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AN EVALUATION ON THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL LITERACY SKILLS ON LIBRARIANS JOB PERFORMANCE IN KWARA STATE UNIVERSITIES, NIGERIA

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AN EVALUATION ON THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL LITERACY SKILLS ON LIBRARIANS JOB PERFORMANCE IN KWARA STATE UNIVERSITIES, NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background To The Study

By providing students with every resource and service necessary to advance their education, university libraries significantly contribute to the improvement of their learning experiences. University libraries provide more than just materials; they also employ librarians who possess specialised knowledge and skills in locating, selecting, distributing, and structuring information. Furthermore, they assess information requirements, navigate vast quantities of data, and conduct analyses utilising a variety of tools. In the past, library collections predominantly comprised printed materials. However, with the swift advancement of digital technology, information access has been significantly broadened, enabling users to obtain and store data in a multitude of formats. (Colleagues and Arthur, 2019). As the world increasingly transitions to digital media and information, an increasing number of university libraries are acquiring digital resources. This enables faculty and students to utilise current and pertinent materials for the purposes of education, research, and learning. 

Digital technologies have transformed every aspect of university library services. A novel service environment has been created, surpassing conventional limitations and facilitating enhanced information management and service provision (Sani & Musa, 2019). In order to thrive in this new service environment, academic libraries were compelled to redirect their attention from conventional operations such as information collection, processing, storage, and retrieval towards customer-centric automated information services produced by online and offline databases, e-resources, e-journals, networks, and consortia. Presently, computers and other digital devices are utilised for a multitude of administrative tasks, including serials control, acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, and acquisition, in addition to providing a variety of services to library patrons. In light of these developments, librarians are expected to possess operational proficiency in computers and the Internet, thereby establishing themselves as digitally literate individuals capable of delivering information resources to their clientele with efficiency (Agim & Azolo, 2019). 

Digital literacy encompasses the ability to effectively locate, analyse, utilise, and produce information through the means of digital communication tools, networks, and technology (Bell & Shank, 2018). It refers to the ability to comprehend and apply information from diverse sources in a variety of formats when delivered through computer systems. It also pertains to an individual's ability to execute tasks with effectiveness in a digital environment. Digital literacy includes the aptitude to comprehend and analyse information, reproduce data and images via digital modification, and evaluate and implement newly acquired knowledge from digital environments (Itsekor & James, 2021). Eyitayo (2020) has identified the following competencies that will be essential for librarians in the present and future. Academic librarians must possess the skills and competencies outlined by Adepoju (2020) in order to meet contemporary demands and provide superior online library services to patrons. Proficient communication, adeptness in information retrieval, aptitude for design, capabilities in database administration, and the capacity to multitask are a few of the aptitudes and capabilities that are mandatory. In a digital age, librarians must possess these skills in order to provide quality information services and enhance their professional performance.

The success and expansion of university libraries may be influenced by the endeavours of their librarians. Consequently, job performance has emerged as a critical determinant in ascertaining the probability of success or failure for an organisation. Job performance can be defined as the ability of an employee to carry out their duties in a manner that is efficient and results in the attainment of the organization's objectives and goals. According to Igbinovia and Popoola (2018), job performance is a collection of observable, quantifiable, and evaluable employee behaviours that are in accordance with the objectives of the organisation. Additionally, job performance is impacted by a confluence of qualitative attributes, including but not limited to an individual's aptitudes, proficiencies, drive, and commitment. Additionally, the candidate must possess organisational training, personal discipline, effective communication skills, and the capacity for personal growth. In order to enhance job performance, digital literacy, or working knowledge of computers and the Internet, is therefore a requirement for librarians in the twenty-first century. Library services experience enhanced work performance, productivity, accuracy, and space efficiency due to the implementation of digital technologies (Satpathy & Mahanan, 2021; Bilal, 2021). 

