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PROBLEMS OF LIBRARY USER EDUCATION IN NIGERIAN UNITY SCHOOLS.

INTRODUCTION

School libraries in Nigeria are meant to provide user-centered services to meet students' needs. This function is performed through library user education which is expected to connect students to the vast array of information resources necessary for their problem-solving, academic pursuit and life-long learning. User education is therefore central to the whole purpose of library utilization of information resources. The quality of secondary school education is a mirage without a quality school library. The objective of the school library is to provide the best services for its users/patrons by making available to them resource materials and services. It is in realization of this fact that Agaja (2005) describes school library as one of the most valuable infrastructure in the academic system. According to Nwalo (2003), a library is one of the most important educational establishments in improving the quality of teaching and learning and must be properly stocked to complement other educational activities in the schools. Bundy (2008) pointed out that the core services of the school library include: the provision of a learning environment, reference and access to information resources. He went further to state that each library must tailor its services to the needs of its users

For Edoka (2003), the objective of user education is to develop in readers awareness of the overall information resources available to them; information literacy skills necessary for retrieving materials and to put in place strategies for enhancing information search in order to stimulate the user to make adequate use of resources available in the library not minding the challenges that may be encountered. The whole essence of library user education therefore is to connect students to the vast array of information resources and programmes using the school library as a gateway (Zaki, 2011). This will enable students to acquire library skills necessary for academic pursuit, other life-long opportunities and problem-solving.

Library user education is a holistic interactive learning process that presupposes that a student recognizes the need for information and knows how to find, evaluate, use and subsequently communicate information effectively to solve problems or to make decisions. The underlying message here is the ability to understand and critically evaluate the information before using it. Information can be gotten through different resources. These resources include electronic, print and non-print materials like books, periodicals, catalogue, on-line data bases; computer hardware, computer software, computer networks, electronic files and data, people, library building, audio-visuals pictures, images, CD-Rom, etc (Teifel, 2005). It is the responsibility of the school to provide information resources and plan programmes that will assist the students in the acquisition of information skills to ensure effective utilization of these resources.

Possession of library skills is the outcome of library user education programmes (Dara, 2005). These skills have to do with having abilities/skills or competencies to effectively make use of library materials with minimal assistance. Some of these competencies include ability to: identify facts, critically assess & use the library, understand what is read, access information, identify audio-visual materials, identify printed resources, get information from the web, use appropriate resources, make informed decision, and so on. These skills are not inherent but are acquired through a process of teaching and learning. In the opinion of Doyle (1992), possession of library user skills helps one to locate information or the instrumental aspect of retrieval, know the materials and services available in order to take advantage of available resources and develop these skills to a reasonable level.

Students in the secondary school are expected to benefit maximally when they possess library user skills through resource based learning programmes. They will take more control in their learning and the teacher will be freed from the role of an omniscient expert. Students that acquire library skills are more effective consumers of information resources. They learn to recognize that information is packaged in a variety of ways using a variety of techniques, that it serves a variety of interests and contains a variety of valued messages. They are more critical when they make decisions about the resources they use. Possession of the requisite library use skills makes students to respond effectively to an ever changing environment. It makes them have techniques for exploring, making connections and making practical use of information so as to make a truly informed decision. These students believe in the need for information to address problems and questions in their lives and in their academics in order to be life-long learners.

It is a well known fact that library user education is necessary before embarking on effective search and usage of information. However, from literature reviewed, there are a number of constraints that may impede the acquisition of library user skills in schools. These include: lack of well equipped school libraries, lack of confidence in the use of school libraries, dependence of students on class notes and textbooks for everything, lack of information resources for learning, teachers mode of instruction not adequate, lack of funds for library user programmes implementation, library staff not properly equipped to attend to students, constant power outage, no period in the time table for the teaching of use of library, poor learning environments, lack of administrative support, poor educational foundation which does not sufficiently expose primary school pupils to library use. For (Pinto and Sales 2008), lack of skills regarding search, retrieval, utilization of information; lack of training of teachers in the use of library recourses; insufficient systems and skills to manipulate technological resources in the library by students seriously impede the acquisition of library user skills by student. Nna-Etuk (2003) further traced the problem of user education in Nigeria to the unavailability of real library services at all levels of education especially in the earlier stages. Thus, the need to assess the problems and find strategies for the enhancement of library user education in Unity schools in Nigeria.

