[RSS][Google]

http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/

Library Philosophy and Practice 2012

ISSN 1522-0222

User Education Programs in Academic Libraries: The Experience of the International Islamic University Malaysia Students

Shammasi Ali Suleiman
MLIS (G0827965)
Department of Library & Information Science
Faculty of Information & Communication Technology
IIUM - Malaysia

Introduction

The library supports the reading and research needs of its user for that particular institution. It is the library's responsibility to provide better services to its clients to make sure that information sources, services and resources are well utilized for users' benefits. Hence user education program is very crucial for library user's achievements.

Gorman, (2006) states that, Libraries are concerned primarily with the messages that constitute the human record and only secondarily with the medium by means of which messages are transmitted. Library is a part of the general context of the societal institutions that promote education, research, learning, social cohesion, and the higher aspirations of humankind.

Fleming,(1990) defined user education "as various programs of instruction, education and exploration provided by libraries to users to enable them to make more effective, efficient and independent use of information sources and services to which these libraries provide access.

Mellon, (1988) mentioned that, Students enter college with little or no any knowledge of basic library tools, procedures or terminology". Basic to this statement Clarke, 1999 emphasize the justification for mounting programs for user education in university libraries. (Clarke 1999) writes, "Third World countries, in the majority of cases, lack adequate public libraries that could meaningfully serve as a necessary addition to the teaching and learning process in secondary schools. Even where they live such public libraries do not appear to have user instruction for new users, at least, not a large scale."

Thus majority of new students entering universities are seriously facing problems that stresses independent of though and action. They don't know how to deal with new environment, they need carefully and special guides which help them to deal with various sources of information independently.

According to Liu, (1993) among the problems faced by this group of students are those related to information provision and library services. These students come from a variety of cultures and have different experiences with libraries in their own countries. Many of them are unfamiliar with the open stacks in libraries, the system, and reference material. Song, (2004) add that some of them have no prior experience with electronic resources in their home countries.

Following this, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Library makes user education programs compulsory for students in every semester. According to Nur' Aini (2011) with the development of technology and the vast information resource available IIUM Library feels the increasing need to educate its library customers in locating, evaluating and the using of the library resources effectively.

There are several modules that are created based on the standards as set in the "Information Literacy Competency Standards for higher Education" by the American Library Association. The courses are designed to fulfill the following groups: New Students, Undergraduates, Postgraduates, and Academic staff.

Problem Statement

Most of IIUM students come from Developing countries with different backgrounds some of which possess better skills to utilize library materials, while others have not enough skill for utilizing library materials such as computer, use of internet, and library catalogue. The IIUM Library conducts user education programs in every semester but still there are some students who face difficulties in accessing and use library materials. They take long time to ask and go around the levels and shelves for searching a particular object. This situation made researcher to embark on this study, with the hope of finding why these students are not responding positively to the training given to them. Do they really understand the training exercise? Is the training program relevant to the needs of library users? Are trainers qualified to train users? These are some of the questions this research is going to tackle. The answer to the research will hopefully be used to improve the skills of the users, so that the materials in the library can be put into maximum utilization.

Methodology

The methodology adopted for the study is descriptive survey. The population is Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of IIU M, because of the time constraint the researcher will select sample of 75 students from a number of different faculties / kulliyah using the Krejcie and Morgan formula. Information was gathered using a questionnaire of 17 questions. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics, mean, variance, and charts.

Related Studies

Library orientation and instruction are among the programs used to enhance library skills to the new students. These programs help students to know various types of library facilities as well as library resources and services. According to John (2008) it would be beneficial to learn how a well–designed library orientation programs effects students' usage and information seeking abilities, and to see if such program would produce more library users.

Clarcke (1999) reviews the development of user education within the context of arguments for and against it. Library orientation tours and different approaches to them are described, as well as the development of undergraduate and postgraduate programs of user education.

Another study conducted by (Ventura College 2005) explains that: library orientation is the most commonly used technique of increasing student familiarity with the library and its resources. According to a survey Report (2004,) the Ventura College Libraries believe a major portion of their 31 percent increase student usage statistics was due to the increase in library orientations that promote usage of library's resource and services. John (2008)

Muogilim, (1986) investigated the inability of the students to utilize library facilities after taking a course in the use of library. The outcome of his findings shows that students were allowed few interactions with the library and its staff during the orientation program. Also, they were overloaded with so much information within such a short period of time that the chances of retention and internationalization of the avalanche of new information is quite slim. He concludes that high enrolment with inadequate physical facilities made effective work difficult.

From the Muongilim point of view student's interactions with library is very important to make them familiar with tools and services and also information provided to the students during the orientation program should be more concerned with very important parts of services. After orientation, students have opportunities to join with other user education classes which help them to develop their skills.

Oyesola,(1984) worked on the problems facing the library in increasing students' ability to locate materials they need, extend their knowledge of useful library tools, encourage learners to make extensive use of the library and to give them rudimentary knowledge of appropriate study methods. One of the objectives of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities.

Hoadley and Clarck (1972) write that a library can achieve its goals if the library is more precise about whom its readers are. This precision, coupled with more research into behavior of information gathering patterns of the user groups, will assist the library more effectively in making progress and using its resources and limited funds to achieve desired goals.

Rashid, (1987) mentioned that: the literature reveals that user education has been an explosive growth area in librarianship since the 1980s, but user studies, particularly information seeking behavior, have grown much more rapidly. It is therefore; better to take into account the results of studies of information needs and user behavior when designing information teaching skills (ITS) program. Wilson, (1977) says the investigation of information use and user needs should be the basis for training purposes.

Some studies have concluded that library education can have positive impact on the quality of student's education. For instance, Breviks (1982; quoted in Tiefel, 1995) demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between library user education and students grades. Moreover, Prorack (1994) looks to user education for music students, and found a significant relationship between user education and students grade.

