EVALUATION OF ENGINEERING COLLECTIONS FOR IMPROVED USER SATISFACTION IN POLYTECHNIC LIBRARIES IN NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA

0
240

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           i

Certification page       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           ii

Approval page            –           –           –           –           –           –           iii

Dedication  –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iv

Acknowledgements    –           –           –           –           –           –           v

Table of Contents         –           –           –           –           –           –           vii

List of tables –           –           –           –           –           –           –           ix

Abstract   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           x

Chapter One:  Introduction      

Background to the Study –       –           –           –           –           –           1

Statement of the Problem       –           –           –           –           –           14

Purpose of the Study      –           –           –           –           –           –           17

Research questions   –           –           –           –           –           –          18

Hypotheses      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           18

Significance of the Study      –           –           –           –           –           19

Scope of the Study        –           –           –           –           –           –           20

Chapter Two:  Review of Related Literature            

Conceptual Framework          –           –           –           –           22

Concept of Polytechnic Libraries   –              –            –           –           22

Concept of Library Users’ Satisfaction          –           –           –           23

Concept of Library Collections    –           –           –           –           25

Concept of Collection Evaluation           –           –           –           27

Evaluation Processes for Academic Library Collections     –           28

Criteria for Evaluation of Academic Library Collections       –           31     

Availability of Engineering Collections             –           –           –           40

Adequacy of Engineering Collections     –           –           –           42

Currency of Engineering Collections  –    –           –           –           –           44

Frequency of Use of Engineering Collections            –           –           45

Relevance of Engineering Collections    –           –           –           49

Concept of Engineering          –           –    –           –           –           –           51

Problems Associated with the Evaluation of Engineering Collections    56    

Strategies for Evaluating Engineering Collections        –           –           63

Theoretical Framework    –           –           –           –           –           65

McGrath’s Unified Library Theory       –           –           –           66

Wick’s Theory of Academic Library Collections       –           –           –           67

Review of Related Empirical Studies            –           –           –           68

Summary of the Literature Review  –           –           –           –           81

Chapter Three:  Research Method    –           –           –           –           85

Design of the Study    –      –           –           –           –           –            85

Area of the Study       –           –              –           –           –           –           85

Population of the Study              –           –           –           –           –           86

Sample and Sampling Technique          –           –           –           –           86

Instrument for Data Collection –           –           –           –           –           88

Validation of the Instrument                    –           –           –           –           89

Reliability of the Instrument   –    –           –           –           –           –           90

Method of Data Collection     –               –           –           –           –           91

Method of Data Analysis       –                   –           –           –           –           92

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS      

Presentation of Analysis Results              –           –           –           –           94

 Results of Hypothesis            –       –           –           –           –           –           105

Summary of the Major Findings         –               –           –           –           105

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION           

Discussion of Findings           –           –           –           –           –           110

Implications of the Study       –        –           –           –           –           115

Recommendations      –           –                –           –           –           –           117

Limitations of the Study         –              –           –           –           –           119

Suggestions for Future Research              –           –           –           –           119

Conclusion      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           120

REFERENCES        –           –           –           –           –           –           121

APPENDICES

Appendix A:   Instruments for Data Collection       –           –           127

Appendix B: List of Federal and State Polytechnics in North Central Nigeria          –           –           –           –            –           –           –           –            136

Appendix C:   Population of the Study                   –           –           137

Appendix D:    Population Sample of the Study       –           –           138

Appendix E:       List of Engineering Programmes offered in the Federal and State Polytechnics in North Central Nigeria    –       –        –           –                 139

Appendix F:      Results of Reliability Test    –           –           –           142

Appendix G        Result of Analysis             –           –           –           156

Appendix H:     Validates’ Comments          –           –           –           161

LIST OF TABLES

Table                                                                                                                         Pages

