APPLICATION OF SOCIAL NETWORKS MEDIA FOR REFERENCE FACILITIES IN SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN DELTA STATE

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APPLICATION OF SOCIAL NETWORKS MEDIA FOR REFERENCE FACILITIES IN SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN DELTA STATE

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to investigate the application of social networks media for reference services in academic libraries in Delta State. Thus, the study discovered among others, the meaning of social networking media and the types of social networking media tools that can be applied in the reference section by the reference librarian for the provision of reference services in Delta State academic libraries. To achieve the objectives of this study, six (6) research questions were formulated. The study adopted a survey research method which gives room for the collection of data through questionnaire. The data collected were presented using frequency distribution, tables, figures and percentage. Data collected were also interpreted and analyzed to arrive at the findings of the study. The study discovered among others, that the major types of reference services which are direct and indirect reference services are in use in the Delta State academic libraries except for Federal University of Petroleum Resources does not have a reference section due to the available space they are having.Social networks media tools are already available at the disposal of the respondent although they are not currently available in the academic libraries in Delta State for the provision of reference services in meeting the needs of library users. It also discovered that the facilities such as computer, internet, webcam and cellphones that will enable the application of social networking media for the provision of reference services are readily available in the reference section. The study pointed out some problems that could hinder the application of social networking media and they are network bandwidth problem, lack of access to internet, unavailable power supply, lack of staff training and the problem of maintenance culture. The study recommended that the academic libraries especially the reference section should adopt the social media tool in the provision of reference services to library clientele.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page…………………………………………………………………………………………i

Declaration…………………………………………………………………………………………ii

Certification……………………………………………………………………………………….iii

Dedication……………………………………………………………………………………….iv

Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………………….v

Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………………..vi

List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………………….ix

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………….x

 

CHAPTER ONE:                     INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study…………………………………………………………………1

1.2          Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………………7

1.3          Research Questions……………………………………………………………………….8

1.4          Objectives of the Study…………………………………………………………………..8

1.5          Significance of the Study…………………………………………………………………9

1.6         Scope  the Study………………………………………………………………………………..10

1.7          Limitation of the Study…………………………………………………………………10

1.8          Operational Definition of Terms………………………………………………………..10

References………………………………………………………………………………12 CHAPTER TWO:     REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1          Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..14

2.2          Reference and Information Service……………………………………………………..15

2.3          Social Networking Media………………………………………………………………22

2,4          Types of Social Networking Media……………………………………………………..27

2.5          Facilities Available for the Application of Social Networking Media…………………36

2.6           Application of Social Networking Media for Reference Services in Academic Library39

2.7          Constraints to Application of Social Networking Media by Reference Librarian………42

2.8          Summary of Literature Review………………………………………………………….43

References………………………………………………………………………………45

 

 

CHAPTER THREE:     RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1          Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..49

3.2         Research Method Adopted for the Study……………………………………………….49

3.3          Population of the Study………………………………………………………………….50

3.4          Sample and Sampling Technique……………………………………………………….50

3.5          Instrument for Data Collection………………………………………………………….51

3.6          Validity of Instrument……………………………………………………………………52

3.7          Procedure for Data Collection…………………………………………………………….52

3.8           Procedure for Data Analysis…………………………………………………………….52

References………………………………………………………………………………53 CHAPTER FOUR:   DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

4.1          Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..54

4.2          Response Rate……………………………………………………………………………54

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND

RECOMMENDATION

5.1          Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..77

5.2         Summary of the Study…………………………………………………………………..77

5.3          Summary of Major Findings…………………………………………………………….78

5.4          Conclusion………………… ……………………………………………………………79

5.5       Recommendations……………………………………………………………………….80 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………….82

Appendix I Letter of Introduction………………………………………………………87

Appendix II Study Questionnaire……………………………………………………….88

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

                                                            INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Over the years, there has been invention of new technologies to better the lives of mankind as well as organizations. At first, it was the invention of the printing technology which made it possible to reach several persons in the world. As time goes on, man quest for something new and different led tothe invention of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ICTs are technologies made by man for the purpose of executing activities in organizations for effectiveness and efficiency.