Statement of Problem

Acquisition of library user education skills is particularly indispensible for secondary school students in view of its special importance. Unfortunately many secondary school students including those of Unity schools in Nigeria are generally believed to exhibit poor proficiency in the search, retrieval and usage of these skills not withstanding the user education programmes in these schools. The situation is worrisome in view of the fact that library user education has grown to be an emphasized area of teaching and learning in these schools. It then leaves one to wonder about the effectiveness and competence of these programmes in Unity schools. This study is therefore aimed at finding out the problems militating against user education in Nigerian Unity Schools with a view to critically examining the situation and to proffer credible solution to the problems.

The study therefore intends to assess the constraints undermining user education and to suggest strategies to be adopted for the enhancement of library skills acquisition. The statement of the problem therefore put in question form is, what are the constraints militating against the acquisition of library user skills and what strategies could be adopted for the acquisition of these skills by Unity school students in South East Nigeria?

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to find out the problems militating against library user education in Unity schools in Nigeria for students' acquisition of library skills in South-East Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to find out the following:

i) The factors militating against library user education for the acquisition of use skills.

ii) The appropriate strategies to be adopted for the enhancement of library user education.

Research Questions

Two research questions guided the study. They are:

i) What are the factors militating against library user education in Unity schools?

ii) What strategies could be adopted to enhance library user education for Unity School Students' acquisition of library user skills?

Literature Review;

Constraints of library user education

Library user education is subject to a number of factors which militate against it. In the opinion of Dike and Amucheazi (2003) learning environment, lack of resources, language barrier, illiteracy, teaching orientation and practice are part of the factors. For Ani and Bassey (2008), lack of appreciation and ignorance shown by the teaching staff is also responsible for this malaise. A major obstacle to library user education programmes is that some librarians consider it as a distraction from the main library role of delivery of information. In the view of Case (2007), library instruction program would increase the need for space, materials and public services personnel. This will drain funds for other more important services such as reference etc and it will also create personnel problems relating to scheduling, competence and assessment of teaching. In the view of Fjallbrant and Mally (2004), lack of administrative support is one of the most pressing problems facing library user education in secondary schools.

In furtherance of the mounting problems, Eze (2004) identified the following factors to include: insufficient funds, insufficient number of computers, lack of computer appreciation amongst librarians, teachers and students, absence of properly developed curricula, lack of infrastructure generally and lack of enabling policy environments. This justifies' what Fleming (2006) said that the greatest problem library user education in the South East Nigeria and perhaps other areas of the world is facing is in the aspect of acquiring, processing and disseminating information resources in a manner that is accessible to library users. She looked at user values, user loyalty and user satisfaction. User value include user intellectual accessibility in understanding printed materials, language differences, knowledge operation in the use of non-print collections, breakthrough in technical hold-ups and the human factor. The library user shows loyalty to collections when resource materials are easily located or accessed. Satisfaction can also be measured in terms of users' reaction to staff, the library setting and the need to expand their intellectual accessibility to benefit from these collections. Among these challenges as described by Sherin and Shulman (2004), are financial pressures, increasing public insecurity, accountability, rapidly evolving technologies, changing staff role, diverse staff and students demographics and competing values in a rapidly changing world. These problems face school libraries which in turn invariably affect collection accessibility and students satisfaction.

It was equally shown by Oyedum (2006) that most members of staff in these schools rarely use the library for their academic activities and this explains why there is a lukewarm attitude from the students too. In the view of Busawayo (2003) lack of personnel and professional time for teaching are two major problems facing library user education. Luwehabura (2009) also identified the following factors as some of the problems facing user education in secondary schools libraries: over dependence on one day tour or orientation and lack of standard curriculum for user education subject to be taught in the school. In the opinion of Breivik and Gee (2006) school library instruction is ineffective due to the tendency of school librarians to go into "over kill" made by providing too much information to students when it is apparent that the students can only remember a few points. Similarly, Ryan (2005) highlighted the state of library profession, educational system, and financial, social and political factors as being responsible for the slow pace of library user education in schools.

