Psychological factors and the use of e-library resource among undergraduates in South-West Nigeria.

Author:Omosebi, Fehintoluwa E.


Libraries hold enormous store of information that users (such as students) need to access for academic excellence. According to David and Felix (2006), the dynamics of globalization, plus the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) resulted in its deployment in sectoral and national development. To this end, libraries now have both printed document as well as electronic information resources in their collection. Studies such as Borgman, Smat, Milwood and Finley (2005); Talja, Vakkari, Fry and Wouters (2007); Vakkari (2008); and Nov and Ye (2009) affirmed that electronic libraries have become an increasingly important way in providing library services to users. Users which in this study are conceptualized as students need information to satisfy their needs, and also to promote and enhance their academic pursuit during their course of study in the university. The mandate of the university library is therefore to provide adequate and relevant information resources both in print and online for users. The print information resources includes journals, textbooks, magazines, newspapers and reference materials and non-print includes CD-ROM, audio-visual materials, microfilms, micro fiches, databases and online resources. These are needed to support class work, assignments, research/project work, term papers, seminar presentation by providing relevant information and services for effective and efficient achievement of academic pursuit.

However, Sullivan-Windle (1993) noted that, students sometimes have difficulty using their university library and that libraries are seen as daunting and intimidating places especially in the era of the deployment and use of ICT for library services which is termed electronic library (e-library). Drabenstott (1994) cited by Koohang (2004) defined e-library as include: the digital library is not a single entity; the digital library requires technology to link the resources of many; the linkages between the many digital libraries and information services are transparent to the end users; universal access to digital libraries and information services is a goal; and digital library collections are not limited to document surrogates: they extend to digital artifacts that cannot be represented or distributed in printed formats.

Although, according to Liu (2008) and Ahmad et al., (2011) cited by Sivathaasan, Murugathas and Chandrasekar (2014), users are often restricted from the use of electronic resources in the library. However, Brennan, Hurd, Blecic and Weller (2002) affirmed that e-library users make fewer visits to the library and read more e-journals than the print era. Adoption of e-resources has made changes in the trend of information behavior of university users. To encourage users to accept and continually use digital libraries, library designers and managers need good understanding of the factors that influence users' adoption. Hong, Wong, Thong and Tam(2002); Venkatesh (2000) and Nov and Ye (2009) state that the use of e-library are determined by a variety of factors including user perceptions of system characteristics, computer-related personal traits, and general personalities.

Different approaches have been deployed to measure personality differences of individuals such as the big Five personality factors, Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); Holland personality assessment; among others. In this study, the big five personality trait is deployed. This is because the big five personality factors area global accepted and commonly used personality traits. The foundational work of the five trait theory of personalities primarily comes from the work of Allport and Odbert (1936), Norman (1963),Cattell (1945), Fiske(1949); Barick and Mount(1991); Saucier and Goldberg (1998), among others. In addition, there is a claim that nearly all models of personality can be classified among the five major dimensions. These dimensions are as follows openness; conscientiousness; extraversion; agreeableness; and neuroticism. On a general note, openness to experience are individuals who show appreciation for art, adventure, new ideas, and imagination. Conscientiousness individuals have the tendency to show self-discipline and aim for achievement. Extraversion individuals possess social energy and the desire to seek the company of others. Agreeableness individuals have the tendency to be compassionate and cooperative toward others. Also, neuroticism individuals are those who have the tendency to easily experience negative feelings such as anger, anxiety, or depression.

Studies have shown that there exist a relationship between personality traits and e-library use. Behrenbruch, Sollner, Leimeister and Schmidt (2013) revealed that personality traits of individual users such as students could pose a significant effect on the use of e-library. Although, these studies provided an existence relationship between personality differences of users and the use of e-library nevertheless, it is expedient to understand the pattern and extent of their relationship- this is a major gap this study seeks to fill. Also, attitude towards the use of computer is another important variable in this study as factor affecting e-library use among users. Radjagopal and Chinnasamy (2013) defined attitude as a mental state of readiness exerting directive or dynamic influence upon individual's response to all objects and situations with which it is related. With respect to this study, individual response conceptualised as e-library use. Attitudes regarding use of electronic information resources vary among people (Sivathaasan et al., 2014). Earlier study showed that a positive attitude towards a behavior could influence actual behavior (Walberg and Tsai, 1985; Davis, Bagozzi and Warshaw 1989).

According to Ray and Day (1998), students graduate from the universities without necessary skills to cope within the information based society especially in this era of ICT. In addition, Liew (2000) opined that reading an e journal is not the same as reading a printed issue, as many users which include students have come to acknowledge that electronic resources offer users advanced features and novelforms of functionality beyond those in the printed form. Necessary factors and characteristics that may be deemed important in the use of e-library may not come to play in the use of the traditional library. Furthermore, Rajagopal and Chinnasamy (2013) affirmed that, in the era of ICT and its deployment in library services, there is a growing interest in electronic information resources among users which include students. Thus, Okiki(2012) confirmed that it is important to understand the attitude towards the use of e-library and thus actual use of e-library. To this end, this study tends to investigate the psychological factors influencing the use of e-library resource among undergraduates in south-west Nigeria. The study would provide answers to the following research questions:

i. Do undergraduate students have a high level of attitude towards the use of computer?

ii. What is the level of e-library use among undergraduate students?

Also, the following hypotheses would be subjected to testat 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the elements of personality traits and e-library use among undergraduates in south-west Nigeria

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between the computer attitude and e-library use among undergraduates in south-west Nigeria

Ho3: There is no significant difference in the use of e-library among students' demographic characteristics

Personality types and use of e-library

The concept of personality is very broad and many theorists have attempted to quantify it and apply various forms of taxonomy (Engler, 2006 cited by Jackson, 2008). According to Wagner (2008), personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make a person unique. It arises from within the individual and may remain fairly consistent throughout life however, at other times, it has been consistently argued and concluded that it can also be a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. According to Holland (2010),personalitydifferences make people to prefer some environment to others. According to Phares (1991), personality is an inborn temperament and features arising in different situations and a combination of the characteristics of a person which separate him/her from other people. Also, personality is the unique features of every human being; exhibition of characteristic adaptations; unique identifications towards life and a set of cultural differences (Hogan, Hogan & Roberts, 1996; McAdams & Pals, 2006).

As can be understood from the definitions, personality is discussed in terms of specific traits and factors. The personality traits which were put forward by Eysenckand Eysenck(1975) on the basis of biological stimuli are classified as follows: extraversion, neuroticism, and psychosis. Accordingly, a relationship between personality and other factors such as attention, learning and the arousal levels of memory has been discovered. Furthermore, it has also been discovered that these stimuli have focused on a variety of factors (Daderman, 1999; Erdheim, Wang & Zickar, 2006). Although there is no complete agreement on the definition of personality traits, by taking into account of certain factors, there seems to be a broad consensus over five universal factors which determine personality traits...

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