Factors affecting student use of information technology: a comparative study of Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Niger Delta University, Amazoma.

Author:Oyadonghan, Joyce Chinyere


The factors that affect the use of information technology by students in Nigerian University libraries varies from availability of resources and materials, management and administration as well as students attitude and disposition. Laudon, (2002) explained that information technology is one of the many tools managers use to cope with changes, adding that computer which is at the core is the physical equipment used for imputing data and processing output. Similarly Haag (2002) asserted that information technology is any computer-based tool that facilitates the search and retrieval and dissemination of information to information seekers and as well support the information and information processing needs of individuals, groups and organization. He further explained that information technology includes keyboards, mouse, screens, printers a telephone's" cellphone, GSM handsets, television, radio, scanners, moderns, word processing and operating system software etc. Ehikhamenor (1993) defines information technology as the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information by means of computer, office machine and telecommunications. Computer provides the processing, storage and retrieval facilities while telecommunications provide the facilities for the transfer or communication of data and information to users.

The emergence and use of information technology has improved efficiency in the performance of routine tasks in the library, like acquisitions, cataloguing and user services. The flow of work is speeded up and library users are served without much delay. Acquisition and cataloguing of some essential relevant materials are now processed online, while the on-line public access catalogue (OPAC) is in vogue in the milieu of most automated (academic) libraries. However, in Nigeria the availability and utilization of information technology is at its lowest ebb and that is why the concern of library and information services must not only be on the survival of libraries but mainly in the formulation of a framework of policy for the development of libraries with modern and up-to-date Information Technology.

This is why Womboh (2008) likened the state of information and communication technology in most of Nigerian university libraries to a mediocre, insisting that any university without a functional ICT connectivity will eventually become extinct and obsolete. 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 this digital age.

Information and Communication technology (ICT) according to Akintunde (2004) is a terminology which has overtaken information technology (IT) because of its appropriateness and relevance. According to him, while Information Technology (IT) focuses on the computer, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) emphasizes the use of technology for development, thus focusing on the use of computer and other technologies such as telephones etc, to process, transport, transfer voice/video and other data singularly or mixed with least interference.

But Harold defines Information Technology (IT) as a generic term that covers the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information-textual, numerical, pictorial and vocal. Wirsiy and Shafack (2002) posited that the term is restricted to systems dependent on the micro-electronics based combination of computer and telecommunications technology" They asserted that information technology is a broad-based term that encompasses the gathering (acquisition) organization (packaging), storage and retrieval (dissemination) of information that can be in textual or numerical (books, documents) pictorial and vocal forms (audio-usual for a combination of all the above (multi-media) using a combination of computers and telecommunication (telephony). While the terms IT and ICT can be used interchangeable, the overall essence for its introduction is to facilitate access to information.

Literature Review

Eres (1987) observed that amongst such factors that militate against the use of information technology in developing countries are the cost factor, problems of foreign exchange required for the purchase of computers, lack of library and information standards, inadequate and unreliable telephone network systems, shortage of manpower, low prestige of information professions, difficulty in recruiting specialist and lack of continuing education. These views were correlated by many writers. Womboh (2008) pointed out the harsh economic condition and government apathy to library services in Nigeria. Due to the same reason he noted that the content and quality of services of most Nigeria university libraries have deteriorated to such a level that the quality of the products of such universities has also been...

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