Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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The paper examined the ICT needs and skills requirement for reference services in the post COVID era. Non-probability judgmental sampling was used to select six (6) reference librarians, two from each of three higher institutions in Ibadan: Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, University Library, Lead City University and Polytechnic Library, The Polytechnic Ibadan. Data was collected through interview and was analyzed thematically. The results revealed that the basic needs of ICT for reference services are to provide fast and accurate service to patrons, easy access and retrieval of reference material, achieve fast and effective communication between the reference librarian and the users and to facilitate feedback. Additionally, the relevant ICT skills needed for reference services in the post COVID era are word processing skills, computer literacy, mobile technology skills, use of social networking sites, the use scanner, photocopier and printer. Moreover, the study reveals that the ICT skills of the respondents is moderately high and majority of the respondents acquire their skills through trial and error, training and re-training by their colleagues and self-sponsorship. The study also revealed that the relevant ICTs used for reference services such as Word processing, e-mail, instant messaging tools, internet, scanner, printer, photocopier, mobile technology, and social media. The major challenge revealed by this study is inadequate funding which is at the center of all other challenges highlighted in this paper. The study suggests management support for ICT skills training and continuous professional development to improve reference librarians among others.