READING CULTURE AND USER SATISFACTION AS DETERMINANTS OF LIBRARY PATRONAGE BY UNDERGRADUATES IN PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN OYO STATE, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Library patronage is an essential factor for justifying the value and existence of libraries to the university community. However, observation and reports have showed significant decline in library patronage in many academic libraries in Nigeria. One wonder if this could be as a result of poor reading culture among students or lack of satisfaction with the information resources and facilities provided by libraries. This study therefore examined the influence that reading culture and user’s satisfaction has on academic library patronage in private universities in Oyo State, Nigeria.

The descriptive survey design was used for the study. The population was made up of 1,244 final year students. Multi-stage sampling technique was used for selecting a sample size of 428. Data was collected with the aid of a questionnaire and analyzed using frequency distribution and percentage counts while linear and multiple linear regressions were used to analyze the hypotheses.

Findings from the study revealed a moderate reading culture with the overall mean (2.71) among undergraduates of private universities in Oyo State. The study also revealed a moderate extent of satisfaction with library resources and services provided with the overall mean (2.71). Respondents were also found to patronize the university libraries to a moderate extent with the overall mean (2.48). Reading culture was found to have a significant influence on library patronage (β =.627, p<.05). Also, there was positive significant influence of user satisfaction on academic library patronage of student (β =.538, p<.05). The study further revealed that reading culture and user satisfaction jointly contributed 50.3% to the variation in library patronage of students. Therefore, both factors jointly influence academic library patronage of student in private Universities in Oyo State, Nigeria (R2 = .503, P<.05).

The study concluded by noting that the university library is responsible for meeting the information needs of its community and as such recommends that libraries should encourage students at all level to show interest in reading by organizing periodic seminar, workshops to improve reading culture. Reading campaign should be organized regularly and reading should be part of the student handbook that every student must read when they gain admission. The University library should also endeavor to provide facilities and resources that will satisfy the information needs of its user community as well as competent and capable staffs to assist library users whenever they seek for help while using the library.

Keywords:  Library patronage, Reading culture, User’s satisfaction, Academic library, Information need

Word Count: 392

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Content                                                                                                                       Page

Title page                                                                                i

Certification                                                                                                  ii

Dedication                                                                                              iii

Acknowledgments                                                                                     iv

Abstract                                                                                                  v

Table of Contents                                                                        vi

List of Tables                                                                                       ix

List of Figures              x

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                          

  1. Background to the Study                                         1
    1. Statement of the Problem                              5
    1. Objective of the Study                        6
    1. Research Questions                                          6
    1. Hypotheses                                                         7
    1. Scope of the Study                                           7         
    1. Significance of the Study                   7
    1. Operational Definition of Terms               8

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE

2.1 Academic Libraries                              9

2.1.1 Academic Library Situation in Nigeria                                            12

2.2 Academic Library Patronage                                         13    

2.3 Challenges of Academic Libraries                                   15       

2.4 Reading and Reading Culture                                                      16

2.4.1 Poor Reading Culture                                                                                        17

2.4.2 Factors Affecting Reading Culture                                 19

2.4.3 Promotion of Reading Culture                                                  21

2.4.4 Role of the Library in Reading Culture                           22

Content                                                                                               Page

2.4.5 Need for Effective Reading Culture 24

2.4.6 Strategies for Developing Reading Culture        25

2.5 Reading Culture and Library Patronage      26

2.6 Concept of user satisfaction                 27

2.6.1 User Satisfaction and Library Patronage                          28

2.7 Reading Culture, User Satisfaction and Library Patronage        31

2.8 Theoretical Framework                                          32

2.8.1 Consumer Satisfaction Theory                                   33

2.8.2 Socio Cultural Theory                                                                                34

2.9 Conceptual Model                                                                             35

2.10 Appraisal of Literature                                                                     36

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

3.1       Research Design                                                                    37

3.2       Population                                                                      37

3.3       Sample size and sampling Technique  38

3.4       Research Instrument                                         40

3.5       Reliability and Validity of Instrument                             40

3.6       Data Collection Procedure                   41       

3.7       Method of Data Analysis                                   41

3.8       Ethical Consideration                                                            41

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.1       Demographic Characteristics                                                42

4.2       Reading Culture                                  43       

4.3       Extent of Library Patronage                                           44

4.4       Resources used by Students in the Library   46

4.5       Frequency of Visit to the Library                                            46

4.6       Extent of Student ‘Satisfaction with Library Facilitates and Service 47

Content                                                                                       Page

4.7       Challenges Facing Students in the use of the Library 48       

4.8       Analysis of Hypothesis                              49

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Summary                                                       54

5.2       Conclusion                                                                       55

5.3       Recommendations                                                                   56

5.4       Contribution to Knowledge                                                57

5.5       Suggestion for Further Studies                                     57

REFERENCES                                                                                       58

APPENDIX                                                                           65

LIST OF TABLES

Table                                                                                                 Page

