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Library Philosophy and Practice 2011

ISSN 1522-0222

Library Instructon Programme As a Correlate of Student Catalogue Use in Colleges of Education Libraries

Samuel Arubam Amkpa, PhD
Department of Library Science
University of Maiduguri
Borno State, Nigeria

Amudat I. Imam
College of Education Special Oyo Library
Oyo State, Nigeria


Libraries were established in colleges of education in order to provide information resources and services for teaching, learning and research; these they do so by acquiring conserving, organizing for easy access and disseminating relevant information sources to meet the needs of their users who are in the colleges of education. Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) explained that, effective use of library materials and other facilities depends on the skillfulness or competence of the users and the level of assistance given them. Library instruction is often interchangeably with library literacy, user education, information literacy, and bibliographic instructions among others, which will be applicable in this study. Flemming (1990) defined library instruction as various programmes of education, exploration provided by librarians to enable users make more use of information sources and services in the library. According to Lau (1997) a student hardly uses library during his or her first twelve years of schooling and library becomes present in a students life when he or she becomes an undergraduate. This is why freshmen in higher institutions in Nigeria have to be taught on how to use the library and its facilities. The various library instruction programmes include library orientation; library tours, lectures and classrooms instructions, accredited library skill course. All these programmes assist to equip students in the use of library, but the most effective, as observed by Dudley (1972) is the accredited course in library use. Students in colleges of education in Nigeria are introduced to the use of library, which has a prescribed course content approved by the National Commission for Colleges of Education, (NCCE, 1996). It is taught as one of the courses in the general studies Department of the college and compulsory for all newly admitted students.

Cataloguing and classification are aspect of the course outlined which aimed at introducing students to basic knowledge and skills about library catalogue. Popoola, Udoh, and Aderibigbe (2001) described library catalogue as the culmination of the library staff efforts at organizing information sources for access. The catalogue provides sufficient guidance to users to enable to locate and retrieve items from the library, for which either the author, title or subject is known. It also shows at a glance what the library has by a given author, subject or on a given kind of literature.

The relationship between the library instruction programme and catalogue use can be seen form the important role of the library instruction programme component which emphasized catalogue use in its course content. This is to enable the students acquire skill or competence in using the catalogue as locating tool or device for the library collections. The success or failure of student ability to locate resources in the library depends on the skill acquired though the library instruction progamme.

Egberongbe (2000) noted that despite library instruction course taught to students, most of them continue to experience difficulties in using the library catalogue. This study examined whether the component of the library instruction programmes are the factors responsible for student catalogue under use in Colleges of Education Libraries in South West Zone of Nigeria. The variables investigated as the independent variables for library instruction programme which are course content, teaching methods and library catalogue bibliographic elements, while the dependent variable was level of student’s catalogue use.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were to determine:

  1. The relationship between library instruction programme’s course content and  students’ library catalogue use in Colleges of education in the South West of Nigeria.
  2. The relationship between library instruction programme’s teaching methods and students library catalogue use.
  3. The relationship between catalogue bibliographic elements and students’ catalogue use.


The study was thus based on the following null hypotheses:

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between library instruction programme’s course content and students’ catalogue use in libraries of colleges of Education in the south west zone of Nigeria.

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between library instruction programme’s teaching methods and students’ catalogue use.

Ho4: There is no significant relationship between catalogue bibliographic elements and students’ catalogue use,

Review of Literature

Boayke (1999) noted that a user is handicapped in the use of the library if he or she lacks skills to use the library catalogue. The studies of Ojoade and Jagboro (2000) revealed that users exhibit patterns of library catalogue usage, that education, experience and sophistication of library users determine the pattern or level of library catalogue use. On the course content the studies of Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) and Larenzen (2004) advocated for the concept of teaching what students really need to know. Fatiloro (2005) observed that methods of teaching contributed significantly if a student is to perform well in a subject. On bibliographic utilities Aina (2004) provided a clearer view on bibliographic elements or information on library catalogue. Maitby (1971) emphasized the need to teach users the importance of every element on the library catalogue so as to avoid misinterpretation.

Research Methodology

The survey research design was adopted for this study. The population consisted of a total of two thousand five hundred and sixty (2,560) year III students in four selected colleges of education in the south west of Nigeria, comprising of two Federal and two State Colleges of Education. These Colleges are:  Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education Lagos, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State, Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Oyo State and Osun state College of Education Ilesa. These Colleges were chosen because they are first generation of Colleges of Education established by both federal and state governments and most of their courses according to National Commission Education Bulletin (2005) have been accredited. A sample of 10% was used, as a sample size of which is made up of 256 students, selected to represent the whole students’ population out of the (2,560) target population, using a stratified proportionate sampling technique. While the sample from each institution, was drawn using systematic sampling technique. Questionnaire was used as instruments in collecting the necessary data for this study. The data collected were analyzed using inferential statistics of PPMC correlation for hypothesis testing. All the two hundred and fifty six (256) copies of the questionnaire distributed were adequately filled, returned and found useable; hence, 100% response rate was recorded.

Hypotheses Tested

Hypothesis one: There is no significant relationship between library instruction programmer’s course content and student’s library catalogue use in libraries of Colleges of Education in South West Nigeria. The test result is presented in table 3.

Table 3: Relationship between course content and student’s library catalogue use

S/N Variables



image SD df r-value p-value

Decision p<0.05


1 Course content 6.23 1.84




2. Catalogue use 6.57 1.21

NS = Not significant at p<0.05.

