This study was undertaken to find out the information and communication technology literacy skills level of staff of National library of National. The design of the study was a descriptive survey. Six research questions were formulated to guide the study. The population consisted of the entire 663 staff of National library of Nigeria. A sample size of 161 of the population was used. Data was collected using structured questionnaires. Validation was carried out by three experts; the comments, remarks and recommendations of the experts were collated and used in the final modification of the instrument. Data were administered and analyzed using frequency, percentage, and means standard deviations. The major findings of the study showed that, ICT literacy skills level in digital technology, internet and communication technology usage is at low level. Among all the level of digital technology skills itemized, booting the computer, using Microsoft word, creating a file, opening a file, deleting files, cut & paste, copying data, from other files, use of printer to print documents, use of scanners were the only high level of digital technology skills possess by the staff of NLN. Majority of the staff do not possess digital technology skills. Creating an e-mail account, open e-mail (Signing in), sending ordinary messages, sending attached files, and downloading attached file were the only internets skills possess to a high level internet skills possess by staff. Majority of the staff do not possesses internet kills. Using telephone to communicate and use of cellular phones were the only communication technology skills indicated by staff of NLN to have possessed. Through formal education, colleagues, workshops, conferences and attending IT programmes, and seminars were the methods claimed by staff of NLN to which they have acquired ICT literacy skills. Problems ranging from inadequate of funds, inadequate government involvement in staff training, poor attitudes of NLN staff towards ICTs, inadequate ICT resources, inadequate ICT literacy skills level of management staff, inadequate ICT instructor, were associated with staff of National library of Nigeria ICT literacy skills level acquisition. Pay more attention to ICT literacy funding (budgets); Government should encourage staff training through seminars, workshops etc.; procurement of adequate ICT resources; improve adequate power supply; reduction of workload of staff who are engaged in ICT literacy skills were suggested as the strategies that could be used for enhancement ICT literacy skills level of staff of National library of National.
Background of the Study
The National library of Nigeria is the apex library of Nigeria. It was established under the National library of Nigeria Act NO.6 of 1964 and National Library Decree No. 29 of 1970 with the aim of extending library and information services to the nation. The major objectives of the library include the following: To assemble, maintain and extend a collection of information materials of different types and in all forms (print and electronic) appropriate for a library of the highest standing; To make the facilities of the National library of Nigeria available to members of the public and others in proper terms; To prepare and publish catalogues, indexes, etc. To provide assistance to persons and organization libraries and to develop National Bibliography of Nigeria and National Bibliographic services. Others are: To collect books on contemporary or new ideas from international organizations; To issue International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) and International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) to publishing organizations and individuals (Enyia, 1992).It is also expected to stay afloat intellectually by receiving legal deposits(all works by Nigerian writers).
Efforts have been made over the years on the use of traditional library tools to provide effective library services to library users and consequently achieve the objectives of the library. The use of catalogue cards, newspaper indexing and press cuttings, use of post offices for document delivery and correspondence were some of the commonly used traditional library tools. However, the traditional library tools were soon found to be incapable of coping with the management of large volumes of information materials that emanated from information explosion and global information management (Oyelude, in Madu, 2004). There was therefore need to introduce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and ensure that the staff acquire the requisite ICT literacy skills. This was to help improve services to users and help the staff perform their functions more effectively.
Information and communication technology refers to the technology that is used to process, store, disseminate and communicate information between people and organizations. It is “the set of activities which are facilitated by digital technology means in processing, transmission and display of information” (The World Bank (1999) as cited in Abdullahi and Haruna (2008, p24). According to Rodriguez and Wilson, (2000), ICTs “refer to technologies people use to share, distribute, and gather information and to communicate through computers and computer networks/Internet; (including) e-mail – exchange of mails, text, graphic programmes, audio, video, Telnet, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), World Wide Web (WWW) etc. The technologies can only work effectively if the human expertise is employed in which case the literacy skills of the staff. From the researcher’s point view, information and communication technology (ICT) is defines as the technologies that consists of the hardware, software networks and media (communication tools) for the collection, storage, processing, transmission, and presentation of information.
The need for the staff of National Library of Nigeria to acquire ICT literacy skills for effective Information service delivery to their users is fundamental. It will enable them operate better in this era of digital libraries, electronic libraries and globalization occasioned by the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The introduction of ICTs and the acquisition of the ICT literacy skills will help to improve communication provide improved library services to users’ especially better information and faster responses to enquiries facilitate administrative process by implementing financial information system and office automation systems. It will also improve flexibility and responsiveness to change of library processes and reduce cost by automating routine tasks and other repetitive library jobs.
