Influence of ICT on Reference Services in Selected University Libraries in South-West Nigeria
In university libraries in South-west Nigeria, the use of ICT at the reference section is becoming rampant especially at the reference section. However, research assessing the impact of ICT on reference collections and services in the Nigeria University’s libraries context has been ignored. In the light of this, this study examines the impact of ICT on reference collections and services in selected university libraries in south-west Nigeria. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select 10 universities libraries out of the 21 university libraries in the South West Nigeria. Interview and questionnaire were used as data collection instrument. Collected data was analyzed using the percentage and frequency count. A total of 200 copies of questionnaire were administered. The respondents were given the questionnaire at the reference section of the selected University libraries. Four research questions were answered by the study. These are: i. What are the impacts of traditional reference collections and services on users of selected academic libraries? ii. What are the impacts of digital reference collections and services on users of selected academic libraries? And, iii. What are the challenges of ICT on reference collections and services in the selected academic libraries? The results revealed that a total number of six out of the ten Universities examined in this research have adopted ICT at their reference section and library users in the provision of reference services are satisfied with the services offered at the reference section than those that have not adopted ICT. The study also revealed that the adoption of ICT at the reference section of academic libraries in South-west Nigeria has some associated challenges. The challenges revealed by the study are: electricity problem, incomplete automation, reduced patronage (because of the availability of search engines), changing technology, high cost of ICT equipment as well as ICT illiteracy on the part of the library users. Despite the challenges faced by the staff and students in the adoption of ICT at the reference section of academic libraries, it was found that librarians/ library staff are foreseeing a bright future in ICT adoption for reference collection and services. The study recommends that more electronic resources should be provided at the reference section.