The Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure on University of Mines and Technology Campus and its Impact on Library e-Resource Accessibility
The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, Ghana has a Local Area Network (LAN) infrastructure whose primary purpose is to facilitate research; teaching and learning; and information dissemination. The LAN infrastructure spans a maximum distance of 1.39 square-kilometers with an upload and download speed of 100 MB and interconnects the administration block, faculties, library and halls of residence with high-speed ethernet links operating over a dedicated fiber optic backbone. The LAN infrastructure with connectivity to the internet impact operations in various sections of the University, notably, the University Library. One of the main purposes of the library is to interact with different information networks to make available e-resource materials to students and academic staff. This can only be achieved over a dedicated LAN infrastructure. The introduction of Library Management Systems (Koha), Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) and the UMaTSpace has improved library services such as document delivery, circulation and borrowing, amongst others. In spite of the numerous benefits replete with these systems, there exist a major challenge associated with library e-resources accessibility. This paper sought to investigate the factors hindering library e-resource accessibility for the purposes of improving research. Questionnaire was administered to respondents to solicit primary information while secondary information was obtained from published literature. The possibility of access and usage were assessed by analysing the availability of ICT infrastructure while access and usage hinderances were assessed by analysing responses from questionnaire administration. The data generated was analysed using simple tables and pie chart. The results showed inadequate access points to enable users access these e-resource materials and lack of knowledge about the existence of these resources. The investigation further revealed the need for the library to embark on an information literacy drive for both students and academic staff. Various ways of improving e-resource accessibility was suggested.
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