UTILIZATION OF REFERENCE RESOURCES AMONG POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA
This study was an examination of the utilization of reference resources among postgraduate students of 3 federal university libraries in South East Nigeria. The aim of the study was to identify reference resources available for use by postgraduate students in the federal university libraries in South East Nigeria; to determine the purpose of use of reference resources by postgraduate students in the university libraries; to examine the extent to which reference resources are used by post graduate students of these university libraries; to ascertain the perception of postgraduate students of the role of reference librarians in ensuring the effective utilization of reference resources among postgraduate students; to determine the problems hindering the effective utilization of reference resources in the university libraries; to proffer strategies to enhance the effective utilization of reference resources among postgraduate students in these libraries. Three null hypotheses were generated and tested for the study. Relevant literature and empirical studies were also reviewed from which a gap was established that needed to be filled. The study employed descriptive survey research design. The population of the study comprises of 2068 postgraduates students who were duly registered with the libraries. Proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select a total of 206 respondents for the study. The instrument for data collection was face validated by three lecturers in the department of library and information Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The data for the study were collected through Observation Checklist and Questionnaire. Data collected through Observation Checklist were descriptively analyzed while that of questionnaire was analyzed with the use of frequencies, percentages, mean and one was of analysis of variance. Results indicated that there are reference resources available for postgraduate students in federal university libraries under study. The study further revealed that postgraduate students of the institutions utilized the resources tor a very great extent. The study identified lack of awareness of reference resources in the library, lack of current resources (materials), lack of adequate and trained personnel among others as the problems hindering the effective utilization of reference resources in the libraries. The test also revealed a significance difference in the mean responses of UNN, NAU and FUTO PG Students on the extent to which reference resources are used in the federal University libraries in South East Nigeria, the problem affecting the use of reference resources as well as a significant difference in the mean responses of UNN, NAU and FUTO PG students on the strategies for enhancing the use of reference resources in the federal University libraries. The study recommended that adequate orientation should be given to users of the resources by the librarians most especially postgraduate students to enable them know what is available in their institutional libraries that will aid their research.