LECTURES’ SATISFACTION WITH LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES IN THE LIBRARIES OF IMO STATE UNIVERSITY OWERRI (IMSU) AND FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY(FUTO) OWERRI
MAGNUS CHUKWUDUZIEM UNEGBU
ALVAN IKOKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION OWERRI IMO STATE.
ALVAN IKOKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION OWERRI, IMO STATE.
ALVAN IKKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OFa EDUCATION OWERRI, IMO STATE
Background To The Study
Libraries are collection of books and non-books materials orderly arranged for use. Books or book materials include monographs, journals, Newspaper, magazines, manuscript while non-book materials, include audio-visuals such as films, tapes, photographs, microforms, compact disc and other computer software (Nwokocha, 1999).
Onwubiko and Uzoigwe (2004) define Library as a center of information, research and recreation. The glory of these collections is that they are well organized to facilitate accessibility and usability. A library can be a room or a building containing books for reading, reference writing etc. It can be an in house collection of books for use by the lecturers.
Hacker (1981) asserts that a Library can be a place where books, journals, microfilms, audio-visual materials, computer data and terminals are kept and organized to support the cultural, informational, recreational and educational needs of the group of users.
Okoro (1999) sees University Library as libraries found in universities and university colleges. They store information materials for advanced learning and ranging from that of undergraduates to post-graduates.
Onwubiko and Uzoigwe (2004) quoting Librarians’ Glossary define a University Library as a library or group of libraries established, manufactured and administered in a university to meet the needs of its students, members of the academic staff and members of the university community to effectively carry out their administrative and executive responsibilities.
They further stressed that university library also makes information services available to members of the university community, whether they are undergraduate pursuing assigned reading, graduate students embarking on research or the lecturers, research fellow, professors and other scholars pursuing highly specialized area. This suggests that university libraries grant borrowing privileges to all faculty, staff and registered students.
Generally, University Libraries also grant the privilege of using other libraries to other resident out of the university community.
Library and information services aim to bring information to users (lecturers) through information sourcing, packaging and delivery. The call for more emphasis to be placed on the study and development of effective library and information services is supported by University Grant Committee of the United Kingdom (1968). That report’s emphasis has been on collection of information rather than its active dissemination, stating however that when help as been given, it has tended to be bibliographic in the sense that sources have been pointed out rather that factual in the sense of providing actual information.
Harrod (1977) defines information services as services provided by or for special library which draws attention to information possessed in the library or information department in anticipation of demand. This is done by providing a reference and information desk, preparation and circulation of news sheets and documents results of literature, surveys, preparation of bibliographic, reading list, indexes and abstracts, particulars of articles in current periodicals, creation of database through documentation of information which is anticipated would be of interest to potential users of the services.
Nwakaohu (1999) remarks that information services set out to identify and provide the users of documents or pieces of information which best helps to user. Library and information services include user education, references services, circulation services, photocopying and reprographic services, studying and seating – accommodation, staffing services and internet services. The users of university libraries are made of undergraduate, postgraduates, academic staff (lecturers); researchers and physically challenged persons and the like (Mason, 2000). The university library satisfies the information needs of lectures by performing these functions as out lined by Oduagwu (2002);
i. To provide information materials required for the academic programmes of the parent institution.
ii. To provide research information resources in consonance with the needs of faculty member and research students.
iii. To provide specialized information services to appropriate segment on the wider community.
iv. To give instructions on the use of the library.
v. To interpret library services to the administrative faculty, students and the members of the university community.
Use, in library parlance, is to utilize. To utilize means the ability to make practical use of something. Uhegbu (2007), posits that utilization is the actual putting into appropriate use of something. It is the process of making use of something available.
To Uhegbu (2007), utilization is governed by several principles which are goal identification, whole purpose of utilizing the information is central to its demand and goal – oriented; availability and accessibility in which utilization is governed by “thing” provided and its accessibility for availability is meaningless if it is not put to use, communication channels, which is a critical requisite for utilization because the way information services are passed to people to a large extent determines its way of use by the seekers, and user satisfaction, which is the ultimate purpose of utilizing information services.
Hornby (2006) defines university lecturers as a person who gives a lecturer or teaches at a university or college. This means that they are those persons whose responsibility is to give lecturers to the students in the university for which they are employed. A university lecturer in this context means a faculty member. Their characteristics considered in this study are; age, gender, educational background and information seeking behaviour. The university lecturers need the library for their teaching, research and community services.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
University libraries are established to support teaching, learning and research in universities. This they do through the provision of relevant information services. Lecturers are one of the major beneficiaries of the services provided by university libraries. They need information for carrying out their teaching and research functions. They use the library to update their lecture notes and what is going on in their research areas.