Strategies for effective library user education

Challenges faced in the effective library user education for students need strategies to combat. The strategies are always to achieve ideas needed to find, retrieve, analyze and use library resources and these ideas include: having a mission statement, statement of goals and objectives, gaining administrative support, articulation with the curriculum etc. These strategies must require the students to engage actively in creative exploration of library skills to convey results (Samson, 2010). In view of Eisenberg and Berkowitz (2004) the strategy must clarify and understand the requirements of a problem or task for which information is sought. It must also identify and find the resources which may be print or non-print materials. Strategies to enhance library user education of secondary school students include the following: introduction of a well equipped and automated school library that will digitize library resources and provide electronic infrastructure for easy access of materials by the students; recruitment of high caliber teachers and library media specialists/instructors, school authorities should frequently renew the library resources to meet up with contemporary needs of the students, creating of awareness in use of library through bill boards, leaflets, pamphlets, media advertisement etc, library resources should be organized in a way that accessibility would be easier and faster, Federal Ministry of Education to make adequate budgetary provision to procure current books and for enhancement of library services to patrons (students), library user education to be integrated into the curriculum and subject discipline in order to make it a credit carrying subject, stakeholders in library user education should be trained and retrained on the best approach in assisting students and other patrons. These trainings could be through workshops, seminars, exchange programmes etc.

Managing large amount of library resources, developing learning strategies to facilitate effective learning and ensuring that all students are skillful in the application of information resources are of critical importance (Ajibero, 2005). In the opinion of Floyd and Bodur (2008) there is a need to move away from the dominant paradigm information for students in the form of textbooks, multimedia resources to facilitating active learning where the students will function with confidence as facilitators in the information rich world. In the view of Zaki (2007) the critical success factors in effective library user education are in the strategic framework which: embeds library use education in the curriculum, ensures parity of provisions and equality of standards alongside academic elements, work collaboratively with librarians and other stakeholders on ways to implement library user education programmes, set active learning activities to facilitate students search of information resources and develop students' abilities to become critical users of information.

Concept of Unity Schools: Historical Background and Objectives

Unity schools refer to the one hundred and four (104) secondary or post primary schools established by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Unity schools came into existence in 1966 with the establishment of three Federal Government Colleges (F.G.Cs) in Warri for the then Western region, Okposi for the Eastern region and Sokoto for Northern region by the Tafawa Balewa government. They were meant to be models for secondary education and centers for national integration where children of various background and from different parts of the country in their formative years, come together to ensure appreciation and tolerance of each other's culture.

In 1970 when the then Head of State General Yakubu Gowon visited Sokoto, he was amazed when the students there greeted him in twelve different Nigeria languages and he declared that he would set up more Federal Government Colleges, a pledge he fulfilled in 1973 when he established eight more Unity schools in Ikot-Ekpene, Odogbolu, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, Jos and Port-Harcourt having realized the need for a cement to bind our youths together. Since then, these natural assets e.g. languages and culture have expanded to one hundred and four schools. Other objectives were, bringing children together from different cultures for the unity of the country from where the colleges derived the name-Unity Schools. There was a need to promote values among students in these schools. There was dire need for national unity and integration immediately after the Nigerians civil war. There was also need to forestall such an occurrence in the future. Therefore, the establishment of these Unity schools across the nation was considered a viable approach to achieve these objectives.

Methodology

Design of the study

A descriptive survey research design was used for this study. A descriptive research design is one which describes conditions as they exist naturally. It is chiefly concerned with finding, describing and interpreting data. The choice of the design was justified in line with what Nworgu (2006) stated about a descriptive survey design as a design which describes a condition as it exist naturally without manipulations. Ali, (2006) also stated that a descriptive survey is most appropriate for a study that has a fairly large population. This design is considered appropriate for this study because it will accord the researcher the opportunity of sampling a good number of respondents considered to be a significant representative of the population on library user education of Unity school students without manipulation of the variables of the study.

