Background to the Study
Library has unique position as a potential educational force. It plays a vital role in the development of institutions and the society (Onwubiko, 2008). Library use is beneficial to individuals and students and helps them achieve their educational goals. Monroe (2009) stated that intellectual development depends on ones reading abilities and library resource utilization. Therefore, visiting the library and making use of the available resources is a vital aspect of students’ career and general success in life. This is in line with the popular saying that, “Leaders are readers and committed readers are potential leaders”. However, in the recent times, there has been a declining interest in the reading culture and library resource utilization by students (Onwubiko, 2008).
Further observation by Olatunde & Adebola (2003) and Ikegbune (2007) revealed that some library users including students lack the knowledge and skills needed for sourcing information and locating resources in the library. Such lack of awareness according to them results in time and energy wastage when browsing the library shelves or navigating the library websites. Library being the repository of knowledge should be one which embraces both the traditional library practices and the modern technological innovations (Eze, 2009). In other words, a hybrid library should be embraced by all. Students and all library users ought to be aware of the skills in library use for effective and efficient time management and adequate library resource utilization.
Library is a collection of written, print, non-print, electronic or other graphic materials (including texts, journals, e-books, e- journals, abstracts, films, tapes, phonographic records, slides, computer programs etc) organized and maintained for reading, study and consultations (Eze, 2009). It is indispensable in educational setting and the hub around which scholarship revolves. Library should be used by students for intellectual development and professional growth (Yusuf & Iwu, 2010). Library with its resources play critical roles in developing the individual and supporting research (Bugard & Green, 2007). Also, library resources as defined by Hodler and Mitson (2011) are taken to include books, journals, e-books, e-journals, other electronic materials, periodicals, charts, mimeographs, maps, films, pictures, slides, objects, specimen, records, tapes and filmstrips. It is anything in the library environment that may be of value in forwarding the thinking and understanding of pupils and students.
The use of library resources refers to visiting the library and reading textbooks, journals or reading online texts/ journals and other related materials collected from the library (Yusuf & Iwu, 2010). It includes borrowing library books, visiting library at least 2-3 times a week and studying with library books/materials. Use of library resources were considered in 3 dimensions: duration of stay in the library reading texts collected from the library, borrowing books or other related materials, and use of computers (exploiting the internet) for academic purpose.
Nugent (2009) carried out a study on the use of library by students at the College of Health Sciences Indonesia and observed that there was low patronage of library and its resources by student nurses. He further stated that student nurses are more clinically oriented than academically oriented. This had negative impact on their general education and professional development. Without effective use of library resources by students, there would be poor quality graduates and consequent decline in economic and social development (Sign & Kaurt, 2009). Nursing students need to be conversant with and regularly use library resources to meet up with the academic and clinical demands of their profession. Onwubiko (2008), Nnaji and Agboola (2010) also observed that students are losing interest in the use of print, electronic and other related library materials for academic purposes instead, they actively engage in social networks.
The standard of a library shows the commitment of an educational institution to its realization of educational goals. Library aims towards generating new knowledge through research and transmitting such knowledge through teaching (Eze,2009). Library has various roles as identified by Eze which include: Provision of information resources needed for academic programmes, provision of materials needed by the faculty and researchers, provision of materials for aesthetic and personal development of the clientele, provision of security of information resources available in the library among others. Failure to use library resources by students may lead to serious drop in the standard of education, research and professional practice (Oyediran, 2004).
The low standard of care rendered by nurses in some institutions in Indonesia was attributed to lack of research and ineffective library use (Nugent, 2009). In Nigeria, Nnaji and Agboola (2010) in their study on Library Resource Utilization by Nigerian Students noted that neglect of the use of library resources and reading has greatly affected the quality of graduates produced in Nigerian Universities. They stated that some students lack the knowledge of basic skills in library use and library education which has led to a decline in the rate of their library utilization with the consequences of increase in unemployment rate, decreased productivity and all sorts of social vices. This is because books play important role in reshaping the individuals’ character. Theories and procedures read are practicalized and applied to real life situation to help improve living standard so, youths and students need to make frequent use of library resources in order to excel.
Nursing students are graduates from secondary school and schools of nursing who gained admission into the university to pursue a degree program in nursing and are between 200 – 500 levels. These students are expected to be studious in order to meet up with the academic and professional challenges facing them in the university. These group of students may be inclusive in the Nigerian students observed by Onwubiko (2008) to have shown declined interest in reading culture and library resource utilization.
Libraries promote active learning and contribute to students’ ability to think critically and work well independently or in a group (Guskin,2006). Evidence has shown that good readers are potential leaders and as such, nursing students need to effectively use library resources to be able to excel academically and maintain professional standards in practice. Thus, the need to assess the knowledge and use of library resources by nursing students in two universities in south east Nigeria.
Statement of Problem
The issue of library resources and its use has been a common observation. This is because of the central role library and its resources play in the improvement of teaching, learning and research. However, it is surprising that about 40% of students are currently losing interest in using library resources for academic development (Ozovehe, 2012). Moreso, the lack of knowledge of the use of skills in the location of library resources and the restriction of some library websites demanding payment before access pose a big challenge to library users including students (Ozovehe, 2012). Ogbodo (2004) observed that many students and some library users are ignorant of the skills required in locating library resources. He noted that some library users wander about in the library and waste much time trying to locate library resources for their use. The observation of these researchers seem to be the same in the universities in south east Nigeria.