Therefore, the extent to which lecturers excel in their teaching and research duties is dependent on the quality of library and information services rendered to them by university libraries.
The libraries of Imo State University Owerri and Federal University of Technology Owerri provided services to lecturers.
However, there is hardly any document whether empirical or otherwise which this research can have access to on the nature and the pattern of providing these services to the lecturers. The information on this is largely conceptual and speculative. It is therefore, against this backdrop that this study intends to investigate the library and information services rendered to the lecturers of Imo State University Owerri and Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is lecturers’ satisfaction with library information services in the libraries of Imo State University Owerri and Federal University Technology Owerri . The specific objectives are as follow:
i. To find out the types of library and information services provided to lecturers of Imo State University, Owerri and Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
ii. To ascertain the extent to which library services satisfy the information needs of lecturers of IMSU and FUTO.
iii. To identify problems that affects the provision of services to the lecturers of IMSU and FUTO and suggest solution to the identification problems.
This research is based on the following questions.
i. What are the types of library and information services provided to lecturers?
ii. To what extent do the services satisfy the needs of the lecturers?
iii. What are the problems that affect effective provision of services to the lecturers?
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study focuses on the university libraries of Imo State University, Owerri and Federal University of Technology, Owerri. It is delimited to the following types of library and information services, User education, reference services, circulation services, photocopy and reprographic services, study and seating-accommodation, staffing services and internet services.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be beneficial to university library administrators in that it will identify the information needs of lecturers so that the administrators will be aware of these needs and know the appropriate means of meeting them. The lecturers will also benefit from this study because the findings will sensitize them on the type of services provided, so that they will avail themselves of the opportunities of using the libraries to enjoy these services. To the researchers, this study will provide additional literature to those already existing in the field of this study, so that they can always have enough resources to consult the work as a reference source in the course of making researches in this area.
The findings of this study will propel the government and University administrators to provide adequate funds to university libraries to procure information resources needed, render affective and efficient services to the lecturers. To the society at large, it will make it appreciate the role of libraries especially the university libraries in providing services to enhance education which in turn leads to the development of society.
In addition, the study will expose the lapses in the provision of service to lecturers.
Information services involve the in-depth analysis of the intellectual contents of the literature of a specialized subject’s area and its systematic reorganization and dissemination (Edoka, 2000). He further stressed that information services can be disseminated in form of bibliographies, indexes, abstract, review journals, current contents and other alerting reporting journal literature for the use of specialists.
Uhegbu (1988) remarks that information services are designed to assist individuals and groups with their daily problems through the provision of information or by putting them in touch with a helping agency.
Nwokocha (1999) posits that the modern library changed from being a store house of books to a purveyor of information and the computerization of library operation has further enabled libraries to have behind most traditional library functions in favour of what is known as information services. Harrod (1997) remarks that library services are facilities provided by a library for the use of books and the dissemination of information. Ahiauzu (2002) quoting Arosanyin remarks that it is only when the resources in a library are accessible, that the information contained in them becomes valuable.
Agu (2004) describes library services as a professional guidance and assistance offered to users. These services vary in accordance with the type of library and the category of library users. Horny (1980) says that all other aspect of library services depends upon the efficiency and accuracy with which this work is accomplished.
TYPES OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES PROVIDED TO LECTURERS BY TE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
In order to highlight the types of services provided to the lecturers by the university libraries, it is important that these services which are considered in this study are discussed under the following headings:
i. Users education services
ii. Reference services
iii. Circulation services
iv. Photocopying and Reprographic services
iv. Studying and seating – Accommodation
v. Staffing services
vi. Internet services
USER EDUCATION SERVICES
According to Azubuike (2001), User- education service is known by so many names. It is variously called library orientation, readers’ instruction, introduction to the use of library, introduction to library science and knowledge and use of library. Whatever it is called, the purpose is the same that is helping library users to learn how to make effective and efficient use of the library and its resources. It helps users to acquire library skills that will enable them to benefit immensely from the library collection, by independently looking for the information they want in the library. The service is built on the belief that an educated man is one who knows where to get information he needs.
