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Awareness and Usage of E-database by Lecturers in Two Selected Colleges

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Awareness and Usage of E-database by Lecturers in Two Selected Colleges in Kwara State University, Malete. {College of Education and College of I.C.T}
CHAPTER  ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the study
The university libraries are libraries established to cater for the academic and research needs of the university. They serve the reading and research interests of undergraduates, lecturers, researchers, and other users. University libraries are big repositories of information and knowledge from all fields of learning to the academic community of students and staff that they serve. University libraries, which are academic libraries, provide support to members of an academic community, including students, researchers and lecturers
University libraries collections are tailored towards achievement of the institution goals of teaching, learning and research. They serve the students, lecturers, administrative members of the academic community as well as others. They are central to learning, research, and have always depended on relevant new technologies, which on the other hand are driven by emerging trends in education and research. The major function of University libraries is to provide resources to meet the needs of users. Their materials are diversified to support teaching and programmers that take place within them. Therefore, the University library has to build a strong collection of information resources in physical and digital formats to cater for the knowledge requirements of students, faculty members and research scholars of the institution.
Akintunde (2006) submitted that, librarianship continues to hold a central place in higher education worldwide. It has remained the strength of the best traditions in academics worldwide. Nonetheless, significant progress will have to be made for Nigerian higher education libraries to be in the main stream of the digital revolution. This is because library services today require more global networking in delivering services.
 
However, the twentieth century was shaped by sweeping changes in communication technologies. The emergence and use of information technology is the century’s most significant development affecting scholarly communication. The application of computers to information processing has brought several products and services to the scenes. Consequently, the academic community has undergone tremendous changes during these years, assuming new dimensions influenced by technology-driven applications. Thus, libraries are using technology to improve the management of scholarly information to strengthen and speedy access to scholarly information.
Electronic-Databases (e-databases) have become an established component of many academic libraries’ collection. These databases often contain journal articles, or references to such articles, e-books, reference sources, conference papers and reports among others. There are various types of these databases such as bibliographic, full-text, directory, numeric and multimedia.
E-databases are widely available and can be accessed from anywhere and by many users at the same time. It is therefore convenient to use. University libraries, therefore, spend large amounts of money on these resources to satisfy the teaching, learning and research needs of its faculty and students. As universities spend substantial amount of money on subscription of these databases, it is only appropriate and economical that these databases are optimally utilized to contribute to the academic achievement of students and faculty and also to get value for money.
In spite of the value of e-databases and ensuring that it is available for use by library clients, studies have shown that usage is not up to level expected or is simply underutilized. Reasons most often advanced for not using the databases include lack of awareness, preference for other sources like general search engines such as Google, lack of search skill, lack of adequate ICT infrastructure, bad downloading time, and at times sheer attitude of users. The manifestation of these reasons may differ from place to place or from situation to situation. Dukic (2013) and Ahmed, 2013b), for example, indicated that usage of e-databases in developed countries is more than in developing countries basically because of poor ICT infrastructure and huge cost of such resources. Anaraki and Babalhavaeji (2013) also pointed out that where students are not aware of existence of e-databases they tend to use general search engines to meet their information needs.
Online electronic information resources usually consist of online books, online journals, online magazines,online newspapers, online theses, dissertations, online databases which are likely to be alternative through media EBSCO HOST, DOAJ, JSTOR, HINARI, are some of the  examples of online electronic databases, these are available on the internet either through open access or commercially (Kumar, and Kumar,2010). On the other hand, offline electronic information resources include e-journals, e-dataarchives, e- manuscripts, e-maps, e-books, e-magazines, e-theses, e-newspapers, e-mail,e-research reports, e-bibliographicdatabase and CD-ROM databases which are accessible through some electronic machines.
According to the International Federation of Library Association and Institution (IFLA) “electronic databases” refer to those materials that require computer access whether through personal computer, mainframe, or handheld mobile device. They may be either accessed remotely via the internet or locally. They include: e-journal, e -books, full text (aggregated) databases, Indexing abstracting databases, reference databases, numeric and statistical databases, e-images, e-audio visuals resources. (IFLA, 2012)
 
