In this age of globalization, the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) to people generally and students in particular cannot be overemphasized. This is true because ICTs facilitate quick and easy access to a wide range of information/information resources world wide. In fact, it is now difficult to imagine a world without information technology. In this digital age, tertiary institutions strive to be up-to-date in their curricula. The provision and use of ICT is part and parcel of the entire system, to both the students and the institutions. It is one thing to recognize the importance of ICTs and another to know if they are effectively used by students and academics. If ICTs are put to effective use, the essence of acquiring them is to a large extent justified vice-versa.
Ebijuwa (2005) defined ICT as tools used for collection, processing, storage, transmission, and dissemination of information. To Anyakoha (2005), ICT is the electronic means of capturing, processing, storing, and disseminating information. The American Library Association (1983) defined information technology (IT) as the application of computers and other technologies to the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information. Computers are used to process and store data, while telecommunications technology provides information communication tools, which make it possible for users to access databases and link them with other computer networks at different locations.
With advances in ICT, electronic information in the form of electronic books, electronic journals, and the Internet have aunched the world into an information age. No institution or organization can still rely on only traditional printed information resource to perform effectively and efficiently. To librarians, ICT is a significant development that provides tools for managing the avalanche of information generated by modern society.
The Niger Delta University, with 9 faculties and 38 departments was established in 2000. The main library was established in 2002, while 9 faculty libraries were opened in 2005 and the Centre for Niger Delta studies library in 2008. Of the 9 faculty libraries, the Law library and College of Health Sciences (CHS) library are well established and in separate campuses from the main campus. Of all the institution's libraries, only the main library and the CHS library have ICT installations.
Role of ICT in Information Management
ICT provides libraries with capabilities for the location of information, storage and retrieval of information, and dissemination of information. Internet access enables libraries to locate information stored in other computers around the world. With online search facilities, information stored at different locations can be easily retrieved. Through the use of web pages, e-mail, and CD-ROM, libraries disseminate information. Digitization of library information resources, which converts print resources into electronic form, means that such information can be accessed from homes, offices, or any workstation connected to the Internet.
Purpose of the Study
To investigate availability of ICT facilities in the Niger Delta University libraries.