  1.  Availability of Engineering Collections in the Library.  –           95    
  2.  Adequacy of Engineering Collections in the Library.         –           96
  3. Currency of Engineering Collections in the Library –           –           98
  4. Frequency of Use of Engineering Collections in the Library.  –      100
  5. Relevance of Engineering Collections in the Library.       –           101
  6. Challenges Facing Building of Engineering Collections in the Library-         –           –           –           –            102
  7. Strategies for Developing Comprehensive Engineering Collections
  8. in the Library. –          –           –           –           –           –           104
  • T-test of Independent Variables      –  –           –    –           –           –           105

Abstract

The study was an evaluation of engineering collections in polytechnic libraries in north central Nigeria. It was guided by research questions designed in line with the broad purpose of the study which is to identify the criteria applied by both library users and library staff to evaluate engineering collections in the polytechnic libraries based on the collection-centred approach to evaluation. The study adopted the evaluative survey design. The population of the study consisted of 893 registered library users, and 32 library staff selected from the eight polytechnics studied. A sample population size of 210 respondents made up of 178 library users (engineering students), and 32 library staff were used for the study. The instruments used for data collection were the questionnaire and observation checklist. The result of the data analysis was presented in mean and standard deviation mode. The T-test analysis of independent variables was used to test the hypothesis of the study, the result of which indicated there is a significant difference between the engineering collections of federal and state polytechnic libraries in north central Nigeria. The findings among others revealed the types of engineering collections evaluated were available in each of the polytechnic libraries except that they are inadequate in terms of quantity of the printed resources only. Furthermore, there is no doubt that these libraries are faced with certain challenges in building their engineering collections which include insufficient budgetary allocations, lack of sufficient foreign exchange, and high cost of the publications. Some of the recommendations made are for the libraries to ensure the regular availability and accessibility of a variety of engineering collections for improved users’ satisfaction. Again, a strategy for achieving this desire is through adequate budgetary allocations to the libraries by their proprietors and polytechnic managements as such an effort would provide the opportunity for developing comprehensive engineering collections for improved users’ satisfaction.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Polytechnic libraries are academic in nature just like those of the universities and colleges of education. They are established by either the federal or state government, or private organizations or individuals in Nigeria, to support the mission of their individual institutions in line with the academic programmes offered. For effective teaching and learning in academic institutions, and for successful accreditation of programmes, the library as one of the most important facilities for verification must ensure the provision of relevant collections and services.  Emphasizing on this, Ifidon cited in Olanlokun and Adekanye (2005), states that excellent library and information services cannot be given without an active collection. The assemblage of book and non – book information resources in the required quantity and quality depends on collection development activities which comprise of specific library operations like selection, acquisition, receiving, bibliographic checking, record keeping, evaluation, and so on. This is therefore a clear indication that for academic libraries in particular, there is a responsibility to preserve scholarly communications as well as the primary resources upon which scholarship often depends.

Similarly, Anyanwu (2013) highlights that the services of university libraries are geared towards adequate support of the undergraduate, graduate, and research programmes of the universities through the provision of conducive environment, adequate reading materials, and facilities. These requirements are applicable to all

types of academic libraries, the only difference being in the nomenclature of the students, like HND and ND in the case of Polytechnics.

As cited by Fadinu and Abdulazeez (2010), the specific functions of academic libraries are:

  • To provide comprehensive and balanced information resources from all formats relevant to the activities of their parent organizations.
  • To organize the knowledge acquired for easy storage and retrieval.
  • To store and preserve knowledge for use of posterity.
  • To retrieve and disseminate information on demand to those that need it and at the correct time.

To meet up with the challenge of producing graduates with relevant skills required to function in the age of globalization, an educational system like the polytechnic should strive to provide increased access to information resources beyond the print information sources of the traditional library. Expatiating on this, Ojedokun (2007), posits that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has enabled tertiary education in Africa to break the jinx of confining the students to purely classroom teaching, laboratory and workshop practices, by providing access to information through the Internet which has no barrier of time, distance, and location. Furthermore, the learning process is now increasingly based on the capacity to find and access  knowledge as well as apply it in problem solving. Learning to learn, learning to transform information into new knowledge, and new knowledge into applications has become more important today than memorizing specific information. The new paradigm gives priority to information literacy skills, that is, the ability to seek and find information, crystallize issues, formulate testable hypotheses, evaluate evidence, and solve problems. As a key professional function of academic libraries, evaluation and analysis of collections in order to determine their worth: relevance, currency, availability, adequacy, and extent of use among others, by the various users based on individual discipline is critical.

