Positioning Library and Information Services for User Satisfaction through ICT Policy Formulation in Nigeria

Positioning Library and Information Services for User Satisfaction through ICT Policy Formulation in Nigeria

Mary C. Osondu, Blessing Solomon-Uwakwe
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-847-0.ch036
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This chapter focuses on how user satisfaction can be enhanced in library and information centers through the formulation and implementation of effective ICT policies in Nigeria. It describes the benefits of ICT to users especially in the library and information service, failure of the Nigerian National ICT Policy to address ICT needs of library section and the difficulties this would pose to the library and information service in the satisfaction of the user’s needs. The chapter therefore suggests policy line of action that can address this gap. Recommendations geared towards achieving user satisfaction in the library and information service are set forth.
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There is no gainsaying the fact that the advent and growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) have impacted tremendously upon human society and revolutionalized information and communication transfer. The application of ICT has greatly transformed the society by influencing the way people live, play, interact, communicate, seek Information and do business.

ICTs are used to capture, process, organize, retrieve and provide information in library and information service centers. Grace, Kenny and Quang (2004) posit that the impact of ICTs on library services has profound implication for social and economic development of Nigeria. ICT components used in libraries include computers, internet, e-mail, websites, portals, blogs, podcasts, vodcasts, videoconferencing telecommunication, etc. Librarians now communicate with library users through internet, e-mail telephone, chats etc. that help meet users information needs without physical contact (Ukachi, 2008).

Though the deployment of ICTs greatly enhances service provision, these potentials are yet to be fully exploited and enjoyed in libraries and other sectors of Nigeria. In their studies on the extent of ICT user satisfaction, Ehikhamenor, (2003)Eke (2006) Okwilagwe (2004) found out that there is only a moderate user satisfaction in the use of ICT facilities in tertiary institutions in the country.

Some of the threats and challenges to optimal utilization of ICT facilities which invariably cause dissatisfaction to users include, inaccessibility, inadequate facilities irregular power supply, frequent computer breakdown, frequent down time of server, digital illiteracy, high cost of procurement of computer, lack of information policy, funding etc (Anaeme 2006, Eke 2006, & Ukachi 2008). Abulihmen (2005) identified low teledensity, insufficient trunk leading to congestion, unreliable network design, power interconnectivity insufficient bandwidth, insufficient human resource development, poor maintenance culture, vandalization of facilities, exorbitant and sometimes unjustifiable billing as problems militating against ICT use in Nigeria. These factors could be a result of dysfunctional ICT policies as well as absence of well articulated proactive national policy on ICT which reflects which can meet the needs of the populace. Haarhoff (2002) and Anaeme (2006) observed that Nigeria lacks formal ICT policies at the national level. The absence of library ICT policies to guide ICT application could make it difficult for the library to reap the enormous benefits of ICT in service delivery.

Consequently an appropriate positioning of library and information service and ICT via a viable proactive national ICT polices which takes congnissance of our prevailing social, economic, political and cultural environment and aimed at achieving and sustaining user satisfaction from the main thrust of this work. It focuses on issues and challenges to library Information Service ICT and User Satisfaction, ICT policies in Nigeria and makes recommendations that could facilitate adoption of ICT policies to enhance library service provision.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Policy: This is an articulated, deliberate plan of action, principles Local content: which encapsulates over all goals, aims as well as strategies for achieving rational outcome.

Library/Information Service: Refers to the organization of the activities, programmes and operations of the library and information centers with the aim of meeting patrons’ information needs.

Local Content: This refers to indigenous resources, skills, traits and capacities, including natural endowments of people in a particular area.

Standards: This is a yardstick of measurement, reference point, and base line for assessing or evaluating performance.

Positioning: This is the act of situating something or institution, placing it at a vantage position.

Information Communication Technology: This is a generic name used to refer to all electronic and communication devices for the production, storage, dissemination and retrieval of information across the globe.

User Satisfaction: This is the utility received by an information seeker from the services rendered by the library and information center at an affordable cost and convenient time.

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