Faculty Members’ Awareness and Use of Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) Services at Babcock University, Nigeria: A Study

Itunu A. Bamidele, Saturday U. Omeluzor, Glory Onoyeyan, Aluko-Arowolo Titilayo K.


The study investigated the awareness and use of Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) by Faculty Members of Babcock University, Nigeria. The study adopted descriptive survey research design.  Questionnaire was distributed to 240 (60%) faculty members at various schools in August 2013 during the annual colloquium workshop. One hundred and nine-six (196) copies of the questionnaire was retrieved and used for the study. Data collected were analysed using percentage and frequency. It will be recall that prior to the introduction and use of OPAC at Babcock University Library, traditional methods of information retrieval hold sway. Also, despite its acclaimed usefulness, most faculty members tend to prefer traditional methods to OPAC. Findings revealed that majority of the respondents (71.4%) were not aware that OPAC can be used to retrieve materials before coming to the library. Also, 65.8% of the respondents were not aware that they can access/browse Babcock University library web-based OPAC with their mobile phones before coming to the library to borrow materials; while, 59.2% of the respondents were not aware that the materials available in Babcock University library can be accessed outside the library building. Only 26% of the respondents used OPAC independently to retrieve library information resources. Majority of the respondents retrieved library information resources by perusing through the shelves and seeking the assistance of library staff. It was obvious from the findings that majority of the respondents were not aware hence the need for the study. Lack of orientation from library staff/librarians also constitutes major factor that militate against awareness and use of Babcock University library OPAC. This study therefore recommends that Librarians should organize orientation and sensitization programmes in order to create awareness, and encourage the university community and especially faculty members at various schools to effectively use OPAC to ensure maximum utilization of library information resources.

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