The study investigated use of electronic resources by undergraduate students of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) to find out if students utilize electronic resources. It specifically targeted the level 300 students of GIMPA. Awareness, usage, training, access, usefulness and importance and problems of use were explored. A survey method was employed and structured questionnaire were utilized to solicit data for the study.
The findings revealed that, though students are aware of electronic resources, they do not fully utilize them to support their academic pursuit due to poor level of information literacy skills. However, few students had not participated at all in information literacy skills training organized by the library. Results from the study also showed that, significant number of students do access electronic resources when on campus and off campus and mostly used electronic devices such as laptops, ipad, desktop computers, and mobile phones. The findings indicated that students used the electronic resources to: complete assignments, write project work, to update lessons notes, for research, and up-date themselves on new information in their fields of study.
Some of the major problems respondents indicated using electronic resources includes: inadequate computers in the library, poor internet connectivity, power outages, insufficient search skills, etc
In conclusion, the use of electronic resources in GIMPA has enhanced research, teaching and learning. This implies the need to plan and develop strategies for effective and efficient use of Information and Communication Technology infrastructure for the utilization of electronic resources to support academic study in GIMPA.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Electronic resource is digitized information, facilitated by computers, network connectivity, electricity, other peripheral components and most importantly human beings. It comes in different format including text, videos, audio, maps, graphics, tables, pictures, etc.
The use of electronic resources or e-resources in libraries began with the development of the machine-readable cataloguing (MARC) format in the mid-1960s, 30 years before the introduction of the World Wide Web (Hawthorne, 2008).
McDonald, cited in Harper, et al. (2006), observed that, library 1.0 was made up of books and other print resources. Its’ primary functions were the acquisition and storage of physical materials, and finding information for users. Library 2.0 on the other hand, is a “network” – primarily broadcasting and “mashing up” or “creating” new content, with secondary functions of acquisition and storage, mostly of electronic data. Since the advent of electronic resource in the mid-1960’s, most libraries and information repository had made strides in building e-resources as an alternative to print documents and other forms of information delivery (Hawthorn 2008). Wu and Shih-Chuan-Chan (2010) report the cancelation of print journal subscriptions and the reduction of books purchase by some libraries in favor of electronic collection. Widespread use of information and communication technologies, especially Intranet, internet, extranet and the World Wide Web (www), has brought significant changes in the way information is generated, stored and accessed. With the rapid development and use of the electronic network technologies, publishing and distribution of information resources in digital format has become widespread (Ahmed, 2013).
Foasberg (2014) observed that, more materials presently are available electronically, and for those who want to read something in an electronic format, there are often many options
available. One may read from a standard computer screen, a tablet computer, a small-form device such as a cell phone, a reading-specific digital device or one may simply print out the relevant material to read offline
There are also several electronic databases available in the market in recent times. Some are skewed to particular subject areas, while others are general or project more than one specialized subject area of study.
The use of electronic resource is wide spread in all areas of human endeavor including commerce, governance and education.