Yu (2003) explore how Taiwanese college and technical institution libraries familiarize user with library facilities and information resources. The most common programs are a basic introduction to library services, OPAC instruction, searching tools, internet instruction, CD-ROMs, databases and electronic journals, and audio and video materials

IIUM Library is more concerned with educating its users. The library uses different modules for teaching its clients to make sure that better knowledge has been transferred to them as an effort not only to simplify the utilization of various types of information resources from the library but also to satisfy students' education needs. In order to accomplish the library goals efficiently and effectively with very specific period of time, the library has a numbers of modules.

According to Nur' Aini (2011), the most common modules used in IIUM library are:

Basic library skill

Library briefing

Library research skill

Online databases searching skills

Legal research skills

Using In-house databases

Navigating the internet for special purposes

Searching CD ROM data bases

Special module for IRK students research skills and how to locate Islamic materials in different languages

Data analysis

In this research 90 questionnaires were distributed among students of IIUM at Gombak Campus, about 75 questionnaires were returned equivalent to 83% of return rate for overall questionnaires that were distributed. The majority of respondents were female 67% and 33% male (table 1).

Table 1: Distribution according to Gender

Name

N

%

Gender: Male

25

33

Female

50

67

Total

75

100

The respondents' distribution by gender, is shown in Table 1

In this research 90 questionnaires were distributed among students of IIUM at Gombak Campus, about 75 questionnaires were returned equivalent to 83% of return rate for overall questionnaires that were distributed. The majority of respondents were female 67% and 33% male (table 1).

Table 2: Distribution according to Level of Education

 

N

%

Undergraduate

47

63

Postgraduate

28

37

Total

75

100

Table 2 shows that majority of the respondents 63% are undergraduate students. Whereas only 37% of the respondents are postgraduate students

Mean: 1.4

Variance: 2.4

63%

37%

Table3: Distribution according to Kulliyyah

Name

N

%

Economics

13

17

Education

3

4

Engineering

5

7

ICT

15

20

KIRKHS

28

37

Law

11

15

Total

75

100

Table 3 shows that high percentages of respondents are from KIRKHS 37%, followed by ICT 20%. Whereas only 17% of the respondents are from Economics and 15% are from Law. Rests of the respondents are from Engineering 7% and 4% are from Education.

Mean: 4.0

Variance: 2.8

20%

37%

15%

17%

7%

4%

Table 4.1: Distribution according to Nationality

Name

Frequency

Percentage

Local

44

59

International

31

41

Total

75

100

Table 4.1 shows that 59% of the respondent's population is Local Students and 41% of International Students.

Mean: 1.4

Variance: 0.25

59%

41%

4.2 Analysis of Research Questions

Descriptive analysis is used to address the three research questions of this study. Beginning with the first research question: "Are user education programs at IIIUM effective? Therefore, the following descriptive analysis conducted to show the frequencies of respondents of each item according to the respective research question.

The first research question was: are user education programs at IIUM effective?

Table 4.2.1: User education program helped me to better use the Library OPAC

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

35

47

Agree

40

53

Total

75

100

Table 4.2.1 indicates that 53% of the respondents agree that user education program helped them to better use the Library Online Public Access Catalog. And 47% of respondents were strongly agreed with this question. Following this, all respondents 100% agree that that user education program helped them to better use the OPAC

Mean: 1.5

Variance 0.25

53%

47%

Table 4.2.2: The way the librarians trained me to use the library is not sufficient

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

2

3

Agree

13

17

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

47

63

Strongly disagree

12

16

Total

75

100

Table 4.2.2 shows that majority of the respondents 63% disagree that the way librarians trains them to use library is not sufficient, and 16% were strongly disagree with this question. Only 17 % agree that the way the librarians trains them to use the library is not sufficient, and 1% was neutral. Therefore, 79% agree that librarians who trained them had sufficient time.

Mean 3.7

Variance 1

63%

1%

17%

3%

16%

Table 4.2.3: In my opinion the postgraduate, first, and second years students should attend user education classes

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

38

51

Agree

29

39

Disagree

7

9

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

Table4.2.3 shows that only 9% of surveyed students disagree that post graduate first and second year students should attend user education classes. Whereas majority, 51% strongly agree with this question and 39% agree that post graduate, first, and second year students should attend user education class. Rest of the respondent only 1% strongly disagree, therefore 90% agree that postgraduate students should attend user education class.

Mean: 1.7

Variance: 0.9

39%

1%

51%

9%

Table 4.2.4: The librarian who trained me was not friendly at all

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

3

4

Agree

3

4

Disagree

37

49

Strongly disagree

32

43

Total

75

100

The results from the Table 4.2.4 shows that only 4% of the respondents agree that librarian who trained them was not friendly at all, and 4% strongly agree. Whereas 49% disagree that librarian who trained them was not friendly at all, and 43% strongly disagree. This emphasize that 92% believe that librarians are friendly.

Mean: 4.2

Variance: 0.9

59%

43%

4%

4%

Table 4.2.5: The librarian who trained me was knowledgeable and friendly

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

27

36

Agree

44

59

Disagree

3

4

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

The Table shows that 59% of the respondents agree that the Librarian who trained them was knowledgeable and friendly an36% strongly agree. Whereas 4% disagrees and 1% strongly disagree that the Librarian who trained them was knowledgeable and friendly. Therefore, 95% believe that librarians have enough knowledge to conduct user education classes.

Mean: 1.8

Variance: 0.5

59%

36%

4%

1%

The second research question was what are the different modules of user education program?

Table 4.2.6: After user education class I am able to find the relevant information I need

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

36

48

Agree

37

50

Disagree

1

1

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

It can be understood form the Table 4.2.5 that 50% of the population agrees that after user education class they are able to find the relevant information they need, and 48% strongly agree with this question. Only 1% disagree that after user education class they are able to find the relevant information, and 1% is strongly disagree with the mentioned question. Following this, 98% of the respondents have gained enough knowledge to be able to find their information they need.

