https://lisdigest.org
Abstract
Though there seems to be a decline in public library patronage in Nigeria, yet it is believed that
best practices in library services can enhance attendance of clienteles. The study investigated the
extent to which reference and information needs satisfaction enhances library patronage. The
study was guided by 3 research questions. It adopted a descriptive survey research design. The
population of the study was 4,943 users. The sample size was 353. A multi-stage sampling
technique was used. A questionnaire was used to collect data. The findings showed that users'
reference and information needs' satisfaction enhances library patronage to a high extent. Based
on the findings, it was recommended that public library stakeholders should provide the
reference sections with adequate human, financial, and material resources; and rebrand and
repackage reference service to attract users' patronage physically and online.
Keywords: Reference and information needs, library patronage, impact assessment, Users' satisfaction,
Public libraries.
Volume 14 | Article 6 May, 2021|
66
Library and Information Science Digest
Volume 14: Issue 1, May 2021
OPEN ACCESS
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction
on Library Patronage
1
Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam , Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
2 1
1
Nwafor Orizu College of Education Library, Nsugbe
2
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Received: 2020/09/13. Accepted: 2021/05/17. Published: 2021/05/27
ISSN (Online): 2672 - 4820
Introduction
Users are the people who come to the
library as groups or individuals to use the
library space for utilising information
resources, consulting library services, and
other purposes. Users are unique based on
the type of libraries that serve their
information needs. Users in public libraries
are heterogeneous and diversified and that
includes the general populace. Afkhami,
Tajafari, Nowkarizi, and Asghari-Nekah
(2019) affirm that users of public libraries
are heterogeneous. There is no limit to who
uses the public library because such
libraries are funded with taxpayers' money.
Hence, everyone is entitled to use public
libraries for reading, studying, research,
relaxation, recreation, and other activities.
The people served by public libraries
include the old, youths, children, business
people, students, members of various
professions, academics, artisans, and
farmers. The heterogeneous nature of
public library users' makes them clamour
for special information services to satisfy
their specific and diversified information
reference and information needs.
Saibakumo, Orewa, and Nwose (2019) note
that the tenets of library use include the
people and the technology that drives the
patterns of patronage of the libraries.
The reference and information services
needs of users are associated with various
services provided by the libraries.
F r i e d l a n d ( 2 0 1 7 ) r e p o r t s t h a t
Communications Policy Research Network
(CPRN) identified the categories of
reference and information needs as
selective dissemination of information
(SDI), current awareness services (CAS),
document delivery, literature search,
information repackaging, database search,
information brokerage, referral services.
Solanke and Nwalo (2016) include
bibliographic information, indexing, and
abstracting information. Igwe (2012) adds
specific services that meet their
educational, economic, social, health,
religious, cultural, and information needs.
Public libraries are making giant strides to
provide tailored and specific information
services to satisfy these enormous needs of
diversified users.
Public libraries in Nigeria as information
service institutions are putting efforts to
ensure that the users are well satisfied with
their services and products (Olarongbe,
Adepoju, Akanbi-Ademolake, and Pedro,
2013 & Kefas, 2015). According to Bua and
Yawe (2014) satisfying users' needs
involves making required information
materials present at all times for users'
consumption. Library user satisfaction
implies how users feel after using the
information resources and services and
their willingness to return to the library
when next they need information (Ikenwe
and Adegbilero-Iwari, 2014). Mairaj and
Naseer (2013) stress that the library should
maintain and strengthen the services with
which users are satisfied, and improve those
about which they are concerned. For this
reason, Verma and Laltlanmawii (2016)
suggest that to satisfy the information needs
of users the library should develop their
collections and also provide different types
of library services because the library is a
growing organism. Advancing and
improving the services of a library to satisfy
users' information needs is one of the best
practices in librarianship. It is expected that
such giant strides and efforts will help
increase and enhance users' library
experience and patronage.