Population of the Study

The population of the study was made up of all the secondary school students and teachers in the Unity schools in South East Nigeria. The total population was 29,358, out of which 28844 were students, 514 teacher. (Source: Federal Inspectorate Services, South/East Zonal Office Enugu, Federal Ministry of Education)

Sample and Sampling Technique

The sample size was 1053 respondents made up of 480 JS III students, 469 SS III students, 104 teachers. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted in the sampling of these respondents in the following order; firstly, all the 12 Unity schools in the zone were selected due to their fewness. Next, JS I and SS III students were purposively selected based on the fact that the researcher wanted to ascertain the level of library skills the students possessed on entering schools and as they leave school. In each of the schools, 40 JS I, 40 SS III students and nine teachers were randomly sampled using table of random number.

Instrument for Data Collection

The instrument used for data collection was a structured questionnaire. The structured questionnaire has three sections - (sections A.B & C for both staff and students). All the items of the instruments were placed on a four point rating of Very High Extent (VHE) = 3.5-4, High Extent (HE) =2.5- 3.4, Low Extent (LE) = 1.5-2.4, Very Low Extent (VLE) =1-2.4.

Method of Data Collection

The questionnaire was distributed to the students during class hours in their respective schools by the researcher and four research assistants (their teachers). These research assistants were drilled by the researcher on what to do. Copies for the librarians and teachers were given to them during break period. These instruments were collected from the students and staff the same day they were administered. The researcher vetted the questionnaire for identification of possible errors and also checked the percentage of return to determine coverage and generalization of the responses. Out of 1212 copies of questionnaires distributed, only 1053 were found useable. This gave a response rate of 87 percent.

Method of Data Analysis

Data obtained were analyzed using mean & standard deviation as presented in tables and bar-charts for proper illustration.

RESULTS

Research Question 1: What are the constraints to user education in Nigerian Unity schools?
Table 1: Mean rating of students & staff on the constraints
of library user education. N = 1,053

                                           Students

S/N   Item Statement                     [bar.X]    SD

1     Lack of adequately equipped         3.74     0.60
      school library
2     Lack of confidence in the use of    3.63     0.62
      library
3     Students dependence on class        3.54     0.68
      notes for everything
4     Inadequate information              3.45     0.70
      resources for learning e.g.
      computers
5     Librarians mode of instruction      3.42     0.83
      not adequate to help students
6     School libraries not adequately     3.46     0.82
      equipped with current text
      books
7     Inadequacy of fund for              3.49     0.75
      information literacy
      programmes
8     Not given assignment involving      3.44     0.75
      the use of library
9     Library personnel not properly      3.47     0.72
      attending to the need of
      students
10    Computer laboratories in the        3.48     0.80
      library are not functional
11    Constant power outage               3.50     0.78
12    No timetable for use of library     3.65     0.66
13    No library catalogue to             3.53     0.66
      facilitate search
14    Shelf guides are not available      3.46     0.77
15    Teachers teaching LUS               3.43     0.81
      programmes are not well
      acquainted with the
      programmes themselves
      Cluster Mean                        3.51     0.40

                                             Staff

S/N   Item Statement                     [bar.X]    SD

1     Lack of adequately equipped         3.44     0.89
      school library
2     Lack of confidence in the use of    3.75     0.50
      library
3     Students dependence on class        3.73     0.50
      notes for everything
4     Inadequate information              3.64     0.52
      resources for learning e.g.
      computers
5     Librarians mode of instruction      3.65     0.58
      not adequate to help students
6     School libraries not adequately     3.68     0.53
      equipped with current text
      books
7     Inadequacy of fund for              3.74     0.55
      information literacy
      programmes
8     Not given assignment involving      3.65     0.60
      the use of library
9     Library personnel not properly      3.59     0.60
      attending to the need of
      students
10    Computer laboratories in the        3.82     0.46
      library are not functional
11    Constant power outage               3.71     0.53
12    No timetable for use of library     3.55     0.59
13    No library catalogue to             3.60     0.57
      facilitate search
14    Shelf guides are not available      3.63     0.60
15    Teachers teaching LUS               3.52     0.64
      programmes are not well
      acquainted with the
      programmes themselves
      Cluster Mean                        3.64     0.47