3.1       Final year Students enrolment by school                                38

3.2       Breakdown of students in selected departments 39

4.1       Demographic Characteristics of the sampled participants              42

4.2       information about reading cultures of students            43

4.3       information on extent of library patronage of students             44

4.6       Information on extent of users satisfaction with library facilities 47

4.4       Resources used by students in the library                                47

4.5       Frequency of visit to the library                                                             46

4.7       Challenges facing students in the use of library            48

4.8       Influence of reading culture on library patronage                   49

4.9       influence of user satisfaction on library patronage                49

4.10     influence of reading culture and user’s satisfaction on library patronage   50

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure                                                                                             Page

2.9       Conceptual Model of reading culture and user satisfaction as determinants Of academic library patronage 35

3.3       Stages involved in the sampling procedure   38

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Academic libraries are those libraries established in the university environment to promote research, teaching and learning activities. It is a house of knowledge established in universities where students and staffs are expected to visit and effectively make use of resources to satisfy their information needs. The library can thus be regarded as an organized collection of published and unpublished information materials with staff that are able to provide such materials when needed (Ogbebor, 2011).

Academic libraries are libraries attached to tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnic institutions, colleges of education, colleges of agriculture, colleges of technology and also research institutes (Akporhonor, 2005). Singh and Kaur (2009) stressed that preservation and access to knowledge and information is the main mandate of academic libraries alongside supporting the mission of their parent institutions which is teaching and research. Academic libraries are at the forefront of providing information services to their respective communities which comprises of students, lecturers, and researchers in order to support their teaching, learning and research needs. Scholars have emphasized on the crucial role of academic libraries in research and scholarship in institutions of higher learning. Many a time’s academic libraries are referred to as the heart or nerve centres of institutions of higher learning where all academic activities revolved.

The present-day academic library services in the 21st century is focusing more on the area of digital, virtual or libraries without borders  all of which have transformed academic libraries and led to transition and transformation in the academic library environment. The transition and the transformation are accompanied with sophistication in the changing pattern in the information needs of users which is growing rapidly. Singh and Kaur (2009) observed that there is a paradigm shift from standalone libraries to library and information networks; from printed publications to digital documents; and from ownership to access. The transition according to them is as a result of the impact of ICTs, the Internet and the web which is affecting all types of libraries.

University libraries are an integral part of the higher education system; they provide support services for the formal educational programs as well as facilities for research and generation of new knowledge. University libraries would be ineffective in delivering their information services without a careful collection of relevant information resources which range from print resources to electronic resources.  Electronic resources also known as e-resources ensure that information can be accessed without being physically present within the four walls of a library. They include online books, journals, CD-ROMs, databases, online public access catalogue (OPAC) and the Internet (Oduwole & Akpati 2003). Print information resources include books, journals, encyclopedias, dictionaries and so on. The electronic and print information resources get into the library through library acquisition processes. They are processed and organized to satisfy the information needs of library clienteles for improved library patronage. 

Library patronage can be seen as the extent to which library users visit the library to use information resources or for any other relevant activities. Despite the fact that many University libraries have large volumes of electronic and non-electronic information resources, research has shown a steady decline in the patronage of libraries in Nigerian academic institutions (Ampko, 2010). Carlson (2001) noted that libraries have notably responded to the decline in patronage by directing more efforts towards provision of buildings and promoting good reading culture; despite these efforts, the gate counts have been falling in many academic libraries.

The declining state of patronage in the academic library could be traced to a number of factors ranging from users’ discipline, gender, reading culture and so on. The World Bank Encyclopedia (2001) states that reading is regarded as basic to learning and one of the most important skills in everyday life. This view was also supported by Kolango (2010) who added that reading may enable people to reach places they could not go physically. Reading in all its variety is vital to being better informed and having a better understanding of life and others. Reading makes a man thoughtful and constructive contributor to a democratic and cohesive society (Sisulu, 2004).

More often than not, students read for different purposes: developmental, recreational, and functional purposes (Smith, 2007). Developmental reading focuses attention on improving the ability to read while functional reading is directed towards information as a means of reading for learning sake. On the other hand, recreational reading is reading for the pleasure. People who read books regularly or who have formed ‘general reading culture’ have developed a lifelong culture of learning that involves paying regular visit to the library and by extension; they promote the library’s existence. On the other hand, some student’s daily reading habits centres on social media, such students only read for examination purposes and rarely pick up books for pleasure (Aina, Ogungbeni & Adigun, 2011). In this case they lack reading culture.

Tella and Akande (2007) observed that reading is an important aspect of life which is not only about enjoyment but a necessity; the basic tool of education. Reading is the key for each and every human being in order to deal with new and emerging knowledge in the changing world of technological advances. Reading, therefore, has been said to be the most important operating area for academic libraries because it represents the competence which allows an individual to understand the information that has been offered to him. Reading has been equated with memory exercise initiated in order to pass school examinations which contradicts lifelong learning principles. This situation has led to the reduction in the value of books as well as the lack of motivation in reading beyond the school context. One of the consequences is the presence of illiterates who are unmotivated, uncommitted and reluctant readers that lack enthusiasm for reading and always have reasons they do not read (Beers, 1996).