Taher (1997) holds that the term user-education is how to use a library, where information is available, how to use a particular search strategy, what other sources can help and how to exploit the further. He emphasized that it is require for all library and information services and facilities and for retrieving information precisely, exhaustively and expeditiously. Users are heterogeneous, and information seeking is a complex activity. Based on this, he said, user-education has to be a continuous process for two reason: first, because of some characteristics of the library system such as the use of jargon, lack of strategy and professionalism in marketing, complexities and perplexities in catalogues preconceived ideas of users needs and self-centered librarians; second, the deficiencies in communication between the user and the library, such as attitudes of users towards the library as a last resort, the image of the librarian, and intricacies in information – seeking patterns in the idea plane and in the verbal plane.
Harrod (2000) describes user-education as a programme of information provided by libraries to users to enable them to make efficient independent use of library’s stock and services.
Muogilim (1986) describes user-education as a process of making library patrons to learn how to make effective and efficient user of the library and its resources through the acquisition of skills in identification, location and exploitation of information; library users orientation is as integral part of the layout, rules and regulations, procedures, existence of different collection and services provided in the library. He stated that, the emphasis of user awareness to make users be informed of what the library has in terms of new collections, new services, new rules and regulations governing the use of library, days of services as well as the opening and closing hours.
Ononogbo (1994) says that organized user education sharpens the appetite of the users to avail themselves of the facilities in the library. Entsua-Mensah (2001) postulates that library orientation needs to be organized and conducted in response to the changing information needs. He stated that this has made it necessary for librarians to change their roles to meet the challenges taking place in library environment due to the introduction of information and communization technologies (ICTS).
Fjallbrant (1990) asserts that user expect user’s education in the users in the use of materials, in the manipulation of machines, in the use of computer to access information in both local and foreign data bases.
Ochogwu (2007) points out that users’ education are organized in various ways by orientation tour, bibliographic instruction and users’ awareness, thereby, it is an essential mechanism for ensuring effective library and information use.
Uhegbu (2007) argues that user education provides clientele with information on the techniques not only on how to use the library and its content but how to consult and use other information resources found outside the library.
Edoka (2000) describes reference services as a personal assistance given by the librarian to individuals (lecturers) in search of information, and whatever purpose as well as various library activities deliberately designed to facilitate easy availability of information. According to Fadiran (1982) reference librarian as a subject specialist starts with advanced knowledge of the reference work with departments devoted to such areas as business, arts, science and technology, have become common place in large libraries of all types.
Safra (1997) posits that library reference services consists of providing personal assistance to individual library users in order to meet their information need. It require the recognition by the library that such assistance where necessary in fulfilling its duties and that a specific administrative organization personal need to be provided.
Ahuewere (2009) quoting Roderick’s asserts that users after feel intimidated by libraries and librarians. The skill of a good librarian is to find what the user (lecturer) need, not necessarily what he demands. This is to bring confidence to the user as well as making him to be recognized. Reference services to the lecturers are a vital and an integral part of university library services, whereby the user seek advice and guidance in the choice of reading materials. The services contribute to user growth and development, thus provision of excellent services to lecturers.
Nwosu (2000) asserts that reference services are designed to make the search for information in the library easy and less cumbersome by the personal assistance of the reference librarian.
Circulation services are those services rendered directly to the lecturers (users) in order to satisfy their informational, recreational and educational needs in the following ways: charging and discharging of book, registration of user, shelf guides and reservation of library materials.
Lecturers are provided with an official attention through the professional assistance and services by the staff by way of charging and discharging of books borrowed/returned in stipulated time and in a conducive manner. That is lending out books and receiving them back
Edoka (2000) users has registration in any given years, a user has free access to library services and resources upon registration. The general accepted standard is to give a lecturer a library card as soon he/she registered. Carson (2007) asserts that this offers the user the first tangible evidence of enjoying the stipulated borrowing/lending privileges.
Safra (1997) asserts that users are easily led from one idea to another and borrowing through reference books awakens dormant interest in them. Shelf guide is another type of circulation services given to users which come in the form of guides, directing users to book location: shelves or stacks, instructing/ educating users on how to read and observe the shelves in the library. This is to enable lecturers to easily locate the required library resources.
RESERVATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
In the university libraries, there are special collections which are placed reservation and display for use. These materials are usually not allowed or loaned. For such materials, users are only informed of such on display shelf when such materials are needed by users, they are allowed to use of such for limited periods (Onwubiko and Uzoigwe, 2004).