Nugent (2009) in his study to determine the Extent of Library Use by Students at the College of Health Sciences Indonesia reported that 6.6% of university students in Indonesia did not register at all with the library while 45.3% of students who registered did not borrow books or other materials from the library but visited for other reasons. Similarly, studies in Nigeria showed that there is declining interest in reading and use of library resources by Nigerian students (Onwubiko & Uzoigwe, 2005; Nnaji & Agboola, 2010). Moreover, there has been several radio commentaries and press releases on the same issue lamenting that the rate of decline in reading and low patronage of library resources by Nigerian students is disturbing. For instance, the press release and radio commentaries of 6th April 2010 written by Okoroama, 22nd August 2012 by Ozovehe, and that of 24th June 2013 by Nnaji all pointed to the fact that there is decrease in students’ use of library resources. Ozovehe stated that there is about 40% drop in the number of students that access library resources as contained in library records of four institutions in Nigeria (Radio Nigeria documentaries, 2012). These observations in addition to the researcher’s experience during her several visits to libraries motivated her to carry out this study on the knowledge and use of library resources by nursing students in two universities in south east Nigeria.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge and use of library resources by student nurses in two universities in south east Nigeria.
Specific Objectives of the Study were to:
- Determine the level of knowledge of the use of library resources by student nurses in the two universities under study.
- Determine the use of library resources by student nurses in the two universities.
- Determine the frequency of use of library resources by student nurses in the two institutions under study.
- Ascertain reasons for the use of library resources by student nurses in the two institutions.
- Determine the extent of use of library resources by student nurses in the two Universities.
- Identify the challenges/problems student nurses encounter in the use of library resources.
The following research questions were asked:
- What is the level of knowledge of the use of library skills and resources by student nurses?
- Do student nurses use library resources?
- How often do student nurses use library resources?
- What are the student nurses reasons for using library resources?
- What is the extent of use of library resources by student nurses?
- What are the problems encountered by student nurses in using library resources?
- There is a significant difference between Nnamdi Azikiwe University and University of Nigeria Nsukka students’ knowledge of the use of library skills and resources.
- There is a significant difference in the level of knowledge of the use of library skills and resources across the students’ levels of study.
3) There is a significant association between the student nurses use of library resources and their levels of study.
4) There is a significant association between the use of library resources and the institutions studied.
Significance of the Study
Findings from this study will give evidence based information on library use and will help to ascertain the student nurses knowledge of the use of library resources and skills in locating them. Knowledge of the skill will aid in saving the students time whenever they visit the library and will help to increase the rate of their use of library resources assuming the rate is low. Increasing the rate will in turn help nurses to keep abreast of the latest scientific approach in their practice.
Findings will help to know the percentage of student nurses that use library resources, the frequency at which they use it and the most frequently used resources. This will help to encourage more use if their frequency of use is low and will in turn help nurses to improve their competency and professional practice with consequent positive patients’ outcome.
Findings will reveal the reasons student nurses use library resources and aid in re-directing them assuming their reasons are not cogent. It will help to know the duration of stay of student nurses at each visit to the library using its resources. It will also help nurses keep pace with other health professionals in knowledge and practice for better healthcare delivery.
Findings will help to identify problems encountered by student nurses in their use of library resources and will help to overcome those problems/challenges and improve library condition for users. The knowledge of students’ problem in the library will assist library administrators know the deficient areas from library users and help them overcome it.
Finding will aid management in making good policies concerning the funding of libraries for acquisition of more, relevant and current resources for users.
Scope of the Study
This study was de-limited to student nurses 200-500 levels at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Enugu campus and Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka, Nnewi campus because at these levels, they must have been taught the course, (Lib 001) use of library in their first year. Also, Majority of the students tend to be more serious with their studies from 200 level and above after they had gotten used to the university environment and had seen their performance in first year semester results.
The variables in the study include: the knowledge of the use of library skills and resources by student nurses, the use of those resources, the frequency, most frequently used, extent of use and the problems encountered in using library resources.
Operational definition of terms
Library resources: refers to books, journals, e-books, e- journals, periodicals, mimeograph, abstract, chats, tapes, slides, filmstrips, maps, directories, research works, seminar works, hand books, library catalogue, online public Access catalogue, and computers.
Use of library resources: refers to visit to the library at least 2-3 times a week and studying with library materials for minimum of 2-3 hours (in traditional libraries) or 30 minutes to 1hr (for visual libraries) It also means using or borrowing of resources as contained above example; books, journals, e-books, e-journals, encyclopedias, dictionaries, catalogues, Online-public Access Catalogue (OPAC), seminar works, research works or exploring the computers(internet search) for academic purpose.
Knowledge of the use of skills and resources in library: Refers to having understanding and the ability to locate resources in the library with less difficulty and within a short period of time.
Frequency of use of library resources: refers to the number of visits to the library studying with or borrowing library materials/ resources.
Extent of use of library resources: refers to the duration of stay in the library in each visit reading/using its resources.