Mean: 1.6

Variance: 0.6

50%

48%

1%

1%

St.disagree

Table4.2.7: The skill that I gained after training were not enough to find the relevant information

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

1

1

Agree

18

24

Disagree

45

60

Strongly disagree

11

15

Total

75

100

According to the data obtained in the Table 4.2.7 shows that only 24% of the respondents agree that the skills that they gained after training were not enough to find the relevant information. Whereas majority 60% disagreed that the skills that they gained after training were not enough to find the relevant information. And 15% of the respondents strongly disagreed. Therefore, 75 % agree that training was enough for them to find information.

Mean: 3.6

Variance: 1.0

60%

24%

15%

1%

Table 4.2.8: To obtain strong skills the library should provide many classes of user education

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

20

27

Agree

41

55

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

12

16

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

Majority of the respondents 55% agree that to obtain strong skills the Library should provide many classes of user education, and 27% strongly agree with this question. Whereas only 16% disagree, and 1% is neutral. This concludes that about to obtain strong skills 82% need more classes.

Mean: 2.0

Variance: 1.0

55%

27%

16%

1%

1%

Table 4.2.9: The user education class helped me to increase my searching skills

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

27

36

Agree

45

60

Neutral

1

1

Strongly disagree

2

3

Total

75

100

This figure shows that 60% of the respondents agree that the user education class helped them to increase their searching skills, and 36% strongly agrees with the question. Whereas only 3% of the population disagree that the user education class helped them to increase their searching skills, and 1% neutral. This emphasize that 96% acknowledge that user education has increased their searching skills.

Mean: 1.7

Variance: 0.5

60%

36%

3%

1%

Table 4.2.10: Orientation Class helped me to develop my use of relevant internet resource

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

26

35

Agree

49

65

Total

75

100

Data from Table 4.2.10 mention that 65% of the respondents agree that Orientation Class helped them to develop their use of relevant of internet resource, and 35% strongly agree with this question. Following this, 100% can search internet on their own after attending user education.

Mean: 1.6

Variance: 0.2

65%

35%

The third research question was what skills do users gain after attending the program?

Table 4.2.11: Basic Library skills module helped me to use Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

32

43

Agree

40

53

Disagree

1

1

Strongly disagree

2

3

Total

75

100

The results from the Table 4.2.11shows that only 3% of the respondents were strongly disagree that basic Library skills module helped them to use Online Public Access (OPC), and 1% disagree with question. Whereas majority, 53% agree that basic Library skills module helped them to use OPC, and 43% strongly agree. Therefore, 96% have benefit from the training.

1%

Mean: 1.7

Variance: 0.6

53%

43%

3%

Table4.2.12: Students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

5

7

Agree

38

51

Neutral

3

4

Disagree

26

34

Strongly disagree

3

4

Total

75

100

Data in Table 4.2.12 shows that 51% of the respondents agree that students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing, and 7% strongly agree. However, they are 34% of the respondents disagree that students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing, and 4% strongly disagree, other 4% neutral. Thus 58% believe that students are overloaded with information during the briefing.

Mean: 2.8

Variance: 1.2

35%

4%

7%

51%

4%

Table 4.2.13: Library research module should offer students more hand on research practice

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

20

27

Agree

46

61

Disagree

9

12

Total

75

100

Table 4.2.13 shows that only 12% of the respondents disagrees that Library research module should offer students more hand on research practice. Whereas the majority of the students 61% agrees that Library research module should offer students more hand on research practice, and 27% strongly agree. This concludes that 88% needs more handouts.

Mean: 2.0

Variance: 0.8

Disagree 12%

61%

27%

12%

Table 4.2.14: Online database research skills are useful for research information and class assignment

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

34

46

Agree

40

53

Disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

From this table we can understand that majority of the respondents 53% agrees that online database research skills are useful for research information and class assignment, and 46% of the respondents strongly agree with the question. Following this, 99% can use databases successfully after attending user education.

Mean: 1.6

Variance: 0.4

53%

46%

1%

 

Table 4.2.15: Legal research skills are useful for Law students

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

29

39

Agree

37

50

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

7

9

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

The retable from Table4.2.15 mentions that only 9% of the respondents disagree that: legal research skills are useful for Law students, and 1% strongly disagrees. Whereas majority 50% of the respondents are agrees that legal research skills are useful for law students, and 39% strongly agree with the question, the rest 1% neutral. Thus, 89% law students has benefited with the legal skill research module.

1%

Mean: 1.9

Variance: 0.9

50%

39%

9%

1%

Table 4.2.16: Searching CD ROM databases gives better understanding research using the available resources

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

12

16

Agree

51

68

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

11

15

Total

75

100

The result from Table 4.2.16 shows that 68% of the surveyed students agree that searching CD ROM databases gives better understanding research using the available resources, and 16 % strongly agree. Whereas the rest 15% of the respondents disagree, and only 1 % neutral. Therefore, 84% agree that searching CD ROM databases gives better understanding research using the available resources.

Mean: 2.0

Variance: 0.7

16%

1%

15%

68%

4.2.17: There is a need for KIRKHS module research skills

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

25

33

Agree

2

3

Neutral

41

54

Disagree

2

3

Strongly disagree

5

7

Total

75

100

This table illustrate that 36% of the respondents agree that there is a need for KIRHS module research skills.

Strong agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

There is a need for KIRKH Module search skills

33%

3%

7%

54%

3%

Discussion

Majority of respondents shows that user education programs are useful. It helps them to find relevant information through Online Public Access Catalogue and other information sources in the library. On the whole, respondents are satisfied with the way librarians trained them. 96% believe that user education program helped them to make effective use of the OPAC.

This is supported by (Oyesola1984) who studied the problems facing the library in increasing students' ability to locate materials they need, extend their knowledge of useful library tools, encourage learners to make extensive use of the library and to give them rudimentary knowledge of correct study methods. One of the objectives of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities independently.

