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Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

Internet-Based Resources and Services among Librarians in Tamil Nadu, India

S. Dhanavandan
Librarian (S.G.)
Krishnasamy College of Engineering and Technology
Cuddalore -607109 Tamil Nadu, India

G. Saravanan
Assistant Librarian
Krishnasamy College of Engineering and Technology
Cuddalore -607109 Tamil Nadu, India

Dr S. Mohamed Esmail
Reader
Department of Library and Information Science
Annamalai University
Tamil Nadu, India

Dr. M. Nagarajan
Professor and Head
Department of Library and Information Science
Annamalai University
Tamil Nadu, India

Introduction

The Internet has spread technological literacy and given people all over the world fast access to vast resources. Internet use isdirectly affecting people, ideas, and behavior. Internet has an impact in many areas, including higher education, where it heralds the development and implementation of new and innovative strategies. Scholars can communicate with each other, as well as accessing news groups, library catalogues, bibliographic databases, and other academic resources.

Literature Review

Becker (1998)1 conducted a study on Internet use by 2,250 teachers from public and private schools in the US. The study revealed that  90% of the teachers had Internet access.  More than half of the teachers (59%) had Internet access at home. A majority of the teachers (68%) a used the Internet to find information resources for preparing their lessons. Singh (1998) conducted a research study on the use of Internet by the librarians in Malaysia. The main findings of the study indicated that 90% of the respondents used the Internet for work related purposes. Most of the respondents were recent users. Laite (2000) surveyed 406 graduate and undergraduate students from Shippensburg University. The survey showed that 57.6% of the undergraduate students used the Internet 1-2 times per week and another 37.1% used it 1-2 times daily. More than 50% of the graduate students used Internet 1-2 times per week and 37.7% used it 1-2 times daily. The survey showed that the most used Internet service was e-mail. A hundred percent of the graduates and undergraduate students used e-mail services. Chandran (2000)4 conducted a study at Sri Venkateshwara University, Tirupathi, which showed that more than 25% of the respondents used the Internet for 2-3 times a week and more than 56% used it for accessing information. The sources used for identifying information about Internet included website itself, journals and magazines, staff and newspapers. A majority of the respondents are used general websites as compared to recreational and discipline oriented websites. Naushad Ali (2000) conducted a study at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. The study showed that more than 50% of the study population was satisfied regarding the timings of the Internet service, but were not satisfied with staff's cooperation, and reservation facility. Nicholas et. al. (2003) conducted a study in the UK to examine the use to the web for health information and advice. More than 1300 people were surveyed. The study showed that 66% of the respondents accessed the Internet from home, 28% from work place and the remainder (6%) used a combination of both work place and home. Hanauer et al., (2004) surveyed a diverse community college to assess the use of the Internet by the students for health related information. The survey showed that although all the students surveyed had free Internet access through their community college, yet only 97% of the students reported having access to the Internet., Asemi (2005) shows that all the respondents were using the Internet frequently because all faculties were provided connection to the Internet. It was revealed that the researchers of the university were getting quality information through the Internet. Fifty five percent of the respondents searched for scientific information through the Internet because the university library had provided access to various databases and online journals for all the students and staff.

Methodology

This study attempts to examine the characteristics and Internet using behavior of the library professionals in Tamil Nadu. A questionnaire was distributed personally to the library professionals. 200 questionnaires distributed, and 195 were returned, making the response rate 97.5%.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu state situated at the south eastern extremity of the Indian Peninsula. The State can be divided broadly into two natural divisions (a) the coastal plains of south India and (b) the hilly western area. The Tamil Nadu consists of thirty two districts. It is the 11th state in India in area forming 4.11 percent of the Union areas. There has been a rapid growth in the number of institutions imparting education at the college level. Today, there are 32 universities, in addition, there 4 Anna University constituent colleges, 6 government engineering colleges, 1 central government institutions (engineering) 3 government aided engineering colleges, 254 engineering colleges, 135 polytechnics, 526 industrial institutes, 244 arts and science colleges, 27 colleges of education, 15 oriental colleges, 5 physical education colleges and 2 schools of social work.