                                               Overall

S/N   Item Statement                     [bar.X]   SD    Dec

1     Lack of adequately equipped         3.59     .74   SA
      school library
2     Lack of confidence in the use of    3.69     .56   SA
      library
3     Students dependence on class        3.63     .59   SA
      notes for everything
4     Inadequate information              3.54     .61   SA
      resources for learning e.g.
      computers
5     Librarians mode of instruction      3.53     .70   SA
      not adequate to help students
6     School libraries not adequately     3.57     .67   SA
      equipped with current text
      books
7     Inadequacy of fund for              3.61     .65   SA
      information literacy
      programmes
8     Not given assignment involving      3.54     .67   SA
      the use of library
9     Library personnel not properly      3.53     .66   SA
      attending to the need of
      students
10    Computer laboratories in the        3.65     .60   SA
      library are not functional
11    Constant power outage               3.60     .65   SA
12    No timetable for use of library     3.60     .62   SA
13    No library catalogue to             3.56     .61   SA
      facilitate search
14    Shelf guides are not available      3.54     .68   SA
15    Teachers teaching LUS               3.57     .72   SA
      programmes are not well
      acquainted with the
      programmes themselves
      Cluster Mean                        3.52     .43   SA

Criterion Mean=2.50.


The table above revealed data on the constraints militating against library user skills' acquisition by secondary school students. Looking at the table, one can see that lack of adequately equipped school library, lack of confidence on the part of the students, students' dependence on class notes and textbooks for everything, constant power outage disturb the use of available computers in the school, non allocation of period for use of library in the time-table and absence of library catalogue to facilitate search; with overall cluster mean of 3.52 and standard deviation of .43 to a very high extent militate against students acquisition of library user skills. The extent of students' response on the following items: inadequate information resources for learning, teachers mode of instruction not adequate to help students, school libraries not adequately equipped, inadequacy of funds for information literacy programmes, not giving assignment involving the use of library, library personnel not properly attending to the need of students, the library computer laboratories not functional, no shelf guides, are high as shown by their mean ratings. The responses of teachers and school librarians were rated above average which implies that the extent of their perception of constraints in library user education of students is very high.

Research Question 2: To what extent do you agree with these strategies for the enhancement of library user education?
Table 2: Mean rating of respondents on strategies for the
enhancement of library user education in Unity schools.

                                                  N = 1,053

                                                   Students

               Item Statement                  [bar.X]    SD

Establishment of modern school library          3.82     0.50

Teaching of the use of library and              3.64     0.60
information resources from primary
school

Making information literacy part of the         3.59     0.61
school curriculum

Encouraging problem-based teaching,             3.56     0.64
giving assignment/ projects while teaching
in schools

Collaboration between teachers and school       3.55     0.63
librarians in planning and teaching of all
school subjects

Relating the objectives of the library          3.58     0.65
instruction programmes to information
handling needs of the students

Evaluating information literacy skills          3.56     0.67
learnt by students through end of term
examination

Teaching reading comprehension skills           3.55     0.65

Giving assignments requiring a variety of       3.61     0.69
information sources

Guiding students through writing of             3.55     0.72
school assignment via web materials

Provision of ICT equipment in the schools       3.60     0.68

Provision of stand-by generators in case of     3.65     0.65
power outage

Recruitment of qualified school librarians      3.59     0.67
or library personnel

Provision of internet services to the           3.64     0.92
schools to help students access the internet

Providing adequate information literacy         3.62     0.65
programmes

Availability of a written policy frame-         3.62     0.70
work to guide information literacy
projects.

Cluster Mean                                    3.62     0.70

                                                  N = 1,053

                                                    Staff

               Item Statement                  [bar.X]    SD

Establishment of modern school library          3.84     0.45

Teaching of the use of library and              3.79     0.47
information resources from primary
school

Making information literacy part of the         3.63     0.54
school curriculum

Encouraging problem-based teaching,             3.60     0.55
giving assignment/ projects while teaching
in schools

Collaboration between teachers and school       3.62     0.64
librarians in planning and teaching of all
school subjects

Relating the objectives of the library          3.58     0.66
instruction programmes to information
handling needs of the students

Evaluating information literacy skills          3.64     0.65
learnt by students through end of term
examination

Teaching reading comprehension skills           3.69     0.66

Giving assignments requiring a variety of       3.71     0.57
information sources

Guiding students through writing of             3.64     0.61
school assignment via web materials

Provision of ICT equipment in the schools       3.69     0.61

Provision of stand-by generators in case of     3.73     0.53
power outage

Recruitment of qualified school librarians      3.65     0.64
or library personnel

Provision of internet services to the           3.63     0.65
schools to help students access the internet

Providing adequate information literacy         3.72     0.53
programmes

Availability of a written policy frame-         3.68     0.35
work to guide information literacy
projects.

