THE INFLUENCE OF ELECTRONIC RESOURCES USE ON STUDENTS' READING CULTURE IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES: A CASE STUDY OF ADELEKE UNIVERSITY EDE, OSUN STATE.

Author:Ajayi, Stephen Adekunle
 
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Introduction

Reading is an essential tool for lifelong learning. It is important for everyone to develop a good reading culture as to perform excellently in academic endeavours. Reading skills for students are critical for academic performance and personal growth. Reading is an important component of student's ultimate literacy development. Moreover, Ezeji (2012) citing Holte, (1998), agreed that reading adds quality to life and provide access to culture and culture heritage. He pointed out that reading empowers and emancipates citizens, and bring people together. According to Rubin (2002), reading is an integrative process that starts with the reader and includes the affective, perceptual, and cognitive domains.

It is pertinent to note that students who engage in in-depth reading have developed self-confidence and they know that their ability to read can open doors for them. Improving access to relevant information and promoting reading culture are prerequisites for strengthening literacy skills, widening education and learning opportunities, and helping people to address the causes of poverty (Makotsi, 2005). Consequently, the emotion the reader have when reading any information resources either online or offline information will help the reader to consciously understand and know exactly what he or she is reading. Reading can be said to be the bedrock of most forms of learning activities culminating in literacy.

Anecdotal evidences suggest that students are rarely interested in reading for pleasure, instead, they read only to pass examinations. The declining interest in reading among students in higher institution is a challenge to all, as it affects the educational standard and the quality of graduate sent into the society. The ministry of education in Nigerian may need to launch a readership promotion campaign from the primary to the tertiary level of education, which may help to incubate the culture of reading in students to enhance a better reading culture among all and sundry.

Further, one of the most important factors in education is ability to read, understand and critical apprehend the text, Hetting and Knapp (2001) cited in Onovughe (2012). Moreover, Carson (1992) opines that reading furnishes three serendipities including:

* Reading activates the mind.

* Reading forces the mind to discriminate. From the beginning, readers have to recognise letters printed on the page, make them into words, the words into sentences, and the sentences into concepts.

* Reading pushes us to use our imagination and makes us more creatively inclined.

It may interest you to know that students who excel academically read extensively, reading actually does activate the mind and make us more creative. The more active our minds are, the more agile they become, which in turn results in a higher level of creativity. To be capable of doing this students must develop an in-depth reading culture, they must have the ability to understand text and reading culture should be developed from early childhood and throughout his/her whole life. Moreover, Carson (1992) suspects the existence of a one-to-one correlation between avid reading and intellectual accomplishment.

Unfortunately, reading is not taught separately as most other subjects or courses in the curriculum rather it is subsumed in English. This may be responsible for the purported low quality of graduate produced by Nigerian tertiary institutions. However, Olukemi (2010) advised Nigerian youths to imbibe the reading culture in all their endeavours. She lamented that lack of reading culture among youths nowadays has greatly affected the quality of graduates being produced by the nation's higher institutions. Electronic resources can thus be helpful to students of higher institutions through the provision of online information resources because of its flexibility in searching than their paper based counterpart, and they can be accessed remotely at any time for reading and research purposes.

Electronic resources also known as e-resources are accessed electronically and are on different subjects. Electronic resources can be a bibliographic of full text database that allows you to search for relevant articles in your subject area. E-resources includes electronic journals, online databases (Agora, Jstor, Ebscohost, Ajol, Hinari), electronic books, locally loaded database, website, CD-ROM , electronic text, e-abstracting and indexing databases such as MEDLINE, E-news, E-images, E-music etc. These electronic resources are used mainly for reading and research purposes. Some of the electronic resources are in closed-access the institution concern pay for access fee to enable their student's gain-access to the online resources.

Amori (2003) opined that e-resources such as e-journal, e-book, CD ROM databases, online databases and web-based resources when effectively utilized constitute an important input in the information services in libraries. They help in providing relevant information required by students, which if properly utilised can help in improving reading culture and improve academic excellence. However, Ireyefoju (2002) stated that the provision of e-resources in the right quantity has been regarded as a major input required for high information services provision.

Generally, one usually finds out that students are more socially inclined with friends through using social media, reading dailies and rarely getting information on their academic work except when necessary. This seems to have reduced interest in reading of information resources, vocabulary development, general knowledge and broadmindedness, which an individual get from having a good reading culture. This has probably reduced student's interest in using electronic resource to enhance their reading culture. This then, is the cause of concern and the need to explore the literature on the influence of electronic resources use on students' reading culture in Nigerian **universities**.

Objective of the Study

Specifically, the study aimed at identifying the followings:

  1. To identify various electronic resources used by students of Adeleke University, Ede.

  2. To identify the level of usage of electronic resources among the students of the University.

  3. To assess the influence of electronic resources use on reading culture of students of Adeleke University, Ede.

  4. To identify the reading pattern of the students of Adeleke University.

  5. To examine the factors hindering the effective use of electronic resources for improved reading culture of students in the University.

    Students Reading Culture in Higher Institutions

    Chettri and Rout (2013) argued that a good reading habit is necessary for a healthy intellectual growth and plays a very crucial role in enabling a person to achieve practical efficiency. Furthermore, an individual's interests are determined to a considerable extent by the amount he will read and the intensity with which he will pursue his reading activity. By reading books, one gets confirmation or rejection of one's own ideas, which in turn increases the knowledge level of the reader. In addition, reading provides people with a sense of values, which enable them to discriminate between what is acceptable in the society and what is not.

    Reading is very powerful and an indispensable equipment for learning and acquisition of the varied skills and experiences needed by man to develop a satisfactory personal life style. It is important that students should develop positive habits towards reading of books. However, as education involves a lifelong learning experience, reading is important and beneficial to man. Consequently, the Nigerian Government is stimulating the reading of books, newspapers and magazines, and electronic resources through the president Goodluck Jonathan "bring back the book" campaign.

    Ezeji (2012) and Kaufman (2011) observed that children spend a considerable amount of their time watching TV and playing video games, while they are not spending a great deal of time reading and writing. Statistics collected according to Kaufman, the U.S department of education "National centre for educational statistics" shows that students achievement has been declining in recent times. Ezeji (2012) citing Ikpaahindi (2008) averred that information and communication technology...

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