Information and communication technology is set of technological tools and resources used to communicate and create, disseminate, store and manage information. ICTs encompass a range of rapidly evolving technologies and they includes telecommunication technologies (telephony, cable, satellite, Tiv and radio, computer-mediated conferencing, video, as well as digital technologies (computers information networks (Internet, World Wide Web) and software applications (Chisenga 2006).
The major purpose of any library is to provide a quality service: access to relevant information, through the use of computer information network and software applications. These ICT are making it possible for libraries to provide a variety of library and information services to library users. All functions and services that librarians used to provide manually can be provided now through the use of ICTs which can do things better and faster. Haliso (2007) mentioned some of the opportunities presented by ICT to the libraries such as: organization of information for use, capacity building, management information system.
Digital system and resources sharing/information or document delivery can only be enjoy when library is automated and library staff acquired ICT literacy skills. National library of Nigeria are library that are established to take care of information need of users. Therefore, their expected to provided quality information service to library users.
The use of information and communication technology provide significant benefits in work measurement, cost reduction, productivity, improvement and better services to library users (Ajayi 2005). Actually it is availability and acquisition of knowledge which makes use possible and it is the skills to use that make performance attainable. So, the combined effect of availability of information and communication technology/acquisition of ICT skills can enhance the library and information services/jobs of librarians.
There is need for all developed and developing nations of the world to take information and communication technologies (ICTs) as tools that aid the enhancement of function, performance of the library staff through use of ICTs depend solely by the acquisition of ICT literacy skills of that library staff. This cannot be achieved unless National library of Nigeria realize the tremendous role that information and communication technology could play to enhance effective service. The benefit of ICT can only be enjoyed by library when ICT resources are on ground and the staff of that library acquired the ICT literacy skills.
At present, the state of ICT literacy skills of staff of National library of Nigeria library is still at infancy level. National library of Nigeria attempted to introduce information and communication technology in order to automate library functions and the attempt still continue. National library of Nigeria began with the establishment of the LAN and internet connectivity, online public access catalogue which is database containing the library’s collection that can be accessed by individual on-line was equally created but NLN are still on the race to make their library and information services totally ICT – based.
Moreso, Mac Arthur (2005) titled “developing strong university libraries in Nigeria” pointed out that, develop effective information delivery system as a key component of university teaching and learning and modern technology greatly enhances such system.
Information and communication technology enhance services provision to library users, this can only be achieved when librarian are skilled in use of ICT. Digital technology communication technology and network/internet to perform functions like cataloguing and classification serials management, collection development, referencing, indexing and abstracting in order to improve library and information services to library users. In order to function and provide timely information at a faster spread to library users, NLN must released the important role ICT play in enhancing library function. This can only achieve when staff of that library acquired information and communication literacy skills necessary for them to performance their functions.
However, the researcher observed that, majority staff of NLN still struggle with manual library operation method. Consequently, library users show dissatisfactions and complain of poor information services delivery by the staff of the national library of Nigeria.
Lack of funds, erratic power supply and poor communication network are some of the challenges of ICT literacy skills (Jagboro (2003), and Onmuama (2006). These constraints appeared to be factors hindering the acquisition of ICT literacy skills and utilization of ICTs in Nigeria and other developing countries. Other challenges that confront effective deployment of ICT literacy skills in the National library of Nigeria include poor bandwidth, insufficient skills acquisition by staff of the library, insufficient ICT facilities etc.
Safahieh and Asemi (2008)and Ugwuanyi (2009) who carried out studies on ICTs literacy skills among librarian both in Nigeria and in developing countries, recommended provision of funds and training for librarians. Despite all the benefits associated with ICT literacy skills, ICT literacy skills is still lacking among staff of National library of Nigeria. Therefore, there is need to investigate Information and communication technology literacy skills level of staff of Nigeria Library of Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
ICT helps to gather, process and distribute information through computing, data storage, and communication. It also provides access to storage and dissemination of information, facilitates global interconnectivity, and accelerates information exchange. However, most of our libraries have not been able to harness these benefits due to several reasons ranging from inadequacy of the facilities, inadequate funds, total lack of or insufficient ICT skills by the staff of the respective libraries etc. Ukachi (2010) postulates that, “even when the technologies (ICT) and accompanying resources in electronic format are available in libraries, the challenges of getting skillful personnel to man the facilities are inadequate because staff lack adequate ICT literacy skills in accessing electronic materials, downloading information online and acquiring electronic books, therefore librarians needs skills that go beyond the traditional library skills.’’