Faculty use of University library resources: a study of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Author:Simisaye, A.O.
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) former Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE) was upgraded into first University of Education in Nigeria in 2005, its certificate of recognition as the 76th University in Nigeria was issued specifically in November, 2005 by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The University is owned and funded by Ogun State Government. The University has four (4) Colleges namely College of Applied Education Education and Vocational Technology (COAEVOT); College of Humanity (COHUM); College of Science and Information Technology (COSIT) and College of Social and Management Sciences (COSMAS). The University also has Center for part-time programmes (CEPEP), which runs part-time degree and Post Graduate Programmes. The university also has Vocational School that offer course vocational studies, Pre-Degree and Foundation Programme in Ososa annex. The University turned out its first set of graduates in December, 2009. Like any other Universities, its basic functions include teaching, research and community service. Right from the time immemorial, libraries have been seen as vital "engine" in realization of laudable objectives of Universities, hence, wherever Universities were established, and university libraries immediately took-off with them.

As a result of foregoing, when Tai Solarin University of Education was established in 2005, a library started with it with the mandate of providing, organizing and making available print and non-print information resources for students, and faculty, non-academic and academic community to aid teaching, learning and research.

Background Information

The university Library is located within the main campus at Ijagun, with a seating capacity of about 2,000 users and about 20,000 volumes of books and E-Library resources. It has College of Science and Information Technology (COSIT) library and library for pre-degree programmes at Ososa campus of the University. The library services an estimated 250 faculty staff and over 11,000 students (full time, part-time and pre-degree programmes).

There was problem of space with old library that were hitherto in use when the College was up graded to a University. The State Government built and commissioned a new library completed in year 2008 and the library moved to the new building in June 2008. In effort to build the library collocation to meet the challenges of its new status, majority of the old stock inherited from the former College of Education were withdrawn and transferred to Tai Solarin College of Education which was moved to Omu, Ijebu as a separate entity from the University in October, 2008 (Kadiri, 2009)

Availability of library resources and their utilization by library patrons has ever been a major concern to library and information centers world - wide. The reason is not far-fetched as the provision of information services has been the primary focus of libraries irrespective of types and clientele they served. Besides, the basic law of Librarianship as put forward by Raganathan (1931) emphasizes that the library resources are for use. It then follows, that any library, no matter how big and rich its collection is has failed in its entirety if its resources are not exploited by its users. Popoola (2001) added that information availability does not mean accessibility and utilization. This assertion further reinforced the reason why all libraries should endeavor to make sure that their resources are fully utilized by patrons.

User studies have ever been the interest of librarians. They become essential when a library has gone through significant change and need to assess how it affects users' views of service or significant change are contemplated and user input and support are critical.

Ugah (2001) added that the era when University libraries assumed that they were providing excellent resources and services to users is over. The traditional method of measuring the quality of an academic library only in quantifiable terms of its collection is being jettisoned and new ways to measure are emerging (Audaleeb & Simmonds, 1998) The University Community is not a static environment, but rather, one fraught with change and adjustment in realization of this fact, university libraries therefore need to brace up in evolving services and resource that would meet these diverse needs.

Statement of the Problem

It is pertinent to say that since the establishment of the University and notable changes in the library status and efforts made so far in meeting information needs of its users (Students, faculty and non-academic staff and academic community), there has not been any study to assess the extent the library has done in providing information resources and services to the faculty staff of the University, hence there is need for this study.

Objectives of the Study

The study seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To ascertain the level of availability of library resources to faculty staff in this University

  2. To investigate the frequency of use by the faculty staff of this University library resources.

  3. To determine the level of use of library resources by faculty members of this University

  4. To find out factors that hindered the use of library resources by faculty staff of this University.

    Hypotheses

    The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

  5. There is no significance relationship between library resource availability and utilization by faculty members.

  6. College will not have significance influence on faculty members' utilization of library resources.

    Significance of the Study

    The study is worthwhile because faculty members constitute an important category of users of academic library. The study will show the level of availability of library resources needed by faculty staff and the extent of utilization of this important group of users. This will go a long way in assisting the library in meeting the challenges posed by the university status accorded the institution barely seven years ago.

    Literature Review

    Library use study as an aspect of user studies is a vital aid for effective planning and management in academic libraries (Ampka, 2000). Most evaluative studies on library use have always concentrated on students' use of academic libraries (Ampka, 2000; Ikokoh 1999, McCarthy 1995; Fowowe 1989; Unomah 1988). Though students are an important part of the setup of academic institutions and perhaps the major users of academic library facilities, nevertheless, the staff of academic institutions, particularly, faculty staff also used the library and they are very important users of university libraries. They engaged in teaching, research and community services and they need libraries in achieving desirable performance.

    In evaluating libraries, the users are paramount as they justify the existence of libraries (Hermon and Calvert, 1996). Nitecki (1996) also echoed that that the assessment of how well a library succeeds depends on the user as a judge of quality. It is in line with this notion of users are great determinants in deciding the existence and survival that compel libraries to continuously adjust products and services in consonance with the dictates of their customers' expectations.

    Today's academic libraries are confronted with challenges on several fronts. They now faced several challenges from Megabook stores, online information providers, multimedia products, document delivery service and other information providers. As a result of these developments, Audaeeb & Simmonds (1998) remarked that academic libraries need to adopt a more strategic orientation in which the creation and delivery of service satisfactions for their users play an important role.

    It is very important for libraries to continuously evaluate their services because of benefits derivable from such exercise. According to Knightly (1979) as cited by Ugah (2007) is to gather information on how the library is accomplishing its objectives, with a view to improving the delivery of library services.

    Several studies have been carried out on use of university libraries. Osinulu (1998) examined the use of a university library in Nigeria by...

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