Objectives

  1. To study the frequency of use of Internet resources and tools by library professionals
  2. To know how Internet based resources are identified by library professionals
  3. To rank the features of Internet resources by library professionals
  4. To study the use of search engines and websites by library professionals
  5. To know the extent of difficulties in accessing the Internet by library professionals

Analysis

Table 1. Purposes for using the Internet

Purpose Yes No
Search for course related material 25 (16.13) 130 (83.87)
Visit websites 92 (59.35) 63 (40.65)
Searching subject database 22 (14.19) 133 (85.81)
Searching catalogs of libraries 12 (7.74) 143 (92.26)
Accessing e-documents 11 (7.10) 144 (92.90)
Accessing e-journals 11 (7.10) 144 (92.90)
For sending and receiving E-mails 142 (91.61) 13 (8.39)
Enjoyment, fun, flay games 75 (48.39) 80 (51.61)
Career, information 43 (27.74) 112 (72.26)
Teleconferencing 08 (5.16) 147 (94.84)
On-line learning 09 (5.81) 146 (94.19)
Downloading programs / files / images 22 (14.19) 133 (85.81)
View moves and pictures 32 (20.65) 123 (79.35)
Listening to music 35 (22.58) 120 (77.42)
Looking for advertisement 33 (21.29) 122 (78.71)
Reading newspaper 68 (43.87) 87 (56.13)
Know more about Internet 102 (65.81) 53 (34.19)
For chatting 85 (54.84) 70 (45.16)

Table 1 shows that the purpose of using Internet. Out of 155, 142 library professionals are using to sending and receiving the e-mail and 59.35 percent are using to visit the websites. And also 65.81 percent of the library professionals are more about Internet.

Table 2. Frequency of Internet use


Purpose
Very frequent Frequently Occasionally Rarely Never
Look for course related materials 05 (3.22) 10 (6.45) 03 (1.94) 7 (4.52) 130 (83.87)
Visit websites 25 (16.13) 22 (14.19) 23 (14.84) 22 (14.19) 63 (40.65)
Searching subject databases 8 (5.16) 6 (3.87) - 8 (5.16) 133 (85.81)
Searching catalogs of libraries 5 (3.22) 3 (1.94) 4 (2.58) - 143 (92.26)
Access to e-documents 4 (2.58) 3 (1.94) 3 (1.94) 1 (0.65) 144 (92.90)
Access to c-journals 3 (1.94) 3 (1.94) 2 (1.29) 3 (1.94) 144 (92.90)
For sending and receiving e-mail 22 (14.19) 38 (24.52) 35 (19.35) 47 (30.32) 13 (8.39)
Employment, fun, play games 12 (7.74) 28 (18.06) 30 (19.35) 5 (3.22) 80 (51.61)
Career information 8 (5.16) 15 (9.68) 18 (11.61) 2 (1.29) 112 (72.26)
Teleconferencing 2 (1.29) 3 (1.94) - 3 (1.94) 147 (94.84)
On line learning 3 (1.94) 2 (1.29) 4 (2.58) - 146 (94.19)
Downloading program 5 (3.22) 7 (4.52) 5 (3.22) 5 (3.22) 133 (85.81)
View movies 6 (3.87) 10 (6.45) 15 (9.68) 1 (0.65) 123 (79.35)
Listening to music 4 (2.58) 11 (7.0) 10 (6.45) 5 (3.22) 120 (77.42)
Look for advertisements 4 (2.58) 10 (6.45) 8 (5.16) 11 (7.10) 122 (78.71)
Read newspaper 34 (21.94) 22 (14.19) 6 (3.87) 6 (3.87) 87 (56.13)
Know more about Internet 16 (10.32) 26 (16.71) 28 (18.06) 32 (20.65) 53 (34.13)
Chatting 7 (4.52) 22 (14.19) 25 (16.13) 31 (20.00) 70 (45.16)

Table 2 shows that the frequency of using Internet for various purposes by the respondents. Among the purposes know more about Internet is 1.93 ranges and comes first in position and it is followed by for sending and receiving e-mail, read newspaper, visit websites, chatting with 2, 3, 4 and 5th in position respectively. It could be seen from the above discussion that more number of respondents frequently used the Internet for the purpose of ‘know more about Internet’, and only limited respondents less frequently used the Internet for the purpose of access to e-journals and e-documents. 

