Adoption and Use of Innovative Mobile Technologies in Nigerian Academic Libraries

Adoption and Use of Innovative Mobile Technologies in Nigerian Academic Libraries

Robert Akinade Awoyemi (Adeyemi Federal College of Education, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2953-8.ch019
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Abstract

The research explores the extent to which academic libraries in Nigeria are using mobile technologies for the delivery of its information and research services, and the impact these technologies may have on the professional development needs of librarians. Using a mixed method design approach, two data sets were investigated. First, the web-based library homepages of 15 tertiary education libraries in South-west Nigeria were examined for their level of conformance to a mobile platform and second, library staff from the 15 academic libraries were surveyed for their perceptions of, and experiences in, using mobile technology both within a social context and within the workplace. This research found that while mobile technologies are in use by the majority of academic libraries to a degree, lack of resources and awareness of new innovations were identified as barriers to providing mobile services that meet users' needs and expectations.
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Introduction

Several studies support the notion that the rapid advancement and increased popularity and access to mobile technologies for leisure significantly influences the teaching and learning landscape; shifting the boundaries of digital literacy into a wireless learning environment accessible anywhere and anytime (Johnson, et al., 2011; Laurillard, 2007; Wiebrands, 2012). Additional research further suggests, whilst students may or may not carry portable computers to schools, they almost always carry mobile phones (Awoyemi, 2016, Lippincott, 2010; United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2012). For example, in a study conducted by the researcher on innovative library services for undergraduate student in Adeyemi College of Education, ondo, mobile apps and tablet computing is significantly relevant to the future of teaching, learning and research; proposing likely adoption for the tertiary sector within one year (Awoyemi, 2016). These findings suggest information will be retrieved from multiple online resources, alluding to the use of both formal and informal information networks within collaborative learning spaces.

Universities all over the world are cited as exemplars of mobile apps in practice clearly indicating these technologies are actively used and supported within the education sector (Johnson, et al., 2011). Interestingly, Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) library and many other libraries, have modelled mobile apps in practice and they all have good results (Awoyemi 2016, Boopsie Inc, 2012a, 2012b; Johnson, et al., 2011). ACE, library have adopted wireless computing network access to accommodate tablet computers; considered a new category of mobile device tipped as the learning tool of choice for learner engagement outside of the classroom

A recent mobile consumer trends report from Google indicates that over 60% of students in Tertiary institutions globally currently own a smartphone and that 80% of smartphone users actively utilise their mobile phone to locate information (ITU, 2012). Freedom of mobility (80%) and access to social networks (77%) rated highest amongst smartphone users (ITU, 2012). Interestingly, 38% of participants surveyed, the largest group identified, held an undergraduate or postgraduate degree suggesting mobility and connectedness is valued by students. In addition, 11% of participants identified their current employment status as student (ITU, 2012) suggesting that Nigerian learners, are familiar with, or comfortable using, smartphone technology to locate, identify, retrieve and evaluate information of interest.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Apps: “Are applications designed to run specifically on a mobile operating system … delivering a specific functionality” (Pacansky-Brock, 2013 AU72: The in-text citation "Pacansky-Brock, 2013" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Mobile Technology: Refers to mobile-computing application software that facilitates access to, and sharing of, information on portable hand-held internet-capable wireless computing devices (hardware) ( Wiebrands, 2012 ).

Technical Librarian: Refers to a qualified or registered librarian who holds a professional role within an academic library that actively supports the library’s digital technology services (Nigerian Library Association n.d. AU74: The in-text citation "Nigerian Library Association n.d." is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Liu & Cai, 2013 ).

21st Century Learner: Refers to the shift away from instructor-led educational instruction towards a fluid participatory learning environment of co-creation, co-learning, collaboration and transparency ( Bolstad et al., 2012 ).

Information Technology Staff: Refers to library-based or library-focused IT staff responsible for providing mLearning instruction, such as mobile device connectivity, within a higher education library environment.

Academic Libraries: Refers to libraries found in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. (i.e. libraries in Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities, Nigerian Library Association n.d. AU71: The in-text citation "Nigerian Library Association n.d." is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Mobile Learning / mLearning: “Is the acquisition of any knowledge or skill through using mobile technology, anywhere, anytime, that results in an alteration of behaviour” (Geddes, 2004 AU73: The in-text citation "Geddes, 2004" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Research and Information Literacy Education: Refers to the sharing of skills to locate, identify, retrieve and evaluate scholarly information of academic benefit by a teaching librarian to a cohort of students.

Innovation: Defined as “an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption” ( Rogers, 2003 ). The concept of innovation refers to the adoption of mobile technologies in Nigerian academic libraries.

Academic Librarian: Refers to a qualified or registered librarian who holds a professional role within academic library and actively provides information literacy instruction within an academic library environment (Careers NZ, 2013 AU69: The in-text citation "Careers NZ, 2013" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Nigerian Library Association n.d. AU70: The in-text citation "Nigerian Library Association n.d." is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

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