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Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

Size and Quality of Information Sources and the Use of Library Services in the Libraries in the Universities in the Southeast of Nigeria

Akobundu Dike Ugah PhD
Deputy Librarian
Nigerian Defence Academy
P.M.B. 2109, Kaduna, Nigeria

George Chilaka
Federal College of Agriculture
Isiagu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria 

Introduction

Libraries are a critical of any higher education. The very earliest universities were built around their libraries and the very newest will continue to need a library at their heart. They provide vital resources, facilities and services to learners, teachers, scholars and practitioners (Harle, 2009)

To fulfill these essential goals, the university library must necessarily have the benefit of adequate information sources of the heritage of mankind’s accumulated knowledge and wisdom. These information sources must be adequate in size and quality.

Purpose and Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine the information sources variables and the use of library services in the university libraries in the southeast of Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

1. To determine the relationship between the size of information sources and the use of library services.

2. To ascertain the relationship between the qualities of information sources and the use of library services.

The following research questions guided the study:

1. What is the relationship between the size of information sources and the use of library services?

2. What is the relationship between the qualities of information sources and the use of library services?

Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested.

1. The size of information sources has no significant relationship with the use of library services.

2. The quality of information sources has no significant relationship with the use of library services.

Literature Review

Size of Information Sources and Library Services

It is expected that the provision of adequate size of information sources could be related to the use of library services.The relationship between the size of information sources and the effective use of library services has been a recurrent concern in the field. It is felt that there is a definite relationship between size of a given information source and the ability of the library to respond to the needs of the users, (Burns, 1969). Studies have confirmed that size of information sources affect the use of library services (Unomah 1987). Naturally, the larger the information sources, the greater the number that will be circulated (Schofield, Cooper, and Waters, 1975). Gross size is a straight count of total volumes of information sources currently received in the library. Class may break it down or may be reported per capita, (Bonn, 1974). It is generally agreed that size does mean ‘something’ and that there is a positive correlation between the size of information sources and then use of a library and, for example, the excellence of the academic institution to which the library belongs, measured by composite scores of academic rating, (Jordan, 1963), or by number and variety of graduate degrees granted, (Downs, 1969)

Quality of Information Sources and Library Services

It is expected that the provision of quality information sources could be related to the use of library services because ‘Quality’ is a decisive factor that attract users to use the library services. The quality of academic libraries is connected with product and services among others (Pindlowa 2002). Because libraries are service organizations, the quality in the content of a library is often treated as the quality of service. Hernon and Nitechi (1999) point out that service quality includes three areas: resources (information sources/contents), organization (service environment and resource delivery), and service delivered by staff. According to Aguolu and Aguolu (2002), the word quality can be understood in two ways: (a) as the peculiar or essential character of any thing; and (b) as a degree of excellence. It has both intrinsic and extrinsic connotation. From the intrinsic viewpoint, the quality of information sources pertains to their pedagogic research value; and from extrinsic standpoint, it refers to their physical reliability and durability.

There is a high positive correlation between quality of information sources and library services. Ajibero (1998) however insisted that quality of library services depends to a large extent on the quality of information sources. Traditionally, Nigerian university libraries build information sources to meet the information needs of their patrons. It is therefore argued that quality of information sources have influence on the use of library services (Ologbonsaiye 1994). This argument was reinforced when he stated that the quality of a library’s information sources has been identified as one of the yardsticks for measuring the library users’ satisfaction of library services.

Maigari (1985) had earlier described poor library services as a national problem, which he attributed to lack of quality information sources. Maigari’s view was reinforced by Kolo (1995) who revealed that library services in Nigeria have been of poor quality, which he attributed to acute shortage of quality information sources for any effective academic and other educational activities in the country.

Method

The ex-post-facto research design of the survey method was used. The population for this study consisted of library-registered users estimated to be 12,500 in the universities under study. University libraries include: Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu; Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MUOA), Umudike; Anambra State University of Science and Technology (ASUST) Ihiala; NnamdiAzikiweUniversity (NAU), Awka; Imo State University Owerri (IMSU), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUST).

The sample size was selected using proportionate stratified random sampling method. The main instrument for data collection for this study was a questionnaire. Using the Likert-type scale modified model, to make five negative statements on each variable, the respondents were requested to tick their level of agreement or disagreement whether they strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree. The instrument went through validation reliability test process.

The researchers progressively and personally distributed the copies of the questionnaire to all the eight university libraries. The two main statistical techniques—descriptive and inferential--- were put to use. The data collected were analyzed through the use of frequency tabulation and percentages to answer research questions. The hypotheses were tested using statistical method of Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) analysis and Multiple Regression Analysis with the use of computer programme of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version10.0. Using correlation analysis as inferential method in this study, it determined whether the observed correlation between variables as determined from the sample could be generalized to the population. In this case, a p-value is calculated and used to accept or reject the null hypotheses. If the null hypothesis is accepted, then there is no need obtaining a regression to predict the value of the independent value.

All the hypotheses testing were conducted at 0.05 level of significance (p<0.05) for rejection or retention. The 0.05 level of significance (alpha) was chosen as studies have shown that it is fairly reliable at this level to accept or reject a hypothesis.

Data Analysis

Out of the 2000 copies of questionnaires distributed, 1508 of them were returned and all found useful for analysis. 393(36.06%) were staff while1115 (73.94%) were students. The male respondents were 863(57.23%) while the female respondents were 645(42.77%). This shows a fair representation of the respondents in terms of gender.Those in the age range 16-25, topped the table with 1043(69.16%), this is followed by those in the age range of 26-35 with 313(20.76%), then 36-45 with 109(7.23%) and so on. The fact that those in the age range 16-25 is not surprising because they constitute the bulk of the students and library users, which is normal in any university.

In terms of qualification, those with Senior Secondary School Certificate were the majority with 1005 (64.64%), followed by those with Master degree, 161(10.68%) and then Bachelor degree holders. That those with Senior Secondary Certificate are not in doubt because the basic entry requirement for admission into first degree programmes is SSCE or its equivalent. Since majority of the teaching and administrative staff possess masters degree and the universities run doctoral degree programmes, it is not surprising that those with the masters degree certificate came second with 161 (10.68%). Then followed by those with the first degree certificates came third with 153 (10.15%).

Frequency of use of library services

Table 1. User responses on the frequency of use of library services

Responses

SA

A

Agreement’s

Total score

and

Percentage

D

SD

Disagreements’

Total score and

Percentage.

F

F

F

%

F

F

F

%

a

Daily

1508

168

444

612

40.6

450

446

896

59.4

b

4—5 times a week

1508

168

448

616

40.8

298

594

892

59.1

c

1-3 times a week

1508

446

150

596

39.6

744

168

892

60.5

d

1-3 times a month

1508

320

296

616

40.8

594

298

892

59.1

e

Less than once a month

1508

168

445

614

40.7

448

446

894

59.3

As shown in 1, the index of daily library use had a total score of 612(40.6%) agreement, while 896(59.4%) disagreed. The frequency of use of 4-5 times a week was scored a total of 616(40.8%) agreement, while 892(59.1%), disagreed. The frequency of 1-3 times a week of using the library was scored 596(39.5%) agreement, while disagreement score was 912 (60.5 %). The frequency of 1-3 times a month was scored 616 (40.8%) agreement, while 892 (59.1%) disagreed. The index of using the library less than once a month was scored 614 (40.7%) agreement, while 894 (59.3%) disagreed.

