Student characteristics and use of library services in the University of Uyo.

Author:Omehia, Anthonia E.
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

University libraries set up their services to enhance the teaching and research missions of the institutions, particularly for students. Student characteristics have an effect on their use of library services. This study examines the differences among academic disciplines, year of study, and socio-economic background as independent variables in students' use of library services in the University of Uyo.

Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant difference in the use of library services among students of different academic discipline (science, social science, arts and humanities) in the University of Uyo.

  2. There is no significant difference in the use of library services by undergraduate students in their penultimate and fourth year in the University of Uyo.

  3. There is no significant difference in the use of library services among students of different socio-economic status (high, middle, low) in the University Uyo.

Literature Review

There have been many studies of academic library use. Williams (1995) surveyed Canadian undergraduate library use, and found that active learners who participate more in class, and who read, write and study more are regular and active library users. Fowowe (1989) found differences in the frequency of library use of by faculty and students, and that 94.8% of students use library facilities. Olanlokun (1982) found that students use the library for class work, research, discussions, leisure, and other purposes. Guskin (1996) emphasizing reports that library use promotes active learning and thus contributes to students' ability to think critically and work well independently and in a group. Ajayi (1993) notes that students who do not appreciate the value of the library are at a disadvantage, and may visit the library to only read for examinations. Unomah (1996) finds that faculty have the major responsibility for students' use or lack of use of the library. Whitemire (2001) contends that changes in user patterns have implications for university library services such as reference and institution.

Authors such as Boakye (1999) and Rosch (2003) have examined the differences between independent variables of user education and journal collections and library use. None of these studies provided empirical evidence on the effect students characteristics on their use of library services, although they show difference in library use among students from different disciplines. Specific user related characteristics that have been measured in the past according to Powell (1997) includes frequency of library and information use, reasons for use, types of library information use, attitudes and opinions regarding libraries, reading patterns, level of satisfaction, demographic data, personality, lifestyle and awareness of library services.

Ajibero (1998), and Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) find that Nigerian university libraries do not meet user expectations. As a result, most students do not learn how to use the library and are not aware of the relationship of the library to their studies.

The literature reveals that rising university costs have made students more selective in choosing a university. Andaleeb and Simmonds (1998) find that students expectations of libraries vary, making it imperative to better understand and define specific student needs. Leckie and Fullerton (1999) assert that information literacy skills are desirable across disciplines, especially in science and engineering, but that professional associations do not necessarily support that. Eskola (1998) found large differences in how students of different disciplines use the library. Hiller (2001) recommends a strategic plan that will develop and implement a study to identify user populations, their information needs and how well they are to be met." Christopher and Menon (1995) observe that one element of high quality service is the "incorporation of user personal needs and expectations into the development of programs and service." According to them, the continued success of a service organization...

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