Cluster Mean                                    3.68     0.35

                                                     N = 1,053

                                                      Overall

               Item Statement                  [bar.X]   SD    Dec

Establishment of modern school library          3.85     .47   VHE

Teaching of the use of library and              3.71     .53   VHE
information resources from primary
school

Making information literacy part of the         3.61     .57   VHE
school curriculum

Encouraging problem-based teaching,             3.58     .59   VHE
giving assignment/ projects while teaching
in schools

Collaboration between teachers and school       3.58     .63   VHE
librarians in planning and teaching of all
school subjects

Relating the objectives of the library          3.58     .65   VHE
instruction programmes to information
handling needs of the students

Evaluating information literacy skills          3.60     .66   VHE
learnt by students through end of term
examination

Teaching reading comprehension skills           3.62     .65   VHE

Giving assignments requiring a variety of       3.66     .63   VHE
information sources

Guiding students through writing of             3.59     .66   VHE
school assignment via web materials

Provision of ICT equipment in the schools       3.64     .64   VHE

Provision of stand-by generators in case of     3.67     .59   VHE
power outage

Recruitment of qualified school librarians      3.62     .65   VHE
or library personnel

Provision of internet services to the           3.63     .78   VHE
schools to help students access the internet

Providing adequate information literacy         3.69     .59   VHE
programmes

Availability of a written policy frame-         3.65     .52   VHE
work to guide information literacy
projects.

Cluster Mean                                    3.65     .52   VHE

Criterion Mean=2.50 HE=High Extent, 2.5-3point &
VHE =Very High Extent 3.5-4point


Table 2 above shows data on strategies to be adopted for the enhancement of library user education with overall cluster mean of 3.65 and standard deviation of .52. It is evident that response on the strategies to be adopted for the enhancement of library user education which include among others: establishment of modern school library, introduction of the use of library and information literacy as part of the school curriculum, encouraging problem-based technique and giving assignment/projects while teaching in schools, collaboration between teachers and school librarians in planning and teaching of all school subjects, relating the objectives of the library instruction programmes to information handling needs of students, evaluating information literacy skills learnt by students through end of term examination, teaching reading comprehension skills, giving assignments requiring a variety of information sources, guiding students through writing of school assignment via web materials, provision of ICT equipment in the schools, provision of stand-by generators in case of power outage, recruitment of qualified school librarians or library personnel, provision of internet services to the schools to help students access the internet, provision of adequate information literacy programmes, availability of written policy framework to guide library user projects; are rated to a very high extent. It is the opinion of teachers and school librarians that the level of strategies to be adopted for the enhancement of library user education skills is very high.

Discussion of findings

Constraints militating against library user education (LUE) in Unity School

It is revealed from the analyzed data in table 1: that there exist numerous challenges that impede the acquisition of library skills (LS) by students in Unity Schools in South East Nigeria. The extent to which these constraints militate against library literary skills acquisition in these schools is very high with an overall cluster mean of 3.52 and standard deviation of .43. These constraints constitute serious impediment to the acquisition of LS by students in secondary schools. It is obvious that though the schools have libraries, none has an adequately equipped fully air conditioned modern building that houses the library; which can provide conducive study environment for teaching and learning. Most of these school libraries were not built or planned as libraries but classrooms hence the capacity is not adequate to accommodate the ever increasing number of students as well as expanding their collection. Equally the problem of inaccessibility to information as a result of lack of current information resources, near absence of technological resources, ineffective library services has remained the bane of library use skills (LUS) acquisition by the students in these schools. Accessibility of information has already been described as an important yardstick for assessing the library and its services (Aguolu, 2002). Furthermore; insufficient funds, lack of professionally trained librarians, absence of developed curricula that will help the teaching of library user education, lack of enabling government policies as well as conducive environment for learning are some of the challenges affecting library user education (LUE). These challenges were summarized by Pinto and Sales (2008) to mean: problem of search skills, problem of acquisition and utilization of information, problem of training of instructors/teachers, problem of epileptic power supply, lack of shelf guides and inadequate collaboration between teachers, school librarians, school authority on how to integrate teaching of library user education skills in their time-table and curriculum; have compounded students quest to acquire library user skills (LUS) as discovered by the researcher.