Libraries are established to satisfy the information needs of their target audience hence the concern by librarians about their satisfaction with the services rendered to them. Libraries therefore are repositories and storehouses of knowledge and information with the basic function of information dissemination and retrieval for the benefit of the library users both current and potential. In other words, all types of library including those of polytechnics are concerned with regular availability of relevant information resources through acquisition, and their accessibility with ease by the target audience. Definitions abound that describe what a library is. To Ogunsheye (1987) cited, in Adefarati (2004), the library is an institution that manages the intellectual products of man and organizes them in such a way that the individual can gain access to them readily. Olanlekan and Salisu (1993) also cited in Adefarai (2004) espoused the concept of the  library being a place where books and non-book materials are properly acquired, organized, presented, and stored for easy retrieval and use by library users.

Similarly, Fabunmi (2010), defines the library as the most dependable source of information on any subject whatsoever, as it stocks resources contained in form of written documents, printed materials, and digitized materials purposefully selected, systematically organized, and preserved by qualified library personnel for use by either the public or target group. Wilson’s (2013) opinion which is more from the public or national point of view is that, libraries are uniquely suited to making information available to all citizens as they provide access to them without regard to social, cultural, racial, political or economic status. Furthermore, that the library as an institution in the United States of America for example, fulfills roles in the preparation of students to perform and succeed in the literate society, the delivery of continuing education to adults through self-study or organized events, and the possibility to freely access information to support the development of an informed electorate to maintain their Republican government. In   summary, libraries exist to collect the record of human experience and to provide intellectual and physical access to them by interested users.

        Information explosion today has led to people wanting to locate relevant information in the quickest means and as specific as possible. This expectation of library users from time past including the 21st century has formed the bane of Librarianship rightly espoused by Ranganathan (1931) cited in Foster and McMenemry (2012), as the Five Laws of Library Science thus: 

  • Books are for use.
  • Every reader, his or her book.
  • Every book, its reader.
  • Save the time of the reader.
  • A library is a growing organism.

              It is the collection of information resources properly organized and kept in one place that translate a building into a library. Library collection therefore, refers to the various information resources acquired by a library based on subject disciplines and formats that are suitable for the target audience or clientele. The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science (1983), cited in Fabunmi (2010) defines library collection as the total accumulation of materials provided by a library for its target group. It is synonymous with library holding and library resources which all refer to a variety of information materials both prints and non-prints: books, periodicals, pamphlets, audio-visuals and so on, that are used as background and reference materials, all organized and processed according to acceptable standards for convenient storage and retrieval. Similarly, Ezema (2004), describes stock or collection as the size of materials in terms of volumes a library has in its possession at a time, noting that the collection may include books on various subjects and recreational readings, reference books, periodicals, pamphlets, documents, manuscripts and archival materials.  Ifidon (1997) cited in Olanlokun and Adekanye (2005) categorized library collections into the following: quick reference or core collection, open access collection, research collection including specific collections, general reading materials, and documents. Libraries are manned by professionals designated as librarians. They are the ones who usually develop the collections through a combination of a number of strategies which Ifidon (2006); Anyanwu, Zander and Amadi (2006) all describe as direct purchase, legal deposit, exchange of publications, donations, bequeaths and photocopying. They all emphasized these are the most popular strategies adopted by Nigerian libraries to develop their collections. All the described library collections are found among those of the engineering discipline. However, this study focuses only on engineering collections of textbooks, journals, students projects, reference materials, and on-line resources available in the libraries of the polytechnics in north central Nigeria.

