APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES IN UNIVERSITY-BASED LAW LIBRARY SERVICES IN SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA
This study was carried out to ascertain the types of ICT resources available in university based law libraries, South East, Nigeria, their spread among the federal, state and private universities, level of application and the factors necessitating the application; the extent the application meets the needs of their application, problems as well as factors for the sustainable application of ICT in the law libraries. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design. The population were the all the 48 respondents drawn from the eight universities offering law courses in the South East, Nigeria. Data was collected with a structured questionnaire and an observation checklist. Tables, frequency counts, percentages, mean and standard deviation were used to analyse the data collected. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the three hypotheses. The result of the study revealed that computer systems, internet, LAN, modem, portals, e-mail, CD-ROM, Lexis-Nexis, OPAC, photocopiers, printers and scanners were the most available ICT resources applied in the law libraries services. Also there are more ICT resources available in state universities than in federal and more in federal than in private universities. It was also found that the need to enhance services in university law libraries was the most perceived factor for ICT resources application. Other factors include resource sharing and information networking among law libraries, escalation in prices of law books and journals, emerging scholarly interest and increasing range of legal information services. ICT applications have to a large extent met the need for their application in university law libraries in the areas of legal information delivery, resource sharing and networking, acquisition and collection development, indexing and abstracting services. Other areas include information handling and management, current awareness services (CAS). It was also found that ICT resources applications have not reduced high cost of law books and journal purchase. Inadequate provision of funds and electricity supply failures, low bandwith and long time attachment users have to printed materials were the most important problems against ICT resources application in university law libraries. Strategies for sustainable application of ICT resources include seeking alternative sources of funding by university law libraries, recruitment of staff with ICT skill/competence, curriculum imbedded ICT skill, making ICT facilities criteria for accreditation purposes in law libraries. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that federal, state governments and private owners provide adequate fund for ICT acquisition, provision of alternative power supply system, resource sharing and employment of ICT compliant personnel.