A STUDY OF USER EDUCATON COURSES AVAILABLE IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN KADUNA STATE
The study investigated the Influence of user education programmes on utilization of library information resources among users in academic libraries in Kaduna State. The research questions used sought to find out the types of user education programmes available, the methods used in conducting the programmes the extent of satisfaction with the programmes and the challenges users encountered in the use of libraries. Descriptive research design was adopted for the research work. The instrument used for data collection was a self–developed questionnaire. The population of the study consisted of all registered library users of academic libraries owned by Kaduna State Government in the three zones of the state totaling 8591. Sample technique was used to pick 393 respondents. The data collected was subjected to descriptive statistical analysis of frequency and percentages. For the confirmation of the hypotheses, a one way Anova was used for testing the hypotheses. The findings of the study showed that use of library was the type of user education programmes mostly available in academic libraries in Kaduna State and, lecture method was used in conducting the programme, there is significant difference in the types of user education programmes used in the three zones and, there is no significant difference in the methods used in conducting the programmes among other findings. It was concluded that user education programmes have influence on utilization of library information resources among users in academic libraries in Kaduna State. It was recommended among others that apart from the use of library, other types of user education programmes such as information literacy instruction, library tour among others should be established and maintained as they can serve as means of educating the user on how to use the library effectively. It was also recommended apart from classroom instruction period, the libraries should conduct programmes such as user orientation; in addition to lecture presentations, method such as seminar, interactive sessions between librarians and group of users should be used to educate users.
1.1 Background to the Study
Academic library is an integral and indispensable part of any academic institution. Academic library supports the teaching, learning and research needs of the institution it serves. Consequently, no any institution established will achieve its academic excellence without a functional library to back up its teaching, learning and research mandates (Mohammed, 2011). To achieve this, libraries acquire, process, preserve and disseminate information resources to users.
Information resources are carries of the ideas, knowledge, thought and experiences of individuals kept in the library for the patrons to use them. It is the responsibility of the libraries to ensure that the use of its information resources and services are maximized to benefit its users, hence the necessity for user education programmes.The purpose of user education programme is to equip the library patrons with the necessary skills and knowledge on how to make effective use of the library. This is because effective utilization of the library is done when the patrons have the knowledge of the library, its holdings (information resources), its sections/divisions, the functions of each section among others. Audu (2006) and Cox and Jantti (2012) established that through library user education programme users are being introduced into the physical facilities and services of the library in order to enable them to develop skills on how to use the library and information cenres. It is believed that users will make more efficient, independent use of library stock and services as they receive training on library usage.
Library user education programmes are critical issues in academic libraries. Many academic libraries such as those found in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education among others carry out these programmes for their users. John (2008)showed that the aim of any library user education programme is to equip its users with enough knowledge on the use of the library. Library users are expected to be taught and learn how to use the library in order to be confident and critical users of the library resources and services (Osagie, 2003;Katopol, 2005; Ajibola and Tiamiyu, 2011).
Importance of user education cannot be over emphasized as it is believed that improving users‟ knowledge of their library‟s collection and services could be a motivating factor for more usage and more demand on the library.Birch (2012) and Isa (2012) stated thatwith the rapid change in information, accessing and retrieving of information from libraries is becoming complex. Many users in the library find it difficult to find necessary information and this delays research or decisions. This could be as a result of lack of awareness of information search which leads to duplication of effort. It is therefore important for libraries to educate library users (students) on how to locate needed resources bearing in mind that they come from different cultural backgrounds and they have varying levels of library skills. Considering the ever increase ininformation generation and packaging in various formats (Mohammed, 2011; Umar, 2011; Birch, 2012).
Furthermore, in a library or an information centre, the user is the last link or the recipient of the information. User education has the capacity to produce two ways advantages to the user and the library. It makes the user to be aware of the information resources available in the library as shown by (Edoka, 2000; Eze, 2004):
- It makes the user to master the skills and be competent in the library use skills.
- User education exposes the user to the organizational structure of the library, thus enhancing
effective use of the library.
- It stimulates better interest in the use of the library.
- It reduces the friction that always arise between the user and the library staff often time leading to communication breakdown.
- It enables the user depend less on the librarian or library staff since he has become educated and independent in the use of the library resources.
- It encourages independent research.
Type of users can be categorized mainly into four groups. On the basis of their approach to information in the library,Udoumoh (2005) and Adeniran (2011) mentioned them as follows:
- Potential user: one who needs information which can be provided by specific services ii. The expected user: one who is known to have the intention of using certain information iii. Actual user: one who has actually used on information services regardless of whether he/she derived advantages from it or not iv. The beneficiary user: one who derives measurable advantages from information services.
User education is one of the most important roles of libraries in the development of any
institutions, irrespective of level, size or specialization. To ensure effective utilization of resources of the higher institution libraries, user education programme is needed. However, some library users when approaching information retrieval devices for example, catalogue cabinet abstract, bibliographies, the question they ask library staff and complaints from their lecturers on poor referencing and citation styles leavesno one in doubt as to whether they had gone through the user education programmes.