Enhancing library patronage involves
redesigning the services to meet the
standards and trends in the information
provision business. It also involves
redesigning the library structure, website,
software, and digital platforms in attractive
and appealing manners. Jaeger, Bertot,
Kodama, Katz, and DeCoster (2011)
specify that patronage in public libraries is
skyrocketing. Although, Universal Class
(2019) laments that, “because many
libraries now offer their collections online,
many people are forgoing the library in
favour of heading to their computers." Not
just about the library's online presence, the
presence of the information resources and
sources on the internet has greatly affected
library patronage. To handle the situation
effectively, public libraries in Nigeria need
to improve their reference and information
services.
Public libraries are established in Anambra
State, Nigeria in the major cities and towns.
The libraries provide information services,
including reference services to meet users'
information needs. Prof. Kenneth Dike
Library which is the central library and
headquarter of public libraries in the state is
Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
67
located in Awka the state capital. Aside
from the central library, there are 3
divisional libraries in Anambra state. They
are Onitsha Divisional Library, Nnewi
Divisional Library, and Abagana Divisional
Library. There are also 7 branch libraries
which are: Ajalli Branch Library,
Nkpologwu Branch Library, Adazi
Nnukwu Branch Library, Amichi Branch
Library, Ozubulu Branch Library, Ihembosi
Branch Library and Atani Branch Library.
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the study was to investigate the
impact of users' reference and information
needs satisfaction on library patronage in
public libraries in Anambra State, Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study were to
determine the:
1. users' reference and information
needs in Anambra State public
libraries;
2. extent to which users' reference and
information needs are satisfied in
Anambra State public libraries;
3. extent to which users' reference and
information needs satisfaction
enhances library patronage in
Anambra State public libraries.
Research Questions
The following research questions guided
the study:
1. What are users' reference and
information needs in Anambra
State public libraries?
2. To what extent are users' reference
and information needs satisfied in
Anambra State public libraries?
3. To what extent has the satisfaction
of users' reference and information
needs enhanced library patronage
in Anambra State public libraries?
Literature Review
The following previous studies that are
related to the study were reviewed:
Olarongbe, Adepoju, Akanbi-Ademolake,
and Pedro (2013) assessed information
needs and characteristics of users of Oyo
State Public Library, Nigeria. The findings
showed that the majority of library users
were students who needed information that
supports their education, which they sought
mainly from textbooks. The majority of the
users obtained their needed information
from the library and the internet. The major
constraint to accessing needed information
was the inadequacy of relevant materials.
Periodic users' studies and acquisition of
current and relevant materials were
suggested as possible solutions.
Kefas (2015) surveyed users' satisfaction
with public library services in Mubi,
Adamawa State. The study revealed that most
of the materials are outdated. The library is
faced with the problem of information
retrieval tools, which implies that the services
provided by the library is not adequate.
Jegan and Jayaprakash (2018) studied
awareness of information needs and
information-seeking behaviour of public
library users in Salem District. The study
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
68
Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
reveals that majority of the respondents
were males. The majority of the users in the
public libraries in Salem district are
employees 62 (52%), followed by the
students 26 (22%). 17 (14%) respondents
are farmers, while 15(12%) respondents are
businessmen. 31 (26%) respondents
expressed that their level of satisfaction
with library services was excellent,
followed by 50 (42%) respondents rating
the satisfaction level as good. While 30
(25%) respondents are just satisfied with
the level of library services being rendered,
09 (07%) respondents expressed their
dissatisfaction with the library services.
Olalekan (2020) conducted a study on
utilization and user satisfaction of public
library, using Herbert Macaulay Library,
Lagos State, Nigeria as a case study. The
research found out that, most of the library
users are youths and young adults. The
study also revealed that the respondents
indicated visiting the library frequently for
general reading, followed by research
work, career, recreation/entertainment, to
get help always, socialize to meet friends,
and to use the internet. The findings also
show that majority of the respondents
indicated that the attitude of the library staff
influence their visit to the library, and was
generally satisfied with the resources and
services rendered by the library.
