SOCIAL MEDIA USE AND SERVICE PROVISION IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
All over the world, libraries are services of the academic environment, that create conducive room for researchers, students, staff members and the public to carry out their study, research and increase their knowledge. The worker in library offers many services to users, attending to their different information needs, individuality, and concerns. Academic libraries are indispensable suppliers in knowledge origination and provide the resource needs of large volume of information seekers (Agyen-Gyasi, Lamptey, and Frempong (2010)
In contemporary times, the levels to which academic libraries can offer services to meet the needs of their patrons are indicators of availability of skilled staffs and application of latest technologies. The advent of computer technologies in which social media is a part has also introduced change in users attitude, behaviour, needs, and change in the way library personnel execute their job duties These changes have compelled library workers to prepare themselves in this modern day of computers (Rahman, Khatun and Mezbah, 2011). Social media platforms such as Facebook, Blogs, Twitter and YouTube among others has changed many facets of human communication which has also changed the library users’ attitude, the pattern of communication and services.
This means that library staffs are required to be responsive and make use of the social media platforms that are available in order to improve library services provided to users.
Barber (2011) highlights the fact that the library is a growing body. This fact was sustained by Barber (2012) who opined that library in higher institutions of learning is to be active and constantly changing which is a prerequisite of changing roles for library staff. This means that library staff are to be innovative and creative for them to remain relevant in this ever-changing web environment. Every library staff must have the basic knowledge of operating systems in terms of downloading and installing, attachment of auxiliary devices lime scanners; basic knowledge about troubleshooting; knowledge about MS-office; knowledge of electronic resources work and use of the web(social media) (Pawer and Kaur, 2014).
Social media is a communication forum that allows users to electronically share information and knowledge with each other. According to Australian Electoral Commission (2011) defined social media as “online tools and Web sites that facilitate many-to-many communications between users. Specific examples include Facebook and Twitter, but may also include more regional or niche services, and more longstanding collaborative environments such as web-based forums and wikis”. In this light, Constantinides and Fountain (2008) also asserted that the social media is a system that aids the creation of informal users’ network that facilitates the flow of information and knowledge by allowing effective generation, dissemination, sharing, editing of informational content. This means that social media is mainly used to share or convey or communicate information with a wide range of individuals through the help of internet connectivity.
The advancement of information technology has brought about a transformation in academic library operations especially in the use of social media tools which have brought about serious constraints to library staff.
Iwhiwhu, Ruteyan and Eghwubare (2010) noted that the challenge of most library staff is the amount of efforts required to attract users to the library and to retain them. Hence, as libraries thrive on modern technologies, library staff are saddled with the responsibility of acquiring new skills and knowledge on the application and use of these tools (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Blog) to enable them to advocate round the clock library
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Globally, social media is regaining relevance very fast due to its high penetrability in information dissemination. Social media is now used for teaching, learning, business etc. hence, the current use of social media for academic library services. However, there has been series of arguments among scholars regarding its use, effectiveness of its use and the challenges encountered in the use of social medial in academic libraries.
Based on the above, this research intends to find out and reveal numerous factors that are causing a decline in the use of social media and service provision in academic libraries in Nigeria. It will helps to show the challenges encountered by the library staffs while providing services to its customers especially when using social media.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between social media use and service provision in academic libraries in Nigeria while the following are the objectives of this study:
- To assess the level of social media use by academic libraries in Nigeria.
- To examine the advantages and disadvantages of social media use in academic libraries in Nigeria.
- To examine the challenges faced by library staffs in using social media for their services.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the level of social media use by academic libraries in Nigeria?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media use in academic libraries in Nigeria?
- What are the challenges faced by library staffs in using social media for their services?
HO: there is no significant relationship between social media use and service provision in academic libraries in Nigeria
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of the study:
The results from this study will educate individuals on the importance of social media in academic library
It would help individuals know how to use social media while searching for information or doing research
It would help to know the various services provided by academic library
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the relationship between the use of social media and service provision in the library and the various social media that can be used in academic libraries and the various services that libraries provide to readers and also the challenges involved in service provision and the negative use of social media in academic libraries
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Social media: Social media are web-based communication tools that enable people to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information
Service provision: This are services provided by the library to students in academic libraries and can include instruction on how to access and use library materials; reference services to provide quick and in-depth answers to student questions; and materials delivery services that provide students with access to library materials online or items delivered to students’ homes
Libraries: A Library is a collection of sources of information or documents and similar resources, which are made easily accessible to a defined community for reading or reference or borrowing the materials, It provides physical or digital access to library materials, and may be a physical building or room, or also virtual space.
Academic Library: an academic library isa designated place, physical or digital, set aside to house scholarly research materials and materials supporting the academic, university, or college community and curriculum, it can also be defined as a library that is attached to a higher education institution which serves a two way purpose to support the school’s curriculum, and to support the research of the university faculty and students in the school.
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