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Utilization of Reference Resources by Undergraduate Students of Library and Information Science for Effective research in University Libraries

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

For high-quality teaching, learning, and research, university libraries are crucial sources of reference resources. Print and electronic media indexing and abstracting services make reference materials available and accessible. The ultimate goal of reference materials is to provide accurate and timely information. Reference resources are information-bearing assets such as people, prints, and electronic files that are used by reference librarians to provide users with specific information. Print materials, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, research monographs, directories, biographies, and almanacs; information retrieval tools, such as indexes, abstracts, bibliographies, and catalogues; and electronic materials, including computers, projectors, CD-ROMS, and the internet, as well as e-journals, databases, and e-prints. Users respect reference resources because they contain data gathered from a range of sources and organised for easy and rapid access for a specific purpose, unlike other library items.They are designed to be used as research tools rather than to be read from cover to cover or borrowed from the library (Abdulahi & Mamza, 2014). In the reference section, reference resources are gold mines, and their value to users seeking pertinent information is incalculable (Attama, 2013). Given the importance of these resources in terms of student academic achievement, university libraries must hire qualified employees who care about people, as well as provide services that aid in providing easy access to reference materials if users can make excellent use of these extensive resources. Reference resource accessibility refers to the extent to which users can access and use reference resources that are physically or electronically published in the bibliographic universe to obtain specific and accurate information in the library through indexes, abstracts, bibliographies, and catalogues. Azubuike (2014) defines accessibility as the “capacity to gain access to and benefit from some system or organization.” According to Azubuike, the concept frequently focuses on the end result (receiving enjoyment from the product) rather than the techniques.Reference resource usage refers to the extent to which library customers use and benefit from reference resources in various ways to suit their information needs. The capacity of students to properly use technology increases their knowledge and overall academic achievement. Usage is described by Mucai (2013) as “taking advantage of and earning from a thing.” As a result, utilizing appropriate resources is crucial to meeting educational goals. Use determines the amount and quality of information acquired, as well as the quality of users’ research output. As a result, study into how undergraduate library and information science students in Enugu State use reference materials in university libraries to perform productive research is needed.While the University library may have excellent reference and information resources, it is critical that these resources be made available to students on a regular basis. The amount of reference and information resources made available, as well as the extent to which students use them, is uncertain, given their high status. While the University library may not be flawless in terms of reference and information services, it is doubtful that the materials available to students are not made available to them within the limits of their availability, and that students do not make full use of the resources that are available.Other academics, such as Aguolu (2002) and Ugah (2008), argue that the availability of information resources does not always indicate accessibility or use for a variety of reasons. This indicates how resource availability and utilization differed greatly. This is also concerning, as further research into these issues is required to close the gap between availability, accessibility, and consumption. It’s also critical to assess the degree of sufficiency, accessibility, use, usefulness, and pleasure pupils derive from resource utilization.As a result, the study’s purpose becomes clear: there is a need to assess how undergraduate library and information science students in Enugu state use reference resources in university libraries for productive research.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The study’s goal is to look into how undergraduate library and information science students in Enugu State use reference resources to do productive research in university libraries. The study’s objectives are as follows:

Determine whether students at Enugu State University of Technology have access to reference and information services and resources.

To determine the extent to which students at Enugu State University of Technology use various bibliographic tools in their quest for information.

To determine the extent to which Enugu State University of Technology’s reference and information services and resources are accessible.

To see if there is a purpose for students at Enugu State University of Technology to use information services and resources.

RESEARCH QUESTION

The study’s goal is to tThe following research questions were developed to guide the investigation.

Do students at Enugu State University of Technology have access to reference and information services and resources?

In their search for information, how much do students use the various bibliographic tools?

What is the extent of Enugu State University of Technology students’ access to information resources and services?

Do students use the Enugu State University of Technology library’ information resources and services?

SIGNIFICNCE OF THE STUDY

The study will look at how undergraduate library and information science students in Enugu State use reference resources to do effective research in university libraries. As a result, the research will be important in the following ways:

Librarian: The result will benefit librarians as information providers since it will improve their approach to providing information to students. They will also identify information resources that are in short supply and make them available at their respective institutions.

The study will be significant to the academic community because it will serve as a guide for other researchers at other universities who want to conduct similar research in the area in their own states, as well as contribute to the existing literature in the field of librarianship, particularly in the area of accessibility and utilization of reference and information services and resources in universities.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this research is to determine the different forms of reference and information services and resources available to students. The study will also determine the extent to which students use various bibliographic tools in their information search. The study will also examine the extent to which reference and information services and resources are accessible. Finally, the study will determine the reason for students’ use of information services and resources. As a result, the research is limited to the state of Enugu.

LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The researcher faced some challenges in conducting this study, including time limits, money constraints, language barriers, and the attitudes of the respondents.

Furthermore, there was a component of researcher prejudice. The researcher had some biases, which may have shown up in the manner the data was gathered, the kind of people questioned or sampled, and how the data was evaluated afterward. It’s impossible to overestimate the impact of all of this on the findings and conclusions.

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