Anne (2014) assessed reference and
inform ation services rendered to
undergraduate students in federal
university libraries in Enugu and Anambra
states of Nigeria. The results revealed that
reference services are rendered to
undergraduate students in the two
university libraries and that reference
resources are available in the reference
sections of the university libraries. The
study also revealed that the undergraduate
students make use of the reference services
offered to them in the libraries under study.
Ayanda, Ayanda, and Ayangbekun (2017)
investigated users' satisfaction with the
reference services in the National Library
of Nigeria, Lagos. The result shows that out
of the 95 respondents, 67 (70.5%) were
males while 28 (29.5%) were females. It
shows that the majority of the library users
use the library materials regularly. Amongst
the materials regularly used are
encyclopedias, dictionaries and manuals.
Also users are pleased with the library's
services and facilities. The two areas where
lack of satisfaction was expressed are
lighting and photocopying services.
Aslam and Seher (2018) investigated user
satisfaction with Liaquat Memorial
Library, Karachi, Pakistan. It is a public
library. The study discovered that the
library is playing a vital role to some extent,
but many areas need to be improved to meet
the expectation and intellectual needs of the
society. The majority of the users were
students of Intermediate and of Master's
level using library services to fulfill their
educational needs. Also, there are users
with multiple information needs who use
recreational materials as well as
newspapers. The rate of satisfaction of
users was good, but the factors of
dissatisfaction were also present. Poor
internet services sometimes cause
dissatisfaction for the users. Low
cooperation from librarians and less
guidance service were among the reasons
for non-satisfaction.
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
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Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
Adeniran (2011) investigated user
satisfaction with academic library services,
academic staff and students' perspectives.
The study revealed that of the academic
staff and students who formed the
population for the study, students were
found to have used the library most. The
result also showed that College of
Management Sciences had the highest
frequency of use, and it also showed that
users were satisfied with the services of the
library.
Literature review concentrated mainly on
academic libraries and not public libraries.
This study therefore fills the gap by
surveying public libraries.
Research Method
The study adopted a descriptive survey
research design. Nworgu (2015) declares
that a descriptive survey aims at collecting
data on and describing systematically the
characteristics, features, or facts about a
given population. A descriptive survey
design was adopted because the study
collected data with a questionnaire that was
used to describe the reference and
information needs satisfaction for
enhancement of users' library patronage in
Anambra State public libraries. The
population of the study was users in public
libraries in Anambra State. According to the
2019 Library User Register, there were
4,943 registered library users. This was
made up of 2,430 users in Prof. Dike
Central Library, 454 users in Abagana
Divisional Library, 1189 users in Onitsha
Divisional Library, and 870 users in Nnewi
Divisional Library.
The sample size for the study is 357 users,
determined with Roasoft Sample Size
Calculator. The sample size comprises 176
users in Prof. Kenneth Dike Central
Library, 32 users in Abagana Divisional
Library, 85 users in Onitsha Divisional
Library, and 64 users in Nnewi Divisional
Library. The study adopted a multi-stage
sampling technique. In the first stage, a
purposive sampling technique was used to
select the central library and 3 divisional
libraries. These libraries were selected
because they have reference sections in the
library complex. In the second stage, the
accidental sampling technique was adopted
in selecting the users. A 43-item
questionnaire titled Users' Reference and
Information Service Needs Satisfaction
Questionnaire (URISNSQ) was designed.
It has 3 clusters. Cluster A elicited
response on users' reference and
information service needs. The response
mode is Needed and Not Needed. It has 11
items. Cluster B is on the extent to which
users' reference and information needs are
satisfied. It has 11 items. Cluster C dealt
with the extent to which reference and
information need satisfaction enhances
library patronage. It has 21 items. The
response modes are VHE = Very High
Extent; HE = High Extent, LE = Low
Extent; VLE = Very low Extent. Data were
analyzed with frequency count, percentage,
and descriptive statistics of mean and
standard deviation. All analysis was done
with the Statistical Package of the Social
Sciences (SPSS).
