Availability, Accessibility and Utilization of Electronic Reference Services by Undergraduate Students in Bells University, Ogun State, Nigeria

Julius Kayode Apotiade, Olawale Oyewole, Abeeb Ola Belau


Undergraduates who are among the users of the university library, during the course of their program may require reference services that will assist them in accessing information resources to boost their learning and research. Advancement in information technology has led to the development of electronic reference services. These services ensure that library users get assistance from the reference librarian without physically coming to the library. However, despite the benefits of electronic reference services, studies have revealed that some university libraries still face the challenge of making these services available and accessible due to slow technology adoption and infrastructural deficiencies. In addition, the apathetic attitude displayed by users towards the use of the library raises question as to whether undergraduates even utilize electronic reference services for academic activities where it is available and accessible, hence the need for this study. Descriptive survey method was adopted for the study and the population comprised of undergraduates in the six colleges of Bells University, Ogun State, Nigeria. The multistage sampling technique was used to select the sample size of 213 and the questionnaire was the data collection instrument. Results revealed that the most available electronic reference service was email as indicated by 205 (96.2%) of the respondents, while 186 (87.3%) noted that erratic supply of electricity was the greatest challenge. The study recommended that alternative sources of electricity like inverters, solar and power generating sets should also be provided to address the issue of erratic power supply.

Keywords: electronic reference services, undergraduate students, university libraries, Nigeria

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