AVAILABILITY AND USE OF ELECTRONIC INFORMATION RESOURCES AND SERVICE DELIVERY IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA
This research was on ascertaining the extent of availability and use of electronic information resources (EIR) and service delivery in university libraries. The research was geared towards determining the extent of which EIR is available in university libraries and also the extent at which they are used for service delivery. In conducting this research the survey research method was adopted. Interestingly, out of the two hundred and fifty eight (258) professional librarians in seventeen(17) universities in south-south Nigeria that made up the population for the study, only two hundred and twenty-three (223) professional librarians from eleven (11)university libraries were sampled and used for the research using purposive sampling technique. Questionnaire and the Observation checklist data collection instruments were used to the research. Descriptive statistical method of mean and standard deviation was used to analyze the research questions, while inferential statistical method of z-test was used to analyze the formulated hypothesis. The research instruments were personally administered and retrieved by the researcher. Response rate was high as one hundred and seventy-three (173) data collection tool was returned and found useable. Findings revealed that electronic information resources are available in university libraries. Furthermore, findings showed that these available EIR are not adequately applied to the services being rendered by librarians to their patrons. Similarly, the research findings showed that EIR availability and use in university libraries influence library services. Furthermore, it was revealed that male and female (librarians) could use EIR for service delivery in libraries, this is as hypothesis one (1) was accepted because the calculated z. 0.34 was less than (<) z. critical or significant value of .73. In addition, hypothesis two (2) was rejected, meaning that the working experience of a librarian is a determining factor in handling the challenges to EIR availability and use in libraries; this is so as the calculated z. 3.12 is greater than (>) z. critical of .002. The research was able to prove that accuracy in information service delivery, independence of library users and speed in service delivery are perceived benefits of EIR availability and use in libraries. However, the research recommended among others that library management should constantly sensitize institutional heads and management, i.e Vice- chancellors, Deans, Provost, Bursars, Registrars etc on the need for the acquisition of EIR, training and re-training of library staff in line with modern day library activities and functions etc.