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Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

Use of Electronic Resources by Faculty Members in HKBK College of Engineering: A Survey

Dr. K.R. Mulla
Chief Librarian
HKBK College of Engineering
Nagawara, Bangalore, India

Introduction

With advancement of technology the libraries are moving towards digital resources, which are found to be less expensive and more helpful for easy access. These are helpful especially to distant learners who have limited time to access the libraries from out side by dial up access by the commonly available electronic resources mainly CD-ROMs, OPACs, and Internet etc., which are replacing the print media.

Karnataka State has more than 197 Engineering colleges including government, aided, unaided and university constituent colleges. The HKBKCE is one of the best of its kind established during the academic year 1997-98. The initiation and foresight of the members of Karnataka State Muslim Federation, Bangalore, is responsible to build this institution both outside and inside. The institute has 6 under-graduate programmes in engineering, technology and management. Research activities are also undertaken in all the departments in this institution. This institute is having faculty strength of more than 140. The HKBKCE library has 50,217 volumes and receives 110 Indian and foreign journals. DELNET database searching and Internet facilities are also available in this library.

Scope of the Study

The study is confined to  faculty members of HKBK College of Engineering, Bangalore, regarding the usability of electronic resources.

Objectives of the Study

  • To study the use of different types of electronic resources by  faculty members;
  • To study the purpose of  use of electronic resources by faculty members;
  • To discover hindrances faced by  faculty members while accessing and using electronic resources;
  • To observe the impact of electronic resources on traditional ones; and
  • To suggest  recommendations to improve the electronic resources and services for faculty members.

Methodology

A questionnaire consisting of 13 questions was designed to elicit the opinion of  faculty members. Data was collected which was further supplemented by informal discussions with faculty. The analysis and interpretation of the data is presented in subsequent sections.

Data Analysis

Qualification-wise distribution of respondents

A majority (50.00%) of the respondents are postgraduates in Technology and 18.33% of the respondents are Bachelor's degree holders in Engineering, At the same time 15,00% of the faculty members are postgraduates with PhD degree followed by 8,33% of the faculty members are Master's degree holders.

Gender-wise distribution of faculty members

Nearly three-quarters of of the faculty are male.

Teaching experience of faculty members

Table 1 shows that, only 10% of the faculty members have more than 25 years of experience in teaching and at the same time 26.67% of the faculty members have 6-10 years of teaching experience, followed by 21.67% of faculty members having less than 5 years of teaching experience, whereas, 13.33% of respondents have 11-15 and 21-25 years of teaching experience respectively.

Table 1: Teaching experience of faculty members

Sl. No.

Experience in years

No. of responses

Percentage

1

0-5

13

21.67

2

6-10

16

26.67

3

11-15

8

13.33

4

15-20

9

15.00

5

21- 25

8

13.33

6

Above 25

6

10

Total

60

100.00

5.4 Designation-wise distribution of faculty members

A total of 44 (73.33%)of the respondents are Lecturers, followed by 10 (16.67%)of the respondents are Assistant professors and only 10% are professors were working in this college.

Frequency of using electronic resources by faculty members

Out of 60 respondents, 16 (26.67%) of the faculty members use electronic resources 'once in a week', followed by 15 (25.00%) who are using 'daily', whereas, 18.33% of faculty members use 'occasionally' and only 5.00% of members are 'never' use the electronic resources in the library.

Purpose of using electronic resources

Table 2 reveals that a majority (100.00%) of faculty members are using electronic resources for finding relevant information in their specialization and teaching purpose, followed by 58.337% of faculty members are using for their research purpose. Whereas, 56.67% use to gain current and general information, similarly 48.33% of members are use for update the subject and general knowledge and less percentage (21.67%) of faculty members are using for communication purpose.

Table 2: Purpose of using electronic resources

Sl. No

Purposes

No. of responses N=60

Percentage

1

For research work

35

58.33

2

For communication

13

21.67

3

For finding relevant information in the area of Specialization

60

100.00

4

To update the subject knowledge and general knowledge

29

48.33

5

To gain current and general information

34

56.67

6

Teaching purpose

60

100.00

Note: Total percentage will not be hundred because responses are more than one

Use of electronic resources by faculty members

A majority (55, 91.67%) of the faculties are using Internet, followed by 30 (50.00%) using CD-ROMs and 18 (30.00%) using E-Journals. However, 12 (20.00%) faculties are using E-Books and only 4 (6.67%) respondents are using OPAC system.

Learning to use electronic resources

Table 3 shows the most popular methods of acquiring the necessary skill to use electronic resources. 20 (33.33%) respondents take guidance from library staff. 18 (30.00%) respondents learn through trial and error method, 9 (15.00%) respondents learn with the help of computer department staff' and 7 (11.67%) respondents learn from external courses and 5 (8.33%) respondents learn through course offered by their institution.

Table 3: Learning to use electronic resources

Sl. No.

Learning to use electronic resources

No. of responses

Percentage

1

Trial and error

18

30.00

2

Guidance form the Library staff

20

33.33

3

Course offered by the Institutions

5

8.33

4

Guidance from the Computer staff

9

15.00

5

External courses

7

11.67

6

Any other (please specify)

1

1.67

Total

60

100.00

Adequacy of information in electronic resources

Chart 6 shows that, majority (31, 51.67%) of the respondents indicate that, the information available in the electronic resources is always adequate followed by 29(45.00%) indicate some time adequate and 2(3.33%) of respondents felt that the information available in the electronic resources is never adequate.