Undergraduate students are many compared to postgraduate students (Table 2), the reason for low percentage of postgraduate students was due to the time conducted for user education, and some of the postgraduate students lack enough information for user education classes especially for those who registers late. Even if they got information at that time they prefer to concentrate more on their academic courses rather than library skills or they find it difficult to expose themselves to the person in charge for user education lessons. Another reason for low percentage of postgraduate students is due to the fact that user education for postgraduate is conducted by request from Kulliyyah for particular students. The library enrolls the selected students in the user education sessions. Another complaint was that some students do not want to participate in user education activities at all. Other students regard user education as "extra" curricular rather than an integral part of student's education.

However, as indicated earlier the purpose of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities. The students surveyed with library skills (Table 4.2.6) majority, 50% agree that after user education they are able to find the relevant information they need, and 48% strongly agree. In addition (Table 4.2.7) 60% agree that the skills they gained after training were enough to find the relevant information. In addition, students opinion is postgraduate students should attend user education program. (Table 4.2.3) majority of the respondents, 51% strongly agree that postgraduate should attend user education classes, and 39% of the respondents agree. Therefore, 90% agree that postgraduate students should attend user education class.

Yet, librarian provides different program for user education and to increase student's skill for searching information they need. However, majority of the surveyed students (Table 4.2.12) 51% agree that Students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing. Students were allowed few interactions with the library and its staff during the orientation program. Also they were overloaded with so much information within such a short period of time that the chances of retention and internalization of the sudden large amount of new information is quite small. This is also observed by Muongilim(1986) who investigated the ability of students to utilize library facilities after taking a course in the use of the library.

5.3 Summary

There is a significant relationship between the usefulness of the programs and user education programs, modules of user education programs and skills, this is also shown in the finding of Oyesola, M. (1984) worked on the problems facing the library in increasing students' ability to locate materials they need, extend their knowledge of useful library tools, encourage learners to make extensive use of the library and to give them rudimentary knowledge of correct study methods. One of the objectives of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities independently.

There is a strong relationship between the user education programs, modules of user education programs and skills; the finding is similar to Muogilim, E. (1986) who investigated the inability of the students to utilize library facilities after taking a course in the use of library. The outcome of his findings shows that students were allowed few interactions with the library and its staff during the orientation programs. Also, they were overloaded with so much information within such a short a time that the chances of retention and internationalization of the avalanche of new information is quite slim. He concludes that high enrolment with inadequate physical facilities made effective work difficult.

Hence, user education programs, modules of user education programs and skills will be necessary to help users has been supported by the finding of Adeleke, and Olorunsola,(2010) libraries must try to understand the information literacy(IL) experiences of their users(including both faculty and students ), and the variety of situations in which they will need to seek and use information. A good number of library users have acquired a certain level of skills to retrieve needed information to support class assignment and research.

3.4 Recommendation

For library services to keep pace with the needs of students, library should increase number of employees' expert and skillful librarians who can provide user education programs

Library should make user education training compulsory for all faculties, and provide them with instructional material to present to students as suggested by respondents that postgraduate students should attend user education classes.

There is no doubt that the user education program brought a positive change to the respondents' behavior towards library use, considering their previous back ground. Much can be achieved if some efforts would be put toward those faculties that have small number of participants in user education classes.

The Librarians are responsible for leading user education development or in important positions to contribute to user education development: This study suggests the best support resource might be peer professionals. This survey reveals that there are active librarians who can contribute on user education and increase the number of users with satisfactory library skills.

References:

Clarcke, R. (1999). User education at Main Library of the University of West Indies, St

Augustine: A historical chronicle. Library Review 48(5):242-250

Fleming, H (1990) User Education in academic libraries.. London: Library Association Publishing

Limited

Gorman,M (2006) The wrong path and the right path The role of libraries in access to, and preservation of cultural heritage. California State University, Fresno, California, USA

John, W (2008) The effects of Library Orientations on Student Usage of the Library. Library Hi-tech News No. 1 2008

Lui, Z. (1993).Difficulties and characteristics of students from developing countries in using

American libraries. College & Research libraries, Vol. 54: 25-31

Mellon,C.(1988), Attitudes: the forgotten dimension of library instruction, Library Journal,

Vol.113, September, pp.137-9

Muongolim,E.(1986) User education: the quintessence of quality readers services for teacher

education libraries in Nigeria. Nigerbiblios 11(4), p.20

Nur' Aini (2011), Information literacy courses: A handbook, available at:

http://lib.iium.edu.my/resources/Information_Literacy_Courses_A_Handbook.pdf

Oyesolar,M. (1984) Instruction on the use of library : problem and element of effectiveness. Lagos

Librarian 11(1,2).32-37.

Prorack(1994). Teaching methods and psychological type in bibliographic instruction effect on

student learning and confidence; RQ 33 (4)

Song, Y.(2004) International business students: a study of their use of electronic library

services; Reference Services Review, 32(4): 366-371

Tiefel,V.(1995).Library user education: Examining its past, projecting its future. Library trends

44(2) 318-338

Yu, T. (2003) A Taiwan College and technical institution library user education survey New

Library World 104 (1192):335-343

Ventura College (2005), ''2004 accreditation report: evaluation and self identified issues'',

Accreditation 2004, available at: www.venturacollege.edu/ accreditation/2004/standard-

2c-3.htm

Wilson,T.(1977), "Investigation of information use and users needs as a basis for training program"

Information Forum Documentation, 2, 25-9

Shammasi Ali Suleiman

MLIS (G0827965)
Department of Library & Information Science
Faculty of Information & Communication Technology
IIUM - Malaysia.