Behrman (2004) defined reading culture as an integrated pattern of reading behaviours, practices, beliefs, perception and knowledge. Magara and Batambuze (2005) in their study on ways of creating a reading culture for Uganda refers to reading culture as a situation where reading is part of the people’s living and constitutes a habit that is shared by members of the society. According to Vygotsky (1981) cited in Thompson (2013), ‘culture’ is complex and difficult to define; it can be defined as the product of man’s social life and his public activity. In this regard, culture is understood as consisting of people’s ways of being in the world, behaving, and acting, based on what they have observed in the society, it refers to the attitudes, manners or habits shared by a given group of people in order to achieve common goals. In the context of this study, reading culture refers to the response that library user’s accord to reading and writing in their everyday life. Hence, reading culture becomes established in a society that places high values and interest in books and reading (Commeyras & Mazile, 2011). It should be noted that library users who lack reading culture which is one of the basic tools needed for retrieving information in libraries may visit and leave the library unsatisfied.

User satisfaction implies providing information and/or services that will meet the needs of an information seeker. Solola (2003) opined that the quality of services rendered to library users in any library reflects the quality of the staff. He further contends that if a library is managed by well qualified, experienced and cultured staff, users will always be encouraged to make use of the library. However, Abagai (2008) pointed out that users’ satisfaction involves locating information, familiarity with and user-friendliness of the library catalogue, the classification system, getting assistance from the library staff, having knowledge of library approaches to reference services, borrowing pattern, knowledge of opening and closing time in the library among others. User satisfaction is a concept that describes how library users feel after consulting the library, this also influences re-use of the library information materials and resources.

 Mohammed (2006) viewed user satisfaction as the extent to which a library user’s information needs are fulfilled with available service and information resources of a given library. Librarians should pay more attention to user satisfaction with library services. Mason (2010) suggests that librarians must be sympathetic and helpful to all students and that students must be aware that librarians and faculty members are to instruct and encourage their intellectual odyssey and should be seen as facilitators. An underequipped library will therefore not serve its cardinal purposes, hence undermine effective academic work. This phenomenon makes library users to have a perception of the library services in terms of their satisfaction.

Quality assurance demands that, libraries from time to time, need to be assessed and evaluated by their users. This will enable librarian make adequate provision that will meet the information needs of its user community. Users’ satisfaction is considered to be a reliable benchmark for determining library effectiveness. Users’ information needs are met in an effective way by providing standard, suitable and relevant library services. Users’ assessment can provide invaluable information to libraries in re-orienting their collections, services and activities in order to effectively meet users’ information need (Kyrillidou, 2005). Idiegbeyan and Esse (2013) posited that one element of high-quality service is the incorporation of users’ personal needs and expectations into the development of programs and service. They further stated that the continued success of academic libraries depends on the organization’s ability to adjust its products and services to correspond to user needs. Similarly, Omehia and Obi (2008) suggested that only clienteles justify the existence of a library, while Jayasundara (2013) noted that an assessment of the performance of a library depends on the users being judges of quality.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa that is geographically and well located on the West African coast. It has a great diversity in the area of its natural components that comprises of varied topography, climatic conditions as well as vegetational patterns. The country is blessed with abundant natural resources that spread across its 36 states as well as its Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Nigeria has a number of universities with academic libraries attached to them. Also there are a number of polytechnics and colleges all attached with academic libraries. Nigeria’s university system is been supervised by the National Universities Commission (NUC), a parastatal body under the Federal Ministry of Education; while the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) supervises polytechnics and colleges respectively. However, research has shown a steady decline in the patronage of libraries in Nigeria despite the large volumes of electronic and non-electronic information resources materials that has been made available by both government and privately own universities.

Library patronage is indeed on a rapid decline in many Nigeria academic institutions. This could be as a result of poor reading culture among student which have been developed over the years before getting into the university. The declining state of many academic libraries could also be traced to the lack of satisfaction with resources, facilities and staff attitudes toward library user which might discourage them from further consulting the library. Therefore to justify the existence of any academic library, provision of effective services and resources is necessary to attract potential users. It is in view of these that the present study seeks to investigate the influence of students reading culture and user’s satisfactions on their academic library patronage.

1.2       Statement of the Problem    

Libraries are attached to academic institutions to support the curriculum, assist students in carrying out research works, assignments, projects, and to provide information services to library users. However, no matter how well equipped a university library is, it cannot add value to those within its community except they are satisfied  with its resources and services and actually use the information resources provided by the library.

Unfortunately, literature has shown a significant decline in library patronage in many academic libraries in Nigeria which could suggest a poor reading culture among students in academic institutions or lack of satisfaction with library service: This situation, if allowed to continue would not only affect the quality of education in our tertiary institutions but will also threaten the existence of libraries as they may not be able to justify their value to the university community. This study, therefore, investigates reading culture, user satisfaction and the patronage of private university libraries in Oyo State, Nigeria.

READING CULTURE AND USER SATISFACTION AS DETERMINANTS OF LIBRARY PATRONAGE BY UNDERGRADUATES IN PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN OYO STATE, NIGERIA