IMPACT OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION IN SPECIAL LIBRARIES
1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Information technology has been evolving rapidly during the last helf of the 20th century particularly since the 1960s and 1970s. it has revolutionaries the media and its modes of computing, storing and communicating information. The changes in the collection and distribution of information have affected society in many ways. These of information communication technologies in libraries has tremendously increased because it provides enhanced user satisfaction, cost-effectiveness, ensure faster and simpler programmes, resulting in rapid responses and easier operational procedures. Generally, the use of ICT in libraries includes on-line access to library collection, the use of bibliographic databases, on-line literature searching and the sue of personal computers. Information communication technologies (ICT) makie use of computing, and communications, facilities in support of teaching and learing. Information, communication and technology intail the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information by means of computers, office machines and telecommunication, (Ehikhamena F. A. 1993). In other world, computer provides the processing, storage and retrieval capabilities while telecommunciaotn on provides the capability, for the transfer and communication of data from one work-station to another. Information communication technology is a term which encompasses the nation of the application of technologies to information handling, generation, storage, processing, retrieval, dissemination etc. (Marghalani M. A. 1987).
In an increasing competitive environment the concern of managers of library and information services must not be only with survival of our library and information services, but also with their development within a clear and coherent policy framework. Just as in any other sector of eh economy, library services develop. There needs to be a clear view of the direction that development should take to best meet the developing needs of users. The new information age has permeated all aspects of human existence (spies, 1998). It has brought certain challenges to the academic world (Pinfield, 2001).
In Nigeria, this challenge is even more critical today. It is apparent that any attempt to have meaningful academic communication can only be successful through the information and communication technology, which is the application of computer and its peripherals in communicating data within the shortest available time and over geographical spaces. This study is based on the availability and the utilization of ICT facilites used in libraries, since the library is the crux of academic activities, it is seen as an instrument of social change, public enlightment and national progress (Aboyade B. O 1982). It services as repository of information and knowledge that have provides the vital under-pining in the socio-economic, political and cultural sphere. In relating this function of libraries to information technologies, (Tamuno, O. G, 1997) comments that it is one thing to generate as much information as possible, it is quite another thing how ever, to make such information accessible and available when needed, which requires proper storage, processing accessibility and retrieval. The relevance of information communication and technologies in libraries, particularly in special libraries, is in activities concerned with information storage and retreiveal. These activities are concerned with in-house keeping routine such as acquisition, cataloguing, serials control, circulation, of library material and the collection fo management statistics. In libraries, information network has the potential for relieving human kind of many of its burdens. Networking refers to a broad system of computers terminates, video display units, telephone etc. which are use for data communication services. Therefore, to network in the special libraries parlance, involves the interconnection of computer terminals etc. the heart of information networking or connectivity is the issue of telecommunication, linking together libraries, librarian users in
LOCAL AREAS NETWORK (LAN) or WIDE AREAS NETWORK (WAN)
They endeavor to eliminate many of the repetitive and boring task related to the processing and communication of information. The volume and re of the generation fo information as well as the demand for it has made its conservation and storage and manipulation by electronic means inperative in an information conscious society. Advances in modern technology have naturally led to th de-emphasing of the traditional method of attaining various information processing and transfer objectives hence the introduction of computer and other modern information technologies in the libraies.
THE EFFECT / IMPACT OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATON AND TECHNOLOGIES ON DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION IN SPECIAL LIBRARIES
The presence and usage of the technological infrastructure in information retrieval and dissemination have helped to have better access to information. - Encourage information and resource sharing among information institution. - Contribute to industrial bibliographic control. - Facilitates access to international data base. - Leads to efficient and effective delivery of information services. - Also facilitates generation and dissemination of management report. - Gives accurate and up-to-date information. - It enhances the status of the information professionals.
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF NATIONAL MATHEMATICAL CENTRE, ABUJA.
The National Mathematical centre came into being on January 1, 1988 although the decree (Decree No.40) giving it a legal existence but was not promulgated until December 12, 1989. The creation of the centre was as a result of the mounting concern shown by the nation as a whole, about the decline in the number of mathematical scientists and the interest shown by students in the study of mathematics, theoretical physics, and computer science generally. The National mathematical centre was established by the Federal government to develop appropriate initiatives and resources of international standing for re-awaking and sustaining interest in the mathematical sciences at all levels in Nigeria, and also as an adequate response to the dramatic decline in the production of teachers and specialists in the mathematical sciences at all levels. Presently, the centre considers itself as nations apex research coordinating institute in the mathematical sciences. We wish to state that we are committed to strategic planning as a way of making the centre to fully realize the vision of its founding fathers as a centre of Excellence in the mathematical sciences in the West Africa sub-region and more importantly, to creating enabling environment favorable to speedy technological and industrial revolution by as promoting manpower capacity building appropriate to jumpstart the growth process. Decree No.40 of 1989 Establishing the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja. The genral aims and objectives of the National mathematical centre, as spelt out in the law establishing it (decree 40 of 1989) , are as follows:
1. To train and develop high level personnel in mathematical sciences, including mathematics, statistics, computer science and theoretical physics for Nigerian and African institutions.
