By Ibrahim Olukotun
Lagos. December 3, 2012: Low connectivity in networks services and poor power supply are major challenges hampering the effectiveness of MTN Connect Virtual Library sited at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, a new study has reported.
MTN Connect Library is a philanthropic initiative of MTN Foundation established by leading mobile phone network, MTN Nigeria. It was established to provide convenient e-resources, services and electronic databases to members of the university community, including lecturers, students and non-academic staff.
However, a published research titled, “The Management and Utilization of E-resources of MTN Connect Library of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,” conducted by Ibinaiye Dorcas found that 96.4 per cent of users of the library experienced low connectivity in the network service.
A random sample of 10 per cent of the population of all the registered users of Ahmadu Bello University MTN Library and all staff of the library were interviewed for the survey.
The study noted that in recent years, the demand for appropriate, adequate and timely information for management decision and operational functions in Nigerian academic institutions have been particularly challenging.
As such, there is need for increased information management capacity, academic and professional librarians, administrators, planners and policymakers in every academic institution to enable them achieve their desired goal.
Among other challenges, the study also found that inadequate training of the staff of the virtual library affected the handling of its resources while irregular power supply often disabled the use of its electronic resources.
For a library to effectively fulfill its role, it must be well managed through appropriate decisions at all points and based on accurate and timely information, according to the study.
In an analysis of the competence of the staff of the library, 52.7 per cent of the respondents agreed that they were partially trained and 54.5 per cent of them were satisfied with the organisation of resources in the library.
The researcher said the study will help to better position the library to serve its purpose, saying, “It is hoped that this study would help in the organisation and management of MTN Connect Library, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.”
It urged MTN Foundation to step up the in-training of staff of the library and also address the problem of irregular power supply which disables its electronic resources.
Moreover, she recommends that bigger servers should be procured to rectify network fluctuations in the library and more computers should be made available to aid quick access to resource materials.
Similar facilities have so far been established by NTN in three geo-political zones, starting with University of Lagos in 2005, followed by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 2007 and University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2008.