User Education Programs in Academic Libraries: The Experience of the International Islamic University Malaysia Students

Abstract:

Library is the heart of any University, it supports reading and research needs for that particular institution. It is the library's responsibility to provide better services to its clients to make sure that information sources, services and resources are well utilized for user benefits; hence user education program is very crucial for user's achievement. The aim of this paper is to identify perception of user education program at IIUM library, to identify Module of user education program at IIUM library and to develop searching skills for users. The descriptive survey is adopted for the study. The population is Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of IIU M, because of the time constraint the researcher selected sample of 75 students from a number of different faculties / kulliyah using the Krejcie and Morgan formula. Information was gathered using a questionnaire of 17 questions. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics, mean, variance, and charts. The result of the survey shows that users are in favor of various programs due to their adaptability, online public access catalogue and easy access to several sources of information. For library services to keep pace with the needs of students, library should increase number of employees' expert and skillful librarians who can provide user education programs

Library should make user education training compulsory for all faculties, and provide them with instructional material to present to students as suggested by respondents that postgraduate students should attend user education classes. There is no doubt that the user education program brought a positive change to the respondents' behavior towards library use, considering their previous back ground. This survey reveals that there are active librarians who can contribute on user education and increase the number of users with satisfactory library skills.

Introduction

Library is the heart of any university, it supports reading and research needs of its user for that particular institution. It is the library's responsibility to provide better services to its clients to make sure that information sources, services and resources are well utilized for users' benefits. Hence user education program is very crucial for library user's achievements.

Gorman, (2006) states that, Libraries are concerned primarily with the messages that constitute the human record and only secondarily with the medium by means of which messages are transmitted. Library is a part of the general context of the societal institutions that promote education, research, learning, social cohesion, and the higher aspirations of humankind.

Fleming,(1990) defined user education "as various programs of instruction, education and exploration provided by libraries to users to enable them to make more effective, efficient and independent use of information sources and services to which these libraries provide access.

Mellon, (1988) mentioned that, Students enter college with little or no any knowledge of basic library tools, procedures or terminology". Basic to this statement Clarke, 1999 emphasize the justification for mounting programs for user education in university libraries. (Clarke 1999) writes, "Third World countries, in the majority of cases, lack adequate public libraries that could meaningfully serve as a necessary addition to the teaching and learning process in secondary schools. Even where they live such public libraries do not appear to have user instruction for new users, at least, not a large scale."

Thus majority of new students entering universities are seriously facing problems that stresses independent of though and action. They don't know how to deal with new environment, they need carefully and special guides which help them to deal with various sources of information independently.

According to Liu, (1993) among the problems faced by this group of students are those related to information provision and library services. These students come from a variety of cultures and have different experiences with libraries in their own countries. Many of them are unfamiliar with the open stacks in libraries, the system, and reference material. Song, (2004) add that some of them have no prior experience with electronic resources in their home countries.

Following this, International Islamic University Malaysia Library makes user education programs compulsory for students in every semester. According to Nur' Aini (2011) with the development of technology and the vast information resource available IIUM Library feels the increasing need to educate its library customers in locating, evaluating and the using of the library resources effectively.

There are several modules that are created based on the standards as set in the "Information Literacy Competency Standards for higher Education" by the American Library Association. The courses are designed to fulfill the following groups: New Students, Undergraduates, Postgraduates, and Academic staff.

Problem statement

Most of IIUM students come from Developing countries with different backgrounds some of which possess better skills to utilize library materials, while others have not enough skill for utilizing library materials such as computer, use of internet, and library catalogue. The IIUM Library conducts user education programs in every semester but still there are some students who face difficulties in accessing and use library materials. They take long time to ask and go around the levels and shelves for searching a particular object. This situation made researcher to embark on this study, with the hope of finding why these students are not responding positively to the training given to them. Do they really understand the training exercise? Is the training program relevant to the needs of library users? Are trainers qualified to train users? These are some of the questions this research is going to tackle. The answer to the research will hopefully be used to improve the skills of the users, so that the materials in the library can be put into maximum utilization.

Methodology

The methodology adopted for the study is descriptive survey. The population is Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of IIU M, because of the time constraint the researcher will select sample of 75 students from a number of different faculties / kulliyah using the Krejcie and Morgan formula. Information was gathered using a questionnaire of 17 questions. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics, mean, variance, and charts.

Related studies

Library orientation and instruction are among the programs used to enhance library skills to the new students. These programs help students to know various types of library facilities as well as library resources and services. According to John (2008) it would be beneficial to learn how a well–designed library orientation programs effects students' usage and information seeking abilities, and to see if such program would produce more library users.

Clarcke (1999) reviews the development of user education within the context of arguments for and against it. Library orientation tours and different approaches to them are described, as well as the development of undergraduate and postgraduate programs of user education.

Another study conducted by (Ventura College 2005) explains that: library orientation is the most commonly used technique of increasing student familiarity with the library and its resources. According to a survey Report (2004,) the Ventura College Libraries believe a major portion of their 31 percent increase student usage statistics was due to the increase in library orientations that promote usage of library's resource and services. John (2008)

Muogilim, (1986) investigated the inability of the students to utilize library facilities after taking a course in the use of library. The outcome of his findings shows that students were allowed few interactions with the library and its staff during the orientation program. Also, they were overloaded with so much information within such a short period of time that the chances of retention and internationalization of the avalanche of new information is quite slim. He concludes that high enrolment with inadequate physical facilities made effective work difficult.

From the Muongilim point of view student's interactions with library is very important to make them familiar with tools and services and also information provided to the students during the orientation program should be more concerned with very important parts of services. After orientation, students have opportunities to join with other user education classes which help them to develop their skills.

Oyesola,(1984) worked on the problems facing the library in increasing students' ability to locate materials they need, extend their knowledge of useful library tools, encourage learners to make extensive use of the library and to give them rudimentary knowledge of appropriate study methods. One of the objectives of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities.

Hoadley and Clarck (1972) write that a library can achieve its goals if the library is more precise about whom its readers are. This precision, coupled with more research into behavior of information gathering patterns of the user groups, will assist the library more effectively in making progress and using its resources and limited funds to achieve desired goals.

Rashid, (1987) mentioned that: the literature reveals that user education has been an explosive growth area in librarianship since the 1980s, but user studies, particularly information seeking behavior, have grown much more rapidly. It is therefore; better to take into account the results of studies of information needs and user behavior when designing information teaching skills (ITS) program. Wilson, (1977) says the investigation of information use and user needs should be the basis for training purposes.

