THE USE OF INTERNET SERVICES IN LIBRARIES BY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT
1.1 Background of the Study
Traditional library systems are gradually becoming a thing of the past. These is observed as most libraries now rely and use the internet and other technologies in performing functions and services. Thus, access to information now stimulates change, creating an environment that makes learning meaningful and more responsive. Buttressing the assertion above, Oketunji (2001) stated that internet gives us access to a vast wealth of knowledge and access tools that facilitates research. The internet offers the opportunity to conduct remote classes, allow access to remote libraries, and create an environment innovative and cooperative learning experiences.
Today, internet connectivity has become a necessity. It allows tertiary institutions to leverage the teaching and learning process. This ensure brighter future for students as it provides access to information, helping to close the global information gap (Omagbemi, Akintola and Olayiwola, 2004). Furthermore, Oketunji (2001) submitted that the internet and other ICTs provide a golden opportunity for the provision of value-added services by libraries.The internet provides challenges to the formal educational system, it has fostered a collaborative approach to learning of traditional methods. Odenewu and Olasore (2009) submitted that it is useful for the following:
- As an expert system
- As reference resources
- Allows communication with any professional colleague around the world
- Permits access to libraries and library catalogues around the world.
- Valuable information in electronic libraries, books, journals, magazines and newsletter is made available
Leiner et al (2000) said the word internet is derived, from two words ‘international’ and ‘network’. The internet can be defined as an international computer network of information available to the public than modern links.
The internet as conceived by the Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA) of the US government in 1969 and was first known as APRANET. The original aim was to create a network that would allow users of a research computer at one university to be able to communicate with another research computer in another university and to create a network that could function even if a portion was damaged or destroyed in the event of military attack or other disaster. The government and the university were the first people to use the internet. Overtime, more educational institutions sought the services of APRANET.
In 1980s, many people and institutions from Europe and Asia used the Internet. The World Wide Web (www) was introduced by Timothy Berner Lee an English Computer Scientist in 1989. In the early 1990s, the web was popular. Overtime, the popularity of internet exploded, more and more companies, private organizations and individuals began to use and offer internet services.
Odenewu and Olasore (2009) stated that the internet has become an important and reliable tool for information retrieval. The internet is a global network of computers linked together over large distance. It was created by the American military as a means of communication and has been in the existence since the 1950’s up until the mid to late eighteen century only commercial organizations, military based institution and educational institutions used the internet, due to its high cost. Felix Okoro et al (2004) says that The rapid development of technology has improved communication links amidst lowering of cost. The implication of this is that the internet is now more widely available to more people, and a valuable source of information for individuals looking for information with over 50million websites on the net.
Omijie (2008) added that Internet means International Network. He also said that the network is made up of several computers, which are connected or linked together for effective communication worldwide. It enables companies, organizations, individuals, schools and governments to share information across the world. Bassey (2003) also agreed that the internet uses the World Wide Web (W.W.W) that enables users to access documents in richly formatted texts and pictures, an millions of pages of information of various kinds, such as; information about your hobbies, information that will help you increase your professional knowledge, job advertisement, weather forecast, flight information, information on lucrative business, sport information, newspapers etc. Access to using the internet is guaranteed by subscribing and connecting to an Internet Service Provider (I.S.P) through a Modulator Demodulator (MODEM). Once you subscribe to an I.S.P, you can use any browser (software for searching for information such as Internet Explorer and Netscape) to view and interact with the web pages. Bassey further said that the internet is like an electronic city with many libraries, stores, business offices, vendors’ stand, shops and so on, thereby making the whole world a “global village”.
The use of internet as a facility has transgressed all sphere of human endeavour, such as medicine, military, politics, banking and most significantly education. Recent observation of internet use shows that these popularity of internet is based on the services intent is used for as internet services they include:
- Interactive Mobile/Video Lecture.
- Surfing the net
- Electronic Mail Services
- Teleconference Service
- Internet Banking
- Telephone Services
Kavanagh (2004) said interactive video lectures is interactive and useful for students. He asserted that the growing impact of I.T. on learning could lead to changes in the structures and the way courses are delivered in tertiary institutions. He added that the growth in student numbers means many institutions are finding their lecture facilities in-adequate hence the need for live lectures through video recording delivered through large, wall mounted display.
Omigie (2009) posited that Surfing the net is an act or process of searching for information on the internet. This is as, there exist millions of pages of information. Surfing allows access to any kind of information as long as such information is on net. The researcher describes the internet as an “Electronic World Library”, or an “Electronic Village with all kinds of shops”. The process by which you move from one of these “shops” to another or move from “shelf” in search of information in the electronic library is called Browsing or Surfing.