The engineering profession is the application of science in the design, planning, construction, and maintenance of buildings, machines, and other manufactured things. It is a profession involving designing and is pursued as a career. The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (2005), further explain the engineering profession as the art of directing the great sources of power in nature, materials, and science, for the use and convenience of people. It is differentiated from science because it is primarily concerned with how to direct to useful and economical ends, the natural phenomena which scientists discover and formulate into acceptable theories. Engineering therefore requires above all, the creative imagination to innovate useful application of natural phenomena. It seeks newer, better, cheaper means of using natural sources of energy and materials. Furthermore, the typical modern engineer goes through several phases of career activity like formal education which must be broad and deep in the sciences and humanities, then specialization in the intricacies of a particular discipline, also involving continued post-scholastic education. Without the provision of relevant and adequate quantity of information resources for engineering programmes in the polytechnic libraries, those of north central Nigeria inclusive, it would be difficult for the government and the society at large to meet up this indispensable expectation of satisfying the country’s quest for technological growth and development. 

        Evaluation is the act of examining something in order to judge its value, quality, importance, extent, or condition, while library collection evaluation is the assessment of the various information resources acquired by a library in order to determine their usefulness to the users. The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science (1983), cited in Fabunmi (2010) describes collection evaluation as filtering, which is a term related to the development of the library collection including the determination and coordination of selection policy, assessment of needs of users and potential users, identification of collection needs, selection of materials, planning for resource sharing, collection maintenance, and weeding, Library collection evaluation has also been defined by some authors in various ways thus: Credaro (2001), explain it as the process of assessing the effectiveness of a collection to meet the identified needs of the school community. It is also a continuous process which reflects changes in teaching/learning programmes and user needs.  Magrill and Corbin (1989) quoted in Credaro (2001), defines it as an approach concerned with how good a collection is in terms of the kind of materials in it, and the value of each item in relation to items not found in the collection, to the community being served, and to the library’s potential users. On the most fundamental level, collection evaluation means assessing the intrinsic quality of a library’s holdings, opined Nisonger (1992) cited in Lamb (2004) who further expressed that on a broader level, the term includes determining how well the collection is serving its purpose and meeting pattern information needs.  To Arizona Department of Library, Archives and Public Records (2004), an organized process of systematically analyzing and describing library collection and thus assessing its quality, may be variously referred to as collection evaluation, while Pernitt (1993) cited in Crawley-Low, (2002) sees it as collection assessment, and Middle Tennessee State University (2007), calls it collection analysis. In essence, collection evaluation is a process of measuring collection effectiveness which involves both the library managers and the users of the resources who usually have specific areas of interest using certain guidelines for that assessment. In other words, collection evaluation is a vital management tool in successful library operations.

Library information resources are evaluated for several reasons one of which is to maintain an active library collection of current interest to the users in the process of which relevant information materials may be added, and the physically deteriorated or obsolete ones replaced or removed in accordance with the collection maintenance policy of a given library. In line with this reason is Spiller’s (2001) assertion that collection evaluation is the process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a library’s resources, and attempting to correct existing weaknesses while maintaining the strengths. In tertiary institutions of learning among which are the polytechnics, the trend is for specialization in certain disciplines in the course of academic pursuit where the library user’s expectation is getting the right information at the right time, in the right way or format, and also at the quickest time possible. In order to ensure that the library is carrying out this mandate satisfactorily, it is necessary for it to conduct collection evaluation exercises from time to time which Gilbert (1995) quoted in Spiller (2001), states is intrinsically related to technological advancement of knowledge. He further describes this scenario as “a mountain of research” that has grown into a chain of mountains with ever-increasing academic specialization. Similarly, Campbell (1990), quoted in Diagneault (2004) points out that there is a real need in research on collection evaluation, and for academic libraries to be selective at all times not just when financial concerns force them to do so. Evaluation enables a library to have insight as to how to prioritize in its acquisition of information resources so that available funds are judiciously utilized, and in the case of academic institutions, taking cognizance of a realistic budgetary spread across the courses offered in the individual polytechnics.