Some studies have concluded that library education can have positive impact on the quality of student's education. For instance, Breviks (1982; quoted in Tiefel, 1995) demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between library user education and students grades. Moreover, Prorack (1994) looks to user education for music students, and found a significant relationship between user education and students grade.

Yu (2003) explore how Taiwanese college and technical institution libraries familiarize user with library facilities and information resources. The most common programs are a basic introduction to library services, OPAC instruction, searching tools, internet instruction, CD-ROMs, databases and electronic journals, and audio and video materials

IIUM Library is more concerned with educating its users. The library uses different modules for teaching its clients to make sure that better knowledge has been transferred to them as an effort not only to simplify the utilization of various types of information resources from the library but also to satisfy students' education needs. In order to accomplish the library goals efficiently and effectively with very specific period of time, the library has a numbers of modules.

According to Nur' Aini (2011), the most common modules used in IIUM library are:

  • Basic library skill
  • Library briefing
  • Library research skill
  • Online databases searching skills
  • Legal research skills
  • Using In-house databases
  • Navigating the internet for special purposes
  • Searching CD ROM data bases
  • Special module for IRK students research skills and how to locate Islamic materials in different languages

Data Analysis

In this research 90 questionnaires were distributed among students of IIUM at Gombak Campus, about 75 questionnaires were returned equivalent to 83% of return rate for overall questionnaires that were distributed. The majority of respondents were female 67% and 33% male (table 1).

Table 1: Distribution according to Gender

Name

N

%

Gender: Male

25

33

Female

50

67

Total

75

100

The respondents' distribution by gender, is shown in Table 1

In this research 90 questionnaires were distributed among students of IIUM at Gombak Campus, about 75 questionnaires were returned equivalent to 83% of return rate for overall questionnaires that were distributed. The majority of respondents were female 67% and 33% male (table 1).

Table 2: Distribution according to Level of Education

 

N

%

Undergraduate

47

63

Postgraduate

28

37

Total

75

100

Table 2 shows that majority of the respondents 63% are undergraduate students. Whereas only 37% of the respondents are postgraduate students

Mean: 1.4

Variance: 2.4

63%

37%

Table3: Distribution according to Kulliyyah

Name

N

%

Economics

13

17

Education

3

4

Engineering

5

7

ICT

15

20

KIRKHS

28

37

Law

11

15

Total

75

100

Table 3 shows that high percentages of respondents are from KIRKHS 37%, followed by ICT 20%. Whereas only 17% of the respondents are from Economics and 15% are from Law. Rests of the respondents are from Engineering 7% and 4% are from Education.

Mean: 4.0

Variance: 2.8

20%

37%

15%

17%

7%

4%

Table 4.1: Distribution according to Nationality

Name

Frequency

Percentage

Local

44

59

International

31

41

Total

75

100

Table 4.1 shows that 59% of the respondent's population is Local Students and 41% of International Students.

Mean: 1.4

Variance: 0.25

59%

41%

4.2 Analysis of Research Questions

Descriptive analysis is used to address the three research questions of this study. Beginning with the first research question: "Are user education programs at IIIUM effective? Therefore, the following descriptive analysis conducted to show the frequencies of respondents of each item according to the respective research question.

The first research question was: are user education programs at IIUM effective?

Table 4.2.1: User education program helped me to better use the Library OPAC

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

35

47

Agree

40

53

Total

75

100

Table 4.2.1 indicates that 53% of the respondents agree that user education program helped them to better use the Library Online Public Access Catalog. And 47% of respondents were strongly agreed with this question. Following this, all respondents 100% agree that that user education program helped them to better use the OPAC

Mean: 1.5

Variance 0.25

53%

47%

Table 4.2.2: The way the librarians trained me to use the library is not sufficient

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

2

3

Agree

13

17

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

47

63

Strongly disagree

12

16

Total

75

100

Table 4.2.2 shows that majority of the respondents 63% disagree that the way librarians trains them to use library is not sufficient, and 16% were strongly disagree with this question. Only 17 % agree that the way the librarians trains them to use the library is not sufficient, and 1% was neutral. Therefore, 79% agree that librarians who trained them had sufficient time.

Mean 3.7

Variance 1

63%

1%

17%

3%

16%

Table 4.2.3: In my opinion the postgraduate, first, and second years students should attend user education classes

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

38

51

Agree

29

39

Disagree

7

9

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

Table4.2.3 shows that only 9% of surveyed students disagree that post graduate first and second year students should attend user education classes. Whereas majority, 51% strongly agree with this question and 39% agree that post graduate, first, and second year students should attend user education class. Rest of the respondent only 1% strongly disagree, therefore 90% agree that postgraduate students should attend user education class.

Mean: 1.7

Variance: 0.9

39%

1%

51%

9%

Table 4.2.4: The librarian who trained me was not friendly at all

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

3

4

Agree

3

4

Disagree

37

49

Strongly disagree

32

43

Total

75

100

The results from the Table 4.2.4 shows that only 4% of the respondents agree that librarian who trained them was not friendly at all, and 4% strongly agree. Whereas 49% disagree that librarian who trained them was not friendly at all, and 43% strongly disagree. This emphasize that 92% believe that librarians are friendly.

Mean: 4.2

Variance: 0.9

59%

43%

4%

4%

Table 4.2.5: The librarian who trained me was knowledgeable and friendly

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

27

36

Agree

44

59

Disagree

3

4

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

The Table shows that 59% of the respondents agree that the Librarian who trained them was knowledgeable and friendly an36% strongly agree. Whereas 4% disagrees and 1% strongly disagree that the Librarian who trained them was knowledgeable and friendly. Therefore, 95% believe that librarians have enough knowledge to conduct user education classes.

Mean: 1.8

Variance: 0.5

59%

36%

4%

1%

The second research question was what are the different modules of user education program?