Table 4 shows the calculated r-value was .077 with mean of 6.23 and standard deviation (SD) of 1.84 with df of 254, while the students’ catalogue use has a mean of 6.57 and standard deviation (SD) of 1.21. Since the r-value of .077 is lower than the p-value of .218. Hence, the null hypothesis is accepted. Thus there is no relationship between course content and students’ Library catalogue use.

Hypothesis Two: There is no significant relationship between library instruction programmes teaching methods and students catalogue use in libraries of Colleges of Education in South West Nigeria. The test result is presented in table 4.

Table 4: Relationship between library instruction programme’s Teaching Methods and student’s catalogue use.

S/N Variables N image SD Df r-value p- value Decision p<0.05
1. Teaching Methods


7.30 1.22





2. Catalogue Use 6.57 1.21

Significant at p<0.05.

Table 4 shows the calculated r-value was .178 with mean of 7.30 and standard deviation of 1.22 with df 254, while the students catalogue use had a mean of 6.57 and standard Deviation of 1.21. Since, r-value of .178 is greater than the critical value .004, thus, there is low strength of relationship between library instruction programme and students’ library catalogue use. Therefore the null hypothesis is rejected; this implies the there exists relationship between the two variables in the examined colleges.

Hypothesis three: there is no significant relationship between catalogue bibliographic utilities and students catalogue use in libraries of Colleges of Education in South West Nigeria. The test of this hypothesis is presented in table 5 below.

Table 5: relationship between library instruction programme bibliographic elements and students catalogue use

S/N Variables N iamge SD Df r-value p- value Decision p<0.05
1. Bibliographic Utilities


7.05 1.23





2. Students’ Library Catalogue use 1.21  

S = Significant at p<.05

Table 5 shows the calculated r-value was .114 with mean of 7.05 for bibliographic utilities and standard deviation of 1.3, with df 54, while, the students catalogue use has mean of 6.57 and standard deviation of 1.21. Since, the calculated r-value of .114 is greater than the p-value of .070, thus, there was low strength of relationship between the two variables in the Colleges Under study. Therefore the null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant relationship between library instruction programme bibliographic utilities and students library catalogue use in libraries of Colleges of Education in South West, Nigeria.

The tested hypothesis revealed that there was relationship between library instruction course content and student’s catalogue use. The result of this findings agrees with those of  Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) who affirmed that academic libraries provide students with the following competencies; knowledge of basic kinds of prints and non prints and how they  are arranged; knowledge of specific tools in a particular area of interest and how to use them; ability to define a problem within a particular area of interest and how to limit and select most relevant  to it and knowledge of other subject areas of  interest and how to find them. The course content equip the students with relevant theoretical and practical knowledge so that meaningful learning can take place. However, this findings is contrary to Oduolowo (2002) who asserted that curriculum brings about positive changes to a learner, but where it is complex and over crowded it may not actualized the desired change to a learner because appropriate methods of teaching might not be used and the possibility of covering necessary areas will be daunting, therefore little or no learning would take place. This shows that the motive behind the course content may not be realized due to some factors, which may be outside of this study.

Another test of the null hypothesis revealed that there was significant relationship between teaching methods and student’s library use. This result is substantially in agreement with Ashiru (2002) who observed that formal instruction on use of library in Nigeria institutions were characterized by lectures and inadequate practical session. Reasons advanced for using this teaching methods, may include  that Librarians  who are  involved, might not prepare to teach the course, overloaded syllabus and inadequate time or duration to complete the syllabus, therefore, if any or all such situations occur, appropriate learning might not take place. Consequently Librarians and the methods of teaching contribute significantly to students learning catalogue skills. This can be inferred in earlier study of Lorenzen (2004) who asserted that library skills of accessing, locating and using sources should not be taught in isolation because skills taught in isolation are not likely to be transferred to other applications like those skills taught in contact with direct application. Librarians should therefore be conversant with different teaching methods and use the most appropriate method for the topic at hand. Hence the effective approach to teaching the use of library catalogue to students is through demonstration (process and result). The implication of this finding is that, if the present methods of teaching are not corrected the student level of catalogue use will continue to be low.

Another tested null hypothesis predicted that, there was no significant relationship between Bibliographic utilities and students catalogue use. This finding is in consistent with the observation of Aina (2004) who said that knowledge once acquired or gained without sufficient structure to tie it together, is knowledge that is likely to be forgotten. Student’s bibliographic skills can only be enhanced, if they are engaged or encouraged to use the library catalogue by their Lecturers. This implies that the more they use the library catalogue, the more they understand the bibliographic approaches (Author, title, subject).


From the findings the study provided evidence that in spite of library instruction on the use of library catalogue in the colleges of education under study, student’s library catalogue use were low. The low level of students library catalogue use hinged on the teaching methods, course content and bibliographic element. This is because the tested hypotheses revealed that teaching methods and bibliographic utilities have relationship with student’s library catalogue use.


Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made;

  1. The course content presently seems to be adequate; the aspect of library catalogue can be restructured so as to accommodate more demonstrations.
  2. Teaching method should be improved, the present lecture methods, individual or group assignment and computer assisted instruction should be combined with demonstration method.
  3. Librarians teaching library instruction programme should endeavour to educate the students on the identification of bibliographic elements to be used in approaching library catalogue.


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