UTILIZATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN USER SERVICES OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA
This study investigated the utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in user services of federal university libraries in South East Nigeria. It examined the availability, extent, users’ perception, problems and strategies of addressing the challenges of ICT utilization. Five purposes of the study and five research questions were raised to guide the study. A descriptive survey was used for the study, with population of 64 library staff and 12,405 users. All 64 library staff and 400 users constitute the sample, however, 447 (96.3%) constitutes the final sample used for the study. The instrument for data collection was observation checklist and questionnaire. In analysing the data, descriptive statistic such as mean scores and tables was used. The findings revealed that a number of ICT facilities are at different levels of availability in the federal university libraries under study. It also shows that ICT tools such as e-mails, subject gateways, e-journals, e-books are extensively used to provide reference services, in terms of bibliographic tools; the CD-ROMs and online databases are widely used. It further shows that users’ perception is that ICT utilization is beneficial, as it aids in enhancing research. Various problems ranging from inadequate budget for ICT facilities, inadequate infrastructure, lack of up-graded ICT skill level of users, inadequate qualified staff in libraries, software and hardware problems are shown to hinder ICT utilization. The study made the following recommendations: adequate infrastructure, funding, training of library staff on ICT use for research, provision of adequate electricity with back-up power plant, institutional subscription, as solutions in addressing the problems of ICT utilization in federal university libraries in South East Nigeria.