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Stress and Frustration in the Use of ICT in University Libraries: A Study of Selected Universities in Nigeria
Dr (Mrs.) M.O. Salaam
Olusola Bamidele Bamigboye
M.O. Salaam is the Deputy University Librarian at Nimbe Adedipe Library, University of Agriculture, Abeokua, Ogun State, Nigeria. She can be reached at: Queensalaam51@yahoo.com. Olusola Bamidele Bamigboye is Senior Librarian at Nimbe Adedipe Library, University of Agriculture, Abeokua, Ogun State, Nigeria. He can be reached at: Bamigboy66@yahoo.com
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are used for creating, storing, managing, and communicating information. ICT can be used in education to support constructivist teaching methods such as collaborative learning. Despite the usefulness of ICT, users may encounter stress and frustration while using them. Stress and frustration occur when there is a negative impact on physical and mental wellbeing. That can result from the inability to access needed information on the net, work overload, and unrealistic deadlines. University libraries use ICT with the goal of transformation of the library and the university with the power of these new technologies. This transformation may be inhibited by undue stress and frustration. This study therefore examined factors that cause stress and frustration in the use of ICT facilities in Nigerian university libraries.
Conducting research is one of the core elements of university education. The application ICT in support of research, teaching, and learning is obviously essential. Many users encounter stress and frustration in using these technologies in Nigerian university libraries. With few exceptions, university libraries in Nigeria are poorly funded, and many are unable to meet the basic requirement services for academic growth. Their record of income generation has been poor. Indeed, most university libraries have to rely on some measure of external assistance to remain functional as centers of knowledge. The Education Trust Fund (ETF) has been serving this purpose. It should be noted, however, that use of ICT raises operating costs of institutions, even as they improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
Dunham (2004) describes stress as “a physiological state of the individual which is influenced by a wide variety of environmental factors known as stresses.” Levels of stress and frustration affect individuals differently. McGrath (2001) sees stress as “a (perceived) substantial imbalance between demand and response capability, under conditions where failure to meet demand has important (perceived) consequences.” Lander and Trumber (1993) list stressors in the workplace: job insecurity, excessive competitive, hazardous working conditions, and task demands, long or unusual working hours.
Gross (1999) has three broad classes of workplace stress: career, task, and organizational. Payne and Purgh (2004) assert that stress and frustration are subjective and individual. Bridger (2007) sees stress and frustration as phenomena that must be managed.
Moursund (2005) discusses ICT as tools for innovation, productivity, and enrichment, and as crucial to the field of education. Ajani and Banwo, (2007) citing Juceviciene and Tautkeviciene (2003) discuss the use of ICT to create a virtual learning environment.
Ajayi (2000) citing an Association of African Universities (AAU) survey (1988) found that university libraries in Nigeria are struggling to emerge from lack of funds. Research has been substantially reduced. There is a lack of up-to-date equipment and Internet connectivity. Growth of the Internet has been limited by low levels of telephone connectivity, and the bandwidth serving universities is also limited.
Objectives of the Study
The study sets out to:
1. Examine stress and frustration experience by users in the use of ICT facilities,
2. Ascertain the reasons for the stress and frustration faced by users
The following questions were raised to guide the study:
The study employed a descriptive survey research design, and used a questionnaire for data collection. The total population for this study was 570, with 300 respondents randomly selected from three universities in the southwest Nigeria: University of Ibadan, Ibadan (UI), University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), and Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.(OOU) These universities were chosen because UI is a first generation university in Nigeria, UNAAB is third generation and an agricultural university, OOU was the first state university in Nigeria. Respondents included academic staff and non-teaching staff. The questionnaire had four sections. Section A sought background information, section B had external factors, section C had internal obstacles, and section D had human resources-related factors. Three hundred questionnaires were administered out of which 283 (94.3%) were completed and found usable. The data collected for the study were analyzed using percentages and chi-square at 0.05 alpha levels.
Results and Discussion
Table 1: ICT Literacy Skills of Respondents
A large majority of respondents are highly skilled in the use of ICT. This indicates that lack of adequate skills are probably not one of the causes for stress and frustration faced by users.
Table 2: Purpose of ICT use by respondents
A majority of respondents use ICT facilities mainly for word processing, email, research, and generally browsing.
Table 3: External factors that make users of ICT Facilities experience stress and frustration are lack of enabling environment, poor power supply, limited bandwidth and frequent server breakdown.
Table 3 shows responses to questions on external factors responsible for stress and frustration in the use of ICT facilities. The calculated value is higher than the critical value for 3 degree of freedom at 0.05 level of significance. This indicates that the majority of respondents felt that external factors contributed most to the stress and frustration they experience. These external factors are lack of enabling environment, poor power supply, limited bandwidth and frequent server breakdown.
Table 4: Internal factors responsible for stress and frustration while using ICT Facilities are poor maintenance, inadequate local area network, low level priority by management and lack of ICT policies.
Table 4 shows responses to questions on internal factors responsible for stress and frustration. Since the calculated value is higher than the critical value, a majority of respondents agreed that internal factors are partly responsible for the stress and frustration.
Table 5: Human Factors responsible for stress and frustration while using ICT Facilities are inadequate training program, lack of trained technical and support staff and inadequate human resources.
Table 5 reveals that a majority of respondents concluded feel that human resources factors affect the use of ICT facilities and contribute to frustration and stress experience.
Table 6: Other contributory obstacles to stress and frustration in the use of ICT facilities
Other contributory obstacles include boredom, lack of space, limited service, and non-availability of computers.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This study shows that stress and frustration in the use of ICT in Nigerian university libraries have internal, external, and human factors. These include lack of enabling environment, poor and unreliable maintenance of ICT facilities, an unreliable electricity supply, high Internet fees, and unavailability of trained technical and support staff. The installation of functional ICT facilities in the library would create simultaneous access for many users, and give library users self service to replace the unreliable service that have led to stress and frustration. Any university library without functional ICT connectivity will eventually become obsolete.
The study recommends that:
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