Electronic Library for Schools And Organizations in Nigeria

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IT-supported information literacy training. Similarly, a study by Ajidahun on thetraining, development and education of library manpower in information technology inuniversity libraries in Nigeria, shows that many academic librarians and other categoriesof library staff are not computer literate. He concluded that the level of professionaltraining in information technology received by the professional and paraprofessionallibrary staff in Nigerian university libraries is generally inadequate.According to Adeogun (2006, p. 45), “the changing education landscape and thedifferent formats in which resources are prepackaged have also ushered in new rolesfor academic librarians who are now actively involved in helping library users toacquire information literacy skills”. Shepherd reported on the in-service trainingprogram organized by the Information Services Librarians at the Rhodes UniversityLibrary, South Africa. It was assumed previously that candidates’ skills were sufficientfor the manipulation of data. It therefore came as a surprise that many lacked basic ITskills. This unexpected gap emphasized the urgent need for staff to becomeIT-conversant. That program succeeded in its goals to equip librarians with the newskills to work conveniently in the e-library environment. This was confirmed byparticipants’ comments, such as “I have been better equipped to assist users”, “am keento use what I learnt and explore the databases”, “acquired skills and confidence insearching” (Shepherd, 2010).Challenges in delivering e-library services in NigeriaThe industrialized world is creating virtual libraries because of the high value placedon the availability of information, while the socio-technical condition to sustain virtuallibraries does not exist in most African countries in general and Nigeria in particular.The infrastructure needed for the virtual library is not fully in place. Networks alreadyexist in some universities in Nigeria, but access to the internet is limited. There is aneed to have a good telecommunication infrastructure in place for the implementationof a virtual library (Fabunmi, 2009). Abdulsalami reported on the challenges inthe acquisition of e-resources, mentioned poor and insufficient bandwith for effectiveuse by the library, the limited number of library staff skilled in e-resources and internetsearches, and poor power supply and limited back-up available (very few libraries withgood and dedicated standby generators). Even though there has been a massiveimprovement in the telecommunication industry over the last few years in Nigeria, a lotstill needs to be done to improve its present state. Web technology skills are needed tomaintain web servers that host locally digitalized materials and other digital resourceshosted remotely as well as maintaining proxy access to restricted resources. Ashcroft observed that Nigeria has an acute shortage of digital systems librarians; thevirtual library cannot exist in this situation because web servers that host locallydigitized contents and proxy servers that provide authentication and remote access tosubscribed electronic resources need to be on for twenty-four hours a day.Another challenge is the lack of purpose-built library buildings. Provision was notinitially made for buildings with information technological devices. But with the adventof information technology, renovation of existing library buildings will need to be doneto accommodate new trends, facilities and services. The need for a virtual library systemhas therefore become the most urgent necessity in universities in Nigeria. Ya’u asserts that the virtual library has an opportunity to address the paucity of teaching andresearch materials in the libraries of higher institutions in Nigeria as well as give roomfor the sharing of research outputs with the global community amongst institutions andlocal researchers. It is enhanced access to national and international library andOCLC29,2106

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