1.2       Statement of the problem
University Library is a repository of resources; it is an integral part of the educational system whose primary function is to serve users (students, researchers and staff). Computers and related electronic database have come to play a central role in education. Electronic resources are the prime ingredients and they become a common part of the suite of most academic library resources today. E-databases have brought about a shift in the provision of library services and information by providing wide access to resources from different parts of the world with ease. E- resources provide many advantages over the traditional print based resources. They contain current information because they are updated frequently. They offer advanced search capabilities, and offer flexibility in the storage of results. They enable access and use of information without restriction of time and location.(Kumar and Kumar 2010).  Academic libraries provide access to information resources in various formats including electronic information resources services. This is through open access international donors or annual subscription of online databases such as HINARI, JSTORE, DOAJ, AJOL, EBSCOHOST etc. and other offline information resources, to facilitate access to information resources to users. However, preliminary investigation revealed that most electronic information resources in the Nigeria university Libraries were underutilized (Olusanya, 2014) and there is no element of publicity regarding their availability and usage (Stephen,2012). This brought about the need to investigate the availability and usage of E-databases in Academic Libraries Kwara state.
 
 
1.3      Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine the awareness and uses of library electronic databases by lecturers in university libraries in two selected colleges in kwara state university.
The objectives of the study are as follows;

  1. Identify the types of available library Electronic databases that lecturers are aware of in the selected colleges in kwara state university.
  2. Investigate the types of library E-databases used by lecturers in selected colleges in kwara state university.
  3. Ascertain the extent of use of library e-database by lecturers in selected colleges in kwara state university
  4. To find out the purpose of use of electronic Resources available in the academic libraries in kwara state university.
  5. Identify factors that affect the use of library e-database by lecturers and those problems militating against the use of E=databases in the selected colleges in kwara state university.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. What types of Electronic Databases are available which the lecturers are aware of in the library ?
  2. What types of E-databases are used by lecturers?
  3. What is the extent of usage of the E-databases are available for the lecturers in two selected colleges?
  4. Whatare the purpose of the usage of electronic resources available in academic library in kwara state?
  5. What are those factors and problems that affect the usage of library E-databases by lecturers in the selected colleges of Kwara state university?

1.5       Significance of the Study
The study will reveal the level of awareness and usage of e-databases by lecturers of some selected colleges in Kwara state university and to provide e-services to the growing e-library users. Also, the findings of the study will be of great importance to the government and university management functionaries to plan better in order to meet the changing technological needs of their university libraries. Also, it will serve as a guide to Nigerian university library management in the area of planning and establishing e-libraries.
The study will also be beneficial to librarians and information scientist; with this study they will know the importance of utilization of e resources that is access to current information regardless of time and location. Which would make themaccelerate in their profession.
The study would serve as a source of feedback for the college libraries in the institutions on the provision of electronic information resources and services to the academics and community in general.
The finding of the study could be used as a source of reference for other research on library promotion and use of electronic information resources.
1.6       Scope of the study
This study shall examine the level of awareness and usage of E-databases by lecturers in kwara state university. Specifically, the study shall cover two selected colleges in kwara state university, malete.
The two selected colleges shall consist of the following colleges which are the College of Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T) and the College of Education State University, Malete.
1.7       Operational Definition of Terms
(a) Library Resources: These refer to items containing information anything that is consulted to obtain information.
 (b) University Library: A place where print and non-print information materials are kept for use in a university.
(c) Electronic Database:  database is an organized collection of information or data usually in computer readable form
College: A specialized, semi-autonomous division of a university, with its own faculty, department, library, etc
Lecturers; A person who gives lectures especially as a profession
Awareness; A state of level of consciousness where sense data can be confirmed by an observer
Use; A purpose for which something may employed

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