Table 4.2.6: After user education class I am able to find the relevant information I need

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

36

48

Agree

37

50

Disagree

1

1

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

It can be understood form the Table 4.2.5 that 50% of the population agrees that after user education class they are able to find the relevant information they need, and 48% strongly agree with this question. Only 1% disagree that after user education class they are able to find the relevant information, and 1% is strongly disagree with the mentioned question. Following this, 98% of the respondents have gained enough knowledge to be able to find their information they need.

Mean: 1.6

Variance: 0.6

50%

48%

1%

1%

St.disagree

Table4.2.7: The skill that I gained after training were not enough to find the relevant information

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

1

1

Agree

18

24

Disagree

45

60

Strongly disagree

11

15

Total

75

100

According to the data obtained in the Table 4.2.7 shows that only 24% of the respondents agree that the skills that they gained after training were not enough to find the relevant information. Whereas majority 60% disagreed that the skills that they gained after training were not enough to find the relevant information. And 15% of the respondents strongly disagreed. Therefore, 75 % agree that training was enough for them to find information.

Mean: 3.6

Variance: 1.0

60%

24%

15%

1%

Table 4.2.8: To obtain strong skills the library should provide many classes of user education

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

20

27

Agree

41

55

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

12

16

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

Majority of the respondents 55% agree that to obtain strong skills the Library should provide many classes of user education, and 27% strongly agree with this question. Whereas only 16% disagree, and 1% is neutral. This concludes that about to obtain strong skills 82% need more classes.

Mean: 2.0

Variance: 1.0

55%

27%

16%

1%

1%

Table 4.2.9: The user education class helped me to increase my searching skills

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

27

36

Agree

45

60

Neutral

1

1

Strongly disagree

2

3

Total

75

100

This figure shows that 60% of the respondents agree that the user education class helped them to increase their searching skills, and 36% strongly agrees with the question. Whereas only 3% of the population disagree that the user education class helped them to increase their searching skills, and 1% neutral. This emphasize that 96% acknowledge that user education has increased their searching skills.

Mean: 1.7

Variance: 0.5

60%

36%

3%

1%

Table 4.2.10: Orientation Class helped me to develop my use of relevant internet resource

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

26

35

Agree

49

65

Total

75

100

Data from Table 4.2.10 mention that 65% of the respondents agree that Orientation Class helped them to develop their use of relevant of internet resource, and 35% strongly agree with this question. Following this, 100% can search internet on their own after attending user education.

Mean: 1.6

Variance: 0.2

65%

35%

The third research question was what skills do users gain after attending the program?

Table 4.2.11: Basic Library skills module helped me to use Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

32

43

Agree

40

53

Disagree

1

1

Strongly disagree

2

3

Total

75

100

The results from the Table 4.2.11shows that only 3% of the respondents were strongly disagree that basic Library skills module helped them to use Online Public Access (OPC), and 1% disagree with question. Whereas majority, 53% agree that basic Library skills module helped them to use OPC, and 43% strongly agree. Therefore, 96% have benefit from the training.

1%

Mean: 1.7

Variance: 0.6

53%

43%

3%

Table4.2.12: Students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

5

7

Agree

38

51

Neutral

3

4

Disagree

26

34

Strongly disagree

3

4

Total

75

100

Data in Table 4.2.12 shows that 51% of the respondents agree that students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing, and 7% strongly agree. However, they are 34% of the respondents disagree that students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing, and 4% strongly disagree, other 4% neutral. Thus 58% believe that students are overloaded with information during the briefing.

Mean: 2.8

Variance: 1.2

35%

4%

7%

51%

4%

Table 4.2.13: Library research module should offer students more hand on research practice

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

20

27

Agree

46

61

Disagree

9

12

Total

75

100

Table 4.2.13 shows that only 12% of the respondents disagrees that Library research module should offer students more hand on research practice. Whereas the majority of the students 61% agrees that Library research module should offer students more hand on research practice, and 27% strongly agree. This concludes that 88% needs more handouts.

Mean: 2.0

Variance: 0.8

Disagree 12%

61%

27%

12%

Table 4.2.14: Online database research skills are useful for research information and class assignment

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

34

46

Agree

40

53

Disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

From this table we can understand that majority of the respondents 53% agrees that online database research skills are useful for research information and class assignment, and 46% of the respondents strongly agree with the question. Following this, 99% can use databases successfully after attending user education.

Mean: 1.6

Variance: 0.4

53%

46%

1%

1%

Table 4.2.15: Legal research skills are useful for Law students

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strong agree

29

39

Agree

37

50

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

7

9

Strongly disagree

1

1

Total

75

100

The retable from Table4.2.15 mentions that only 9% of the respondents disagree that: legal research skills are useful for Law students, and 1% strongly disagrees. Whereas majority 50% of the respondents are agrees that legal research skills are useful for law students, and 39% strongly agree with the question, the rest 1% neutral. Thus, 89% law students has benefited with the legal skill research module.

Mean: 1.9

Variance: 0.9

50%

39%

9%

1%

Table 4.2.16: Searching CD ROM databases gives better understanding research using the available resources

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

12

16

Agree

51

68

Neutral

1

1

Disagree

11

15

Total

75

100

The result from Table 4.2.16 shows that 68% of the surveyed students agree that searching CD ROM databases gives better understanding research using the available resources, and 16 % strongly agree. Whereas the rest 15% of the respondents disagree, and only 1 % neutral. Therefore, 84% agree that searching CD ROM databases gives better understanding research using the available resources.

Mean: 2.0

Variance: 0.7

16%

1%

15%

68%

4.2.17: There is a need for KIRKHS module research skills

 

Frequency

Percentage

Strongly agree

25

33

Agree

2

3

Neutral

41

54

Disagree

2

3

Strongly disagree

5

7

Total

75

100

This table illustrate that 36% of the respondents agree that there is a need for KIRHS module research skills.

