EXTENT OF LIBRARY UTILIZATION BY STUDENTS OF VETERINARY MEDICINE IN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN THE SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study investigated the extent of library utilization by students of veterinary medicine in two federal universities in south east geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Five research questions were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was 1250 undergraduates students of veterinary medicine but 20% of the population participated in the study. The instruments for data collection were questionnaire and observation checklist.  250 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the students, out of which 246 copies were returned, representing 98.4% of the copies distributed, which is a response rate. To analyze the data, descriptive statistics were employed which includes percentages and mean to answer the research questions. The result obtained from the findings revealed that: Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and University of Nigeria, Nsukka has the same information resources as veterinary medicine students. Library services in both institutions under study are inadequate resulting in student’s apathy to the library. The study shows inadequate utilization of library by students of veterinary medicine and some information materials are dated in the library, such that students also find it difficult to know when new materials are acquired in both libraries, possible suggestions on improvement were made: provision of relevant and current information resources. Provision of internet services/facilities is the libraries, Current Awareness Services and employment of more staff to help students locate materials in the library. Conclusion and recommendations were made based on the findings of the study.      

                                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                                                           Page

Title Page                 –           –           –           –           –           –           i

Approval Page                    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           ii

Certificate Page           –           –           –           –           –           –           iii

Dedication     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iv

Acknowledgement     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           v

Abstract     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           vi

List of Tables             –           –           –           –           –           –           –           vii

List of figures           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           viii

Table of Contents    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           xi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

 Background of Study – –           –           –           –           –           –           1

 Statement of the Problem-            –           –           –           –           –           5

 Purpose of the Study  –       –           –           –           –           –           6

 Research Questions     –    –           –           –           –           –           –           7

 Significance of the Study –            –           –           –           –           –           7

 Scope of Study –         –    –           –           –           –           –           –           8

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 

 Conceptual Framework               –           –           –           –           –           9

 Review of Empirical Studies  –   –           –           –           –           –           28

 Summary of the Literature Review     –           –           –           30

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD

 Research Design         –            –           –           –           –           –           32

 Area of the Study       –   –           –           –           –           –           –           32

 Population of the Study               –           –           –           –           –           33

 Sample and Sampling Technique            –           –           –           33

 Instrument for Data collection –        –           –           –           –           34

 Validation of the Instrument             –           –           –           35

 Method of Data Collection                –           –           –           –           35

 Method of Data Analysis       –       –           –           –           –           36

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS        

 Research Question 1   –               –                   –           –           40

 Research Question 2   –           –        –           –           –           –           41

 Research Question 3   –             –           –           –           –           –           42

 Research Question 4   –              –           –           –           –           –           43

 Research Question 5   –                    –           –           –           –           44

 Summary of finding the Study-                 –           –           –           –           44

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 Discussion of Findings           –   –           –           –           –           –             46

 Conclusion      –           –           –    –           –           –           –           –             49

 Implication of the Study       –           –           –           –           –             49

 Recommendations      –        –           –           –           –           –             50

 Suggestion for Further Research                 –           –             51

 Limitations of the Study                –           –           –           –             51

REFERENCES –           –              –           –           –           –           –             52

APPENDIX A: QUESTIONNAIRE  –           –           –           –             59

APPENDIX B: SPSS 16.0 ANALYSIS RESULT               –           – 60

                                                LIST OF TABLES

Tables                                                                                                       Pages

  1. Population distribution of undergraduates of veterinary medicine students               –        –           –           –           –               33
  2. Distribution and return rate of instruments        –           –            38
  3. Distribution of students according to Year of Study                      39
  4. Mean responses on extent of requirement of the following information resources by veterinary medicine students        41
  • Services rendered by the acadenic libraries to veterinary medicine students             –        –           –           –           –      42
  • Extent of library utilization by veterinary medicine students              43
  • Mean responses of the problems of utilization of libraries by students of veterinary medicine                                                                         43
  •  Measures that can be adopted to improve the utilization of academic libraries                –        –           –           –           –           44

                                           CHAPTER ONE

                                          INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

            Libraries play a central role in the academic work of students and faculty at colleges and universities. As a result, college and university libraries are often considered the most important centre of information in an institution of higher learning. Library services and facilities can be used among parameters for measuring capacities and sophistication of research in any tertiary institution (Gooch, 1994). They also act as pathfinders for research and provide the inspiration needed to venture into new areas (Leckie, Pelligrew and Sylvian 1996). Students and faculties in colleges and universities often conduct research in diverse academic disciplines, so they need the collections of academic libraries that reflect the vast range of their interest. University libraries have the primary responsibility to provide adequate facilities, services and collections to support the universities instructional programmes and faculty needs for research pursuit (Elogie, 2007). 

            University libraries are vital especially to veterinary students’ education because they provide information storage and retrieval. They make books, films, recordings, maps and other media of knowledge available to these students in an organized manner. To this end (Aguolu, and Aguolu 2002:366), describes university libraries as the heart beat of any institution. These institutions include universities, monotechnics, polytechnics and colleges of education etc. An academic library can also be a research library since it has as one of its objectives, the provision of materials in support of post-graduate, faculty, external and collaborative researches. Academic libraries extend their services beyond just making materials available to students. They offer other assistance to users such as reference services, Current Awareness Services (CAS), reprographic services, Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), document delivery, inter-library loan services and others.

