An Assessment of Digital Library Functions and Services in Nigerian Academic Libraries

An Assessment of Digital Library Functions and Services in Nigerian Academic Libraries

Jerome Idiegbeyan-Ose (Covenant University, Nigeria), Stella C. Nduka (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Olalekan A. Adekunjo (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), and Innocent Okoedion (Institute of Technology and Management, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8178-1.ch014
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This chapter critically assess digital library functions and services in Nigeria academic libraries. It highlighted the roles of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) that brought about digital libraries. It is a collection of digital contents that is housed electronically and made available to users. The advantages of digital library were also discussed such as improved access, improved information preservation, it improved information sharing, it enhances library functions and services. Nigerian academic libraries has benefited from the enormous benefits of digital library. The chapter stressed that effort should be improved consortium building so as to improve the services Nigerian libraries render to their patrons. The chapter concludes that Digital library has come a long way in Nigeria, and 21st century libraries cannot afford to render services to users without digital contents added to the prints resources. Therefore, Nigeria libraries and information centres must cooperate in a formal consortia building; this will go a long way to reduce the burden of all participating libraries.
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Digital Library Definitions

There is no definite definition of digital library, this is because the digital library, electronic library and virtual library have been used inter changeable. Electronic library consist of some differences from a digital library and a virtual library, electronic library are electronic materials and services, digital library is made up of digital services and materials that are stored, process and disseminated through an electronic device while virtual library is a composition of both electronic and digital library (Tenant, 1999 cited in Gbaje, 2007)

Borgmam (1999) observed that the term digital library as seen by researchers are content collected on behalf of users while librarians view digital library as institutions or services. Digital libraries have received wide attention in recent years which allows access to digital information from anywhere across the world (Singh, 2011). Digital library have the ability to enable world wide access to a never ending supply of distributed information.

The Digital Library Federation defines digital libraries as:

Organisations that provide the resources, including the specialised staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence overtime of collections of digital works so that they are readily available for use by a defined community or set of communities (Shiri, 2003).

According to Rosenberg (2006) digital library is a library where users access resources by electronic means and information is delivered electronically to users. Singh (2011) enthused that digital evolution has affected almost all aspect of library service, the automation of library activities to digitization of physical collection.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Public Library: This mean library that is established by government for the general public use.

Library Consortium: This implies libraries coming together in formal agreement so as to share resources in order to satisfy their users.

Digital Library: It is a kind of library that housed materials in digital formats.

OPAC: This mean Online Public Access Catalogue, it is a computerized form of the manual catalogue cards.

ICT in Library: This implies the application of Information and Communication Technology in libraries such as computers, printers, scanners etc.

Academic Libraries: These are libraries that are established in institutions of higher learning.

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