The appropriate strategies to be adopted for the acquisition of library user skills (LUS) in unity schools

It was deduced from the analysis of data that Unity school students, teachers and school librarians strongly agree with the strategies listed to be adopted for the acquisition of library skill (LS) by students. This is so as the overall cluster mean rating of 3.65 and standard deviation of .52 for students, teachers and school librarians showed that the respondents strongly agree with all the under listed item statements in tables 6. Establishment of an adequately equipped modern library with enough space for teaching by the subject matter specialist will no doubt provide a conducive environment for learning to these students. Teaching all aspect of library user education (LUE), integrating it in the curriculum and time-table, will go a long way to enhance the students' library user skill (LUS) acquisition. There must be collaboration between school authority, teachers, library media specialists and students for effective planning, teaching and learning and this agrees with the work of Branch (2003) which counters the information dependency created by traditional schooling where students must depend on teachers to dispense information. ICT equipment and internet services will help students navigate the flood of information abound to make them active players in the global world.

Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, some basic conclusions were drawn as follows:

Library resources to a high extent are lacking in Unity schools in South East Nigeria. To a high extent, library user programmes have not been implemented by teachers and school librarians in Unity schools to a high extent probably due to constraints posed by overloaded curriculum content. Library user skills possession by secondary school students in Unity schools is low. Library user skills are of immense benefits to students in Unity schools and to other students for; accuracy in information retrieval, enhanced speed in learning, independent learning, knowledge of library use for life-long learning, etc. To combat these challenges, strategies such as: Provision of library resources like: modern school library, current library materials, functional computers, internet bandwidths, etc were agreed upon to promote or enhance students' acquisition of information literacy skills.

Recommendations:

* Provision of library resources as well as creation and implementation of library user programmes will to a high extent enhance students' acquisition of information literacy skills.

* Government inculcating use of library lessons into the school curriculum, training and retraining of schools librarians and teachers, proper and constant supervision of staff by schools, maintaining of information literacy resources, will aid longevity of library user programmes in Nigerian Unity Schools.

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Nkechi Anthonia Idoko (Ph.D)

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

nkechidoko2007@gmail.com

Brendan E. Asogwa

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library

University of Nigeria, Nsukka,

ezeb.asogwa@unn.edu.ng.

&

Richard N. C. Ugwuanyi (Ph. D)

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library

University of Nigeria Nsukka

nrcugwuanyi@yahoo.com

Nkechi, Anthonia Idoko

Univerversity of Nigeria Nsukka, nkechi.idoko@unn.edu.ng

Brendan E. Asogwa

University of Nigeria, Nsukka, ezeb.asogwa@unn.edu.ng

Richard N. C. Ugwuanyi

University of Nigeria Nsukka, nrcugwuanyi@yahoo.com

Caption: Figure 2: Mean rating of respondents on strategies for the enhancement of library user education in Unity schools
Figure 1: Mean rating of students & staff on the constraints
of library user education.

The teachers of the programme are not well             3.57
acquainted with the programme themselves

No shelf guides                                        3.54

No library catalogue to facilitate search              3.56

No period in the timetable for use of library          3.6

Constant power outage disturb the use of               3.6
Available computers in the school

The library computer laboratories are not              3.65
functional

Library personnel not properly attending to the        3.53
need of students

Not given assignment involving the use of              3.54
library

Inadequacy of fund for information literacy            3.61
programme

School libraries are not adequately equipped           3.57

Teachers mode of instruction not adequate to           3.53
help students

Inadequate information resources for learning          3.54

Students dependence on class notes and text            3.63
books for everything

Lack of confidence in the use of library               3.69

Lack of adequately equipped school library             3.59

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Author:Idoko, Nkechi Anthonia; Asogwa, Brendan E.; Ugwuanyi, Richard N.C.
Publication:Library Philosophy and Practice
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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