CHALLENGES LECTURERS AND STUDENTS ENCOUNTER IN THE USE OF AUDIO-VISUAL RESOURCES IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Background of the Study
Academic libraries are located in tertiary institutions like universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. These libraries are an integral part of these institutions of higher learning and are indispensable instruments for intellectual development. Budd (1998) defined an academic library as a library that serves an institution of higher learning, such as a college or a university. Akporhonor (2005) defined academic libraries as libraries attached to tertiary institutions such as universities, polytechnic institutions, colleges of education, colleges of agriculture, colleges of technology, and also research institutes. According to Ekere (2006) academic libraries in the Nigerian context, include all libraries attached to universities, polytechnics, colleges of agriculture, colleges of education, military institutions like the Nigerian defense academy, the war college, Nigerian institute for strategic studies, and other post-secondary institutions. According to him, academic libraries can be grouped into university libraries and college libraries. University libraries are attached to a university while college libraries are attached to other tertiary institutions. The main purpose of an academic library as stated by Aina (2004) is to support the objectives of an academic environment in the areas of learning, teaching, research, and service. Ekere (2006) noted that the university library is meant to serve the undergraduates, postgraduates, lecturers, and other members of the university community and that it's supposed to provide information resources in different formats. While Singh and Kaur (2009) stated that preservation and access to knowledge and information is the main mandate of academic libraries alongside supporting the mission of their parent institutions in teaching and research. The support of teaching requires materials for class readings, and for student study skills. In the past, the materials for class readings, intended to supplement lectures are prescribed by the instructor. These are called reserves. In the period before electronic resources became available, the reserves were supplied as actual books or as photocopies of appropriate journal articles. One of the objectives of setting up a university is to encourage and promote scholarship and conduct research in all fields of learning and human endeavor. This cannot be achieved without the provision of adequate facilities in university libraries. Ajibero (1995) sees the university library as the heart of the university and no other non-human factor is closely related to the quality of university education. University libraries are at the forefront of providing information services in various formats to their respective communities which comprise students, lecturers, and researchers in order to support their teaching, learning, and research needs. Popoola (2008) affirmed that the information resources and services available in university libraries must be capable of supporting research activities among the students and faculty members. University libraries collect a variety of materials for preservation and use by the library patrons. These resources include not only traditional print-on-paper media like books, journals, and newspapers but also audiovisual resources like records, audiocassettes, video cassettes, maps, microfiches, CD-ROMs, photographs, computers, globes, artworks, computer software, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The term audiovisual is made up of two words, audio and visual. Audio materials are materials that appeal to the sense of hearing while visual materials appeal to the sense of sight. Audiovisual materials are designed to assist teachers in teaching so as to enhance students’ understanding of the subject content. They possess some inherent advantages that make them unique in teaching. They provide the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to want to learn more and more. Also, by providing opportunities for private study and reference, the learner’s interest and curiosity are increasingly stimulated. Moreover, the teacher is assisted in overcoming physical difficulties that could have hindered the effective presentation of a given topic. Audiovisual materials generally make teaching and learning easier and less stressful. Audiovisual resources, according to Dike (1993), are those materials that do not basically depend upon reading to convey meaning and may present information through the sense of hearing as in audio resources, or through the sense of sight as in visual resources or through a combination of both senses. Prytherch (1995) defines audiovisual as non-book materials such as records, tapes, slides, filmstrips, and videotapes, while Norton (1995) defines audiovisual in education as the use of supplementary teaching aids such as recordings, transcripts, tapes, motion pictures, and videotapes- radio and television and computers to improve learning. Keena (1996) sees audiovisual materials as items that are not completely dependent on the printed words to transmit meaning as they use audio and visual formats. Most, but not all, audiovisual materials require some sort of display equipment to be used. Nwoji (2002) defines audiovisual resources as that field of human expression that employs visual and auditory aids such as filmstrips, slides, projectors, television, pictures, radio, and a variety of graphic arts to teaching and learning. Audiovisual resources as seen by different authors simply mean that they are non-book materials that depend solely on sensory experience. These materials make use of the sense of hearing, sense of sight, or a combination of both senses in transmitting knowledge. There are three types of audiovisual resources and they include: Audio resource; these include the most common types like tape player which plays tapes and cassette and radio which is a stand-alone device. These are less expensive and more available, portable, and make use of either electricity or battery. Most times they are combined in one machine as in the three-in-one (radio-cassette recorder- record player) and two-in-one combination. They are also available in record and cassette form and can be used independently or in combination with visual materials. Audio resources can be used in any subject but mostly in subjects that rely heavily on the aural component. For example, proper pronunciation and intonation of a given language can be recorded from a native speaker who may not be available in-person to participate in an interview. These materials also play an important role in diagnostic and remedial work. Visual resources; come in a variety of forms that could be projected or non-projected. The projected materials require a piece of equipment containing a lens system and light source by which the image is projected onto the wall or screen; these include slides and transparencies. Examples of those requiring no equipment are real objects, chalkboards, graphs, maps, cartoons, posters, pictures, models, photographs, drawings,s, and artworks. Audiovisual combination; these make use of both sound and visual senses. They include the following: sound recordings, films, video, television, and dramatization, filmstrips, and multimedia computer program. Uzokwe (1991) grouped audiovisual resources into non-projected materials like charts and flat pictures, projected materials like slides, transparencies, and filmstrips, and audio materials such as radio, records, and record players while Obi (1992) grouped audiovisual resources into printed media, three-dimensional objects, graphic arts, photographs, electronic media, and projectors. The use of audiovisual resources is based on the principle that teaching can be greatly improved by these resources because they can make learning memorable. These materials enhance teaching and learning, especially subjects that are abstract to the student. Blotiner (1993) states that best results are achieved when a variety of audiovisual resources and printed materials are used together in teaching and learning. Mika (2012) noted that the teaching profession is filled with countless opportunities to enrich the academic lives of students. While some concepts and educational objectives will be easy for students to grasp, others will require you to think creatively to ensure that important learning objectives are met. Using audio/visual aids in teaching is one way to enhance lesson plans and give students additional ways to process subject information. Patil (2012) opined that for effective teaching to take place a good method must be adopted by the teacher. The lecturer is always free to choose effective audiovisual resources in the classroom. Audiovisual resources help the lecturer to clarify, establish, co-relate, and co-ordinate accurate concepts, interpretations, appreciation, and enable him to make learning more concentrated, effective, interesting, inspirational, meaningful, and vivid. Audiovisual resources give the necessary variation and a change of pace in lecture which helps to maintain students’ attention Student’s ability to comprehend and assimilate subject content is highly improved with the use of audiovisual resources. Obi (1992) revealed that the high, middle and low ability students taught economics by multi-media approach achieved better results in cognitive gains than their counterparts taught the same topics by talk-chalk dictated not a method. Patil (2012) noted that a balanced, rational, scientific use of audiovisual resources develops, motivate, experience, attract the attention of the students and provides a variety of creative outlets for the utilization of their tremendous energy and keeps them busy in classroom work. These resources are also good for non-classroom situations. They are good for self-instruction and individualizing learning. The availability of these materials allows the student to learn and to take the considerable initiative in education but most often these materials are available in university libraries and students may not make use of them, perhaps they lack the skill of using them or skilled personnel to guide them in their use. Audiovisual resources are also hampered by some challenges that inhibit their use in university libraries. There is an issue of lack of skilled personnel and poor maintenance culture to effectively offer audiovisual services in a library. Mohammed (1994) opined that there is an absence of efficient mechanisms for and manpower to properly handle the job of production and maintenance of audiovisual resources. Academic libraries are grossly underfunded. Okiy (2005) noted that the lack of funds is a big challenge for most libraries in Nigeria. According to her, though the university libraries are allocated 10% of the recurrent annual budget of their parent institutions, such monies are not forthcoming as most university administrators tend to flout this decision. Mostly there is an epileptic power supply in the country, this adversely affects the use of audiovisual resources in university libraries. These materials are important at all levels of learning from the lowest to the highest, including informal education that starts at home, and then the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. This makes the availability of audiovisual resources important in all types of libraries including university libraries. Universities in Anambra state, according to UTME (2012) include the following: Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra State University, Madonna University, Paul University, and Tansian University. This comprises one federal university, one state university, and three private universities. The researcher selected the federal and state university for the purpose of this study. This is because of the population of students and lecturers in the selected institutions. Nnamdi Azikiwe University library known as Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library was established in 1991 following the split of the former Anambra state into two states. The university was taken over by the Federal Government with effect from September 1, 1992. The library is improving in its mode of serving its clientele from manual to computerized systems. Meanwhile, Anambra State University Library is the main library of the Anambra State University. The university formerly known as Anambra State University of Science and Technology was established by law No. 13 of 2000 by the Anambra State Government. The University was conceived on a 2-Campus structure with the main campus of the university located at Uli and Igbarim. These libraries offer a wide range of services to users, including reference services, circulation service, serial service, audiovisual services, and special collection service. These services help the libraries to meet the different information needs of their users. The libraries are also improving in their mode of services to users.
Statement of the Problem The primary purpose of university libraries is to support teaching, learning, and research in ways consistent with, and supportive of, the institution’s mission and goals. In addition, library resources and services should be sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, and currency to support the institution’s curriculum. Audiovisual resources contribute to research, teaching, and learning at all levels. The use of audiovisual resources is important in the teaching and learning process. It helps in stimulating interest and making learning permanent when used by the lecturers as instructional materials. It offers researchers a variety of materials in their search for information. It also helps libraries in the preservation and dissemination of information. Despite the contributions of audiovisual resources in teaching and learning, research conducted in this area indicates that there is inadequate use of these resources for the teaching and learning process. This might be a result of the lack of availability of these resources in university libraries in the state. More so, many lecturers and students seem ignorant of the potentials of audiovisual resources and how to use them to achieve their purpose. Students as well may not identify the value of audiovisual resources in their studies. University education in Nigeria is facing a critical challenge in meeting the new demands of the 21st century, with its ever-increasing inadequate library facilities, resources, epileptic power supply, and insufficient funding. The inability of the university library to meet the increasing demands of information needs of students, researchers and lecturers lead to a drastic fall in university education as the university finds it difficult to fulfill its curriculum requirements. This failure gives rise to poor quality of university graduates inversely undermining the productivity of the nation as unskilled manpower and poor material resources are in the nation. Consequently, the nation suffers the problems of this abnormality, there is, therefore, an urgent need to bring this problem to an end. In view of this, the researcher sought to find the problem that hampers effective use of these resources in university libraries in Anambra state, since according to Ifidon (1997) the primary role of a university library is to properly and effectively meet the information needs of its users, which include staff, students, researchers, and the parent organization.
Purpose of the Study The general purpose of the study is to investigate the challenges in the use of audiovisual (AV) resources in Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Anambra State University libraries in Anambra state. The specific objectives are: 1. To determine the types of audiovisual resources available in Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Anambra State University libraries in Anambra state. 2. To determine the level of availability of audiovisual resources in university libraries in Anambra State. 3. To ascertain the benefits of audiovisual resources in university libraries in Anambra state. 4. To determine how audiovisual resources are used in universities in Anambra state. 5. To ascertain the frequency of use of different types of audiovisual resources by users. 6. To determine the challenges users encounter in the use of A/V resources in university libraries. 7. To provide enhancement strategies for improvement in the use of audiovisual resources in university libraries. Research Questions This study will attempt to answer the following research questions. 1. What are the types of audiovisual resources available in Nnamdi Azikiwe University library and Anambra State University library both in Anambra state? 2. What is the level of availability of audiovisual resources in university libraries in Anambra State? 3. What are the benefits of audiovisual resources in university libraries in Anambra state? 4. How are audiovisual resources used in university libraries in Anambra state? 5. What is the frequency of use of different types of audiovisual resources by users? 6. What are the challenges users encounter in the use of A/V resources in university libraries? 7. What are the enhancement strategies for improvement in the use of audiovisual resources in university libraries?
Significance of the Study The results of this study will be beneficial to the government, university library board, universities as institutions of learning, lecturers, librarians, the users, and other researchers. This result will help in creating awareness of the uses of audiovisual resources in university libraries and on the level of provision of audiovisual resources in university libraries, thereby exposing the users to different types of audiovisual resources available for use in university libraries. The government will be exposed to the need for audiovisual resources in university libraries, thus, they will empower the products of our educational system to fit well into the modern industrial system through the acquisition of digital literacy by the use audiovisual resources, they will therefore provide enough funds to parent organization of the libraries in order to meet the financial demand of A/V resources for effective teaching and learning process. It will also help the institution in planning their budget and allocating funds to the library for their collection development which includes A/V resources. The university library board and the libraries are expected to benefit as it will expose them to the advantage of A/V resources over print forms and the areas of their lack in the libraries. They will therefore support the libraries in creating awareness of their use to users in the libraries and provision of needed resources. The librarians will also benefit from this study as it will motivate them to improve on their duties and intellectual development; thereby acquiring the necessary skills to guide their use. The operation of some of these resources gives the librarian an opportunity for personal training and development. Finally, this work will expose users to the potentials of audiovisual resources thereby making them not solely rely on print materials but also to use A/V resources which enhances their learning, and exposes them to the world around them. The lecturers will benefit as they are exposed to the benefits of using audiovisual in their lecture; they will, therefore, improve on their classroom activities by using A/V resources as this will help them with little effort to express their ideas to students understanding of the lectures. It will also increase literature in this field.
Scope of the Study This study will be limited to university libraries in Anambra state. The researcher will survey the state and federal universities in the state; namely Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Anambra State University libraries. In terms of content, the researcher will also examine the challenges in the use of audiovisual (AV) resources in University libraries in Anambra state. In terms of population scope, the researcher will examine the opinions of lecturers and students in these university libraries..