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Reference services have always been essential in academic libraries by meeting undergraduates’ information needs for enhanced academic achievement. It provides personalised information services to users in ensuring that their needs are adequately satisfied. However, in recent times, users’ satisfaction with reference services has become of great concern, as poor satisfaction of reference services will negatively affect subsequent use. There is dearth of scholarly research on patronage of reference services by undergraduates in Nigeria. The study, therefore, investigated the influence of users’ needs and satisfaction on the patronage of reference services by undergraduates in selected universities in Osun State, Nigeria.
The survey research design was adopted for the study while questionnaire tagged “User Needs, Satisfaction, and Patronage of Reference Services (UNSPRS)” was used for data collection. Random sampling technique was used to select 400 out of 29,013 undergraduates in the selected universities in Osun State. Frequency counts, mean and standard deviation, correlation and multiple regression were used to analyse the data with hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance.
The results showed that inadequate time for reference services, lack of current reference materials, poor service quality and unfriendly reference personnel affect the patronage of reference services by the undergraduates. Reference services were moderately patronised by the undergraduates. The mean analysis revealed that undergraduates of the selected universities showed a moderate need for reference services and are only moderately satisfied with the reference services available to them. There was positive significant relationship between user needs and patronage of reference services (r=0.455, P<0.05).There was also a significant relationship between user satisfaction and patronage of reference services (r=0.422, P>0.05).
The study recommended that the university libraries in Osun State should provide user-oriented reference services that will meet the users’ needs and increase patronage by undergraduates.
Keywords: User needs, User satisfaction, Reference services, Reference services patronage,