https://lisdigest.org
Abstract
The regular assessment of the usage of library resources and services provides a solid platform
for improvement and excellence. The study investigated the patronage and utilization of
information resources by library users in Federal University libraries in North East, Nigeria. The
study was conducted between July and November 2019.Undergraduate students, postgraduate
students, and lecturers constituted the respondents of the study. The research adopted a survey
design using 375 sample size. A questionnaire was used for data collection. Out of three hundred
and seventy-five (375) questionnaires administered, 360 were retrieved and found usable for
analysis. Descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages were used to analyze the
data. The findings of the study revealed that variation existed among the library users in terms of
hours spent, frequency of usage, types of information resources used and purposes for which the
libraries were utilized. To improve the level of patronage and utilization of information
resources, the study recommended that all libraries under study should make their library stocks
more current and easy to utilize to boost the level of patronage and utilization of their users.
Keywords: Library Patronage, Library Utilization, Information Resources, University Libraries
Volume 14 | Article 7 May, 2021|
79
Library and Information Science Digest
Volume 14: Issue 1, May 2021
OPEN ACCESS
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19
Pandemic Era in Northeast University Libraries of Nigeria
1 1
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
1
Library and Information Science Department, University of Maiduguri
Received: 2020/08/11. Accepted: 2021/04/22. Published: 2021/05/27
ISSN (Online): 2672 - 4820
Introduction
University libraries are established to serve
a range of clienteles (Daramola, 2016), by
providing information resources for
teaching and learning (Quadri, et al., 2014).
A library is always expected to satisfy the
information needs of its users by ensuring
that books and current journals are made
available. Libraries also need to make their
environment conducive for research,
learning and leisure (Olajide & Adio,
2017). Within the library environment,
installation of access points and Internet to
facilitate utilization of digital information
resources is very important and many
libraries perform this role with financial
resources available to them. In a situation
where library users do not visit libraries,
websites with links to online databases can
be of great help (Daramola, 2016).
The level of patronage of library users and
utilization of information resources in the
libraries are a good measure of how well
libraries can facilitate teaching, learning
and research activities. That is why it is
essential to always observe and monitor
library activities in terms of users'
patronage and use of its resources. There
are different levels of finding out the
impacts of libraries on their users. The
frequency of utilization, length of time that
users spend while using the library, the
category of information resources that users
preferably use and the purposes for which
they use the library and its resources are
some among many ways of tracking the
importance and impacts of libraries on their
users. By function, the library is an organic
institution that grows as its users increase in
numbers and probably make regular use of
its resources and services. This study aims
to investigate the level of patronage and
utilization of information resources in
Federal University libraries in North East,
Nigeria.
Literature Review
The concept of patronage has been treated
by many scholars to refer to the regular
visitation of users to the libraries' structures
and utilization of its infrastructures to
benefit from the information resources and
services. It also means the consistent use of
valuable information resources to satisfy
their information needs and desires.
Patronage of library clienteles can provide
minimal results if libraries do not provide
the required quality, some category of
information resources, maintain the
resources and make access easy and
flexible for users. It is also part of the roles
of libr arie s to prov ide enab ling
environment to encourage their user
communities to always patronize and
utilize its available resources and services.
Therefore, low and high patronages of
library users are influenced by the services
and resources being provided by the library.
Olajide and Adio (2017) stated that
eff ect ive utilization of lib rar ies '
information resources and services is a
demonstration of the usefulness of the
library to its users.
Onanuga et al. (2017) shared their views
that utilization refers to the level of use of
libraries and their resources and services
and how these resources or services impact
usage. Parande et al. (2017) conceived that
utilization can also be understood in terms
of frequency of usage, type of resources and
services being used, amount of time or
hours being spent, and purposes of using the
library. The utilization of libraries and their
resources and services is one of the reasons
why clienteles patronize libraries.
Utilization is mostly affected by the
adequacy of resources in print and non-
print formats, opening hours, and quality of
services offered by libraries (Daramola,
2016). Onanuga et al. (2017) believe that if
library users patronize libraries frequently,
there is a high tendency that they would
utilize information resources and service.
Libraries are useful institution from where
research can easily be carried out by
consulting books, journals and other kinds
of information resources.