The issue of user education programmes in academic libraries is very essential. This is because through the programmes, library users are equippedwith the necessary knowledge and skills that enable them to make effective use of the library.Eze,(2004), Haruna and Oyeleke, (2006) and John,(2008) opined that through user education programme a library can provide a user friendly system in which a user sees the library as a place that is easy to use and welcomes use of their resources instead of viewing it as a mysterious place.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In an academic community, the library has a major duty of providing the users with necessary information. Carlile (2007) described academic library as one of the most available infrastructure in the educational system. Library is an institution with many information resources kept in different sections (circulation, reference, reserve etc.). As such, users need to be guided or introduced to the library pattern of services before that user will be able to use the library information resources and services effectively. Proper guidance is therefore a necessary condition for the users to be able to make best use of the library information resources (Joseph, 2008). Such guidance can be in the form of interaction between librarian and users, library instruction among others.
The researcher observed that users in academic libraries in Kaduna State find it difficult in making effective utilization of the library information resources. This leads to anxiety, tension, frustration among others during the use of the library by the users. Kuhlthau (2004) and Promise and Jerome (2011) maintained that challenges like these could lead to the consequences as follows: the users may decide to withdraw themselves from patronizing the libraries, continues mutilation of the library information resources to mention but a few. The researcher speculated that the above mentioned challenges could relate to lack of library user education programmes course in the institutions. In order to find answer to this speculation, the researcher carried out this study. The study focused on the influence of user education programmes on utilisation of library information resources among users in academic libraries in Kaduna State.
1.3 Research Questions
This study answered the following research questions.
- What types of user educationprogrammes are available in academic libraries in Kaduna State?
- What methods are used in teaching user education programmes in academic libraries in
- To what extent are the library users satisfied with the user education programmesconducted in academic libraries in Kaduna State?
- What challenges do users in academic libraries in Kaduna State encounter in the use of library?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The following objectives guided this study:
- To find out the types of user educationprogrammes available in academic libraries in Kaduna
- To determine the methods used in teaching user education programmes for utilization of information resources in academic libraries in Kaduna State.
- To identify the extent the library users are satisfied with the user education programmes conducted in academic libraries in Kaduna State.
- To find out the challenges users in academic libraries in Kaduna State encounter in the use of library.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested:
HO1: There is no significant difference in the types of user education programmes among
the academic libraries in Kaduna State.
|HO2:||There is no significant difference in the methods of teaching user education programmes among the academic libraries in Kaduna State.|
|HO3:||There is no significant difference in the extent of satisfaction derived by users among the academic libraries in Kaduna State on user education programmes.|
|HO4:||There is no significant difference in the challenges encountered by users of academic|
libraries in Kaduna State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Library is more concerned with educating its users. At the end of this study, library users in academic libraries in Kaduna State would benefit from this study in such a way that they would be advised on how to make effective use of the library. Also, the management of the library was advised to make sure that the library uses different types of methods for teaching its clients to make sure that better knowledge has been transferred to them as an effort not only to simplify the utilization of various types of information resources from the library but also satisfy users. The study could be used by other researchers in the same and related fields as source of literature for their studies.
Finally, the researcher hopes that the study would assist academic libraries in Kaduna State in enhancing user education programmes to be very effective and also to create awareness to the libraries that are yet to introduce user education programmes in their institutions of learning about their importance in equipping the users on the good ways of using library information resources.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covered the registered users (only students) in Kaduna State academic libraries, specifically the three (3) geographical zones of the state. In the case of the institutions with two or more campuses, only main campus libraries of such institutions were included in the study. The libraries included in the study according to their respective zones were: Zone 1;NuhuBamalli Polytechnic Main Library Zaria. Zone 2; Kaduna State University Main Library.Zone 3;Kaduna State College of Education Main Library Gidan-Waya respectively. The choice of these libraries in the three zones was due to the fact that these schools were the main higher institutions of learning having the largest number of students compared to others institutions in the State.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms were defined within the context of this study:
Academic Libraries:These are libraries found in tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education in Kaduna State.
Assessment: This has to do with finding the wordiness of the state of users education programme in academic libraries in Kaduna State.
Available: The existence of user education programme in academic library in Kaduna State.
Users:These are people that come to the academic libraries in Kaduna State in order to make use of its information resources.
User Education:All the activities involved in teaching users how to make the best possible use of library resources, services, and facilities, including formal and informal instruction delivered by a librarian or other staff member one-on-one or in a group inacademic libraries in Kaduna State.
User Education Programmes:The activities involved in teaching users how to make the best use of library information resources in academic libraries in Kaduna State.
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A STUDY OF USER EDUCATON COURSES AVAILABLE IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN KADUNA STATE