2. To create a Resource centre to serve National and international communities as a focal point for advanced research and training in mathematical sciences and appilications.
3. To enhance collaborations among mathematical scientists especially between young Nigerian scientists and other advanced and experienced scientists from within and outside Nigeria.
4. To stimulate enthusiasm for the physical sciences in young Nigeria students and scholars.
5. To prepare Nigeria for a leading role in mathematical sciences.
6. To attract good mathematical scientists from all over the world into services of Nigerians.
7. To encourage and support activities leading to the improvement of the teaching and learning of mathematical sciences at all levels.
8. To conduct series of specialized lecturers or courses for the purpose of upgrading postgraduates students in the field of mathematical sciences to alevel where they can begin to understand research papers and seminars.
9. To conduct series of specialized lecturers for advanced post-graduate as well as post-doctoral and other participants based on a set of pre-assigned research papers, with the objective of generating “questions” that would be collected, discussed and used to determine new research directions for the participants.
10. To conduct seminars, workshops and symposia in such areas as the Academic Board of Centre may, from time to time, determine or plan. The National Mathematical centre is one of the 10 institutes selected as the first nodes of the network of international science and technology centers for sustainable development in the south, and its mandate is computer software research, development and application.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria, being one of the few countries of the world, which began to adopt information technologies in 1990s, is backward but somewhat fortunate because generally, the world of ICT-based libraries is still in its infancy. A number of problems contribute to this situation.
1. Administration barriers: This problem is much more acute in public university libraries than private university libraries and special libraries. Administrators, policy makers, and government executives do not take seriously the importance of ICT. Moreover, library administrators have failed to make its importance clear. Lack of knowledge of technological development has created a significance barrier to the installation or development of ICT facilities in libraries.
2. Lack of shared initiatives: Inadequate shared initiatives have made plans of ICT application in libraries very low.
3. Lack of skilled manpower: Library professionals in Nigeria over the past few years have not had adequate knowledge regarding computer applications and automation.
4. Lack of financial support: Inadequate financial support has made possibility of ICT application in libraries more complex.
5. Lack of infrastructure: Inadequate physical facilities hamper the growth of ICT. Telecommunications infrastructure and an uninterrupted power supply are crucial needs for Nigeria.
6. Lack of ICT resources: ICT means more than the use of computer. Less attention has been paid to other communication and related technologies. Some libraries have no internet connection. Most have a manual circulation operation. They have no barcode readers for use in automated circulation. Most libraries are using microcomputers only with no server in most of the libraries.
7. Absence of local resources: Most of the libraries use the CDS/ISIS in developing other software.
8. Psychological barriers: The reluctance of library personnel to accept new technologies hinders the development of ICT-based libraries.
9. Lack of Networks: There is no network, in the true sense of the term, among the libraries of Nigeria.
1.4 AIMS AND PURPOSE
This research work examines the use of ICT by special libraries in Nigeria in the dissemination of information in the educational system. Its aims is to reveal both the levels of information and communication technologies and plans for the future. The findings of a structural survival questionnaire are analyzed, providing information in available computer facilitates, library automation, internet connectivity, technical support, expenditure and ICT strategies. This is followed by a devalued case study of library services of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja. This paper attempts to assess the contribution of ICT in providing information dissemination to Nigerians through libraries especially those that are specialized in operation and structure in areas such as education and research, trade and commerce, agriculture, health and recreation, etc.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Does ICT impact positively on educational performance in schools?
2. Does the use of ICT in special libraries improve attainment levels of users?
3. In Nigeria, is there a positive association between the length of time of ICT use and student’s performance in educational work?
4. Do schools with higher levels of ICT literary demonstrate scores than those with lower levels of ICT literacy?
5. Do schools with ICT resources achieve better results than those that are poorly equipped with ICT resources?
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
Discussion on this topic will be stricted to special libraries. Furthermore, study is generalized on institution such as polytechnic, colleges of education, universities-private, state and federal around the country, with references on how it affects administrators and users, the National Mathematical centre, Abuja is taken as a case study. In addition, it attempts to asses the contribution of special libraries in helping Nigerians access and disseminate information digitally via the internet. Ti also asseseed the major types of information disseminated through special libraries.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study gives a representative overview of the attainment level of library staff in an important area of professional competence, and shows the importances of addressing the gap between the desired levels of ICT litracy and the actual level as it helps in information dissemination in special libraries. This is done with special emphasis on the national mathematical centre Abuja, which is a government library with specialized / concentrated interest in the dissemianto of the knowledge of mathematics generally in Nigeria.
In carrying out a research work one has to concern himself or herself about the methods of data collection. These include the various ways or means by which the research data are collected. In carrying out research work of this nature, the researcher had to conduct and intensive investigation into definerable problems. In the process of my data collction, the following data collection instruments were used: a. Questionnaire b. Observation
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