Availability and Utilization of Information Resources and Services in the Special Education Centre Libraries in South-East, Nigeria

Abstract

The study focused on ascertaining the availability and utilization of information resources and services in the special education centre libraries in South-East, Nigeria. The study was prompted due to the problems encountered by physically challenged student in the use of normal library services. Six research questions were posed to guide the study, while two hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted survey research design, and used observational checklist and rating scale as data collection instruments. The sample size for the study was 430 comprising five special education staff and 425 special education pupils/students. Two-stage sampling simple random sampling was made. Cronbach Alpha technique was used to ascertain reliability coefficient of .85. Frequency count, standard deviation and mean score were used to address the research questions while the hypotheses were tested using t-test of difference. Results revealed that the number of available information resources for the blind and partially sighted is significantly less than expected in this context. That the number of available information resources for the deaf and hard of hearing is also significantly less than expected. The study also revealed that the available information services for the blind and partially sighted is significantly less than expected, the available information services for the deaf and hard of hearing is also significantly less than expected. The available information resources for the blind and partially sighted are not fully utilized, and the available information resources for the deaf and hard of hearing are not fully utilized. The study concluded that the provision of information resources and services is less than expected. Also the available information resources and services are not fully utilized by the physically challenged groups studied for any significant impact in learning. It `was recommended that, there should be provision of information resources, such as Braille resources; tactile or raised surface; sign language books; adaptive or electronic devices. Services like: on-sight support; guided tours; facilities, etc.  Every such library should employ librarians who are clearly aware of the nature of work they do. Adequate funding for proper management of the special education centre libraries in Nigeria in such a way as to meet the present day educational demand for these classes of /pupils/students studied, among others. Suggestions for further studies were also made.

Keywords: Education, Information resources, Libraries, Nigeria, Students, Utilization


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 12-25 (Download PDF)

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