Another internet services is the Electronic Mail Services also known as e-mail, Bassey (2003) saysis a method of sending and receiving mails (messages) electronically. E-mails are convenient, faster, cheaper and safer than the postal services often referred to as “snail mail”. Interestingly, Davis (2004) said teleconference services refers to a meeting conducted by use of telephone or cell phones without requiring attendees to be physically present in the same physical area. It is usually of a business nature and may require a facilitator of party leader to lead the meeting. He added that video conferencing tools can keep kids in school.
Interestingly, Hussein et al (2011) observed that Internet banking, is the same as online banking or virtual banking which is an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank or other financial institution to conduct a range of financial transaction through the financial institutions website. While telephone services by Felix Okoro (2004) is an online voice conversation between two persons using Internet Telephone facilities.
Kwesiga (2002) approved that academic performance of students is also influenced by the school in which they studied but he also said that the number of facilities of school offers usually determine the quality of the school which in turn affect the performance and accomplishment of its students. Also, Crosne and Elder (2004) noticed that school provision of facilities and access to resources such as computer and internet facilities enhances students academic performance ,adding that Academic Performance is the outcome of education to the extent to see a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Therefore the outcome of education is the extent to which a student has achieved his educational goals.
Bossaert Doumen (2011) said an undergraduate degree (also called first degree, bachelor’s degree or simply degree) is a colloquial term for an academic degree taken by a person who has completed undergraduate courses. It is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university. The most common type of this degree is the bachelor’s degree, which typically takes at least three or four years to complete.
Polytechnics play a vital role in the educational, scientific and technological progress of Nigeria. They are established to train and produce the technical manpower necessary for the execution of the Nation’s development plans, goals and strategies
The internet is a worldwide network of inter-connected computer networks (commercial academic and government) that operates using a standardized set of communication protocols called TCP/IP (transmission control protocols/internets protocols) or the internet protocol suite.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Much has been said by authorities in the field of education about the falling standard of education. Researchers have attributed various reasons for this fall. In this age of internet facilities, it is observed that not much has been done to harness the potentials of internet library facilities in rescuing the situation.
Internet is made up of millions of computer linked together around the world in such a way that information can be accessed from any computer or device, irrespective of the location. It is observed by the researcher that even at this positive attributes of internet, coupled with increase capital investment on hardware and software by government, for the educational system, the use of internet by students in tertiary institution for academic purpose is still low and in most cases non-existent. It is in view of this that the study tries to examine the use of library internet services as well as importance and benefits of the library internets in increasing the academic performance of undergraduates in polytechnics.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of the study is to assess the use of internet services in libraries by undergraduate student. However the specific objectives are to;
- Find out the library internet services available in the polytechnic libraries
- Study how accessible the library internet services are in the polytechnic libraries
- Find out the frequency of use of library internet services by undergraduate students
- Examine the purpose of use of library internet services by undergraduate students.
- Examine the influence of use of library internet services on academic performance of undergraduates’ student in polytechnics.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the library internet services available in the polytechnic libraries?
- What is the level of accessibility of library internet services in polytechnic libraries?
- What is the frequency of usage of library internet services by undergraduate students in polytechnic library?
- What is the purpose of using library internet services by undergraduate students in polytechnics?
- What is the influence of the use of library internet services on academic performances of undergraduate students in polytechnics?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study is limited to undergraduate students (library users) in Polytechnics in Edo State. All other forms of tertiary institutions will not be included in this study. Similarly, this study is investigating the use of Internet Services, by undergraduate students while other library services will be excluded from the study.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the findings of this study will be of significance to librarians in polytechnics as it will help them to understand the importance of library internet services. Also, it is hoped that the findings will be of benefit to the undergraduate students in polytechnics as this will showcase the importance of library internet services to their study and academic output. Similarly it is hoped that it will be of benefit to other researchers and scholars in librarianship as this will serve as a reference material.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
- Internet Search Engine: This is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. It is generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine result pages (SERPS)
- Internet: This is also known as Net. It is a worldwide system of computer networks that connects millions of computers together globally for communication.
- Polytechnic: This is an institution of higher education offering courses at degree level or below, especially in vocational subjects.
- Surfing: This is the activity of moving from site to site on the internet.
- Undergraduate: This is used to refer to a student that has not yet obtained a first degree.
- Library Services: This refers to all such services that are provided by the library to its users.
- Library Users: These are the persons that visits the library with the purpose of exploiting it resources to satisfy his information need.
- Internet Service: This allows us to access huge amount of information such as text, graphics, sound and software over the internet. A system must be connected to the worldwide web (www) before you can access the net.
- Academic Performance: This is the outcome of Education- the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.
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