            Today, veterinary professionals are educated in universities that grant Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees (DVM). Veterinary medicine is generally taught during six years of instruction. Post-doctoral education via internships and residencies may then be elected. Veterinary students are likely to be the most visible group frequenting the library facility during the regular school year, especially the first and second year students who are laden with class work, reading assignments, group projects and exams. As the emphasis shifts to clinical medicine in their third and fourth years of their curriculum, students spend more time in the clinics and less in the traditional classroom setting and the library. With the explosion of medical knowledge and technology in the health fields, the need for access to information by health professionals including veterinarians has increased. For this reason, (Thomson, 2004) notes that veterinary students need to understand how to access and use information in libraries that would aid in their understanding of their chosen career. Instruction begins with the pre-clinical sciences, such as physiology and pharmacology, public health, which are then followed by the clinical sciences where a more problem oriented approach is taken as case work which is integrated into the curriculum. In recent years, evidence-based medicine has made its debut into some veterinary instruction programs, thus enhancing the exposure of those students to the role of information resources and services.

            Veterinary medicine is evolved with the profession to try to answer its information needs in all of its capacities. While this evolution is sparsely documented in many cases, when found, documentation relates an array of dispersed veterinary collections, the struggle to find common space for materials, and the appropriate expertise to manage them become a problem to researchers. Veterinarians perform duties in animal welfare, medical research; food safety and clinical practice as they protect animal health and promote public health. These are some of the primary obligations of the veterinary profession to society. This calls for the need for the students to use the library services earlier mentioned. (Dunlop, 1995) is especially noteworthy for his extensive description of the earliest veterinary literature, from the Egyptian Kahun papyrus, dating to about 1900 BC. The Chinese are credited with much of the early activity now known as veterinary medicine, related to care of military horses, as early as 581 AD.

            The Veterinary Medicine library is established to serve the society through the provision of study and research materials that prepare students for the practice of veterinary medicine, veterinary public health and/or veterinary research in an educational program. Through library service and facilities, instruction and clinical opportunities are provided in a wide variety of domestic species, including food animal, equine and companion animals. The college sustains a vibrant, diverse faculty by encouraging advancement through personal and professional development and research. Academic libraries create an environment of competent, caring, ethical professionals, where cooperative learning, public service, and scholarship can flourish in an arena of excellence. According to (Bigland, 1990), more and more emphasis was being placed on the library as a source of information; learning and research, particularly in the veterinary colleges of the United States where research programmes were expanding.

             The Veterinary Medicine students have more need for the library and its services, because it helps the students, do an indepth study of the course work which practical work.  They include a statement of need for the library’s collection in support of programmes at the veterinary medical institution (including the need for inter-library cooperation), and for the services that will be necessary for these programmes. Veterinary librarians typically rely on a wide variety of selection aids, from conventional approval plans to book reviews and adverts to recommendations from users. While there are steady amounts of academic biomedical/ life science/ zoology/agricultural titles coming into the market from major publishers, the veterinary bibliographer with a modest budget needs to sift through these carefully and choose only those most appropriate for  the veterinary library’s collection.     

            Libraries are very important to students of veterinary medicine, because of the peculiar nature of their study. According to (Jennifer Wells 1995) states that, “the effectiveness of libraries has often been measured by the volume of library materials available to clients, the amount of use of services and resources, and the apparent or quantified satisfaction of clients.”A broad definition of veterinary collections includes all materials that are obtained and managed by a library that serves a veterinary medic. In other words, all materials of interest and use to the students, faculty, staff and researchers of a particular veterinary college, and programmes at the university; veterinary practitioners, clinics, researchers, and those individuals who own or are interested in the care, health and diseases of pets and animals. This broader definition fully serves the curricular and research needs of veterinary schools and goes beyond those needs to serve other user groups outside the college. Subject-wise, in addition to the veterinary sciences, it encompasses human and comparative medicine; animal science (livestock and poultry production); zoology; the human-animal relationship; animal welfare and animal rights; managing a veterinary practice; or whatever additional topics may be needed or wanted by the full range of users of a specific veterinary library. At the popular level that may include books on pet care, dog and cat breeds, and raising horses, livestock and poultry and many other topics.

            Today in Nigeria, veterinary medical libraries provide services and collections that support primarily teaching, clinical applications and research at colleges of veterinary medicine. They also serve students, faculty and staff of other academic subject disciplines on campus that interact with veterinary medicine. They support the bibliographic needs of state and federal diagnostic laboratories, federal research laboratories, agricultural experiment stations and independent veterinary practitioners. The last group has been a particularly problematic one since this group has information needs that span all veterinary subspecialties while often practicing in areas remote to veterinary libraries.

 Universities act as the bedrock of each discipline found in these universities. These universities play a very big role in the life line of students especially veterinary medicine students.  In the south-east there are only two universities that offer veterinary medicine as a course there are: one conventional, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state, this institution serves as a second generation university and a specialized one also, because it is an agricultural based institution as its name implies.

EXTENT OF LIBRARY UTILIZATION BY STUDENTS OF VETERINARY MEDICINE IN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN THE SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA