The Changing Nature of the Library in the Digital Era: A Focus on Five Higher Education Institutions in Rivers State

By Clara N. Olele, Lois Nkechi Abraham and Helen Uzoezi Emasealu.

Published by The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 9, 2015 $US5.00

As the world turns into a global village, the nature of academic libraries in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) has changed. The focus is now on digital libraries and information management. This study examined some of the changes that should take place in five HEIs libraries in Rivers State, Nigeria. Using an inventory/questionnaire designed by the researchers, based on six themes and one hypothesis, data were elicited from five chief librarians and fifty-one other librarians in five HEIs within the state. Two sets of response options of three-point Likert type scale of: ‘Not available’ (0), ‘Available but not adequate’ (1), ‘Available and very adequate’ (2); and “Not available at all’ (0), ‘Available to a low extent’ (1), ‘Available to a high extent’, were used. Data were analyzed by the use of the mean score, standard deviation, and t-test. The findings indicate that all the five HEIs have some digital resources at varying degrees. The physical spaces available in three of the five institutions cannot readily serve the needs and interests of library users for individual and group work. Three out of the five HEIs libraries embark on user education at varying degrees. In addition, the findings also indicate that the fifty-one librarians and the five chief librarians do not possess sufficient knowledge and skills needed for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) integration into library services; although the male librarians scored higher than their female counterparts in demonstrating that they possess the knowledge and skills needed for ICT integration into library services. Furthermore, the study indicates that only one out of the five HEIs has a reasonable number of specialized workforces; and all the five libraries have security measures at varying degrees to enhance ICT in library services. Based on these results, it was recommended that as learning organizations, universities should empower libraries to develop in line with the dictates of this digital era through the provision of adequate e-resources, digital spaces, and workforces,. Users are a prime aspect of any type of library and with different categories of library users, user education programmes should not be taken for granted in this digital era. Librarians should be adequately and constantly trained, and able to understand the needs and interests of different categories of library users in this digital era.

Keywords: Virtual Library, User Education, Knowledge Management, E-learning Culture, Visual Literacy, Conceptual Models for ICT Integration

The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership, Volume 21, Issue 3-4, March 2015, pp.13-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 9, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 458.587KB)).

Associate Professor Clara N. Olele

Senior Lecturer; Head of Department - Curriculum Studies & Educational Technology, Dept of Curriculum and Educational Technology, University of Port-Harcourt, Port-Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria

Dr Clara Olele is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Educational Technology, University of Port-Harcourt. Her area of specialization is Educational Technology

Dr. Lois Nkechi Abraham

Lecturer 1, Curriculum Studies & Educational Technology, University of Port-Harcourt, -, -, Nigeria

I have a PhD and a Masters degree in Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology from the University of Port-Harcourt; B. A. Ed from the University of Lagos. My area of specialisation is Educational Technology.

Helen Uzoezi Emasealu

Library Department, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria

Mrs. Helen Uzoezi Emasealu is a Reference librarian in the University of Port Harcourt. Her area of specialization is academic libraries.