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Important And Necessary Aspects Of The Library Information Technology Essay

1.0 LIBRARY: The word Library has always been in use from our early stage of life. The library is a very important place and a building, which needs to be visited and to be in use by people always. A museum is not a library though, people do visit such places to see things, both historical events, adventures of great people or heroes and as well, to see new things that are developed and how they function and can be used. A museum is still a place where children, students, adults, researchers etc still visit to learn more and to know more about things happening in their environment, but can never be known or called a library.

A Library is a building or a place, where books and non-book materials (visual and audio visual materials) are acquired, stored and kept for usage, for children, students, researchers and lectures etc. The library, has got different meanings by lots of people, but still has to do with the collection of useful materials (both books and non-book). The materials acquired into the library is meant to be used by people, in order to educate them the more and to keep them informed about so many things happening around, both educationally, economically, politically and other interesting, important and necessary things in life.

The act of which materials are acquired into the library and are later organised and book shelved, were known as the traditional aspect of how library services and works are done. But, with the invention of ICTs, lots of libraries are shifting out of the traditional aspect of the library service to the new technological way of carrying on services done in the library. The use of ICTs in libraries and the importance of a library been automated, is helping in developing the imagine and the usefulness of the services done in the library

In Nigeria, there are six different types of libraries that exist in the country and are also in use. The Six basic types of libraries in Nigeria are:

The National Library of Nigeria (NLN)

The Public Library

The Academic Library

The State Library

The School library

The Special Library

The National Library of Nigeria (NLN)

The National Library of Nigeria (NLN) happens to be the first library that came into existence in the country, with the enactment of the National Library Act of 1964. Its headquarters was formally in Lagos, but now moved over to Abuja. Most states in Nigeria have got his own National Library.

The National Library of Nigeria (NLN) is funded by the Federal Government. As a prior to the library being funded by the federal government, a government advice-giving committee was later created. The government advice-giving committee were created and gotten in order to aid the government in making known to people the thought and ideas of its policies, to help in building a national bibliographic centre and to provide an area for the growth of knowledge to the people in his country. As a result of all these needed by the government, the committee was the first key official body that brought to the government notification the necessity and importance of having a National Library in the country. The building of the library started in 1962 and the library was opened in 1964.

Before the National Library of Nigeria came into use with the National Library Act of 1964, a lot of educational conference were conducted and held in Ibadan and these lead to the logical basis for creation of a network of libraries funded by the government to provide accessibility of educational materials to Nigerians. Before the existence of the use of ICT in enhancing organisation works and activities, a lot of things were done manually this as a result and from findings produces lots of errors and mistakes of jobs done in library.

The Public Library

Public libraries are expected to provide an indispensable role in the life of communities they serve, and which should be the promotion of reading culture among members of the society. As the name implies, a public library is a library that is meant for the public. Materials acquired into the library are made for everyone to make use of.

A public library is also expected to provide good information and reference centre for its people, through the process of acquiring books and non-book materials that relates to the interest of the people in the community. The materials found in a public library are not focused on a particular aspect of people as compared to that of an academic library. Both the young, old, students, workers have a free access of making use of a public library.

The Academic Library

An Academic Library is a library that is found in institution of higher learning. Higher institutions like colleges and universities. Libraries are established in higher institutions to support the research of the university faculty and students. Books and non-book materials acquired into the academic libraries are materials that help the students in carrying out a very good study in what they have been taught in class, in doing their assignments and in carrying out a good research or projects work. Non-academic materials are not found in an academic library.

With the use of ICT in an academic library, it will help in a long way in motivating students in doing their assignments and assisting lectures in seeing more materials that would help them in getting more ideas on what they would be interested in teaching their students, and making work easy for them

The State Library

State libraries are libraries that are generally established by the government of a state to serve as a paramount repository of information for the state. The state library can also be used by everyone around the library, no matter the sex, age or level of knowledge.

The School Library:

School library are libraries found in schools; where student and staffs have access to different types of resources. If an outside body wants to make use of the library materials, a fee is paid before the outsider can have access to make use of the library

According to (Murjanatu, 2010) in the Weekly Trust Newspaper, stated that with the introduction of ICTs, most libraries in the 21st century are migrating from traditional library settings and provision of services to digital or electronic library setting.

1.1 Importance of a library

It influences the tendency of reading in people. Reading increases more interest for awareness and helps to make people gain and get more information. The library is a treasure of useful materials (book and non-book) for people to use and gain from it.

Helpful information are provided and gotten from the library. Materials like encyclopaedias, dictionaries, maps etc are always found in the library and they are source of widespread information and references for people. Dictionaries on different subjects or field can be found in the library. E.g. medical dictionary, literature dictionary, lawyers’ dictionary, ICT dictionary etc.