PHOTOCOPYING AND REPROGRAPHIC SERVICES
These are very necessary in the university libraries especially in the case where the materials are limited and not loaned from the library premises. Safra (1997) asserts that reprographic services are provided in the form of microfilm/ microfiche, microprint when such services are needed to make copies from reserved library materials.
STUDYING AND SEATING – ACCOMMODATION
Ahuewere (2009) quoting Olafiaje says the library is notorious for consuming space. It needs space for study, seating, books, periodicals, reading rooms, work rooms, audiovisual and other storage areas for equipment. University libraries usually provided building for users.
Ganitsakaya (1982) observes that university library buildings are centrally located, physically accessible, even for the handicapped and opens at convenient to the users. There is provision of reference materials, novel, study and seating space, including accommodation for users doing their work. Ahuewere (2009) quoting Njoku emphasizes the need for the comfort of the library users. To this, the university libraries are provided with adequate furniture, reading desks, tables, chairs, carrels and equipment.
Obadofin (1993) remarks that comfortable environment is that in which there is freedom from annoyance, disturbance, and distraction: so that working or pleasure tasks are carried out unhindered physically and mentally. This means that a good university library environment usually attracts user to the library, whereas, invidious one drives them away and discourage them from coming to the library.
Good library begins with the availability of trained and dedicated staff; such staff will encourage the users to develop imaginative, forward- looking interest in the use of libraries thereby lay solid foundation for academic research that will continue to influence them in the future (Wentroth, 1986). Therefore, the success or failure of a library services provided for the lecturers depends to a large extent on the staff who administer it.
Uhegbu (2007) asserts that librarian must be an information specialist, who has training and skills to assist the users’ in planning and carrying out their information services. While the other staff members must be equipped with special skills and knowledge of the users needs and the resources available to meet them must be involved both with schools and with other organizations and institutions responsible for their training. Akanaga (1997) opines that the success of library services depends on the staff mobility and motivation,. Such as a good salary and good working environment which enhances the attraction of highly qualified library staff that will be ensuring empathetic, cheerful, encouraging and good temperament. Mowat (1996) opines that highly quality staff can transform the poorest library into an operation offering excellent services. Because libraries are service organization, the quality in the context of library is often treated as the quality of services.
The internet is a worldwide connection of many computers and computer networks that are linked together. It is a high level of connectivity that fosters unparallel degree of communication, collaboration and resource sharing and information access. Services provided by the internet include electronic mail (e-mail) world wide web (www), Usenet, telnet, file transfer protocol (FTP), mail list, teleconferencing (Oketunyi, 2001). According to Axlerod and cooper (1999), using the internet, people can send and receive electronic mail, read documents or post them for others to read, communicated with other people who share similar interest and store, send and receive documents, graphic images, video and computer applications.
Nwatawala (2005) opines that through the internet one can record, access, search and receive information any where in the world in minutes.
People from all works of life, from all locations can use the internet including lecturers.
The surrey research design was used, using the questionnaire as the instrument for data collection. The researcher developed a questionnaire items entitled” lecturers’ satisfaction with the library and information services questionnaire(LSLISQ).
A set of questionnaire was designed for data collection from the lecturers of both universities studied. The questionnaire was both open and close –ended, allowing respondents to choose from predetermined options and comment freely where necessary. The questionnaire was divided into two sections. Section A was biodata of the respondents while section B contained items on lecturer’s satisfaction with library and information service questionnaire (LSLISQ).
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
The population of the study comprised all lecturers in both universities studied. They include six hundred and three (603) lecturers from Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) and three hundred and four (304) lecturers from Imo State University, Owerri (IMSU) this brings the total population of the study to nine hundred and seven (907).
SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE
The sample size of the study was determined using Yarmane (1969) formular for finite population.
1+N (e) 2
Where n = number of sample
N= number of the entire population
e = level of significance (0.05)
1 = unity (constant)
N = 907
3.3 = 274.8 =275
The sample size is therefore two hundred and seventy five (275) lecturers. To derive the number of respondent’s from each University, stratified random sampling was used. This was because the two universities do not have equal number. The formular for the stratified sampling is.
