The effect of library use education as a course on library patronage: a case study of LAUTECH library, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Author:Ogunmodede, T.A.


One of the fundamental laws of the library is that the resources-books and non-book must be well consulted. The librarian has to acquire and provide access to the information stocked in the libraries. The user is very important in the practice of librarianship; this is because library process revolves around the users. The user is very critical to the services of a library, hence the user of a library must be constantly asked to assess the services and resources provided, as this will help the library to improve upon its services. No matter how large the stock of a library is, if the services and its resources are not fully utilized, such a library will end up a white elephant. It is worthy to note however that any attempt on the part of the library to ignore the satisfaction of its users will be done at the library's peril.

The library provides library use education in order to equip a user with enough knowledge on the use of the library. This will enable the user to use the library resources effectively and efficiently. The reason is that library processes could be so complex that an average user may not easily comprehend how to utilize the available resources. As a result of the era of information explosion in which we are, information is expanding at a very fast rate and new resources are being introduced into the library (Aina, 2004). With the advent of Information Technology (IT), which has permeated almost all the activities of libraries, it is important to explain the working of a library to a new user in detail. The ultimate objective is to enable users exploit the resources of a library to the fullest. Fjallbrant (1990) defines the concept thus: ".... the teaching of those skills that will enable students to locate and use materials effectively, and feel confident in using the library. Also, its aim is to acquaint users with the use of materials in the libraries. Similarly, Fleming (1990) defined library use education "as various programmes of instruction, education and exploration provided by libraries to users to enable them to make effective, efficient and independent use of information sources and services to which these libraries provide access"'

Bello (2003) corroborated the view of Fjallbrant, by stating that library use education is a device by the librarians to educate users on how to use the resources available in the library in a result oriented ways. Thus it is concerned with information retrieval, since the objectives of the library use education according to Osagie (2003) are as follows:

* to enable users to know how to use the library catalogues independently in any library with particular references to the Author/Title and subject catalogues.

* to enable users to understand the classification schemes in any library so as to be able to locate materials (books, journals, audio visual materials etc) with little or no problem;

* to be able to see library catalogues as indexes to the entire collection and use them as such, and

* to enable the users to see the library as a repository of knowledge that determines the success of the students academic programme because it is not possible for an individual to have the collection of a library.

Students in Nigerian tertiary institutions are introduced to the use of library in one form or the other, in order that the users might know what to consult in their quest for information. Today, most students in higher institute of learning finds it difficult to explore the world of information sources thus leading to poor appreciation of the library and its resources, which contributed to their inability to undergo meaningful researches or at best become poor library users. It is believed that a concerted effort to know and understand library more will eventually enable the individual to develop his/her self to the fullest potentials. This becomes very important as it will enable man to contribute effectively and positively to the development of the society at large.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Library

The Ladoke Akintola University of Technology library was established in July 1990, as one of the academic departments in the university. Up to date, it has been performing its academic responsibilities to support learning, teaching and research. At inception, academic library staff or professional staffs were five (5) while both junior and senior staffs were fifteen (15) in number. All the staff always sat in a common and open room without reading tables, books and other library facilities. The library was later partitioned and equipped with eighty-two (82) seats in 1992.

The library today has witnessed lots of growth in term of size of building, library collection, library equipments and in staff capacity with the central library staff numbering fifty-four (54) and professional staff numbering fourteen (14) respectively.

From July, 1990 till January 1999, the University library occupied a small space in the building presently occupied by the University bookshop, but in February, 1999, the library was moved to the present and permanent site in the campus. The library presently can conveniently seated three thousands user at a time.

The library opening hours are as follows:

Monday to Friday-8am-6pm

Saturday 9am-2pm

This opening hours is applicable to library operations during the semester and as well as in the vacation period.

Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to appraise the effect of library use education as a compulsory University course on the library patronage.

The specific objectives of the study are to:

* Investigate the relevance of library use education as a course to library patronage by undergraduates of LAUTECH.

* Determine the extent of utilization of the resources available in LAUTECH library.

* Assess the level of user and staff interaction in the library.

* Find out the students assessment about the programme.

Research Questions

  1. What is the relevance of library use education as a course to library patronage by undergraduates?

  2. To what extent does the student utilized the resources available in the library?

  3. What is the level of user and staff interaction in the library?

  4. What is the student's assessment of the method and content of instruction manual for library use?

Literature Review

Over the years, there have been various terms referring to teaching effective use of the library and its resources. These terms include "library use education" "reader instruction", "user instruction" "library orientation", and "library user education". All these terms refer to organized programmes...

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