AVAILABILITY AND USE OF DIGITAL INFORMATION RESOURCES BY UNDERGRADUATES OF UNIVERSITIES IN DELTA AND EDO STATES, NIGERIA

Author: Urhiewhu Lucky Oghenetega
Department: Library and Information Science
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The research work investigated the availability and use of Digital Information Resources by undergraduates of universities in Delta and Edo States. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population comprised ten thousand eight hundred and eighty-two students (10, 882) in four universities in Delta and Edo States in Nigeria. The sample size comprised one thousand and eighty-eight (1,088) respondents, selected through proportionate stratified random sampling technique. Capture sampling was adopted for the administration of the instrument. Three research questions guided the study and two hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Observation checklist and questionnaire were used for data collection. The instrument was titled “Availability and use of Digital Information Resources Questionnaire (AUDIRQ).” Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistic and the hypotheses was tested with Z test. The major findings include that some Digital Information Resources (DIRs) were available in the university libraries visited by the researcher are the following: e-conference papers, e-zines, e-newsletters e-reference materials, e-projects, e-journals, e-seminar papers, e-books and e-dissertation. More specifically, Ambrose Alli University Library (AAU) have ten(10) types of DIRs; John Harrison Library in University of Benin (UNIBEN) eight of DIRs are available either through inter- library loan (ILL), or online subscription. Federal University Petroleum Resources Library do not have any of the DIRs because the digital library was just newly established and under structuring; but they are using it as cybercafé for students to search academic information with the Internet facilities. The findings also revealed that students make use of DIRs to a low extent. The constraints encountered by students towards the accessibility of DIRs in the four libraries are epileptic power supply, none availability of online databases, lack of formal training in Internet skills among students, slow bandwidth, network problems and server slowness. Implications of the findings were pointed out and some recommendations were made among which were that the university management of Federal University of Petroleum Resources Library (FUPR) and Delta State University Library (DELSU) should look into the development and growth of the digital library as a matter of urgency through the process of free downloading and subscription of databases online. University management of both federal and state institutions should vote a reasonable amount of fund to enable the library management buy all facilities needed for digital library to work effectively and efficiently.

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