Information literacy in Nigerian universities trends, challenges and opportunities

ArticleinNew Library World 117(5/6):343-359 · May 2016with 74 Reads
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Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the information literacy trends, challenges and opportunities in Nigerian universities, With focus on its characteristics; content and adequacy for students’ information literacy development and lifelong learning. The effort to ensure that university students are empowered to acquire the competences needed for all round education and lifelong learning has been the primary focus of the university curriculum. University regulatory body in Nigeria emphasised the need to provide students with a study plan which provides them with capacity to locate information resources, access, evaluate and use them in legally acceptable manner. The programme is differently captioned with varying contents. With evolving approach to literacy, this study was designed to determine whether the programme has evolved from use of library education to information literacy or still at its traditional mode. Design/methodology/approach: Descriptive survey research method was adopted for the study. The population consists of federal and state university libraries in Nigeria. The characteristics, content and adequacy of the programme as offered in Nigerian universities was the measure to determine the type of literacy. Questionnaire derived from literature and personal experience was designed to elicit information. A copy of the questionnaire was sent to each university that constituted the sample of the study by mail and telephone interviews were given to the heads of the sampled libraries. Findings: It was discovered that majority of the universities studied were yet to consolidate the library literacy programme offered in their universities. Hence, the provision of information literacy content is yet to be realised in Nigerian universities. Practical implications: There should be constant evaluation and monitoring of the programme by the regulatory bodies to ensure that the programme is reviewed at the appropriate time and that they also abide to the minimum standard. Originality/value: For the effective implementation of programme to reflect the current development in research and information sourcing, retrieval and use; collaboration in content development as well as teaching between faculty and library; increasing or splitting the programme content to accommodate first year and higher level undergraduates, the regulatory bodies like Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria should ensure constant evaluation of the programme.

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