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
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Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
% = Percentage, Dec = Decision
Table 1 shows the users' reference and
information service needs in Anambra state
public libraries. It revealed that the
identified reference and information
service needs of users are Current
Awareness Services (CAS) (86.4%),
question-answering service (85.7%),
information brokerage services (84.8%),
orientation services, and document delivery
services (84.5%) which are ranked 1st to
4th on the table. Other information service
needs of the users as indicated in the table
are information and referral services,
literature search services and Selective
Dissemination of Information (SDI)
services.
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
71
Table 1: Frequency Count and Percentage Rating of Users' on the Reference and
Information Service
S/n
Items
Needed
%
Not
Needed
%
Dec
1
Current Awareness Services (CAS)
292
86.4
33
9.8
1
st
Needed
2
Question-answering service
288
85.7
36
10.7
2
nd
Needed
3
Information brokerage services
285
84.8
39
11.6
3
rd
Needed
4
Document delivery services
284
84.5
38
11.3
4
th
Needed
5
Orientation services
284
84.5
41
12.2
4
th
Needed
6
Information and referral services
283
84.2
41
12.2
5
th
Needed
7
Literature search services
278
82.7
44
13.1
6
th
Needed
8
Bibliography service
278
82.7
46
13.7
6
th
Needed
9 Selective dissemination of information
services
272
81.0
51
15.2
7
th
Needed
10
User education services
269
80.1
56
16.7
8
th
Needed
11
Database search services
264
78.6
61
18.2
9
th
Needed
12
Information repackaging services
258
76.8
67
19.9
10
th
Needed
Results
Users' reference and information service needs in Anambra State public libraries
Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
Table 2 shows the result on the extent to
which users' reference and information
needs are satisfied.. It indicates that all the
reference and information users of
Anambra state public library are satisfied to
a high extent. This includes information and
referral services (3.33), orientation services
(3.18), information repackaging services
(3.15), and user education services (3.13)
needs were satisfied to a great extent. Other
reference and information service needs
that are satisfied to a high extent are
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
72
Extent users' reference and information service needs are satisfied
Table 2: Frequency Count and Mean Rating of Users' on the Extent to which
Reference and Information Needs are Satisfied.
S/N
Items
VHE
%
HE
%
LE
%
VLE
%
Mean
Std
Dec
1 Information and referral
services
186
57.1
95
29.1
22
6.7
13
4.0
3.33
.98
1
st
HE
2
Orientation services
163
50.0
98
30.1
31
11.7
17
5.2
3.18
1.03
2
nd
HE
3 Information repackaging
services
145
44.5
115
35.3
43
13.2
16
4.9
3.15
.97
3
rd
HE
4
User education services
163
50.0
85
26.1
49
15.0
17
5.2
3.13
1.08
4
th
HE
5 Selective dissemination of
information services
153
46.9
92
28.2
44
13.5
24
7.4
3.06
1.12
5
th
HE
6 Current awareness services
(CAS)
138
42.3
115
35.3
39
12.0
22
6.7
3.05
1.06
6
th
HE
7
Database search services
136
41.7
113
34.7
41
12.9
26
8.0
3.04
1.10
7
th
HE
8
Information brokerage services
140
42.9
92
28.2
61
18.7
24
7.4
3.01
1.07
8
th
HE
9
Literature search services
135
41.4
103
31.6
50
15.3
28
8.6
2.99
1.09
9
th
HE
10
Document delivery services
102
31.3
108
33.1
68
20.9
38
11.7
2.77
1.10
10
th
HE
11
Bibliography service
93
28.5
113
34.7
64
19.6
33
10.1
2.67
1.19
11
th
HE
Grand Mean 3.03 HE
VHE = Very High Extent; HE = High Extent, LE = Low Extent;
VLE = Very low Extent, Std = Standard Deviation.
Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
Selective Dissemination of Information,
Current Awareness Services (CAS),
document deliv e r y se r v i ces, and
bibliography service. The grand mean 3.03
shows that reference and information
services needs were satisfied to a high
extent for enhancement of users' library
patronage in Anambra state public libraries.
The extent to which user satisfaction of reference and information needs' enhances
library patronage.
Table 3: Frequency Count and Mean Rating of Users' on the Extent to which the
Satisfaction of Reference and Information Needs Enhances Library Patronage
S/N
Items
VHE
%
HE
%
LE
%
VLE
%
Mean
Std
Dec
1
Increased use of library internet
service
178
54.3
104
32.3
27
7.89
15
3.46
3.36
.98
HE
2
Increased request for bibliographic
services
178
54.6
96
29.4
38
11.7
9
2.8
3.32
.89
HE
3
Increased reference inquiries
received daily
142
43.6
151
46.3
25
7.7
5
1.5
3.30
.75
HE
4 Increased resources duplication/
photocopying request
171
52.5
108
33.1
25
7.7
13
4.0
3.28
.96
HE
5
Users’ stay longer in the library now
157
48.2
124
38.0
27
8.3
14
4.3
3.27
.87
HE
6
Increased request for instructional
services
153
46.9
117
35.9
38
11.7
15
4.6
3.23
.89
HE
7
Users’ consult brainstorming
services frequently
138
42.3
123
37.7
43
13.2
17
5.2
3.14
.94
HE
8 Increased headcount
128
39.3
129
39.6
54
16.6
12
3.7
3.12
.88
HE
9
Increased resources reservation
request
139
42.6
117
35.9
46
14.1
20
6.1
3.12
.95
HE
10
The number of borrowed books have
increased
134
41.1
107
32.8
64
19.6
19
5.8
3.07
.94
HE
11
Increased request for selective
dissemination of information
services
110
33.7
142
43.6
50
15.3
21
6.4
3.02
.91
HE
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
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Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
Volume 14 | Article 6 | May, 2021
74
extent makes users' stay longer in the
library (3.27), increases request for
instructional services (3.23), users' consult
brainstorming services frequently,
increased resources reservation requests,
and increased headcount.
Discussion
Users' Reference and Information Service
Needs in Anambra State Public Libraries
In the first result, it was found that Current
Awareness Services (CAS), question-
answering service, information brokerage
services, orientation services, document
Table 3 shows the extent to which reference
and information needs' satisfaction
enhances users' library patronage in
Anambra State public libraries. The grand
mean of 3.07 reveals that reference and
information needs satisfaction enhances
library patronage to a high extent. It also
indicates that all the items are rated high
extent, such as increases use of library
internet service (3.36), increases request for
bibliographic services (3.32), increases
reference inquiries received daily (3.30),
and increases resources duplication/
photocopying request (3.28) ranked 1st,
2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Furthermore, reference
and information needs satisfaction to a high
12
Increased request for information
scouting
116
35.6
131
40.2
51
15.6
19
5.8
3.00
.91
HE
13
More reference resources are used daily
93
28.5
177
54.3
32
9.8
8
2.5
3.00
.95
HE
14
More users are registered daily
105
32.2
140
42.9
56
17.2
19
5.8
2.97
.94
HE
15
Increased request for literature search
services
111
34.0
130
39.9
58
17.8
16
4.9
2.96
1.01
HE
16
Increased request for current awareness
services
96
29.4
141
43.3
59
18.1
24
7.4
2.91
.96
HE
17
Increased inter-library loan request
104
31.9
146
44.8
38
11.7
16
4.9
2.90
1.11
HE
18
Increased consultancy service request
94
28.8
147
45.1
59
18.1
12
3.7
2.90
.99
HE
19
Increased participation in the library
exhibition
105
32.2
118
36.2
70
21.5
28
8.6
2.88
1.00
HE
20
Increased request for translation services
97
29.8
132
40.5
62
19.0
21
6.4
2.84
1.05
HE
21
Increased resources duplication/
photocopying request
171
52.5
108
33.1
25
7.7
13
4.0
3.28
.96
HE
Cluster Mean
3.07
HE
Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
delivery services information and referral
services and literature search services are
the reference and information service needs
of users in Anambra state public libraries. In
their report, Friedland (2017) reveals that
the Communications Policy Research
Network (CPRN) identified the categories
of reference and information needs as
selective dissemination of information
(SDI), current awareness services (CAS),
document delivery, literature search,
information repackaging, database search,
information brokerage, referral services.