Provide enough references for schools and colleges. Lots of reference books that provide information on different subjects help in the process of education.

Most of the materials acquired into the library are books that provide guidance on different topics like business, health, tour, food, politics and careers. Lots of people make it essential for them to examine and go through these books before making main decisions in their business or in their life. Someone planning to travel to a particular place, can go to the library, get materials, and read up about that destination.

A library is also a place where entertainments and fun can be gotten. Large numbers of materials both book and non-book materials acquired into the library are source of entertainments to library users who makes use of them. Fiction books like comedy, horror, thriller, suspense etc.

1.2 Statement of Problems and Research Questions:

This study will focus on analysing the impact of ICT in libraries, and the importance of automating libraries. In order to effectively address this research problem, this study will be guided by this question in particular?

Has National Library of Nigeria (NLN) been fully automated?

And these other questions would be useful in carrying out this research work:

1. In what area or department is ICT used in the library?

2. How many librarians/staff can make a very good use of the ICT?

3. Is there a difference in library services between the use of an automated library system and a manual library system?

1.3 Research Hypothesis:

This study will provide the data to establish whether there is or there is not a direct impact of the use of ICT in libraries, especially in the national library of Nigeria. The following hypothesis will be tested as the research progresses:

If the National Library of Nigeria has been fully automated, and if it has helped to improve the library services.

A qualitative and quantitative technique would be used in carrying out this hypothesis. The qualitative aspect would be as a process of making phone calls to some librarians and library staffs which are known by the researcher in National library of Nigeria, and the quantitative would be a self-administered questionnaire that would be used. The aspect of analysis for this study will be individual for the reason that the response from the questionnaires will be given to everyone that works and uses the National Library to study and answers through phone calls would be gotten from some of the librarians and library staffs that knows the researcher.

1.4 Research Objectives

This study is designed and carried out with the view to determine the following objectives:

To explore various component of ICT used in libraries.

To trace the advantages of ICT in libraries.

To compare the old and the new technology.

To identify the reason for introducing ICT in libraries.

To explain the functions, impact and challenges of ICT based library services.

1.5 Scope and Limitations

This study will use a self-administered survey questionnaire and phone calls to be conducted on selected librarians and staffs that are working in the National Library of Nigeria and have been exposed to the use of ICT. Due to limitations of human recourses, the researcher would serve as the administrator of the questionnaire and in charge of making the calls.

Chapter2 Literature Review

2.1:- Concept and Meaning

ICT is all about technology that helps to support communication and information. From research it has been noticed that ICT comprises of both network and applications. Network includes fixed, wireless and satellite telecommunications, broadcasting network. And, application includes the internet, database management system and multimedia tools.

In order to consider ICT as a strategic adoption needed in libraries, it is necessary to understand the meaning of ICT clearly. ICT is:

Computer System (e.g. manipulating and saving files)

Computer Application (e.g. word processing, spread sheets and database)

Communication Technology (e.g. e-mail. Mobile telephones and using the internet)

Using home and area Technology(e.g. using an automated telling machine, video recorder, DVD player and digital cameras)

Computer Hardware (e.g. printers, scanners and digital equipment).

From (Islam et al, 2006) conducted work, it was noticed that Marcella argues that ICT sector is a heterogeneous collection of industry and service activities including information technology equipment and service, telecommunication equipment and services, media and broadcast, internet service provision, libraries, commercial information providers, network based information services and related professional specialised services.

Hamelink provides a useful and clear definition of ICT relating to what Marcella has said. Hamelink, made it known that ICTs are those technologies that enables the handling of information and facilitates different forms of communications.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) includes both computer, domestic and commercial systems and equipment. It deals with the use of technology to handle information and support communication.

In the study conducted by (Heathcote, 2003), it was made known that ICT means using a computer to:

Input data: by using an input devise such as keyboard, a bar code reader, voice detection or magnetic card reader.

Stores data: in a hard disk for advance processing or for recall later.

Process the data: by sorting the data, adding it to a total or changing it in some way.

Output information: in the form of a report, a chart or an answer to a query.

Communicate information: to someone else by means of the internet, an e-mail, or a shared network of computers.

2.2:-INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN LIBRARIES

The word library and ICT are similar but, different in structure and way of use. The 21st century is the age of the internet and World Wide Web. The use of ICT revolutionises the way information are gathered, process and use information, at the same time, it redefines the meanings and process of business, commerce, marketing, finance, education, research, development, and other aspects of our daily life. From findings, it has been observed that ICT is a very important tool that everyone needs to have, both at work, at home, and for business use.

(Meng and Li, 2001), stated that the rapid development and diffusion of ICTs has been the major driving force of the new economy. Information and communication technology (ICT) has really made and is still making great changes and development at work, in the area of learning, and in the way of reducing once stress. These changes and development are continuing and accelerating. It has been noticed that lots of people sees ICT as being critical to competitive advantages. Almost every educational institution is considering how to use technology to support and to deliver learning (Clark et al, 2003).

