Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Abstract

Purpose: This study examined ICT literacy skills of digital library users and staff in Salem University (SU) Lokoja, Kogi State. 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. The population of the study was 53 digital library users and staff which required no sampling due to the manageable size of the population. Instruments for data collection include a well structured questionnaire designed to elicit information from the library users and staff. Observation checklist was also designed to support the results of the questionnaire. A total of 53 questionnaires were distributed to users and staff of the library with a return rate of 100%. 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 observed that the following ICT facilities and resources are available in SU digital library: computer systems, inverter, high capacity printers, projectors, scanners, photocopier machines, multimedia, Wide Area Network (WAN) i.e. WIFI, CD-writer, The World Wide Web (www), search engines, online databases, online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), CD-ROMs, portals, online indexes and abstracts, e-journals and e-books. However, the library has no facilities and resources such as digital cameras, power generator, facsimile transmission systems and telephone, VSAT based Internet connectivity and video CDs. Respondents possessed ICT literacy skill such as turning on computer, connecting to the Internet, opening a computer file, word processing, sending an email messages, deleting a file from computer, using a www search engine but lack adequate ICT literacy skill on using more advance searching techniques than keywords, saving an image or graphic from a www page, creating a directory or file folder, PowerPoint presentation, installing program software, using CD-ROM to find information, database navigation and downloading files from databases. Challenges with the acquisition of ICT literacy skills are attributed to inadequate funding, inadequate ICT in curriculum, lack of commitment to learning ICT skill, lack of training opportunity, poor ICT facilities, high cost of ICT literacy training and lack of interest in digital information while strategies for enhancing ICT literacy skill among users and staff were identified by the study as follows: there should be adequate funding of ICT literacy skill of the university staff and students, ICT facilities of the university should be upgraded to encourage ICT literacy, ICT should be integrated in curriculum etc. It was therefore recommended that the library should try to provide different ICT facilities and resources such as digital cameras, power generator, facsimile transmission systems and telephone, VSAT based Internet connectivity and video CDs etc. in order to capture users and staff interest in acquisition of ICT literacy skills.; library staff, students and faculty members should be provided with ICT literacy programmes such as workshop, seminars and in-house training to enable them learn how to access various digital information resources and services; the use of newsgroups and online forums to discuss and create awareness of the emerging technologies in the library and their uses should also be adopted. In addition, a sort of communication and feedback mechanism should also exist between the SU and the library to see to the effective maintenance and sustainability of the digital library and also there should be continuous evaluation of the digital library system to determine the exact state of the library at any given point in time. Implication: This study has obvious implications for libraries in Nigerian higher education institutions as the lack of requisite ICT literacy skill among library users and staff in the use of digital library is very glaring. In more advanced countries these gap is at the barest minimum or non-existence, because most library users and staff are ICT literate. Manpower training in the use of technology is another issue that is being raised here. Library staff and users must be trained in the use of current technologies to enable them operate in the digital library environment. The results of this study have implications for the university management and staff, university library administrations, researchers, lecturers and students. Originality/Value: The originality of this study lies in its assessment of the facilities, resources and ICT literacy skills of the respondents in SU digital library. This study identifies critical issues related to the effective operation of the digital library system and the utilization of its facilities and resources. Its values relate to its immense contributions to students, digital library and Nigerian universities especially in this information age where Nigerian educational institutions face the challenges of globalization and information explosion.

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