Solanke and Nwalo (2016) include
bibliographic information, indexing, and
abstracting information needs. Public
library users are diversified, which equally
implies that their reference needs are
diversified and enormous. Identifying the
users' reference and information needs will
assist public libraries to make adequate
provision of resources that will aid in
meeting their information needs.
Extent to which Users' Reference and
Information Needs are satisfied in
Anambra State Public Libraries
In the second result, it was found that users'
reference and information service needs are
satisfied to a high extent for the
enhancement of library patronage in
Anambra State public libraries. In line with
this finding, Tiemo (2016) insists that users'
satisfaction has been the primary objective
of libraries and library professionals.
Adeniran (2011) argues that the purpose of
establishing a library is defeated if its users
are not satisfied with the resources and
services it provides. Awodoyin and Aina
(2018) suggest that users adjudge a
product/service as either good or bad
because it has met the need or exceeded the
needs of the user through service quality.
When users frequently patronize the
services of the public libraries it will boost
their image as information service
institutions. An increase in the rate of users'
patronage will spur the government to
increase the fund allocated to the public
library for their maintenance.
Extent the Satisfaction of Users'
Reference and Information Needs
Enhances Library Patronage
In the third result, the study found that users'
reference and information needs'
satisfaction to a high extent enhances
library patronage in Anambra state public
libraries. It includes increased use of library
internet service, increased request for
bibliographic services, increased reference
inquiries received daily, increased request
for instructional services among others.
Solanke and Nwalo (2016) found a positive
significant relationship between user needs
and patronage of reference services. Adiele,
Grend, and Chinedu (2015) aver that
patronage is burned out of a desire to be
committed to an organization either based
on its service quality or perceived service
qualities. Ijiekhuamhen, Aghojare, and
Omosekejimi, (2015) posit that the level of
using the library depends on users'
satisfaction with the available information
resources and services rendered to them.
Users' satisfaction is very important to the
existence and operation of public libraries.
When the users are satisfied with the
services of the library they will be
encouraged to frequently visit the library, or
consult librarians with their information
needs.
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Moukwelu Maureen Ifenyinwam, Usuka Enweremadu Isaac and Azubuike Chioma G.
Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage
Conclusion
The identification of users reference and
information needs such as Current
Awareness Services (CAS), question-
answering service, information brokerage
services, orientation services, document
delivery services, information and referral
services and literature search services,
shows that the public libraries are still
relevant, hence, should improve their
reference services delivery. Also finding
out that users' reference and information
service needs are satisfied to a high extent
implies that users desire to consult and
patronise the services of the public libraries.
This could spur them to frequently visit the
library for their reference and information
needs. Finally, determining that users'
reference and information needs'
satisfaction to a high extent enhances
library patronage in Anambra state public
libraries shows that public libraries have
advanced and improved their services. This
could result in users appreciating the
services of the libraries.
Recommendations
In line with the finding s, these
recommendations were made:
1. Public library stakeholders should
provide reference sections with
adequate human, financial, and
material resources.
2. The management of public libraries
should design and implement the
provision of digital reference
services to ensure timely access to
information irrespective of location
and time.
3. Public libraries should rebrand and
repackage their reference services
in a way that will attract users'
patronage physically and remotely.
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Impact of Users' Reference and Information Needs Satisfaction on Library Patronage