Table 3 Frequency of using Internet for resources and tools

Internet resources and tools Very frequent Frequently Occasionally Rarely Never
E-mail  22 (14.19) 38 (24.52) 35 (22.58) 47 (30.32) 13 (8.39)
Mailing lists 15 (9.68) 25 (16.13) 31 (20) 11 (7.10) 73 (47.10)
Use net/ news group 10 (6.45) 16 (10.32) 27 (17.42) 10 (6.45) 92 (59.35)
FTP 10 (6.45) 12 (7.74) 13 (8.39) 12 (7.74) 108 (69.68)
Gopher 8 (5.16) 11 (7.10) 11 (7.10) 9 (5.81) 116(74.84)
Archie 8 (5.18) 9 (5.81) 11 (7.10) 11 (7.10) 116(74.84)
WAIS 7 (4.52) 9 (5.81) 10 (6.45) 11 (7.10) 118(76.13)
Veronica 7 (4.52) 9 (5.81) 10 (6.45) 11 (7.10) 118(76.13)
Finger 7 (4.52) 9 (5.81) 11 97.10) 10 (6.45) 118(76.13)
Telnet  9 (5.81) 20 (12.90) 30 (19.35) 6 (3.89) 6 (3.87)
World wide web 63 (40.65) 50 (32.26) 30 (19.35) 6 (3.89) 6 (3.87)
FAQ 8 (5.16) 9 (5.81) 8 (5.16) 11 (7.10) 119(76.77)
Internet search engineer 40 (25.81) 45 (29.03) 32 (20.64) 18 (11.61) 20 (12.90)

Table  3 shows the frequency of using Internet resources and tools by the respondents tools and services of Internet, like www, Internet search engines, e-mail and mailing lists were used by three-fourth of the library professionals. Its resources and services like FAQ, finger, veronica, WAIS, gopher, Archie, FTP, use net/ newsgroup, mailing lists and telnet were never used at all by a majority.

Table 4 shows that the identification of the Internet based resources by the respondents through various methods. Personal communication waste first preferred source, for identifying Internet based resource and its followed by attending training programs, use of Internet search engine, browse the sites regularly follow up references in print sources, subscribe to mail lists, and system managers staff of Internet services.

Table 4 Identification of the Internet based resources

Methods Preference
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Personal communication 95 (61.29) 20 (12.90) 9 (5.80) 8 (5.16) 8 (5.16) 7 (4.52) 5 (3.22) 3 (1.94)
By attending training  programme 53 (34.19) 25 (16.13) 21 (13.55) 16 (10.32) 9 (5.80) 11 (7.10) 6 (3.87) 4 (2.58)
Follow up reference in print sources 15 (9.68) 21 (13.55) 18 (11.61) 21 (13.55) 35 (22.58) 38 (24.52) 4 (2.58) 3 (1.94)
Use of Internet search engine 28 (18.06) 25 (16.13) 37 (23.87) 27 (17.42) 16 (10.32) 18 (11.61) 2 (1.29) 2(1.29)
Browse the sites regularly 18 (11.61) 21 (13.55) 17 (10.97) 26 (16.77) 18 (11.61) 15 (9.68) 22 (14.19) 18 (11.61)
Subscribe to mail lists 17 (10.97) 15 (9.68) 3 (1.94) 4 (2.58) 4 (2.58) 20 (12.90) 51 (32.90) 41 ( 26.45)
System management staff of intern serve 2 (1.29) 3 (1.94) 2 (1.29) 7 (4.52) 10 (6.45) 18 (11.61) 51 (32.90) 62 (40)