Hindrances in accessing electronic resources

Table 4 shows the opinion regarding hindrances in accessing the electronic resources. Majority 22 (36.67%) of respondents stated that, too much information is retrieved as the main barrier to use electronic resources, followed by 20 (33.33%) opined that, time consuming', 18 (30.00%) felt that lack of IT knowledge to effectively utilize the services, and 12 (20.00%) respondents stated that, limited access to computers as the main barrier to use electronic resources.

Table 4: Hindrances in accessing electronic resources

Sl. No.

Hindrance

No. of responses N=60

Percentage

1

Too much information is retrieved

22

36.67

2

Time consuming

20

33.33

3

Lack of IT knowledge to effectively utilize the services

18

30.00

4

Using electronic resources distracts from doing work

7

11.67

5

Limited access to computers

12

20.00

Impact of electronic resources on academic career

Table 5 shows that, 42 (70.00%) respondents stated access to a current up-to-date informationis the benefit of using electronic resources. Similarly, 34 (56.67 %) expressed faster access to information is the advantage, and 32 (53.33%) indicated easier access to information as the benefit to develop the academic career of the faculty members. However 29 (48.33%) respondents access a wider range of information.

Table 5: Impact of electronic resources on academic career

Sl. No.

Category

No. of responses N=60

Percentage

1

Access to a current up-to-date information

42

70.00

2

Easier access to information

32

53.33

3

Faster access to information

34

56.67

4

Access to a wider range of information

29

48.33

Problems faced while using electronic resources

Table 6 Shows that, 21 (35.00%) of respondents have faced problem of lack of timing, followed by 19 (31.67%) of faculty members indicating lack of training as the main problem while using electronic resources. 10 (16.67 %) and 16 (26.67%) of the faculties are troubled with lack of hardware and software problems respectively.

Table 6: Problems faced while using electronic resources

Sl. No.

Problems

No. of response N=60

Percentage

1

Lack of hardware

10

16.67

2

Lack of software

16

26.67

3

Lack of training

19

31.67

4

Lack of information on electronic resources

16

26.67

5

Lack of operating funds

8

13.33

6

Lack of timing

21

35.00

Success rate of finding required information in electronic resources

The respondents were requested to indicate the success rate in finding required information using electronic resources. Chart 7 shows that, 24 (40.00%) of respondents were succeeded in the range of 75-99, followed by 20 (33.33%) respondents who succeeded in the range of 50-74 and least percentage (10%) of the faculties were succeeded in the range of less than 25%.

Features of electronic resources as a source for their academic work

Most faculty members found the features and use of electronic resources to be "good."

Findings

Only 10% of the faculty members have more than 25 years of experience in teaching;

Majority of respondents (26.67%) use electronic resources once a week, and 100% of faculty members use electronic resources for finding relevant information in their area of specialization;

Majority (55, 91.67%) of respondents use Internet and 30  (50.00%) use CD-ROMs. Twenty (33.33%) respondents take  guidance from library staff regarding the use of electronic resources;

Majority (31, 51.67%) of respondents indicate that the information available in the electronic resources is always adequate;

Regarding hindrances to accessing electronic resources, a majority of respondents (22, 36.67%) stated that too much information retrieved is the main barrier to use electronic resources;

Majority (42, 70.00%) of  respondents stated access to a current information is a benefit of using electronic resources;

Regarding problems for using electronic resources, there are 21 (35.00%) respondents were faced the problem of "lack of timing", and 19 (31.67%) faculty members indicate lack of training as the main problem while using electronic resources; and

Regarding the success rate of finding the required information in electronic resources, 24 (40.00%) faculty members  rated their success in the range of 75-99.

Recommendations and Conclusion

Based on the findings of the study, the following suggestions are made to improve the use of electronic resources among the faculty members.

1. The library must conduct training programmes for faculty members regarding how to use the electronic resources effectively;

2. Awareness of the use e-journals and e-books to obtain current information should be created;

3. More computers should be installed in the library for the benefit of the faculty members; and

4. More funds should be given to acquire electronic resources.

Electronic resources have played a vital role in all fields of human life. These have rapidly changed the way of seeking and disseminating information. It is clear from the study that the speed of availability and the ease of accessibility of information make the faculty members use electronic resources more frequently. This study helps the librarian to know the importance of electronic resources in academic environment.

References

Biradar, B.S., Kumar, P.D., & Mahesh, Y (2009). Use of information sources and services in library of Agriculture Science College, Shimoga: a case study. Annals of Library and Information Studies, 56, 63-68.

Kumbar, M., & Lohar, M. S. (2002). Use of library facilities and information resources in Sahyadri Colleges, Shimoga (Karnataka): A Study. Annals of Library and Information Studies, 49 (3), 73-87.

Kumbar, M., Vasantha R, N., & Praveen, J. K. (2005). Use of electronic resources by research scholars in CFTRI, Mysore: A study. ILA Bulletin, 41(3), 16 - 20.

Mulla, K. R., & Chandrashekara, M. (2006). E-Resources and Services in Engineering College Libraries – A Case Study. E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, 7(1), (Available at: http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v07n01/mulla_k01.htm).

Ray, K., & Day, J. (1998). Student attitudes towards electronic information resources. Information Research, 4 (2) (Available at: http://informationr.net/ir/4-2/paper54.html).