Libraries are a critical of any higher education. The very earliest universities were built around their libraries and the very newest will continue to need a library at their heart. They provide vital resources, facilities and services to learners, teachers, scholars and practitioners (Harle, 2009)
To fulfill these essential goals, the university library must necessarily have the benefit of adequate information sources of the heritage of mankind's accumulated knowledge and wisdom. These information sources must be adequate in size and quality.
Purpose and Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this study was to examine the information sources variables and the use of library services in the university libraries in the southeast of Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
To determine the relationship between the size of information sources and the use of library services.
To ascertain the relationship between the qualities of information sources and the use of library services.
The following research questions guided the study:
What is the relationship between the size of information sources and the use of
What is the relationship between the qualities of information sources and the use of library services?
The following null hypotheses were tested.
The size of information sources has no significant relationship with the use of library services.
The quality of information sources has no significant relationship with the use of library services.
Size of Information Sources and Library Services
It is expected that the provision of adequate size of information sources could be related to the use of library services.The relationship between the size of information sources and the effective use of library services has been a recurrent concern in the field. It is felt that there is a definite relationship between size of a given information source and the ability of the library to respond to the needs of the users, (Burns, 1969). Studies have confirmed that size of information sources affect the use of library services (Unomah 1987). Naturally, the larger the information sources, the greater the number that will be circulated (Schofield, Cooper, and Waters, 1975). Gross size is a straight count of total volumes of information sources currently received in the library. Class may break it down or may be reported per capita, (Bonn, 1974). It is generally agreed that size does mean 'something' and that there is a positive correlation between the size of information sources and then use of a library and, for example, the excellence of the academic institution to which the library belongs, measured by composite scores of academic rating, (Jordan, 1963), or by number and variety of graduate degrees granted, (Downs, 1969)
Quality of Information Sources and Library Services
It is expected that the provision of quality information sources could be related to the use of library services because 'Quality' is a decisive factor that attract users to use the library services. The quality of academic libraries is connected with product and services among others (Pindlowa 2002). Because libraries are service organizations, the quality in the content of a library is often treated as the quality of service. Hernon and Nitechi (1999) point out that service quality includes three areas: resources (information sources/contents), organization (service environment and resource delivery), and service delivered by staff. According to Aguolu and Aguolu (2002), the word quality can be understood in two ways: (a) as the peculiar or essential character of any thing; and (b) as a degree of excellence. It has both intrinsic and extrinsic connotation. From the intrinsic viewpoint, the quality of information sources pertains to their pedagogic research value; and from extrinsic standpoint, it refers to their physical reliability and durability.
There is a high positive correlation between quality of information sources and library services. Ajibero (1998) however insisted that quality of library services depends to a large extent on the quality of information sources. Traditionally, Nigerian university libraries build information sources to meet the information needs of their patrons. It is therefore argued that quality of information sources have influence on the use of library services (Ologbonsaiye 1994). This argument was reinforced when he stated that the quality of a library's information sources has been identified as one of the yardsticks for measuring the library users' satisfaction of library services.
Maigari (1985) had earlier described poor library services as a national problem, which he attributed to lack of quality information sources. Maigari's view was reinforced by Kolo (1995) who revealed that library services in Nigeria have been of poor quality, which he attributed to acute shortage of quality information sources for any effective academic and other educational activities in the country.
The ex-post-facto research design of the survey method was used. The population for this study consisted of...