Table 5. Rating of Internet resources

Features Poor Fair Good Very good Excellent Average (rank)
Accessibility 15 (9.68) 59 (38.06) 42 (24.10) 23 (14.84) 16 (10.32) 1.75 (10)
Accuracy 10 (6.45) 45 (29.03) 42 (27.10) 24 (15.48) 34 (21.94) 2.19 (2)
Authority 18 (11.61) 49 (31.61) 44 ( 28.39) 26 ( 16.77) 18 (11.61) 1.84 (9)
Availability 17 (10.97) 47 (30.32) 45 (29.03) 27 (17.42) 19 (12.26) 1.89 (7)
Consistency 16 ( 10.32) 45 (27.10) 49 ( 31.61) 26 ( 16.77) 19 (12.26) 1.98 (6)
Easy to use 11 (7.10) 46 (29.68) 49 ( 31.61) 26 ( 16.77) 19 ( 12.26) 2.04 (3)
Flexibility 12 (7.74) 45 ( 27.10) 49 (31.61) 28 ( 18.06) 21 ( 13.55) 2.01 (4)
Permanence 11 (7.10) 52 (33.35) 46 (29.68) 25 (16.13) 19 (12.26) 1.95 (5)
Timeliness 18 ( 11.61) 46 ( 29.88) 49 (31.61) 22 (14.19) 20 (12.90) 1.86 (8)
Uniqueness 14 (9.03) 48 (30.97) 45 (27.10) 27 ( 17.42) 21 (13.55) 1.95 (5)
Usefulness 7 ( 4.52) 44 ( 28.39) 43 (27.74) 33 ( 21.29) 28 ( 18.06) 2.22 (1)

Table 5 shows the rating of Internet resources by library professionals. The mean values of rating Internet resources were between 2.22 and 1.76, which implies that its resources were rated either very good or good for various features. Usefulness, accuracy, and ease of use are the three features that rate highest.

Table 6. Use of search engines

Search engines Number Percentage
123 India 52 33.55
Alta vista 51 32.90
Google 29 18.71
Hotmail 85 54.84
Indya 28 18.06
Khoj 11 7.16
Lycos 8 5.11
Rediff 64 41.29
Search 7 4.52
Sify 38 24.52
Yahoo 118 76.13
Asktems 4 2.58
Krackner 6 3.87
Opentext 3 1.94
msn 3 1.94
Hot bot 3 1.94
Goto 3 1.94
amese 2 1.29

Table 6 shows the use of search engines by the respondents. A majority (76.13) use Yahoo. 54.84 percent of 41.29 percent of the respondents use hotmail and rediff.

Table 7. Discipline oriented websites used by respondents


Discipline oriented websites
Number Percentage
Professional / societies/ association 37 88.10
Colleges and universities 36 85.71
Enginery institution 39 92.86
Companies 32 76.19
Data bases 22 52.38
Publishers home pages 13 30.95
Newsgroup 21 50.00
Electronic journals 18 42.86
Full text publication 11 26.19
Reference sources 22 52.38
Mailing lists 31 73.81

Among the 42 respondentswho have been using discipline-oriented websites, nearly all use engineering institution websites. An almost equal number use professional societies and association sites and colleges and universities.

Nearly 70 percent of the respondents find slow access to be a problem, considerable numbers also have problems searching, downloading, and maintaining a reliable connection.

