THE USE OF ICT IN MANAGING LIBRARY RESOURCES
1. Background of the study
ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. ICTs are often spoken of in a particular context, such as ICTs in education, health care, or libraries. The term is somewhat more common outside of the United States.
ICT covers all forms of computer and communication equipment and software used to create, design, store, transmit, interpret and manipulate information in its various formats. Personal computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, transport systems, televisions, and network technologies are just some examples of the diverse array of ICT tools. Studies in ICT include many disciplines, such as mathematics, information systems, physics and design. The skills acquired in an ICT degree can be applied to everything from satellites to iPhone applications, from CT scanners to computer games. While many people think of Information Technology when they think of ICT, Multimedia Design, Computer Systems Engineering and Software Engineering also lead to careers in ICT. According to the European Commission, the importance of ICTs lies less in the technology itself than in its ability to create greater access to information and communication in underserved populations. Many countries around the world have established organizations for the promotion of ICTs, because it is feared that unless less technologically advanced areas have a chance to catch up, the increasing technological advances in developed nations will only serve to exacerbate the already-existing economic gap between technological "have" and "have not" areas. Internationally, the United Nations actively promotes ICTs for Development (ICT4D) as a means of bridging the Digital divide UNESCO (2000) defines ICT as the techniques used in information handling and processing. ICT has changed library and information services globally. Digital media has revolutionized information source and advances in ICT has dramatically changed information provision. The process of collection management has become very challenging and complex. As observed by Friend (2000:55), basic collection management activities include analysis of user needs, inter-and intra-library communication, policy development, budgeting and allocation of resources, contract negotiations, macro-evaluations of collection, micro-evaluation for selection, relegation, preservation or withdrawal of stock, and system evaluation. The information and communication technology revolution is sweeping through the world and the gale has even caught up with developing countries like Nigeria and Ghana. Information and communication technologies have introduced new methods of managing resources and conducting research and have been brought into education facilities for online learning, teaching and research collaboration. While some university communities in some countries enjoy free or inexpensive Internet access, students and faculty/staff in Nigeria must pay for time spent accessing the Internet, whether at a cyber café or in the library (although the library offers a discount). To improve ICT services in the library, therefore, researchers need to show how students and faculty/staff are using the Internet in the academic environment. University administrations at many Nigerian universities see information and communication technologies as necessary in the process of learning and teaching. Information and communication technologies have given rise to new modes of organizing the educational environment in schools and new concepts in the teaching process as well as the...
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