A review of the challenges in providing information resources in the information age in Nigeria
CHAPTER ONE 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The primary purpose of any library is to provide the information needs of its users. Likewise, all authorized users of academic and research libraries have a right to expect library services that commensurate with their needs, provided by competent librarians and founded on adequate collections which are easily available and accessible. In the academic community, libraries are vital not only to continuing education and self development, but also to research activities. They are indispensable because they are the nerve centre of all teaching, learning and research activities. The fact that academic libraries occupy a paramount place in the life of their parent institutions has widely been discussed in many library literatures. The quality and effectiveness of academic libraries is connected with services, products, as well as staff, facilities and space (Pindlowa, 2002). Ugah (2011) is also of the opinion that quality in the content of a library is often treated as the quality of service and the quality of service which also affects the effectiveness of the library is important for each library to survive. Information age is a period beginning in the last quarter of the 20th century when information became easily accessible through publications and through the manipulation of information by computer networks. The term is often applied in relation to the use of cell phones, digital music, high definition television, digital cameras, the internet etc. Information age is also commonly known as computer age or information era. Technological breakthroughs have revolutionalised communications and the spread of information (Lallana, 2003). This technological advancement has enhanced free transfer of information and instant access to knowledge which was not possible in the past. All these technologies deal with information storage and transmission. The revolution affects every aspect of human endeavor of which the legal profession is not left out. Marke (1964) once remarked that the future for librarianship is highly challenging and exciting, pregnant with the seeds of great changes. We as librarians must anticipate these changes and plan for them rather than fear them. We must influence the direction of their course least they overwhelm us and pass us by. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the vogue that is now pervading the study, teaching and research. It is an age that is characterized by the processing and conversion of information from the known conventional formats to electronic and digital formats hence, the consequences and challenges are expectedly high (Dada, 2011). This study therefore investigated the effectiveness of library services and resources, the problems and prospects bearing in mind that the provision of effective service is an essential part of libraries which should not be taken for granted. 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The need for a study of this nature is based on the challenges faced by libraries in providing effective services in the 21st century which has led to pressure on library service and resources. From close observation, the library is faced with significant gaps in the existing collection and the increasing output of new literature. Moreover, it seems there is inadequate provision of resources in the library to cope with the demands of users. Most libraries in Nigeria hardly acquire enough materials due to lack of fund. It is also worrisome that this attitude can affect the quality of service and resources provided by libraries to their teeming users and cause a decline in research. This therefore prompted an investigation into this research work. 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 1. To examine the services available in a library 2. To identify the level of utilization and satisfaction of library services 3. To ascertain the availability of ICT services in the library 4. To identify the challenges of providing effective library services in the information age 5. To proffer lasting solutions to the problems 1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. What are the services available for users in the Library? 2. What is the level of utilization and satisfaction of library services in the information age? 3. What is the level of the availability of ICT services in the library? 4. What are the challenges of providing effective library services in the information age? 5. What are the solutions to the various challenges? 1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY The study of the challenges of providing effective library services in the information age is limited to the College of Agriculture, Igbo-Ora. 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The significance of the study is to have an insight about the role of a library services in its user?s life. This study will help to get answer for the type of resources that the students prefer and feel comfortable using. This research work would help to examine the challenges encountered by the library in providing effective services in the information age. 1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 1. Network interconnectivity to enhance elaborate research ? 2. High level of illiteracy 3. Organization operational huddles. 4. Time and cost constraints due to cause of scarcity in gasoline to go about the research.