Table 8. Difficulty accessing the Internet

Difficulties No Little Considerable High Average
Obtaining connection 46 (29.68) 61 (39.33) 38 (24.52) 10 (6.45) 1.10 (5)
Opening web page 44 ( 28.39) 72 ( 46.45) 28 ( 18.06) 11 (7.10) 1.06 (7)
Browsing 52 ( 33.55) 41 ( 26.45) 47 ( 30.32) 15 ( 9.68) 1.19 (3)
Searching 45 ( 29.03) 51 (32.90) 48 ( 30.978) 11 ( 7.10) 1.20 (2)
Downloading 50 ( 32.26) 52 ( 33.55) 34 ( 21.94) 19 ( 12.66) 1.17 (4)
Survey on net 57 ( 36.77) 45 ( 29.03) 37 ( 23.87) 16 ( 10.32) 1.10 (5)
Reliability 52 ( 33.35) 56 ( 36.13) 34 ( 21.94) 13 ( 08.39) 1.07 (6)
Slow accessibility 39 ( 25.16) 49 ( 31.61) 49 ( 31.61) 18 ( 11.61) 1.34 (1)

Table 9. Internet facilities and services to be offered by library

Services Number Percentage
Course related materials 140 71.79
Discipline oriented websites 122 62.56
Searching subject databases 103 52.82
Searching on line public access catalyses 75 38.46
Accessing e-documents 82 42.05
Accessing  e-journals 78 40.00
Sending and receiving of e-mail 92 47.18
Recreation an entertainment 74 37.95
Career information 109 55.90
Conferencing 62 31.79
On line learning 85 43.59
Downloading progress files images 93 47.69
Newspapers 105 53.85
Electronic document delivery 111 56.92

Table 10 shows the Internet facilities and services to be offered by library of college Among the respondents 195, 71.79 percent of them felt that the library should offer course relative materials, 62.56 percent of them discipline oriented websites, 56.92 percent electronic document delivery services, 55.90 percent career information, 53.85 percent newspapers service, 52.82 percent searching subject databases 47.69 percent downloading progress files and images 47.18  percent sending and receiving of e-mails 43.59 per cent online learning 42.05 accessing e-documents, 40 percent accuracy e-journals and 31.79 conference information services.

Table 10. Reasons for not using Internet

Reasons Number Percentage
Don’t find it necessary 18 45.00
Don’t know, how to use 27 67.50
Lack of facility 21 52.50
Lack of awareness 19 47.50
Lack of time 17 42.50
Not getting what is needed 16 40.00
Fear or anxiety 20 50.00

Table 10 shows the reasons for not using Internet and its services among respondents who did not use it.  Twenty-seven lacked skill, while, twenty-one lack facilities.

Findings and Conclusion

The survey found a high rate of Internet use, but also significant problems such as slow response, lack of connectivity, and need for more training.

References

Asemi, A. (2005). Information searching habits of Internet users: A case study on the Medical Sciences University of Isfahan, Iran. Webology, 2(1). Retrieved August 9, 2005, from http://www.webology.ir/2005/v2nl/a10.html.

Becker, H.J. (1998). Internet use by teachers. Retrieved June 26, 2004, from http://www.crito.uci.edu/TLC/findings/ Internet-use/startpage.html

Chandran, D. (2000). Use of Internet resources and services in S.V.University,Tirupathi environment. Conference on information services in a Networked environment in India. Orgnaized by INFLIBNET, 18-20 December 2000, Ahemdabad, P. 3.124-3.127.

Hanauer D., Dibble E., Fortin, J., & Col, NF. (2004). Internet use among community college students: Implications in designing healthcare interventions. Journal of American College Health, 52 (5), 197-202.

Laite, B. (2000). Internet use survey: analysis. Retrieved May 21,2004, from http://www.ship.edu!-bhl/survey/

Naushad Ali, P.M. (2000). Internet and its use in Aligarh Muslim University: A survey. Conference on Information Services in a Networked Environment in India. Organized by INFLIBNET, 18-20 December 2000, Ahemdabad, p.1.78-1.82.

Nicholas, D, Huntington, P., Gunter, B., Russell, C., & Withey, R. (2003). The British and their use of the web for health information and advice: A survey. Aslib Proceedings, 55 (5-6), 258-260.

Singh, D. (1998). The use of Internet among Malaysian librarians. Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Sciences, 3(2), p.1-10.

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