Olajide and Adio (2017) believe that
patronage and utilization of library
resources encompass frequency of usage,
time spent, resources used, service points
used, browsing, reading or studying and
others. Nweze and Shabi (2011) earlier
reported that the frequency of use of
libraries varies from one user to another,
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
80
which can be once a week, 2-3 or times a
week. There is no specific number of times
that library users devote to patronizing
libraries. This is because different needs or
factors determine the purpose and number
of time or length of times that make library
users patronize and utilize library
resources. Many authors such as Nwezeh
and Shabi (2011), Quadri et al. (2014);
Daramola (2016); Olajide and Adio (2017)
agreed that frequency of use is many a time
related to the level of study of students in
the university. Olajide and Adio (2017)
stated that different users of libraries do not
possess the same characteristics and that
variation in users of libraries in an academic
environment are tied to different levels and
category of students. Adeniran (2011)
observed that the quality of information
resources attracts different users to the
library, and that is related to the frequency
of visits to the libraries. Adeniran (2011)
also reported that studying and research
accounted for 40.6% of the respondent's
daily visits to the library and 4-5 times a
week.
A study conducted by Hussaini et al. (2018)
to determine the awareness and utilization
of library resources by library users of
NIMS Central Library, Jaipur India
revealed the extent of use of information
resources such as books/e-books (46,
88.4%), reference materials (36, 73.0%),
Journal/e-journal (36, 69.2%) and Thesis/
dissertation/Project (34, 65.3%). This study
showed that books/e-books were used more
than other information resources.
Onanuga et al. (2017) engaged 222
respondents to assess the library services
u t i l i z a t i o n a n d s a t i s f a c t i o n o f
undergraduate students in Osun State
University main library, Osogbo, Nigeria.
They used a questionnaire as an instrument
for data collection. The results of their study
showed that the majority of the respondents
used the library mainly to update their
knowledge and skills 168 (76%), prepare
for test and examination 156 (70%), read
library materials 153 (69%), and lecture
notes 141 (64%) respectively. The earlier
study by Subair (2015) did not report the
same findings. Contrary to other findings,
the majority of the undergraduate students
in Federal Universities in South-West,
Nigeria used the library on daily basis for
internet facility, photocopying, current
awareness service and borrowing library
materials. Therefore, the extent of
patronage of library and utilization of
information resources can vividly attest to
the roles library play in the research,
learning and teaching activity among
students, lecturers and researchers. It also
serves as a compass for library provisions
and services. This study is to establish the
peculiar patronage pattern of library users in
Federal Universities in North-East Nigeria
to strengthen management and services.
Objectives of the Study
The following objectives are set to be
achieved in this study:
1. The frequency of utilization of the
library by users.
2. The length of time users spends in
the library by users.
3. The services of the library most
frequently utilized by users.
4. The formats of information
resources utilized by users.
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
81
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
5. The purposes for which the library
is utilized by users.
Research Questions
The following research questions guided
the study:
(1) How often do the users utilize the
library?
(2) What length of time do users spend
in the library?
(3) What services of the library are
more frequently utilized by users?
(4) What format of information
resources is more frequently
utilized by users?
(5) What are the purposes for which the
library is utilized by the users?
Methodology
Survey Research Design was adopted for
this study. The research population
consisted of 14,716registered library users
in three purposively selected Federal
University Libraries in North West Nigeria
namely: Ramat Library at University of
Maiduguri, Borno State, IBB Library at
Modibbo Adama University of Technology,
Yola, and ATBU Library at Abubakar
Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. A
sample size of 375 was determined from the
population with the aid of the Raosoft
Sample Size Calculator. A stratified
sampling technique was used in grouping
the target respondents namely: Lecturers,
Postgraduate and Undergraduate students
in the 3 university libraries. The
proportionate Sampling Technique was
used to determine the appropriate number
of respondents for each selected library and
group of respondents from 375 samples.
This was done by dividing the sample size
(375) by the total population (14,716) and
then multiplying the result with a group of
respondents within each library.
