A Study of the Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Tools by Librarians
Dr. S. Mohammed Esmail
Dr. V. Mani
The world is undergoing a transition from a paper to a digital economy. It is essential for libraries in countries in the developing world to take part in this changing scene. Developing countries are being encouraged to invest in their national information infrastructure so that they can participate in knowledge-based development. Advances have brought many changes in libraries. Information and communication technology (ICT) has provided libraries with new opportunities to improve their resources and services. This study looks at the use of ICT tools by a population of library professionals in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, exploring the use of various tools, cross-tabulated by gender and age, and compiling a list of uses for these tools in professional settings.
The literature on this topic is voluminous. This survey focuses on recent works about the developing world. Bilawar (2004) looks at the nature of communication technology and modes of mass communication that have had an impact on library services. Wijayasundara (2005) reports on a research study on Sri Lanka, finding technological, managerial, infrastructure, human, political, social barriers to automation. Igun (2005) identifies the challenges faced by the libraries and information centres in Africa in the establishment of electronic publishing, finding that apart from information sources that can be downloaded online, acquisition of electronic books is not possible. Krishnamurthy (2005) shares the experience of designing a digital library. Ani, Esin, and Edem (2005) investigated the adoption of ICT in university libraries in Nigeria. The major obstacles that influence effective adoption of ICT in were found to be inadequate funds and the limited electric infrastructure in Nigeria.
This study explores information literacy in use of ICT among library professionals in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. 175 questionnaires were distributed with 170 responses (97%) received.
Objectives of the Study
1. To study the choice of ICT media among library professionals in Tamil Nadu;
2. To find and examine the patterns of use of ICT by the respondents in their professional activities;
3. To analyse respondents' perception of the appropriateness of different ICT tools;
4. To investigate respondents' evaluation of a spectrum of currently-available tools; and
5. To offer suggestions for the effective management of emerging tools.
1. Library professionals use different ICT tools in their scholarly communication.
2. There is a difference among the respondents in the selection of tools.
3. There is a significant gender relationship in the choice of ICT tools.
4. There is a significant difference in the age of respondents in using ICT tools.
Use of ICT Tools
Table 1 shows the use of various ICT tools.
Table 1. Use of ICT Media
Table 1 and Figure 1 show that nearly all of the respondents use e-mail (94.12%), mobile phone (92.35%), and Internet (90.6%). The use of mobile phones is highly significant, because it is a fast and easy way to communicate without much infrastructure.
Figure 1. Use of Communication Media
Tables 2 and 3 show the use of ICT tools by gender. Table 2 is a cross tabulation of ICT tools and gender and shows that male professionals are using mobile phones more than other media and female respondents use less videoconferencing.
Table 2. Use of ICT Tools by Gender
Figure 2. Use of ICT Tools by Gender
Table 3. Use of ICT Tools by Age
Table 3 is shows that those under 40 use comparatively more ICT tools.
Figure 3. Use of Communication Media Tools by Age
Uses of ICT in Professional Settings
Ten variables regarding the utility of ICT in day-to-day work were analysed using a five-point Likert Scale from "Strongly Agree" (1) to "Strongly Disagree" (5).
Table 4. Uses of ICT Tools
Most respondents use ICT in a professional setting to update their knowledge.
Table 5. Uses of ICT Tools by Gender
Table 6. Uses of ICT Tools by Age
The results of the study indicates that all respondents use some kind of ICT tools, particularly the Internet and mobile phones. The use of ICT by the female respondents is somewhat higher than that of male respondents. There is no significant relationship between the use of e-mail and Internet and gender nor between age (below or above 40) and the use of ICT, although there is some variation. Respondents strongly believe that ICT tools play a significant role in supporting and enhancing their professional and research activities. Their comments also suggest that they see the use of ICT as potentially going well beyond the use of the Internet to search for resources and the use of e-mail to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, and experts. Thus, hypothesis 1 and hypothesis 2 are accepted, and hypothesis 3 and 4 rejected.
Ani, O. E., Esin, J.E., & Edem, N. (2005). Adoption of information and Communication technology (ICT)in academic libraries: A strategy for library networking in Nigeria.The Electronic Library 23(6): 701-708.
Bilawar, P. B. (2004). Impact of Communication technology on libraries and information services.SRELS Journal of Information Management 41(2): 187-192.
Igun, S. E. (2005). Implications for electronic publishing in libraries and information centres in Africa.The Electronic Library 23(1):82-91.
Krishnamurthy. M. (2005). Digital library services at the Indian Statistical Institute.The Electronic Library 23(2): 202-03.
Wijayasundara, N. (2005). ICT in libraries: A Sri Lankan perspective.SRELS Journal ofInformation Management 42( 2): 139-54.