Size of Collection

Table 2. Users Responses on the Size of Information Sources in the University Libraries in the Southeast of Nigeria

Response

SA

A

Agreement’s

Total score and Percentage

D

SD

Disagreements’ Total score and percentage



F

%

F

F

F

F

% F %

a

Inadequate

1508

894

318

1212

80.4

196

100

296

19.6

b

Inadequate in my discipline

1508

744

318

1062

70.4

298

148

446

29.6

c

My use of library not depend on size

1508

148

148

296

19.6

744

468

1212

80.3

d

The size does not satisfy my use of library

1508

764

446

1210

80.3

148

148

298

19.8

e

The size does not influence my use of library

1508

148

150

298

19.8

762

448

1210

80.2

As shown in table 2, inadequacy of information sources in the university libraries in the southeast Nigeria was scored a total of 1212(80.4%) agreement, while a total of 296(19.6%) disagreed. Inadequacy in the user subject area or discipline with regard to size was scored a total agreements score of 1062(70.4%) agreement, while, a total of 446(29.8%) disagreed. The use of library not being dependent on size of information sources had a total agreement score of 296(19.6%), with total disagreements score of 1212(80.3%). Satisfaction derived from the use of library services based on size of information sources was scored a total of 1210(80.2%) agreement, while, a total of 298(19.8%) disagreed. The influence of size of information sources on the use of library services was scored a total of 298 (19.8%) agreement, while disagreements total of 1210 (80.2%) was scored. The use of library not being dependent on size of information sources was scored a total of 296 (19.6%) agreement, while disagreements total of 1212 (80.3%) was scored. In other words, majority of the respondents’ use of library service is dependent on the size of information sources. Satisfaction derived from the use of library services based on size of information sources was scored a total of 1210 (80.2%) that agreed. while, disagreements total of 298 (19.8%).That is 298 (19.8%) was scored.

Quality of Information Sources

Table 3. User Responses on the quality of Information Sources in the Southeast university Libraries in Nigeria

Response

SA

A

Agreement’s

Total score and Percentage

D

SD

Disagreement’s Total Score and Percentage

F

F

F

%

F

F

F

%

a

Low

1508

168

744

912

60.4

448

148

596

39.5

b

Unsatisfactory In my discipline

1508

764

296

1060

70.2

300

148

448

29.7

c

My use of the library does not depend on the quality of Information Sources

1508

298

148

446

29.6

894

168

1062

70.4

d

Does not satisfy my use of library services

1508

468

444

912

60.4

446

150

596

39.6

e

Does not Influence my use of library services

1508

150

296

446

29.6

466

596

1062

70.4

As shown in table 3, low quality was scored 912 (60.4%) agreement, while disagreement was 596 (39.5%). Dissatisfaction with the quality of information sources in respondents’ disciplines was 1060 (70.2%) agreement, while 448 (29.7%) disagreed. Use of library services not depending on quality of information resources was 446 (29.6%) agreement, while 1062 (70.4%) disagreed. In other words, 1062(70.4%) agreed that their use of library services depended on the quality of information sources. Dissatisfaction derivable from using the library services based on quality of information sources was scored 912(60.4%) agreement, on the other hand, disagreement score was 596 (39.5%),meaning that only 596(39.5%) derived satisfaction from using the library services based on quality of information sources. Influence of quality of information sources on the use of library services was scored 446 (29.6%) agreement. Meaning that the quality of information resources did not influence the use of library services by 446(29.6%) of the respondents. On the other hand, 1062 (70.4%), disagreed that the quality of information resources did not influence their use of library services , meaning the quality of information sources influenced the use of library services.

Testing of Hypotheses

The major findings with reference to the hypotheses were analyzed using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) with the raw score formulae and Multiple Regression Analysis with the use of computer programme of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 10.0. Below are the results of the hypotheses tested.

HO1.The size of information sources has no significant relationship with the use of library services.

To test this hypothesis, the data collected were analyzed using PPMC analysis. The result obtained is presented in table 4 below:

Table 4 PPMC Analysis of relationship between the size of information sources (X1) and the use of library services (Y)

PPMC Analysis of relationship between the size of information sources (X1) and the use of library services (Y)

N

∑Y

∑X1

∑Y

∑X1

∑ YX1

r-value

p

df

Decision

1508

20705

17695

308427

225807

139400

0.679

0.05

1506

S

P ≤ 0.05, S = Significant, df =5806, Critical value =0.165

The obtained r—value was 0.679. The value was tested for significance by comparing it with the critical value of 0.165 at 0.05 with 1506 degree of freedom. The obtained value was greater than the critical r-value. Since the calculated r-value of 0.679 is greater than the critical value at 0.165, the tested null hypothesis is rejected. The size of information sources therefore has significant relationship with the use of library services in the university libraries in the southeast Nigeria.