The group of respondents represents
registered lecturers, postgraduate and
undergraduate students in each library. The
questionnaire was administered using the
accidental or convenient technique where
the registered library users were engaged
during their visit to the library. Research
assistants were employed in each library for
one month for questionnaire administration
and collection.
Based on the sample size, 375 copies of the
questionnaire were distributed but only 370
were filed and returned. However, after
c r o s s - c h e c k i n g , 3 6 0 c o p i e s o f
questionnaires were found valid and usable
for data analysis. The collected data were
collated and analysed using descriptive
statistics of frequency counts and
percentages. Tables were used to present
the analysed data. Table 1 below presents
the selected libraries, target population,
respon d e n t s group , sample size,
proportionate sample size, and response
rate.
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
82
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
83
Table 1: Population, Sample Size, Proportionate Sample
Institutions
Registered users
Undergraduate
Postgraduate
Lecturers
RU
PS
RU
PS
RU
PS
Ramat library (Unimaid),
University of Maiduguri,
Borno State
4650
118
358
9
453
12
Target Population
Sample size
IBB Library (Mautech)
Modibbo Adama University
of Technology, Yola
1070
27
302
8
508
13
ATBU Library, Abubakar
Tafawa Balewa University,
Bauchi
5523
141
1500
38
352
9
Strata
11243
2160
1313
14716
Proportionate Sample
286
55
34
375
Filed and returned
questionnaire
283
54
33
370
Valid and usable
questionnaire
278
52
30
360
Source: Fieldwork, 2019, RU=Registered Users', PS=Proportionate Sample’
Frequency of
libraries
utilization
Undergraduate
students
Postgraduate
students
Lecturers
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Freq. %
Occasionally
63
22.7
24
46.2
13
43.3
1-3 time/week
139
50.0
16
30.8
9
30.0
4-5 time/week
76
27.3
12
23.1
8
26.7
total
278
100
52
100
30
100
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Table 2: Frequency of utilization of University Libraries by respondents
Source: Fieldwork, 2019
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
Table 2 shows differences in the frequency
of time users spent when they utilized the
l i b r a r y. T h e t a b l e r e v e a l s t h a t
undergraduate students (27.3%) utilized
libraries between 4 – 5 times per week and
lecturers (26.7%) utilized thelibraries4 - 5
times per week compared to postgraduate
students (23.1%) who utilized libraries for
4-5 times per week. However, 46.2% of the
postgraduate students relative to their
number in comparison to lectures (43.3%)
and undergraduate students (22.7%)
utilized the libraries occasionally while
Table 3 shows the number of hours spent by
the various groups of respondents. It is
revealed that 30.8% of postgraduate
students relative to their number spent 5-6
hours in the libraries compared to
undergraduate students (30.6%) and
lecturers (23.3%) respectively. In other
w o r ds , m o re u n de rg r a du a t e a n d
postgraduate students spend less time in the
undergraduate students showed the highest
percentage (50%) utilization of libraries for
1-3 times per week. This finding is
consistent with the discovery in a study by
Parande et al. (2017) in which they
highlighted that frequency of library use by
undergraduate students was higher than
other categories of users in University
libraries. These findings also concurred
with Olajide (2017) when they reported that
more students use the library occasionally
compared to other time like weekly and
monthly.
libraries (1-2 hours).The finding of this
study conformed to Nwezeh and Shabi
(2011) study which revealed that most of
the students spent one to four hours daily in
the library. Their study affirmed that much
of the time was spent reading their own
books, lecture notes, magazines and the
dailies.
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
84
Table 3: Length of time spent in the library by users
Time of using
libraries
Undergraduate
Students
Postgraduate
Students
Lecturers
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
1-2 hours
138
49.6
27
51.9
9
30.0
3-4 hours
55
19.8
9
17.3
14
46.7
5-6 hours
85
30.6
16
30.8
7
23.3
Total
278
100
52
100
30
100
Source: Fieldwork, 2019
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
Table 4 shows the services in the libraries
that respondents benefited from. It is
revealed that undergraduate students
(49.6%) benefit from reference service
followed by lecturers (43.2%) and
postgraduate students (38.5%) relative to
their respective proportionate sample size.
