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Use of Information Resources in some Selected Health Science Libraries in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Communication and use of medical information is an important factor in the delivery of quality health services in a timely fashion. This is of great importance to the researchers since they are faced with several millions of medical information packages and locating the précised or the core ones becomes Herculean tasks on their part. Hence, the need to explore or investigate sources which the users consulted in the course of their research activities and ascertaining the degree of their relevance and satisfaction. Therefore, health information service should form an integral part of the national health system.
Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate the information sources (formal/Informal) used by health care professional in Lagos – Nigeria.
Method: Structured questionnaire, interview and observation were the methods used to collect data for this study.
The study adopts a stratified random sampling method to select three hundred (300) out of four hundred and eighty (480) users using the resources in the three selected medical libraries in Lagos. The sampled fraction was 62.5%, while 240 users responded.
Results: Of the 300 sampled, 240 responded (80%). Ranked in order of priorities or decreasing of frequency were: patient care (72.9%), studying for exams (59.1%) teaching (51.2%). Reference (43.7%). Research (42.9%),
Studying course work (37.9%), current awareness (33.7%) and pleasure reading (18.3%).- The study discovered that photocopying services, current awareness, E-mail, MEDLINE and internet services were available. The findings further showed that printed textbooks and journals were the principal sources of information which were heavily used and slightly followed by audio-visual resources and reference materials.
Conclusion/Recommendation: Some useful conclusions that can be drawn from the study is that information is a critical factor input in the provision of health care services, conduct research and educate health professionals. Unfortunately the information resources and services were inadequate and the researcher called for urgent attention as raised by WEITZEL in the WORLD HEALTH FORUM, that the neglect of health science libraries was as a result of wrong placement in the ministries where they are being attached. It was recommended that libraries must embark on an internal fund generating drives so as to bail themselves out of the economic doldrums. Secondly, libraries should intensify their efforts in soliciting for donations of current printed and non-printed information materials from alumnus and philanthropists alike. And finally, there should be strict adherence to the 10% budgetary allocation recommended by the federal government to university libraries, so as to be able to procure up-to-date information materials needed by their clientele
NQJHM Vol. 16 (4) 2006: pp. 122-127