HO2.The quality of information sources has no significant relationship with the use of library services.

To test this hypothesis, the data collected were analyzed using PPMC analysis. The result obtained is presented in table 5 below

Table 5 PPMC Analysis of relationship between the quality of information sources (X2) n and the use of library services (Y)

N

∑Y

∑X2

∑Y

∑X2

∑ YX2

r-value

P

df

Decision

1508

20705

17695

308427

225879

2444592

0.678

0.05

1506

S

P ≤ 0.05 , S = Significant,df=1506 Critical value =0.165

The obtained r—value was 0.678. The value was tested for significance by comparing it with the critical value of 0.165 at 0.05 with 1506 degree of freedom. The obtained value was greater than the critical r-value. Since the calculated r-value of 0.678 is greater than the critical value at 0.165, the tested null hypothesis is rejected. The quality of information sources therefore has 
significant relationship with the use library services in the university libraries in the southeast Nigeria.

Discussion of Findings

The main objective of this study was to determine the relationship between size and quality of information sources and the use of library services. Two objectives, two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to investigate the dependent variables of use of library services in the Universities in the Southeast of Nigeria. The findings of the investigations based on the literature reviewed, research questions and hypotheses were the basis of the following discussion.

The size of collection and use of library services

The null hypothesis was rejected. Therefore there is significant relationship between the size of information sources and the use of library services. This result reveals that relationship. The relationship is positive as the use of library services has 80.3% dependence on the size of information sources, and the size information sources has 80.2% influenced on the use of library services.

The above findings validate those of Jordan (1963) and Burn (1969) who argued that there is a definite relationship and correlation between size of information sources and the use of library services and the ability to respond to users needs depends on the size of information sources, which can be expressed in terms of probability. Sheffield, cooper and Waters (1975) reinforced this observation when they asserted that the larger the information sources, the greater the number that will be circulated to meet the needs of the users. Unomah (1987) also confirmed that the size of information sources affect; the use of library services.

Quality of information sources and the use of library services

The null hypothesis was rejected. Therefore there is significant relationship between the quality of information sources and the use of library services. This result reveals that relationship. This relationship is positive as the use of library services has 70.4% dependence on the quality of information sources, and the quality of information sources has 70.4% influence on the use of library services.

The findings of this study also agrees with those Ologbonsaiye (1994) and Ajibero who found out that quality library services and use, depends to a large extent on the quality of information sources and that the quality of a library’s information sources has been identified as one of the yardsticks for measuring library users’ satisfaction of library services. Maigari (1985) and Kolo (1995) have earlier reported similar findings in their various studies. Ogunrombi (2004) summarized these findings when he stated that there is correlation between qualities of intellectual materials (information sources) available (in university libraries) and the quality of research and scholarship.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The findings from the study reveal significant relationships between the size and quality of information sources and the use of library services, and that these information sources variables to a large extent influence the use of library services.

The researcher recommends that the university libraries should be properly funded to acquire adequate size of information sources in response to increased students enrolment, introduction of new courses, establishment of more academic departments, faculties and colleges, and the recruitment of more academic and administrative staff.

The researcher also recommends that the libraries when acquiring information sources the librarians should collaborate with the users or their representatives to get their views or recommendations on the intellectual quality. The librarians themselves should ensure that the physical quality of the information sources they want to acquire must be of high standard in terms of paper used, the typeface or fonts, the binding, the design, color, and illustration.

The university libraries should also be provided with ICT and Internet facilities as to be able to explore other information sources in the electronic media and other formats such as the CD-ROMs, diskettes, and the Internet. The university libraries should explore other ways and means of increasing the size of information sources in addition to available funding. Again, the libraries should explore other ways of getting quality information sources for their user from outside the available sources within their libraries.

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