CURRENT AWARENESS SERVICES AND SATISFACTION OF INFORMATION NEEDS

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CURRENT AWARENESS SERVICES AND SATISFACTION OF INFORMATION NEEDS OF RESEARCHERS ON RESEARCH ACTIVITIES AT THE FEDERAL COLLEGE OF FORESTRY TECHNOLOGY, IBADAN

 

CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0 INTRODUCTION
A modern society is characterized by an increasing need for specialized institutions in various fields of activity
for the performance of their day­to­day functions as well as research and consultancy work. These institutions
require speedy access to qualitative published information.
Library and information services are a key element in libraries since the ancient times. Their vital role is
increasingly becoming a measure of the library’s contribution to the transformation and development of a
society and the nation at large. The use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has caused a
transformation in the users’ perception from what is being hosted in the library to how and when services are
rendered to fulfill their requests.
Consequently, libraries are becoming less important for the materials they collect, house or stores. Instead, their
importance is being measured in respect to the fulfillment of the users’ requests or needs. The movement of
materials from publishers and hosting them for “just in case” some users will need them is being replaced by
delivering materials from publishers “just in time” to answer the user’s needs.
However, this transformation has brought a challenge in the field of library and information services of dealing
with the ever­increasing complexity of information, differentiating useful information from mis­information,
and upholding the rising needs and expectations of the users.
One of the major functions of a library is to scrutinize publications immediately after receipt, make a selection
of publications pertinent to the programme of the organization and bring individual item to the attention of the
users to whom it concerns. This is generally known as ‘current awareness’ service. Encyclopedia Americana
(1976) defines current awareness services as the purpose of informing the users about information in their
libraries. Current awareness service is referred to as dissemination of information that will keep clarities, well
informed and up to date in their field of interest as well as their related subjects or disciplines. Current
awareness service includes the selective dissemination of information, publication of current contents, and
publication of list of new arrivals, information retrieval and online services.
The objective of current awareness service is to make available current information to those who need it, usually
for current researcher and to sustain the interest of the library user in the services rendered by the library to
make them lively and active readers for their benefits. Provision of information on recently required materials
benefits all the users in several ways such as providing maximum exposure and utilization of the library
information resources. Research tends to be associated more with the advanced form of investigation. For
instance, it is common to hear of research at the post graduate and even post doctorate level mainly, than that of
the under graduate. Research is been carried out in addition to new information to personal store­house of
knowledge of others, it is to enable man relate with his environment more effectively.
This study will discuss the available technological opportunities that can be used by the library information
services in addressing such challenges particularly at the Federal College of Forestry Technology, Ibadan.

1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE FEDERAL COLLEGE OF FORESTRY
TECHNOLOGY IBADAN.
While the special library movement dates from the rise of business and technical libraries and the development
of the concept of specialized information service in the twentieth century, prototypes of these special libraries
could be found in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Professional association and government department libraries which served as on­the­spot working collections
were most directly related to today’s special libraries. Legal and medical collections predominated, because in
both professions a considerable body of literature had developed and professional training and practice dictated
its use.
Early legal collections for state and federal government and collections in medical societies and hospitals date
from the eighteenth century and continued to develop through the nineteenth century. During this time, a few
early company and trade association libraries also appeared concerned with scientific, legal or statistical
literature. These latter libraries, however, were virtually unnoticed until later reports dated the establishment of
their collection. Other early special libraries have a less direct relationship to the modern special library.
Scientific and historical society libraries with specialized subject were also established in this period, but they
usually operate as leisure­time libraries for their members.
It is on this backdrop that the historical background of the Federal College of Forestry Technology, Ibadan (with
a type of special library) is apt and without which this study will be incomplete. The Federal College of Forestry
Technology started in Nigeria, West Africa on the 1
st of May, 1941, at the then Forest School, Ibadan, which has
now, been redesigned to be the Federal College of Forestry Technology.
Prior to this date, there was no formal training for indigenous forest staffs in Nigeria. The forest officers who
were mainly British had on the job practical base training for the forest guards in their charge. The training
consisted of elementary botany and identification of useful timber species, simple survey, forest law, forest
protection and siluiculture, especially, nursery techniques.

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CURRENT AWARENESS SERVICES AND SATISFACTION OF INFORMATION NEEDS OF RESEARCHERS ON RESEARCH ACTIVITIES AT THE FEDERAL COLLEGE OF FORESTRY TECHNOLOGY, IBADAN

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