Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Abstract

Purpose: This study examined users’ perception of the facilities, resources and services of the MTN digital library at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with regards to the effectiveness and efficiency of the library system.

Design/Method/Approach: The descriptive survey research design was adopted for this study. It was appropriate for this study as a useful method for assessing attitudes or opinions towards programmes, individuals, organizations and events. Four objectives and four research questions were formulated to guide this study.A convenience sampling technique was used and a sample size of 196 registered users of the MTN Digital Library, UNN was evaluated for this study. Instruments for data collection include a well structured questionnaire designed to elicit information from the library’s users and an observation checklist designed to support the results of the questionnaire. 213 questionnaires were distributed to the users of the library with a return rate of 92%. The study employed the use of frequency table, percentages, mean scores and ranking as statistical measures for data analysis.

Findings: From the findings of the study, it was concluded that the general perception of users towards the facilities, resources and services of the MTN digital library, UNN is highly satisfactory. Respondents were very highly aware of and satisfied with the availability of e-resources such as the World Wide Web, WIFI and search engines as opposed to online indexes and abstracts, video CDs, CD-ROMs, online databases and portals. Results also showed that services such as online internet search services, e-mail services and online reference services were provided at the MTN library at higher extents compared to other services. It was therefore recommended that the library offer different information access and delivery mechanismsto users to widen the limited scope of the resources and services currently employed to serve them. Other recommendations include the employment of dedicated and willing staff, use of newsgroups and online forums to discuss and consult users, continuous review of the digital library system, training and support of software developers and technicians to enhance digital library services, provision forums where users can lodge their complaints concerning the inefficiency or effectiveness of the library system, provision of a communication and feedback mechanism should between the library and the MTNF to see to the effective maintenance and sustainability of the digital library project etc.

Implication: This study has serious implications for libraries in Nigerian higher education institutions as the line between the use of academic libraries and the use of the internet for research is still very obvious. In more developed countries these lines are virtually non-existent, because most academic libraries enjoy full Internet connectivity. Manpower training in the use of technology is another issue that is being raised here. Librarians must be trained in the use of current technologies to aid them in the discharge of their duties. The results of this study have implications for the university management and staff, students, the MTNF and NetLibrary, the university and library administrations, researchers and lecturers.

Originality/Value: The originality of this study lies in its examination of the facilities, resources and services of the MTN digital library at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka from the users’ perspective. This study identifies critical issues related to the effective operation of the digital library system and the utilization of its facilities, resources and services by clients. Its values relates to its immense contributions to MTNF, NetLibrary and Nigerian universities and students especially in this information age where Nigerian educational institutions face the challenges of globalization and information explosion.

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