Socio-demographic factors as determinants of access and use of ICT by staff of university libraries in Oyo state.

Author:Owolabi, Emmanuel Sola
 
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Introduction

The deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in most aspects of human endeavors has instituted a paradigm shift which is making it complex for individuals to make tangible contributions to human civilization without access and proficiency in the use of Information and Communication Technology. This necessitates the compliance of library staff to the dictates of ICT in the delivery of their services especially now that information explosion is taking its toll on traditional system of information resource management. Information and Communication Technology has permanently altered traditional librarianship and the duties of librarians and support staff. Information and Communication Technology is primary to library staff because of its innumerable benefits such as enhancement of speed, efficiency and effectiveness.

Academic library as an organization that manages information and information bearing materials cannot afford to underestimate the role of information and communication technology because it is so indispensable to the fulfillment of its objectives. Mullins (2002) observed that organizations wishing to survive have to foster use of innovations among their members. Therefore, academic library staff who are the providers of information necessary to facilitate teaching, learning and research are expected to lead in accessibility and use of ICT to keep abreast of developments in the business of identification, acquisition, processing, storing, retrieving and dissemination of necessary information products and services.

Ajayi (2005) maintained that the traditional "brick and mortar" libraries must give way to libraries that are not limited by geography; adding that it is necessary for libraries to reinvent themselves if they hope to develop and facilitate access to information in the present digital age.

The staff of academic libraries constitutes the human factors that are the determinants of the fulfillment of whatever goals the academic libraries have set in support of their parent bodies. Their ability to access and use ICT will greatly determine the quality of services rendered by their libraries. Each library staff has certain socio-demographic factors which distinguish them from one another. It has been established by Olatokun (2006) that there exists a measure of variance in individuals' access and use of information and communication technology due to socio-demographic factors. These factors: gender, age, income, skills etc may serve as determinants of their access and use of information and communication technology.

It is therefore paramount to analyze the socio-demographic factors of library staff in relation to ICT access and use since library service is a chain of activities in which inefficiency in one department may hamper total quality service delivery in others.

Objectives

  1. To investigate how demographic variables (age, gender, income and education) of library staff influence the ease of use of ICT tools.

  2. To identify the influence of demographic variables (age, gender, income and education) of library staff on their accessibility of ICT tools.

  3. To determine if demographic variables (age, gender, income and education) of library staff have any relationship on the complexity of use of ICT tools.

  4. To examine the extent to which demographic variables (age, gender, income and education) of library staff influence their use of ICT tools.

    Scope of the Study

    The study will focus on socio-demographic factors influencing ICT accessibility and utilization by staff of selected academic libraries. The study will be limited to four university libraries in Oyo state, Nigeria; that is, the University of Ibadan Library (Kenneth Dike); Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Library, Ogbomoso; Lead City University, Ibadan; and Ajayi Crowther University Oyo.

    Methodology

    The descriptive survey method was adopted for this study and the population of this study shall comprise all categories of library staff (professional, para-professional and support staff) in selected University libraries in Oyo State, Nigeria. The data collection method that will be employed in this study is questionnaire.

    Data analysis and presentation

    Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents

    Table 1 presents the demographic characteristics of the respondents. The table shows that librarians in Kenneth Dike Library accounted for (53.3%) of the respondents, Bishop Ajayi Crowther University (14%), Lead City University Librarians (12.7%)...

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