1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A library, according to Jonathan Crowther (2000), is a storehouse of knowledge. It is the repository of information and information source. A library collects, organizes, stores and disseminates information. Thus, it is a resource centre for students, teachers, researchers and others. The library provides answers to specific and general information queries and problems. The major, purpose of the library is to provide information, thus it is a repository of human experience not subject to the barriers of space and time. According to Lawal and Udofia (1994) the library meets the information needs of the users in four categories namely: i. Education to develop society, adults, children and to fill gap in memory. ii. Information to develop executive activities such as economics, social and commercial development. iii. Aesthetic appreciation for culture, art, truth and judgement. iv. Recreation to provide amusement, hobbies. The function of the library therefore is to implement, to enrich, to vitalize and humanize the educational programmes, as it strives to attain excellence in content, process and product. Being a carrier of knowledge, the library is a vital partner in knowledge, management and shares with all other instructional agents their responsibility for systematically designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of learning and teaching (Davies, 1994). There are different types of libraries, which represents different categories of people professions and shades of opinion. We have the library, academic library, National library, school library and special library. A school library is an indispensable unit in any school, regardless of its educational philosophy. Thus an organized collection of book (reference books and for home reading) placed in a school under the care of a teacher-librarian for teachers and students. In the words of Iroha (2001) a school library is a collection of a wide variety of library materials and resources housed in each school centrally organized by staff, professionally prepared to offer services to students and teachers that will enrich and support the educational enterprises. This is to say, a school library assists and supports the educational programme of the school by storing instructional materials for use in teaching and learning. Harold (2000) is of the view that a school library is an organized collection of books placed in a school for use by both the teachers and students. School libraries can also be said to be a miniaturized intellectual powerhouse or information centre found in primary schools, secondary schools and teacher training colleges. That is, it is a stepping stone towards a child’s intellectual development. Perhaps, Onwubiko and Uzoigwe (2004) define a school library as the learning laboratory of the school equipped with books, magazines, newspaper, audio visual materials, aimed at enhancing effective teaching and learning on the part of teachers and students. In order to create an environment full of literature and cultivate the habit of using information materials for necessary teaching tools lead to the establishment of school libraries. The then Eastern Nigeria Ministry of Education recognized school library “as an education institution”. The provision of school libraries to improve standard in education delivery has been well articulated in the National policy of Education (1999). Emphasizing the need for school libraries, the policy states among others. “Libraries are one of the most important education services. Every state ministry of education needs to provide funds for the establishment of libraries in all our educational institutions”. A good library is a sine-qua-non for qualitative education and an instrument for the enhancement and the utilization of the library resources by students. It serves the purpose of inspiration, communication among students and the fulfillment of programme in the curriculum. The proper utilization has enabled students to seek knowledge in books in order that in the process, they may become efficient and enthusiastic readers and also the integration on the use of new media encourage them to become adaptive to the use of audio visuals, thus creating room for relaxation and enjoyment. As the school has a need for students, so far as their mind is concerned, to develop the abilities to think. Contemporary library media programmes have approached this task through concerted and articulated efforts designed not only to provide students with an appreciation of literature, but also to teach them how to locate, retrieve and evaluate the work of information contained in the graphic recorded and printed records in the belief that such skills are essential for survival in a rapidly changing world. The library is not just a reservoir of knowledge, information and human experiences but also has made provision of accessing this treasure. Beswick (1975) sees school libraries as a continuing change in the pattern of school teaching and learning away from instruction and towards exploration. In the opinion of Allen and Allen (1973), Ezewu (1987), the whole essence of libraries are two fold. Service and instruction service which involves provision of whatever materials, equipment, assistance and guidance that are required by the user. One cannot talk of the effective utilization of library resources without considering the role of the teacher-librarians. The teacher-librarian in other words known as the library media specialist promote access to a broad range of information and ideas, in order to assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills that will equip them to not only to locate but also evaluate and use information effectively and thereby becoming information literate. Their services and tasks contribute directly to the development of these skills. These include collection development, organizations for retrieval of materials and information, information guidance services, material production, student instruction and instructional development services. School libraries are more concentrated on the physical object collected rather than their intellectual contents i.e. (stressing, cover over content). All too often they regrettably also provide instruction in every conceivable skill, and in every form of information sources available. Individual students fundamental mental processes, including their developmental aspects are often neglected and the implication for both teachers and students of helping the young develop the ability to think about how they are using information to solve problem are frequently ignored. These and others are among the militators to effective utilization of library resources by secondary school students.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study tries to find out how and why students use the school library resources and the factors that militate against their use of the school library resources. Many school libraries do not have reasonable collection of library materials and trained librarian to manage the library, and some schools do not have libraries at all, especially in rural areas. As a result, students are not encouraged to utilize the resources of the library.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follow: i. To investigates the problem that hinders effective utilization of information resources in the library by students. ii. To identify the resources available for study students’ use and know the satisfaction they derived. iii. To determines the particular period students visit the library. iv. To determine the purpose for students utilization of school library. v. To determine the extent to which the students’ use of library resources satisfy their information need. vi. To determine if students’ background such as socio-economic background parental level of education, occupation, facilities at home, quality of residence family size are significant factors in the utilization of library resources.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions have been formulated to guide this work: i. At what period do students visit the library? ii. What are the impediments or hindrance to the utilization of library resources by the secondary school students? iii. What are the resources available in the school library for use by students and what satisfaction do they derive? iv. What are the reasons for students’ use of the library? v. To what extent are student’s uses of the library satisfying their information needs?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is on the problems of the utilization of school libraries resources by the students of secondary school in Anambra State; specifically by students of Christ the King College (C.K.C) and Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS) Onitsha. This research focuses on students’ attitude and view concerning visiting the library and the level of satisfaction they derive after utilizing or using the resources the target of the study is to identify basic problems and proffer solutions to them.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is aimed at examining the utilization of library resources by secondary school students in their school libraries. The study will go a long way in providing basic information to school principals and education board on the need for the development of school library resources that will appeal to both the educational and recreational needs of students. The result of the study will reveal the general state of school libraries and their resources and the student’s views and attitude towards the use of the library. One significance of this study is that the teacher-librarian would be able to put forward proposals to their principal for the betterment of library and information services to the students of their schools. It is hoped that the findings and recommendations of the study will contribute immensely to the improvement of the management and utilization of school libraries resources in Anambra State.
1.7. DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL BASIC CONCEPTS
i. Library Resources: Books and printed materials meant to convey information to the clienteles (Madu, 2003).
ii. Teacher-Librarian: Professional who is shouldered with the responsibility of supervising the services and operations in the library, he/she may be a teacher who has acquired the training of a librarian (Onwubiko and Uzoigwe 2004). iii. Audio-visual: Those information material that are not dependent on reaching tools rather through the sense of sights as visual resources (Jonathan, Crowther 2000).
iv. Resource Centre: Room that houses the information materials, be it printed or non-printed materials for clienteles use (Edward, 1993). v. Library Policy: Guide line and standard on how the operations and services of the library should be carried out. (Uzoigwe and Onwubiko, 2004).
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