Nigerian university libraries were significantly impacted by traditional information services prior to the advent of digital technologies. Conventional methods were surpassed by the increasing need for information retrieval, distribution, and access (Badaru & Oyegunle, 2019). Furthermore, conventional methods of information delivery and service provision are no longer compatible with the library as a developing organism, as described in Ranganathan's fifth law. Anyaoku (2012) asserts that in order to achieve optimal job performance, the field of librarianship should progress in tandem with developments in information technology, particularly with regard to the acquisition of ICT skills. Ezeama et al. (2022) state that in the current digital age, librarians are required to possess proficiency in utilising computers, networking, and the Internet to provide library services through digital technologies. The ability of academic librarians to utilise digital technology effectively in the twenty-first century is profoundly dependent on their possession of the requisite skills. On the contrary, it has been observed that the level of digital literacy and competence among librarians in Nigeria regarding the utilisation of digital technologies for the provision of library services is quite inadequate (Agim & Azolo, 2019). 

A significant number of librarians exhibit subpar job performance due to their inability to operate a computer, check their email, interact on the Internet, or provide services through technological devices. Possibly because the majority of university libraries lack digital technology. As stated by Aina (2019), academic libraries in Nigeria encounter a multitude of obstacles, such as a dearth of adequately trained personnel and electronic libraries. The lack of automation in numerous university libraries in Nigeria negatively affects both service delivery and librarian performance. Conversely, previous studies and empirical scrutiny have revealed a decline in the productivity of librarians, leading to regular user grievances and, in numerous instances, users seeking alternative resources (Basahuwa et al., 2020). 

Proficiency in digital literacy has emerged as an imperative concern for librarians in their pursuit of excellence. Therefore, the acquisition of digital literacy skills is imperative for contemporary librarians to maintain their relevance and proficiency. In the contemporary world, technology is a dominant force, especially in libraries. In order to remain proficient and current in delivering high-quality services to their clientele, university library librarians in Nigeria are compelled to acquire pertinent proficiencies in utilising digital technologies to fulfil the information requirements of their users, stemming from evolving trends. This study therefore examined the relationship between digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria.. 

1.2. Statement of the Problem 

The implementation of digital technologies within information centres and libraries was facilitated by the utilisation of digital competencies. As a result of the proliferation of electronic information resources, the world has evolved into a global village where the application of diverse digital technologies is commonplace. Consequently, librarians are required to possess proficiency in utilising this technology. It is widely acknowledged that technological advancements have the potential to increase income prospects for all individuals, including users and librarians. However, university library librarians in Nigeria possess a comparatively low level of digital literacy. As a result of a labour scarcity, the majority of librarians lack computer proficiency, cannot access their electronic mail, and cannot acquire the necessary skills to automate their libraries. In a dynamic work environment, library personnel lacking ICT skills may face challenges in maintaining optimal performance and may even become obsolete within the system (Abbas, 2018). In order to ensure the provision of effective library services in the twenty-first century, it is imperative that library personnel acquire and consistently improve their digital literacy skills. As a result, this study tends to examine digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to examine digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria. The specific objectives is as follows: 

Ascertain whether there is a significant relationship between digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel.

Determine the benefits of digital literacy to the job performance by the library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria.

Find out the factors that hinder digital literacy training for library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

Is there a significant relationship between digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel?

What are the benefits of digital literacy to the job performance by the library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria?

What are the factors that hinder digital literacy training for library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: There is no significant relationship between digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel.

1.6 Significance of the Study 

The study will be significant to librarians as it will benefit from the result as they will improve library staff members' proficiency with digital communication and their work output at universities . 

The study will  be significant to the academic community as it will serve as a guide to other researchers in other Universities  who would want to conduct similar research in the area in their respective states as well as add to the existing literature in the field of librarianship especially in the area of digital literacy skills acquisition in the Universities. 

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study boarders on digital literacy skills and job performance of library personnel in Kwara state universities, Nigeria. Hence, the study will be delimited to Kwara state universities, Nigeria.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Digital skills; a range of abilities to use digital devices, communication applications, and networks to access and manage information.

Libraries : a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for use or borrowing by the public or the members of an institution.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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