 Discovery from market survey has shown that engineering books are among the very expensive book in the market whether local or foreign, therefore, there is the tendency for library managers to consciously or unconsciously concentrate on the collections of other disciplines that are cheaper to acquire in order to have more volumes in the library to the detriment of others. Carrying out collection evaluation will therefore give them insight to this deficiency. Ojedokun (2007) states that evaluation enables libraries to identify what types of information materials will enhance teaching, independent learning, and research, in their academic environment. It also helps in determining the format and number of copies of the selected titles to be purchased or reduced and made available to a wider audience, taking note of easier accessibility channels like reserve books facility, and “New Arrivals” display among others. A vital advantage of collection evaluation is its ability to also create a platform for libraries to get grants from donor agencies, as well as apply marketing strategies in their quest for quality collection development. Ameen (2010), buttresses this point by highlighting that the history of libraries demonstrate that only recently have library and information science (LIS) professionals turned their attention towards clients by directly asking about their information needs instead of librarians making assumptions and collecting titles to meet them. This development took place in part because of the need to evaluate collections to get grants, as well as the application of marketing ideas in libraries since the late 1970’s.

It is very critical to evaluate library collections of academic institutions, the polytechnics in north\central Nigeria inclusive, especially at this time of dwindling financial resource to enable them to evaluate and also maintain a reputation of being reliable information centres for their communities. As a key function of academic libraries, evaluation and analysis facilitate availability and accessibility of the resources with particular emphasis on adequacy, relevance, and currency. Furthermore, any library that is not creating impact in its service delivery may soon loose relevance most especially in the present information age where the emphasis is on ICT and e-library services. In view of the inherent challenges of irregular power supply, huge expenses on fueling generators, low level of ICT literacy among library users and staff, as well as insufficient funding to cope with offering satisfactory electronic services, the polytechnic libraries in north central Nigeria are very keen in discharging quality services to their users and also building the confidence of their respective management in them. Carrying out a collection evaluation exercise at this time will definitely be a welcome development, more so as it is the process of planning a stock acquisition programme not simply to cater for the immediate needs of users, but to build a coherent and reliable collection over a period of time to meet the objectives of service.

The provision of the right book to the right reader at the right time, in the right format, and at the quickest time possible can be seen as an effort towards library users’ satisfaction. The library is a service organization saddled with the primary responsibility of providing information packaged in various formats for the benefit of interested users according to their levels, and also at the right time. The discharge of this duty efficiently can be described as service delivery aimed at satisfying the information needs of the users. In modern library practice, studies of information users are very important because the findings will be useful to the library in providing adequate information and services to their clientele. 

To this end according to Nkiko and Ilo (2006), the use of the library resources by various professionals, students, academics, researchers among other users are of major concern to library managers. Libraries and information centres are defined by their collections, services, and audiences. Academic libraries to which polytechnic libraries belong, exist to support their parent institutions in teaching, research, study, and community services. The justification for rigorous and complex organization of library materials is the satisfaction of the users, as again reiterated by Nkiko and Ilo (2006) who stated that academic libraries are the most patronized in the Nigerian library system given the sophistication of their clientele and their pre-occupation with teaching, studying, and research

Polytechnic education is a tertiary level education programne with particular emphasis on science and technology. In defining a polytechnic, the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (2005), describes it as a part of technical education sometimes referred to as an institute or college of technology. It may be any institution of higher education and advanced research or vocational education specializing in science, engineering and technology, or different sorts of technical subjects.

 In highlighting the role of polytechnics in sustainable development with focus on Nigeria, the initiators of polytechnic education, according to Attama(2005), no doubt realized that the desire for better conditions of living of the people and the overall development of the nation was to a large extent dependent on the level of technological development. Onu (1989) cited in Attanma (2005), also buttresses that the country’s progress and prosperity will be principally determined not by wishful thinking or pious hopes, but by the people’s ability to understand and take optimum advantage of the potentials for continued advances resulting from a dynamic and progressive technology. Decree No.33 of 1979 which formally established the polytechnics in Nigeria, states among others as cited in Attama (2005) that,  the main purpose of polytechnic education is to produce middle-level manpower to man the nation’s economy, while the universities of technology are designed to produce technical manpower at the higher level in line with the vision 20:20:20. Rasheed and Ya’u (1998) also cited in Attama (2005), stressed that these institutions are to engage in researches suitable for developing human and material resources needed by the nation’s industries and economy However, the polytechnics today produce manpower at both the middle and higher levels leading to the award of diplomas: national diploma (ND), higher national diploma (HND), national certificate of education technical (NCE Tech.) as well as other professional certificates. This level of education advances learning and knowledge as it is expected to provide students with a wide range of technical skills, access to various types of accepted knowledge sources, critical thinking capacity, cultural, civic values, and beliefs, as well as certification in scores of different disciplines.

According to Ojedokun (2007), consumers of tertiary education are demanding appropriate learning outcomes, and graduates are prepared to function successfully within the global economy.  Every job in the future economy expects everyone to be a better learner as the global change will require constant updating of skills and knowledge. Today’s educational system may face irrelevance unless the gap between how students live and how they learn is bridged. Tertiary education is therefore central to the creation of the intellectual capacity on which knowledge production and utilization depends, and to the promotion of the lifelong learning practices necessary to update knowledge and skills.

The polytechnic libraries in north central Nigeria intended for this study are those of the eight (8) federal and state polytechnics spread across this geographical region and also offering engineering programmes at both the higher national diploma (HND), and national diploma (ND) levels.  Libraries as important organs of tertiary level education the world over, are usually established at the inception of the institutions. The brief history of the polytechnics for this study shows they all came into existence between 1973 and 1993, with Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo, being the oldest, and Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja, the youngest. The polytechnic with the highest number of engineering programmes at both the national diploma (ND), and higher national diploma (HND) levels, is Kwara State Polytechnic Ilorin, while Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, has the least number. 

The brief history of the polytechnics for this study is as follows: Benue state only has a state polytechnic known as Benue State Polytechnic sited at Ugbokolo and established in 1976 and offers three (3) higher national diploma (HND) and two (2) national diploma (ND) in electrical/electronics; and mechanical engineering. Kwara state has both a federal and state polytechnic thus: Federal Polytechnic located in Offa established in 1992 and has five (5) HND and four (4) ND programmes in civil; electrical/electronics; mechanical; and computer technology. The other is Kwara State Polytechnic located in the state capital Ilorin .established in 1973 and offers twelve (12) HND and six (6) ND programmes in engineering thus: agriculture; civil; electrical/electronics; mechanical; metallurgy; and mineral resources. Kogi state also has a federal and state polytechnic: Federal Polytechnic located in Idah established in 1977 and has five (5) HND and also five (5) ND programmes in civil; electrical/electronics; mechanical; foundry; and metallurgy, engineering. The other is Kogi State Polytechnic situated in Lokoja the state capital, established in 1993 and only has one (1) HND and two (2) ND programmes in metallurgy; and foundry engineering. Nasarawa state has a federal and state polytechnic: Federal Polytechnic sited in Nasarawa town established in 1983 and has four (4) HND and also four (4) ND programmes in agriculture; electrical/electronics; mechanical; and chemical engineering. The other is Nasarawa State Polytechnic located in Lafia the state capital was established in year 2000 and has only one engineering programme which is at the ND level in electrical/electronics Niger state has both a federal and state polytechnic: Federal Polytechnic situated at Bida  established in 1977 and has ten (10) HND and four (4) ND programmes in agriculture; chemical; civil; electrical/electronics; and mechanical engineering. The state polytechnic called Niger State Polytechnic established in 1991 is located at Zungeru and has only one(1) ND programme in electrical/electronic engineering  Plateau State only has a state polytechnic known as Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin-Ladi established in 1978 and has six (4) HND and seven (7) ND programmes in civil; mechanical; electrical/electronics; mineral resources; foundry; metallurgy; and computer engineering.

List of federal and state  polytechnics in  north central Nigeria see, Appendix B on page 136.

List of engineering programmes offered in the federal and state polytechnics in north central Nigeria see Appendix E on page 138. 

EVALUATION OF ENGINEERING COLLECTIONS FOR IMPROVED USER SATISFACTION IN POLYTECHNIC LIBRARIES IN NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA