1.1 Background to the study
Academic environment is a place for teaching, learning, research and knowledge creation. The library is a vital facility for enhancing learning, teaching, and research, and as the hub of all academic activities, is established for provoking intellectual excellence. The library is an information resource that provides and enhances personal and national development, and more so influence students’ overall academic achievement. Thus, the effective utilization of information resources in the library is critical to students’ overall academic achievement The availability of relevant resources in the library determine to a large extent how well students utilize information resources culminating in academic success. Fayose (2001) pointed out that the library is essential to any educational development. Availability of adequate library facilities encourages passionate study behaviour in students early in life. It also helps students inculcate the attitude of self-inquiry and self-development. Nkiko (2005), observed that educational standards are being revised and improved upon constantly, including educational competitiveness for high-achieving students. Thus, academic success of students depends largely on the learning platforms available to students including the library facility.
Aanu and Olatoye (2011) noted that the quality of library collection has tremendous impact on student’s academic performance and higher test scores and even more with a higher usage of the school library resources. Lonsdale (2003) reported that a good library that is adequately staffed, resourced and funded could lead to higher students’ achievement regardless of the socio-economic or educational levels of the parents. A strong computer network connecting the library resources to the classrooms and laboratory has an impact on students’ achievement. The quality of collection has impact on students’ achievement and test scores are higher when there is higher usage of the school library.
The library is a part and parcel of a school set up. It exists to serve the objectives of its parent organization. The aim of a good school is to become a force for educational excellence. Education is a life long process. A student learns through formal education in the classroom but he can learn far more by using the library. Once he is able to form the habit of using the library, there is a great probability that he could continue the same throughout the life. A school library acts as a initiator for library habits and reading habits more than text books. Shortage of instructional resources hindered effective utilization of school library. This is supported by Njoroge (2000) in a study on factors affecting availability, acquisition and utilization of resources in the teaching of English in selected secondary schools in Nigeria found that unavailability of educational resources hinders effective utilization. However, Kitheka (2005) noted that schools with abundant resources may not always utilize them efficiently and consequently fail to raise student’s level of performance. On the other hand schools with limited resources may utilize what they have efficiently and this may boost learning thus students should be able to maximize and utilize available resources so as to adequately achieve educational objectives.
School libraries in the educational institutions such as pre-primary, primary and secondary schools are important to the life-wire and foundational up-bringing of children. This is because they primarily stock materials that are of interest and developmental growth for young, teenagers and youths of the era (Rasaq B (2000) and Edeghere (2001)). However such collections of materials, to an extent make provisions for teachers, whereas the services are mainly aimed at pupils and students in the schools. School libraries are known as learning laboratory for the school. A school library is an academic library that supports school programs as well as the teaching and learning process. School libraries serve students by providing materials to meet their various needs and encouraging reading and the use of libraries. Elaturoti (2000) describes the school library as a place designed for provision of all kinds of learning resources. Fayose (2000) defined school library as the part of the school where a collection of books, periodicals, magazines, and newspapers, films, filmstrip, videotapes, recording of different types and so on are housed.
Library resources refer to all input utilized in the library in order to provide a good learning environment for students, teachers and for the realization of educational goals. Library resources are in two major categories, the human and non-human resource. The human resources in the library refer to the library professionals, library officers and library assistants and others. They are responsible for the smooth running of the library and effective use of other resources. While the non-human resources include all print materials such as; reference books, dictionaries, etc and non- print materials such as ; videotape for instruction, slides and other software for instruction the print and non-print formats (Fakomogbon; Bada; and Omiola, 2012).
School libraries play an important role in lowering achievement gaps and supporting at risk students on their pathways to graduation if there are available resources to meet the academic need of both teachers and students (Oakleaf, 2011). The fact still remains that the successful and frequent use of library depends greatly on the availability of the appropriate resources in the school library. To ensure effective teaching and learning in our secondary schools therefore, appropriate and sufficient resource materials are required for the made available for secondary school curriculum. It is only by so doing that teachers and students will be sufficiently groomed and equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies that are expected of them at that level of education. Resource materials are described as information carriers designed specially to fulfill objectives in teaching-learning situation (Ifeakor, 2000).
The availability of relevant educational resources enhance the teaching and learning process in secondary schools. Teachers require quality information resources in order to teach effectively; undertake innovative research and use their acquired knowledge and experience to provide expert services to the schools in order to turn out professionals and qualified students who will be leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, libraries are expected to provide such resources which when used effectively by teachers, would translate into improved teaching effectiveness and quality products. Inadequate information resources in the library can result in time waste and frustration. Such time waste and frustration have the potential of discouraging, rather than encouraging library use (Orji, 2012).
Information utilization is the practical and maximum use of library resources identified and acquired by a user for the purpose of solving a problem or achieving a set goal… The teachers in secondary schools are expected to use library resources for teaching. Effective teaching could be achieved if library information resources are correctly utilized to teaching functions by the teachers. Library resources are of no value to the teachers until they have been utilized. The quality of teaching, research, and community services of teachers in any secondary school depends to some extent on availability and utilization of library resources accessible in their school libraries. Resource availability and usage are essential to teachers and students in the secondary schools (Oyewusi, 2009). It is against this backdrop that this study sets to investigate the use of library resources in secondary schools in Esan central local government area of Edo State.
1.2 Statement of the problems
The availability and utilization of school library resources by teacher and secondary school students in Esan Central local government area of Edo State is a matter of serious concern to every stakeholder in secondary school system. The researcher has observed that there are little or no material resources for teaching and learning in some secondary schools. library. The non availability and use of relevant educational resources often leads to the under development of young school leavers that are ill-equipped and not able to face their future academic challenges. In addition, teaching processes is hindered due to lack of relevant materials in the library for effective delivery curriculum. Most teachers will not be up to date in their knowledge in their fields of specialization and may likely not give out their best to students. They may also not be in a position to compete favourably with their counterparts in other schools when it comes to presentation of papers and seminars. Also the inadequate use of school resources will not justify the large sum of money spent on acquisition of materials ‘if provided’ and it will likely affect the quality of teaching and learning in secondary schools. It may likely result to production of half baked graduates. The researcher observed that most public secondary schools in Esan Central L.G.A, lack school libraries and the few ones with library are ill-equipped. It was also observed by the researcher that the school libraries in the study area is not adequately used by teachers and students. This is the problem which the researcher feels that only an investigation will un-ravel the mystery. Hence the need to investigate the use of library resources in secondary schools in Esan central local government area of Edo State.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main objective of the study is to investigate the use of library resources in secondary schools in Esan central local government area of Edo State. The specific objectives are to:
- Find out the available library resources in secondary schools.
- Examine the extent school library resources is being utilized by students and teachers in secondary schools.
- Examine the extent at which the available resources have positive influence on teaching and learning in Esan Central L.G.A Edo State
- Examine the purpose of using library resources by teachers and students in schools.
- Identify the problems militating against the availability and use of library resources in secondary school.
1.4 Research question
- What are the available school library resources in secondary schools?
- To what extent is school library resources being utilized by students and teachers in secondary schools?
- Does the available library resource have any positive impact on teaching and learning in Esan Central L.G.A Edo State?
- What is the purpose of using library resources by teachers and students in secondary schools?
- What are the problems militating against the availability and use of library resources in secondary school?
1.5 Significance of the study
It is hoped that the findings of this study will go a long way to reveal the actual state of library resources in the study area. Schools and practicing teacher-librarians would need this study to execute their library operation and enhance performance. Librarians in training and library educators would find this study a worthy companion as it would provide and enrich literature for effective teaching and learning in schools.
The findings from this study will also be of relevance to Secondary Schools Principals, Directors and Proprietors of Secondary Schools would benefit from the study, as it would unmask the role of the school library in secondary school system of education, especially as it relates to enhancing education. The findings of the study would therefore serve as a valuable working document in the hands of Educational Administrators in finding a long lasting solution to the problem of falling standard of education in the country. This study would also be of immense benefit to educational policy makers and implementers as it would serve as a guide in formulating and implementing relevant educational policies relating to school library services. Students and general readers would find the study useful as it explains the professional practice of school library thereby helping in creating more aware-ness of the use and usefulness of school library and its maximum usage as information resources custodian.
1.6 Scope of the study
The study examines the availability and use of school library resources as a predicator of effective teaching and learning in selected secondary schools in Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State.
1.7 Operational definition of terms
Library: Library can be defined as an institution where information can selected, acquired processed, store and disseminated to users.
School Library: School library refers to an institution within the primary and secondary schools where information resources like books, journals, newspapers, magazines etc can be accessed.
Availability: This can be defined in the context of this research, as the extent at which information materials are made provided or available for easy access by users.
Library Resources: This refers to valuable information resources that are available at the library; such as books, e-books, CDs DVDs, magazines, games computers internet access, microfilms, maps and more.
Utilization: It can explained as the level of application of resources in library for user’s development.