UTILIZATION OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITIES IN NORTH CENTRAL ZONE, NIGERIA.
The study aimed at determining the extent of utilization of library and information resources for research by social science lecturers in universities, North-Central Zone of Nigeria. Based on the main purpose, six specific purposes and 4 hypotheses were formulated for the study. Survey research design was used for the study. The population consisted of 1,446, made up of 1,044 social science university lecturers in the five core social science subject areas, which consist of Economics, Geography, Mass Communication, Political Science and Sociology; 380 university library staff in charge of Social Science and Information and Communication Technology collections; and 22 university librarians in all the universities in the study zone. Proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select 640 social science lecturers as sample for the study. Purposive sampling technique was used for selecting 9 universities, 3 each from federal, state and private – owned institutions based on their functionality, availability of ICT facilities, and year of establishment of the institutions; university librarians from these 9 universities were included. The instrument for data collection was a researcher developed questionnaire titled “Utilization of Library and Information Resources for Social Science Research in Universities in North-Central Zone of Nigeria” (ULIRSSRUNCZN). The instrument was face validated by three experts, one in Library and Information Science, one in Mass Communication and one in Measurement and Evaluation. Using Cronbach Alpha co-efficient procedure, a reliability index of 0.91 was obtained. Mean (x) and Standard Deviation (SD) were used to answer the research questions. One- Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and t-test statistics were used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of probability. Print resources required by the university lecturers were identified as manuscripts (3.18), newspapers/magazines mean score of (3.14), indexes and abstracts (3.13). Mass communication discipline had the highest mean score forr print required (3.05). The study also identified ten top key print information resources for social science research in the various discipline. Required digital resources identified were internet (3.45), institutional repository (3.35) and databases (3.30). Key digital information resources in various social science disciplines were also identifies. Both print and digital information resources are utilized by university lecturer for social science research. Mass communication discipline had higher mean score (3.10) in utilization of print resources than political science discipline (3.06) and sociology discipline (.2.92). For the use of digital resources, geography had higher mean score (3.45) than sociology discipline (3.36) and political science discipline (3.34). Accurate peer review of the resources (3.58), accessibility and flexibility of the resources (3.57), and well-organized and regularly maintained print resources (3.48) influenced the choice of use of print resources for research. Use of digital resources was influenced by constant electricity supply in and around the campuses (3.70), functionality of the digital resources (3.60) and computer self efficacy (3.57) for research. Poor shelving of resources (3.18), poor internet connectivity, (3.06) and frequent breakdown of computer systems (3.02) were identified difficulties. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the male and female social science university lecturers and utilization of library and information resources for research. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in rank of lecturers and utilization of information resources for research. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the discipline of lecturers and utilization of information resources for social science research. Based on the findings, the recommendation made is that university management needs to improve on the funding of the university libraries so that information resources in print and digital formats are made available for research in social sciences. University libraries should intensify efforts at meeting the information needs of the user communities. Required information resources in print and digital forms for research activities by the various disciplines should be identified and users should be encouraged to suggest what their needs are. There is need for consortia arrangement and institutional repository by university administration and for more Nigerian university libraries to be involved in this exercise.