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

There is a need for KIRKH Module search skills

33%

3%

7%

54%

3%

Discussion

Majority of respondents shows that user education programs are useful. It helps them to find relevant information through Online Public Access Catalogue and other information sources in the library. On the whole, respondents are satisfied with the way librarians trained them. 96% believe that user education program helped them to make effective use of the OPAC.

This is supported by (Oyesola1984) who studied the problems facing the library in increasing students' ability to locate materials they need, extend their knowledge of useful library tools, encourage learners to make extensive use of the library and to give them rudimentary knowledge of correct study methods. One of the objectives of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities independently.

Undergraduate students are many compared to postgraduate students (Table 2), the reason for low percentage of postgraduate students was due to the time conducted for user education, and some of the postgraduate students lack enough information for user education classes especially for those who registers late. Even if they got information at that time they prefer to concentrate more on their academic courses rather than library skills or they find it difficult to expose themselves to the person in charge for user education lessons. Another reason for low percentage of postgraduate students is due to the fact that user education for postgraduate is conducted by request from Kulliyyah for particular students. The library enrolls the selected students in the user education sessions. Another complaint was that some students do not want to participate in user education activities at all. Other students regard user education as "extra" curricular rather than an integral part of student's education.

However, as indicated earlier the purpose of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities. The students surveyed with library skills (Table 4.2.6) majority, 50% agree that after user education they are able to find the relevant information they need, and 48% strongly agree. In addition (Table 4.2.7) 60% agree that the skills they gained after training were enough to find the relevant information. In addition, students opinion is postgraduate students should attend user education program. (Table 4.2.3) majority of the respondents, 51% strongly agree that postgraduate should attend user education classes, and 39% of the respondents agree. Therefore, 90% agree that postgraduate students should attend user education class.

Yet, librarian provides different program for user education and to increase student's skill for searching information they need. However, majority of the surveyed students (Table 4.2.12) 51% agree that Students are overloaded with information during the Library briefing. Students were allowed few interactions with the library and its staff during the orientation program. Also they were overloaded with so much information within such a short period of time that the chances of retention and internalization of the sudden large amount of new information is quite small. This is also observed by Muongilim(1986) who investigated the ability of students to utilize library facilities after taking a course in the use of the library.

Summary

There is a significant relationship between the usefulness of the programs and user education programs, modules of user education programs and skills, this is also shown in the finding of Oyesola, M. (1984) worked on the problems facing the library in increasing students' ability to locate materials they need, extend their knowledge of useful library tools, encourage learners to make extensive use of the library and to give them rudimentary knowledge of correct study methods. One of the objectives of user education program is to enable students to patronize libraries for their academic activities independently.

There is a strong relationship between the user education programs, modules of user education programs and skills; the finding is similar to Muogilim, E. (1986) who investigated the inability of the students to utilize library facilities after taking a course in the use of library. The outcome of his findings shows that students were allowed few interactions with the library and its staff during the orientation programs. Also, they were overloaded with so much information within such a short a time that the chances of retention and internationalization of the avalanche of new information is quite slim. He concludes that high enrolment with inadequate physical facilities made effective work difficult.

Hence, user education programs, modules of user education programs and skills will be necessary to help users has been supported by the finding of Adeleke, and Olorunsola,(2010) libraries must try to understand the information literacy(IL) experiences of their users(including both faculty and students ), and the variety of situations in which they will need to seek and use information. A good number of library users have acquired a certain level of skills to retrieve needed information to support class assignment and research.

Recommendations

For library services to keep pace with the needs of students, library should increase number of employees' expert and skillful librarians who can provide user education programs

Library should make user education training compulsory for all faculties, and provide them with instructional material to present to students as suggested by respondents that postgraduate students should attend user education classes.

There is no doubt that the user education program brought a positive change to the respondents' behavior towards library use, considering their previous back ground. Much can be achieved if some efforts would be put toward those faculties that have small number of participants in user education classes.

The Librarians are responsible for leading user education development or in important positions to contribute to user education development: This study suggests the best support resource might be peer professionals. This survey reveals that there are active librarians who can contribute on user education and increase the number of users with satisfactory library skills.

References

Clarcke, R. (1999). User education at Main Library of the University of West Indies, St Augustine: A historical chronicle. Library Review 48(5):242-250

Fleming, H. (1990). User education in academic libraries. London: Library Association Publishing Limited

Gorman, M. (2006). The wrong path and the right path: The role of libraries in access to, and preservation of cultural heritage. California State University, Fresno, California, USA

John, W. (2008). The effect of library orientation on student usage of the library. Library Hi-tech News 1.

Lui, Z. (1993). Difficulties and characteristics of students from developing countries in using American libraries. College & Research libraries, Vol. 54: 25-31

Mellon,C. (1988). Attitudes: The forgotten dimension of library instruction, Library Journal, 113(September):137-9

Muongolim, E. (1986). User education: The quintessence of quality readers services for teacher education libraries in Nigeria. Nigerbiblios 11(4), p.20

Nur' Aini (2011), Information literacy courses: A handbook, available at: http://lib.iium.edu.my/resources/Information_Literacy_Courses_A_Handbook.pdf

Oyesolar, M. (1984). Instruction on the use of library : Problems and elements of effectiveness. Lagos Librarian 11(1,2).32-37.

Prorak, D. (1994). Teaching methods and psychological type in bibliographic instruction: Effect on student learning and confidence; RQ 33 (4)

Song, Y. (2004). International business students: A study of their use of electronic library services; Reference Services Review, 32(4): 366-371

Tiefel, V. (1995). Library user education: Examining its past, projecting its future. Library Trends 44(2) 318-338

Yu, T. (2003) A Taiwan College and technical institution library user education survey New Library World 104 (1192):335-343

Ventura College (2005). '2004 accreditation report: evaluation and self identified issues. Accreditation 2004, available at: www.venturacollege.edu/ accreditation/2004/standard-2c-3.htm

Wilson,T. (1977). Investigation of information use and users needs as a basis for training program. Information Forum Documentation 2: 25-9