X=n x P
Where n= the sample size = 275
N = total population of both university lecturers slivered =907
P = no of each university
IMSU = 275 x 304 = 92
FUTO = 275 x 603 = 183
Therefore, 92 lecturers were selected from 1mo State University Owerri (IMSU) while one hundred and eight three lecturers were selected from Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
A total of 275 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the respondents in both university studied. Out of the 275 copies, 232 copies were duly completed and returned for analysis giving the response rate of 84.4%.The table below shows the pattern of questionnaire distribution and return rate in the two universities studied.
Table 1: Questionnaire Distribution and Return Rate.
No of Distribution
No of Return
% of Return
Table 2: Gender of the respondents
From the above table, it is, shown that there are more male lecturers than their female counter parts in both universities.
Table 3 Educational Qualifications of the Respondents
The above table shows that many of the respondents have master’s degrees. This is understandable because for one to be qualified as a lecture one must have a master’s degree in ones field of study. Those with B.Sc and B. Engr are graduate Assistants who excelled in their performance and are employed to help in tutorials but are expected to further their studies in order to be retained as lecturers. These respondents were few in number. Some respondents have certificates and diplomas in other disciplines but subsumed them under their higher degrees.
TABLE 4 AGE OF THE RESPONDENTS
The above table indicates that majority of the respondents are within the age bracket of 30- 50 years. Those who are 65years and above are professors who were re-engaged after retirement. Their services were still needed by the universities.
Table 5 :Types of library and information services
One of the objectives of the study is to identify the types of library and information services provided to lecturers in both university studied.
The following table gives the responses of the respondents
Photocopy and reprographic
Study and seating – accreditation
From the above table, it is shown that both libraries render almost all the services listed to the lecturers in their parent institutions. While IMSU offers internet services, FUTO does not, even though, their library is partially automated ie the application of 1CT in library operations. This answers question 1.
TABLE 6 : Extent of lecturers’ satisfaction with library and information services to meet their information needs.
Form the table above, it can be seen that in IMSU, 34 (45.9%) respondents said that they derive satisfaction from the services of the library. In FUTO, 97 (61.4%) respondents said that they do not derive satisfaction from the services rendered by their library. This may be due to FUTO lecturers are always found in the workshop and laboratories rather than in the libraries.
TABLE 7 Problem Inhibiting Provisions Of Library And Information Services To The Lecturers.
Inadequate library information sources
Inaccessibility to information sources
Inaccessibity to information services
Non – challant attitude of library staff
Out – dated information sources
Unavailability of information sources
Limited copies of information sources
Unpleasant library polices
The reason why the number of responses is more than the number of respondents is because some respondents ticked more than one choice of options provided. The above table indicates that limited copies of information sources, unavailability of information sources, unpleasant library policies (closing hours when lecturers are free to use the library they are not open). Outdated and inaccessibility to information sources recorded high response rates in both libraries as factors inhibiting effective library and information services to the lecturers. These inhibiting factors relate to inadequate library and information sources which had 56 (15.2%) and 82 (13.9) responses in IMSU and FUTO. What can be inferred is that in both libraries, the same factors combine to inhibit effective library services to the lecturers studied.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In relation the first objective, table 5 revealed that both university libraries rendered almost all the sources expect FUTO that done not offer internet service though their library is partially automated. This agrees with Agu (2004) who describes library services as a professional guidance and assistance offered to users. These services vary in accordance with the type of library and the category of library users. To Uhegbu (1998) information services are designed to assist individuals and groups with their daily problems through the provision of information or by putting them in touch with a helping agency.
In relation to second objective, Table 6 established the extent of satisfaction of lecturers the library and information services to with meet information needs. The table revealed that lecturers at IMSU derived more satisfaction than FUTO counter part from the services rendered by their libraries. This may be due to the unpleasant library policies such as closing hours when lecturers are free to use the library, they are not opened and outdated and inaccessibility to information sources. Again FUTO lecturers are always found at the workshop and laboratories.
To ascertain the third objective, table 7 highlighted the problems of inadequacy of information sources, inaccessibility to the services, inaccessibility to information sources, unavailability of information sources, limited copies of information sources and unpleasant library polices.
(1) There should be regular use of the library by the lecturers in order to update their knowledge.
(2) The library staff should create an atmosphere of friendliness for the users during their use of the library; they could do this by putting up simile whenever users have to ask for one thing or the other.
(3) Both libraries should embark on user profile to know the interest and research areas of the lecturers.
(4) There should be regular user education for lecturers in order to help them achieve maximum satisfaction while using the library.
(5) The use of internet assessing information in the library will give lecturers the advantage of keeping abreast with the global trend.
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