Information and Communication Technologies has been defined by various scholars from different perspectives. In the work of Ogbomo and Ogbomo (2008) citing Anyakoha (1991),information technology is seen asman-made tools used for the collection, generation, communication, recording, re-management and exploitation of information. It includes those applications and commodities, by which information is transferred, recorded, edited, stored, manipulated or disseminated. Afolabi and Abidoye (nd) defined ICT as the use of electronic devices such as computers, telephones, Internet, satellite system to store, retrieve and disseminate information in the form of data, text, image and others.

Kpangban (2010) also defined ICTas electronic technologies that are used for information storage and retrieval. Alberta (2003) stated thatICT is about the new ways in which we can communicate, inquire, make decisions and solve problems.  It is a processing tool and techniques for gathering and identifying information; classifying and organizing;summarizing, synthesizing; analyzing and evaluating; speculating and predicting.Ogochukwu and Charles (n.d) pointed out that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the processing, maintenance and integration of information, and the use of all forms of computer, communication, network and mobile technologies to mediate information.

For the purpose of this study, ICT shall be seen as a device that helps in the processing, storing, packaging, retrieving and communicating information to those who have need of them. The Information and Communication Technologies is an immense leap in the field of communication and it has made a tremendous impact all over the world. In line with this therefore, the birth of the Internet which has been an outstanding innovation in the coming of technologies in the history of mankind was brought into existence.

Technological changes have always been seen as a strong evolutionary force but the coming of the Internet is something that has shook almost all spheres of personal, social and professional human life. Right from the mere ways of interaction to the running of huge systems, there has been conveniences provided by the existence of the Internet. A lot of developments have been made in the Internet applications which are beyond our imagination. No one would have imagined that the networking tool that was developed solely for military purpose in U.S in 1969 would become a rich source of knowledge, entertainment, communication and many more. The Internet has been of great importance right from its inception due to the fact that it serves as a medium of connection and communication tool. Internet users all over the world have received tremendous help especially researchers to achieve many things in their various fields of study. Due to this, the World Wide Web was created which made the Internet to see a tremendous growth in the technological sector leading to the development of other tools that are used with the Internet such as the social networking media that finallyboost the communication process.

1.1.2     Social Networking Media

In recent years there has been a tremendous growth in the utilization of social networking media amongst people mainly for the purpose of communication, recreation, entertainment and acquiring information. This single act was made possible after the creation of the World Wide Web by Timothy Barners Lee in 1989, which made it easy for the Internet facilities to be accessed far and wide in different countries all over the world.

Social networking media is a channel that gives room for interaction or relationship between individuals, two or more people using computer systems such as phones, laptops or desktops with the aid of Internet connection services. In the same vein, Mislove (2009) defined social networking media as a system where (a) users are first class entities with semi-public profile (b) users can create explicitly links to other users or items and (c) users can navigate the social network by browsing the links and profile of other users. In addition to this, Boyd and Ellison (2007) also asserted that “social networking media is a web based service that allow individual to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and (3) view and traverse their list of connection and those made by others within the system.” The growth in this social networking media such as Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, Fickretc became so popular as a result of the increase in their usage. A social networking media is a huge leap in technological evolution in the world of Internet.

The social networking media began to grow and also expanded. That was why Ahmed and Tehmina (2011) opined that the evolution of the social networking media started with Classmates.com which was founded in 1995.

The purpose of its creation was to provide students a means of connection during or after the completion of their degree programme. Recently, social networking media is no longer seen as the only platform for students to connect themselves after the completion of their degree rather it is seen as a source and a means of communication that can be employed into the academic library to perform operations or services. Currently, the activities of the library is no longer limited to its four walls which means, the library is set to reach out to its users wherever they might be.Socialnetworking media is useful because it is a collaborating tool that can help both thelibrarians and patrons in an active interaction and communication processes.

1.1.3 Academic Libraries

Libraries have always been repositories of learning resources. From earliest time, they have been source of information for scholars and researchers. The primary role of the library is to provide information service to support the educational,recreation, cultural, economic and technological endeavours of members in their respectivecommunities. The National Policy on Education (2004) identified the library as one of the mostimportant

aspect     of     educational     support     services.     They     are     used     as     media      for

disseminatinginformation and enhancing literature search and as a tool for the development of intellectualcompatibilities and promotion of cultural and social integration. There are six types of libraries and the various types of libraries play their roles based on the nature theypossess but for this study, the researcher will be considering the academic library.

According to Uwaifo (2010) academic library is a libraryestablished and maintained by tertiary institutions of learning such as universities, polytechnics, college of education, schools of nursing, petroleum training institutes etc.

