Gender differences in use of electronic resources in university libraries of Adamawa State, Nigeria.

Author:Bassi, Musa Dauda


Gender differences are being discussed in academia, economy, politics, science and technology, and even religious circles. According to McGinty and Moore (2008), gender issues have been in the forefront of impassioned public discussion regarding higher education. Similarly, according to Waldman (2003), gender is a relevant factor in use of electronic databases. A study by Sacks, Bellissimo, and Mergendoller (1994) of higher school students found that their attitudes to computer and use tended to vary by gender. Utulu (2006) observes that the issue of the gender gap in the digital divide and the impact of new technologies on gender in particular on the economic and political spheres of women lives are of major importance. This is because gender influences factors such as income, time constraints, literacy, education, language, and cultural context that affect access to facilities, training, and employment in information Technology. In order to facilitate access to information by all users within the university, Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria (2000) introduced the virtual library project, which pulled together resources electronically, connecting all academic libraries in Nigeria with the hub at National University Commission. Consequently, university libraries in Adamawa state were not left behind in their efforts in providing electronic resources to their users. A survey by Bassi (2010) on attitudes of students towards use of e-resources shows that students form the major users of these libraries and they are heterogeneous in nature. This posed a point of concern to the researchers to investigate gender difference in attitudes among students in these libraries towards the use of electronic resources. This is important because electronic information resources open opportunities for both male and female students for their information needs in the pursuit of their educational career and future endeavors.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study seek to determine the:

* Types of electronic information resources available in the university libraries

* Use of electronic resources by gender

* The reasons students use electronic information resources by based on gender

* How students acquire their search skills to use electronic information resources based on gender


[Ho.sub.1] There is significant difference between male and female students attitudes towards the use of electronic information resources

Literature Review

Many scholars have discussed the issue of gender difference among students towards the use of library resources. Manda and Mulkangara (2007) report that gender is associated with the use of electronic information resources, and that male postgraduate students were more likely to use e-resources than female students. They further report that even when there was controlled for attitude towards the use of e-resources or training in the use of e-resources the relationship between gender and e-resources was maintained. A study by Amkpa (2007) revealed that male and female students differ significantly in attitudes towards computer applications which later affect their job opportunities after graduation. A study by Tella and Mutula (2008) on gender difference in computer literacy reported that students with higher computer literacy were more inclined to access and make use of library facilities. They further reported that differences exist between female and male undergraduate students at the University of Botswana with regard to computer literacy. In the same vein, Ford and Miller (1996) report that gender is a predictor of internet use and attitudes, males seem to enjoy browsing on the internet for enjoyment, while females tend to only use it for work-related purposes. Ford, Miller, and Moss (2001) found that women tend to experience more difficulty in finding information online than men, and Steinerova and Susol (2007) revealed that statistically, there is high preference offor the Internet as the first source of information among men. Men also put more stress on non-paid electronic resources as opposed to women's more frequent use of licensed resources. Ozoemelem (2009) reports a...

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