999) showed that distance from the library is an important factor in frequency of use and indicated that positive experience with library staff at early age is a determining factor of library use at adulthood.

Franscotti, et al. (2007) establish that the services of the library staff, introduction of better environment and availability of relevant collections will enable the student to use the library more. Students will use more of the library if they can do their home work, access information, listen to music, watch movies and use the internet. Time of opening and closing also affects students' library use. If library is opened whole day through, teachers will have more opportunities to do their lessons in the library and students can go into the library to work and do whatever they are interested in doing Franscotti et al (2007). Most of these studies used percentages, standard deviations, means and other descriptive statistics in their approach. There is therefore need to use simple probality regression model like probit or tobit models to investigate the effects of some of the factors that affect students library use to add to the knowledge gap and be able to elicit suggestions for improved library use among students.


The study was carried out in the...

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