In the same vein, Okiy (2012) stated that:

Academic libraries are libraries established in tertiary institutions. They include libraries in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. The roles of these libraries are similar andthat is to effectively support institutions to attain the key functions of teaching, research and community service. These institutions are responsible for the production of middle and higher level manpower for national development. The extent to which they are able to effectively accomplish that task depends largely on how well their libraries are equipped with the relevant information resources.

Okiy(n.d) citingAkintunde (2004), stated that:“the libraries in many tertiary institutions have either earned the institutions accreditation or   failed them because libraries are regarded as a tool for academic excellence.”  The libraries in the tertiary institutions assist them in the discharge of their functions by acquiring all the varied and relevant in-depth information resources necessary for pursuing the teaching, learning, research and public services functions of these institutions which enable them to produce high caliber graduates into the labour market to further national development.  Thus, the academic institutions play a major role in the manpower development of any nation providing the high as well as middle level manpower for the acceleration of social, economic and political advancement of a nation.  According to Edoka (2000), the academic libraries is set to provide the following functions: to provide information materials required for the academic programmes of the parent institution;to provide research information resources in consonance with the needs of faculty and research students; to provide information resources for recreation and for personal self- development of users; to provide study accommodation in a useful variety of locations; to provide protection and security for these materials;to co-operate with other libraries at appropriate levels for improved information services; and to provide specialized information service to appropriate segments of the wider community.

Academic libraries are relevant entities that any higher or tertiary institution of learning needs not to take for granted because of the kind of roles they play to the parent body as such, the library should be given a priority and a sense of belonging because academic institutions play a vital role in man power development of any nation since they provide the high as well as the middle manpower needed for the social, economic and political advancement of a nation. This can be actualized through the programme of teaching, learning, research and community service which is aided by the role of the academic library. In an academic library, there are several resources and services rendered to its users. One of these services is reference services. This is a very important service rendered in the academic library and it is seen as the root of librarianship or library and information science. Reference services arepersonal assistance librarians in academic libraries provide to users that come to make use of information resources in the library. The librarian working in the reference section is called a reference librarian and the reference librarian serves as a good communicatorwho links the library users to the resources of their choice.

 

 

1.2        Statement of the Problem

The reference section is the image maker of the library because of the essential role it plays. It is an aspect of the academic library that seeks to assist the library clientele either directly or indirectly.However, academic library users today are less dependent upon the traditional library due to the rise of electronic and Internet resources, library patrons no longerfeel the need to step inside the physical library or use a librarian in their research. It is discovered with evidence both anecdotal and recorded that increasing number of people have turned to the Internet as their preferred source of information and it is reflecting in the reference desk (McMillan 2003). In addition to the above Wurman (1989) in Gbaje (2007) noted that “several studies have shown that somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of people searching the web for information failed to find what they were looking for” Thus, many reference librarians advocate reaching library patrons in their preferred environments in order to extend library services beyond the traditional library walls. Academic library is a strong advocate of reaching patrons where they are, in doing so, they may help the library patron that may be stranded in trying to make use of the electronic and internet resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.3        Research Questions

The study is structured to provide answers to the following questions:

  1. What reference services are offered by reference librarians in Delta State academic libraries?
  2. What facilities are available for the provision of reference services in Delta State academic libraries?
  3. What type of social networking media do reference librarians in Delta State academic libraries apply to reference services?
  4. How often do reference librarians in Delta State academic libraries use social networking media
  5. To what extent are reference librarians satisfied with the application of social networking media for reference services
  6. What are the constraints to the application of social networking media by reference librarians in Delta State academic libraries?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

Specifically the objective of the study is to:

  1. Ascertain the kind of reference services offered by reference librarians in Delta

State academic libraries.

  1. Identify the facilities available for the application of social networking media in Delta State academic libraries
  2. Identify the social networking media reference librarians in Delta State academic libraries use for reference services.
  3. Determine how often reference librarians utilize social networking media for reference services in Delta State academic libraries.
  4. Investigate the extent reference librarians are satisfied with the application of social networking media for reference services.
  5. Discover the constraints to the application of social networking media by reference librarians in Delta State.

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is no longer strange neither is it surprising to hear that the academic library is the heart of the institution it serves. It is the repository of information resources where both students and lecturers go to seek for answers to their individual academic challenges. It is widely and generally known that the reference section or the reference services rendered in the library helps to publicize the good image of the academic library.

