Effectiveness of reference services in providing students’ information needs in tertiary institutions in Nigeria
The main purpose of establishing library in any academic environment is to serve as the information centre to the community of users. But many have failed to serve this purpose after spending lots of money due to some reason and the other. This survey study is aimed at assessing Effectiveness of Reference Services in Providing Students’ Information Needs in Some Selected Tertiary Institutions in Borno State. The main objectives of the study were to : ascertain students’ level of’ utilization of reference section; availability of reference resources; types of reference services; users’ level of satisfaction with information and, problems inhibiting users from being satisfied with references services.. The study used survey method where questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. A total of One hundred and fifty (150) of students was used as population for the study - fifty from College of Agriculture Maiduguri, Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri and College of Education Maiduguri. Data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings revealed that: there is a high level of utilization of reference section by the students; there are inadequate Reference Librarians where “Book – Materials” constitutes the bulk of the information resources in Libraries; Referral Service, Current Awareness Services and Inter- Library lending constitutes the bulk of reference services provided in Libraries; the mostly use reference resources for “Assignment / Exams” and “Research/Project” purposes. Reference services provided by libraries were “poor” and, Lack of e-resources, irrelevance of the available information resources and lack of qualified reference Librarians constitutes the bulk of the problems inhibiting students’ satisfaction with reference resources of Libraries in Tertiary Institutions in Borno State. The study recommends among other things: Effort should be geared toward recruiting more professional Librarians and the provision of current information technologies facilities such computers and internet facilities such that students can be linked to the world of information; the Libraries should organize training for the reference librarians on how best to better serve the community of users.
Keywords: reference sources, information needs, reference services, current awareness