Launching of assessment of reference collection and services by academic libraries is on the increase, libraries are exploring new ways of expanding their services by interacting with users and responding to user inquires via the internet, especially students enrolled on the distance mode of studying. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the assessment of reference collection and services at the Ibadan polytechnic library. Two aspects were evaluate, namely, ?Resources? and ?elements of the general digital reference model?. This study was a summative evaluation study in which semi-structured interviews and observations were used to collect data. The research findings showed that these libraries used the general digital reference model in providing responses to the library users. The study established that the library did not follow the IFLA and rusa standard of staffing and training of librarians working with digital reference services. The study further found that a lack of ability to fully demonstrate to users how to access various library services was one of the major problems that the librarians experienced.
Assessment of library and information resources is one of the vital works in the field of library and information science
Library and information science can not perform maximally without assessing its collection to determine whether the collection at its disposal can meet the immediate and distance needs of library users.
The assessment of library reference can be defined as the term use in render assistance to readers seeking for information in the library. Consequently reference services in Nigeria libraries is an age long tradition as reference librarians serve as pilot toward directing information seekers on the latest information that are inherent in a particular field of human Endeavour, the provision of qualitative reference services will no doubt promote research and development for national development. However, reference services can be attribute to selective dissemination of information (SDI), as well as current awareness services (CAS), this is to say that a reference librarians should be able to provide some selected information that are relevant to the researcher and also create n enabling environment whereby the researcher or the investigator or the information seeker can get current information that will help him/her solve a particular problem.
Through general need for users of library materials in different types of library, like public, special, documentation centre and academic library, different but it is not gainsaying that the need for constant assess of library materials is view as resources that is more important in academic library especially reference materials of the institution. The reason for this are numerously academic library constantly involving research activities than any our kind of library.
As academic library, the institution authorities are to be seen to pay much attention to reference collection and its services delivery otherwise the library?s role would be seen dwelling polytechnic librarians cannot be expected to fulfill its role and carry out its responsibilities effectively funds, personnel and physical facilities, and if librarians cannot collaborate with the teaching staff in building up the library collection and in orienting the student interest to effective library use ( Aguolu, 2002).
Library operation generally are by nature, services oriented. This is reflected in the referral services rendered by libraries. Considering the enormous role of Academic libraries in our institution, it becomes necessary to assess reference services in our institution, bearing in mind that reference services is the most important of all library activities.
The library reference and services has been aligned with the strategic directions in line with UNESCO and ALA policies relating to literacy and equitable access to information.
Reference librarians must be able to respond to a wide variety of question, depending on the needs expressed by library users. Increasingly, the concept of a reference collection made up of reference books in an inadequate characterization of resources most frequently used by reference librarians. Although print materials continue to used, they are supplemented by authoritative sources in microform, CD-Rom, or Digital resources accessed via computers and network connections With the availability of a growing number of freely available resources on the web, it is limiting to think of the reference collection as only those materials that are purchased or licensed by the library.
According to smith (2010), it is possible to divide reference sources into two main classes: compilation that furnish information directly and compilation that refer to other sources containing information. In practice, this distinction becomes blurred because sources of the first type often refer to other for further information, and those of thesecond type are adequate for answering some questions.
Source of the first type include Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Almanasecs, Handbooks, Yearbooks, Biographical sources, Directories, Atlass, and Gazetters; source of the second type include Catalogues, Bibliographies and indexes.
Ethical isseus such as confidentiality and privacy are also relevant in the digital environment, where it is possible records should be treated with the same respect for confidentiality and privacy as library circulation records.
There is also the enthical issue of availability of access to digital reference services. If librarians devote more of their resources and time to digital reference service to those who do not have internet access could be negatively affected. Gorman polanka &Bibel (2010).
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Effective utilization of libraries has been a matter of concern to librarians information scientists and educationalist in general. Therefore underutilization of library and information resources has no doubt assume a worrisome dimension, given that libraries and librarians have a responsibility of ensuring that their resources and services are effectively utilized especial when huge, amount of money is voted for resources procurement.
However, as observed from the primary study that many of the academic library are not paying attention to the assessment of collection of the reference section, instead of that attention are paid to purchase of library materials that will cover all the discipline run in their institution forgetting that reference department need special attention in term of it acquestion and resources.
It is in the line of this, that this researcher is been carried out to investigate the availability and use of reference sources and services by students of the Ibadan polytechnic.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY.
The general objective of the study is to identify library resources available at the tertiary institution, library in oyo state and assess the quantum of usability by patrons.
Other specific objective include:
i. Find out reference collection and services resources available at the reference department of Ibadan polytechnic.
ii. Make a comparative analysis of the years (2012 ? 2017) and varying usages of Academic library resources
iii. Ascertain specific reference materials consulted by library users at the institution, Ibadan polytechnic.
iv. Identify the problems affecting the Ibadan polytechnic
v. Solution to the problem.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. What types of reference resources are available at the institution Ibadan polytechnic
ii. Are there any variation in the usage of reference resources between the periods 2012 ? 2017?
iii. What specific reference resources are consulted by users at the reference section of the library of Ibadan polytechnic
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work will cover all the available reference resource available at the library of Ibadan polytechnic.
This include Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Almanasecs, Handbooks, Yearbooks, Biographical sources, Directories, Atlass, and Gazetters etc.
Print media available at the library will also be included. The study population for then research work will be students of the two institution, while lectures using the reference sources of library of Ibadan polytechnic will be outside the scope of this study.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The result from this research work will help us to highlight the ways in assessing reference collection and services availability of those materials inside the Academic libraries and how users responded in making use of them in our various libraries.
The outcome of the study will be of great importance to the Ibadan polytechnic management and the entire administration of polytechnics in Nigeria, in improving reference sources and services respectively in polytechnic libraries and academic libraries in general in order to meet the information needs of their clientele.
Libraries from time to time, need to be assessed and evaluated by its users. The user?s satisfaction is considered to be a reliable benchmark for determining library effectiveness.