The significance of this study is that, it will help the libraries to render services to patrons beyond the four walls of the library building. The study will also give room to patrons who are having difficulties to confront librarians face-to-face due to one reason or the other to seek the assistance of a librarian with the aid of social networking media. This study will instill in students, lecturers or library users a new belief over the already existing notion they are having that the academic library is a store house of outdated information materials or resources.

The study will help academic libraries to improve on their existing consortia role or to begin one in case there is none with the application of social networking media. This study will also help to reverberate the activities of the academic libraries in order to attract the attention of patrons to the library.

1.6  Scope of the Study

This study focused on ascertaining the application of social networks media for reference services in Delta State academic libraries. This research is concerned with reference librarians working in Delta state academic libraries.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

Due to distance, time factor and financial constraint the researcher will be delimited this study to five academic libraries in Delta State and they are:

  1. Federal University of Petroleum Resources Ogbomo, Delta State;
  2. Delta State University Abraka;
  3. Western DeltanUnivesirty, Oghara;
  4. Delta State Polytechnic Oghara
  5. College of Education Warri.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Academic Library: These are libraries established and funded by tertiary institutions of learningwhich include libraries in Universities, Polytechnics and College of Education. Reference services: This is the help or assistance a reference librarian gives to library users that come to use the library either directly or indirectly.

Social Networks: These are web based tools that communities of people who share the same interest use to communicate and interact with each other.

 

REFERENCES

Afolabi, and Abidoye (n.d) The integration of information and communication technology inlibrary operations towards effective library services. Retrieved on 15th june,2014. From http://www.hrmars.com/admin/pics/267.pdf.

Ahmed, I. and Tehmina F. Q. (2011a). A look out for academic impacts of social networking sites (SNSs): A students based perspective. African journal of Business Management  5(12), pp 5022-5031.

Alberta (2003)Information and Communication Technology: A. Rationale and Philosophy. Retrieved 20th August, 2014.From http://www.emeraldinsight.com/00220418.htm.

Boyd, D. M. & Ellison N. B. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, andScholarship. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 6(4) pp 1-4.

Ebunuwele, G. E., Yaya J. &Krubu D. E. (2011). User delinquency in Nigerian academic libraries: An empirical perspective. Retrieved January 24th, 2013.From http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/.

Edoka, B.E. (2000) Introduction To Library Science, Onitsha: Palma and Links.

Kpangban, E &Adomi E.E (2010). Application of ICTs in Nigerian Secondary Schools

Retrieved                   on                   $th                  of                   March,                   2012.

Fromhttp://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1353&context=libphil prac.

Landis, Cliff (2008). Friending our users: Social Networking and Reference Services. Retrieved February 2nd, 2013.From http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/univ_lib_facpub.

Mislove, A.E (2009). Online Networks Measurements, Analysis and Application toDistributed Information system.UnpublishedMsc Thesis.Rice University, Houston, USA.

Ogbomo, M.O, Ogbomo E.F (2008) Importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Making a Heathy Information Society: A Case Study of EthiopeEastLocal Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Retrieved 20th August, 2014.From http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac.

Ogochukwu, N.L. Charles C.O (2009) ICT Diffusion and Uptake in Nigerian Tertiary Educational Institutions:Trends, Perspectives and Possibilities.Afr J Comp & ICTs – Special Issue on ICTs in the African Environment 5(4) pp 77-84.

Okiy, R. B (n.d), Using libraries in Nigeria as tools for education and national development in the 21st century.

Okiy, R. B. (2012), Towards Accelerated Development of Academic Library Services in Nigeria for National Development in the 21st Century. Retrieved on the 18th of August, 2014.From http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac.

Uwaifo, S. O. = (2010). Modern library and information science for informationprofessionals in Africa. In Madu E. C. (ed.). Reference Services in Libraries andInformation Centres in the 21st century (pp 47-49). Ibadan: Textlinks Publishers.

Yusuf, F. (2011) Effective Communication for Reference Services Delivery in Academic

Libraries.Retrieved               on               18th               April,              2013.               From

http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/mbolin/yusuf3.pdf

 

APPLICATION OF SOCIAL NETWORKS MEDIA FOR REFERENCE FACILITIES IN SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN DELTA STATE

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