Lecturers benefited from Short Term Loan
service (26.7%), Inter-library loan (16.7%)
service more than the undergraduate
students (10.1%, 10.1%) and postgraduate
students (19.2%, 11.5%) respectively. For
user education, postgraduate students
(30.8%) and undergraduate students
(30.2%) benefited more than lecturers
(13.3%). The reason for this difference
might be the fact that lecturers were more
aware of these services and harnessed them
more for their research and teaching
responsibilities. This is in confirmation
with the study by Onanuga et al. (2017)in
which they reported that different library
users utilize different library services based
on their choice.
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
85
Table 4: Services in the study University Libraries
Services used in the
libraries
Undergraduate
Students
Postgraduate
Students
Lecturers
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Reference
138
49.6
20
38.5
13
43.3
Short term loan
28
10.1
10
19.2
8
26.7
Inter-library loan
28
10.1
6
11.5
5
16.7
User education
84
30.2
16
30.8
4
13.3
Total
278
100
52
100
30
100
Source: Fieldwork, 2019
Source: Fieldwork, 2019
Materials used in the
libraries
Undergraduate
Students
Postgraduate
Students
Lecturers
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Printed materials
198
71.2
29
55.8
19
63.3
Non-printed materials
80
28.8
23
44.2
11
36.7
Total
278
100
52
100
30
100
Table 5: Format of materials utilized by respondents
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
Table 5 shows that undergraduate students
(71.2%) made use of printed materials
lecturers (63.3%) and postgraduate
students (55.8%) respectively. Regarding
the non-printed materials, it is discovered
that postgraduate students (44.2%) use
them more followed by lecturers (36.7%)
and undergraduate students (28.8%). This
disparity might have been due to the
specialized format and packaging of most
non-print materials which require
specialized and costly hardware to utilize
which may not readily and easily be
accessible to some respondents.
Table 6 reveals that postgraduate students
engaged more in browsing (15.4%),
followed by undergraduate students
(10.8%) and then lecturers (10.0%).
Postgraduate students visited the libraries
for the purpose of their assignment (25.0%)
The use of printed materials by
undergraduate students in this study is
consistent with earlier findings of Hussaini
et al. (2018) in which the use of printed
materials by undergraduates' students was
found to be more common than non-print
materials. Similarly, the high usage of non-
print materials by postgraduate students is
an indication of the research-based activity
they mostly engage in.
than undergraduate students (6.1%).
Nevertheless, lecturers visited the libraries
for research (23.3) and borrowing of books
(43.3%) but not leisure (10.0%) when
compared with postgraduate students
(17.3%) for research, undergraduate
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
86
Purpose of using
libraries
Undergraduate
Students
Postgraduate
Students
Lecturers
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Freq.
%
Browsing
30
10.8
8
15.4
3
10.0
Studying
99
35.6
11
21.2
4
13.3
Assignment
17
6.1
13
25.0
0
00.0
Research
14
5.0
9
17.3
7
23.3
Borrowing of books
56
20.1
4
7.7
13
43.3
Leisure
62
22.3
7
13.5
3
10.0
Total
278
100
52
100
30
100
Table 6: Purposes of utilization in the study libraries
Source: Fieldwork, 2019
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
Volume 14 | Article 7 | May, 2021
87
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Conclusion and Recommendations
The study concluded that library patronage
and utilization differ among the three
categories of users. This is evidenced in the
length of time spent in the libraries,
frequency of usage and purposes for which
the resources of the libraries were used. It is
also found out that all users in the study
used the library services provided in the
various libraries to enhance their studies.
Printed information resources were used
more than the non-printed resources. The
undergraduate students, postgraduate
students and lecturers benefited from
reference services and user education more
than short term loan and interlibrary loan.
The undergraduate students used libraries
for studying compared to other purposes,
postgraduate students used libraries for
assignment purposes while lecturer used
libraries for borrowing books compared to
other purposes.
Based on the level of patronage and
utilization of information resources in the
libr a r ies u nder study, t he s t udy
recommends that all libraries under study
should make library stocks more current
and easy to utilize to further boost the level
of patronage and utilization by their users.
Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria
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Fatima L. Ibrahim and Ibrahim Wada
Patronage and Utilization of Information Resources at Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Era in Northeast
University Libraries of Nigeria