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HUB LIBRARY NETWORKS

Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 76  |  1194 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Libraries, irrespective of the type are meant to meet the information needs of their users. In University libraries,there are numerous library users including undergraduate students who need information for project writing. The students need information for their studies and research, while lecturers need information for their teaching and research. However, the collection of any library including university libraries cannot hold everything the users need. As such, Internet connectivity was introduced into the university libraries to augment the printed resources for undergraduate students’ use for learning and research project, (Ani, 2005).

Researchers carry out various studies using information sources of libraries. In the present dispensation, information is needed even faster than ever. Since there are many other sources from which information is acquired other than libraries, it becomes necessary that the library should do everything possible to ensure that its relevance is felt among its clients who value its usefulness on the basis of available information sources found in it (Atsugh&Gwaza, 2012). Irrespective of the quantity of the library’s collections, it cannot hold everything the users need within its building, then Internet readily comes in to complement in its efforts to assemble information not found in the library building. Therefore, the use of Internet has greatly improved information dissemination.

Internet service provision has become a critical factor for undergraduate student’s research activities especially in developing countries including Nigeria where the problem of limited access to current and reliable information resources has not been adequately addressed. According to the World Almanac and Book of Facts (2004), there is no aspect of the contemporary world that is more influenced by the Internet than the educational system. Supporting this, Selcher (2005) observed that the Internet is a veritable tool for academic research work especially at higher education level. Internet is a network of linked computers, which are located at different points all over the world that provide easy communication between persons and organizations no matter where they are located.

The Internet is used mostly in obtaining information. Internet has many benefits in academic cycle as it provides access to global sources of information. It also gives researchers the ability to discuss and share experience with colleagues, (Ojedekun, 2001 as cited in Audu, 2006). The Internet has a role to play in libraries, which is the hub of research activities in universities. Internet resources have significant impact on library services. It can be consulted and used like any other reference tool, it is more dynamic and far reaching than any other resource used in a library setting. It provides a medium of communication that has extended the potential of undergraduate students’ Interaction beyond the physical library to users. Adegboji and Toyo (2006) observed that Internet contributed significantly to the ease of research through downloading materials.

It is believed that researchers and students are having the challenges of inadequate and out of date materials. The only way to resolve these challenges is through the use of Internet resources that are comprehensive and current information, (Kamba, 2008). Lubans (2000) stated that Internet has effects on undergraduate students’ academic work. He observed that internet had positive influence on the number of found and quality of students’ written work. He further noted that with the indiscriminate use of internet, students are lured by easy access and often do not question the value or quality of material found on the web.

The internet is a chaotic library because it displays no discernible orderly classification or categorization. It therefore poses a challenge on the students’ ability to distinguish between information from refereed scholarly journals available digitally and the digital equivalent of vanity press publications. Basically, the Internet is the world’s computer network in which the computers are connected to share information. Preeti (2002) stated that the Internet has a number of resources such as World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail (e-mail), File Transfer Protocols (FTP), Chat, Archives, Gopher, Telnet, Statistical Packages, Virtual Library, Search Engines, Directories and others. All these resources facilitate effective and efficient research work.

Nworuh (2001) asserted that the Internet is a series of electronic connections, a network of individual computers holding vast quantities of data that can be accessed directly from a personal computer that is purposely programmed to share services, transfer, receive and distribute information among people of similar interests and needs. Thus, it has proven to be the most important vehicle for accelerating the flow of information. Adeoti (2000) enumerated the benefits of using the Internet as it revolves round the provision of current information services. It is also used to search libraries for interesting latest discoveries; find the latest information about education, sports, medicine, engineering, airspace, agriculture, software development, latest books on politics, military, navy, and the air force or the latest in the cyber space technology. Therefore, it is important for undergraduate students to become aware of the importance of the Internet, have the knowledge and the skills for the use of Internet, and sufficiently make use of Internet resources found in the universities for their studies and research.

Research is defined by Reitz (2004) as a systematic, painstaking investigation of a topic, or in a field of study, often employed techniques of hypothesis and experimentation, undertaking by a person intent on revealing new facts, theories, or principles, or determining the current state of the knowledge of the subject. Research provides the undergraduate students with a unique and enriching activity.

Adebiji (2001) noted that students who possessed basic Internet skills such as evaluating what one found, unzipping of files, copying files, printing, starting existing programs, editing text, and so will enable them get the best out of the Internet. Users need to know how to perform decompression (Unzipping) of files (Usually large) sent over the Internet in a compressed (zipped) state for quicker transmission.

Ampka (2000) opined that undergraduate students visit to university libraries and information centers for research is frustrating due to inadequate Internet resources and lack of basic Internet skills to exploit Internet resources. Similarly, Ani (2005) identified a range of problems facing undergraduate students’ use of Internet resources as access to the Internet infrastructure and connectivity and non-sustainable Internet services in some Nigerian Universities. There exist a poor level of use of electronic journals and online databases which are essential for learning and research. 

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