(O’Brien, 2003) asserted that “ICTs can change the way business compete in society as they facilitate the efficiency of business processes and communications and collaboration among the people responsible for their operations and management”.

The effectiveness of a library service now fully depends on the use of ICT. The word “ICT” deals with the integration of technologies which are telecommunication equipments, data processing equipment, etc. The use of ICT has brought an outstanding change in the process of information collection, preservation and dissemination of information. To support this, (Islam et al, 2006) quoted that “application of Information Technology (IT) to library and information work has revolutionised the tradition concept of libraries from a ‘store house of books to an intellectual information centre’ connoting the concept of electronic library”.

(Cornia and Court, 2001) asserted that in as much as ICTs have many positive elements, they tend to generate a demand for skills, which is far more skewed than that emanating from “old technologies”.

The rapid spread of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in societies today, is due to its capability to store, record and transmit information correctly, quickly and in large quantities. Therefore, it is not surprising that organisations, whose operations are information is information intensive, like libraries, have tried to incorporate information technology in their systems.

2.3:-Library Automation

Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is a different set of technological tools and resources use to communicate and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information. Library is a growing creature that requires constant positive changes to go with the changing intellect of its users. The discovery of the computer brought a quick change in the society; therefore to go with the society, automation has become the need of the hours.

In the study conducted by (Badan, 2009), made it clear that Library Automation not only improves the images of the library staff but, also provides additional services to the users with the existing staff.

When a library is automated, the impact is quite obvious. It brings about new changes where each functions done in the library are redefined and it transforms the traditional organisation structure into a new institutional structure.

To this end, the call is that libraries should acknowledge and embrace this phenomenon by integrating such tools and services into library environment. (Chad and Miller 2005), and (Miller 2006).

Chapter3. Methodology

Research Design

For the qualitative aspect of the study, a self administered survey would be designed and phone calls would be made by the researcher to librarians and library staffs that are known by the researcher. The purpose of the survey and the calls is to find out the occurrences of librarians and library staffs who have experience on the use of ICT in improving library services and increasing competitive advantage of using an automated library compared to the old traditional concept of libraries, which is only all about a store home of books without electronic use to library services in Nigeria.

Cross-Sectional Research Design

This research would be guided by a cross-sectional research design, in order to explain the qualitative aspect of the study. The cross-sectional research is best described to involve the collection of information on a large number of cases at a single point in time in order to accumulate a body of qualitative data in relation to number of variables to discuss (Bryman, 2004).

Method of Data Collection

The self-administered survey questionnaire and phone calls will be used as a primary tool for data collection for the cross-sectional research design. The interest in making a use of the phone calls and survey technique is to make available a qualitative part in groping the outcome of ICTs in libraries and the usefulness and importance of an automated National Library of Nigeria. An objective and subjective part of this study would be provided, with the use of a self-administered survey questionnaire. The questionnaire would be semi-structured, which means that it will include both the open and the close ended questions. The open is certain because it gives the respondents the liberty to express their thoughts while the close aspect makes it easier to code and to mark the correct answer in the questionnaire because the respondent is often provided with several choices from which they select their answer.

Theoretical Population: the theoretical population of this study would be librarians and library staffs employed in National Library of Nigeria of at least 10-200 employees that has relied on the use of ICT to boost library services.

Sample Population: it would be so difficult in surveying every national library found in each state and other libraries in Nigeria. A sample of 150 librarians and library staffs would be selected and would be representatives of the general impact of ICT on library services and operation. For the purpose of this study, the sample population will be limited to the National Library of Nigeria, which is located in Abuja and happens to be the headquarters of all National Libraries in Nigeria.

Sampling Design: the selected sample would be determined through the answers gotten from the librarians and library staffs of the National Library of Nigeria, who are relaying on ICTs to achieve and maintain competitive advantage in library services.

Method of Data Analysis

The results gotten from the self-administered survey and the phone calls would be ranked with respect to the level of presence of the indicators in relation to the use of ICT to improve library services.

Ethical Consideration

The researcher would make known to the participants the nature of the study being conducted through a permission form that would be attached to the survey questionnaire. The researcher will also respect whenever the participant would limit the access to certain information like their names.

Conclusion

The findings of this study will be used to conclude and to know if ICT positively affect library services, and if it is necessity in automating libraries, particularly in the case of National Library of Nigeria. The findings of this study will make known to libraries in Nigeria the importance and use of ICT to stimulate competitive advantage in library services.

America, British, Australian, Norwegian and Japanese libraries, possibly due to greater exposure to technology and increased competition exhibit much higher level of ICT use.

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