Libraries are the most fundamental facilities in all learning institutions of all levels. All the reference materials that enhance the learning process are stored in the libraries (Bomhold, 2015). In the earlier days, books used to be arranged on the shelves in the libraries according to the departments and subjects (Siguenza-Guzman, Saquicela, Avila-Ordóñez, Vandewalle and Cattrysse, 2015). Development of information technologies have transformed the whole process of how materials in the libraries are stored (Moran and Morner, 2017). Through the help of computers, materials in the library found new ways of storage and also making the information long lasting and safe (Char, Geddes, Gonnet, Leong, Monagan and Watt, 2013). Libraries have transformed from ordinary to ultramodern libraries which are well equipped with the computers for use in search of the reading materials. Books in the libraries are then stored electronically in the soft copies which are accessible to the students and researchers when researching for any given topic thus offering references (Goodfellow et al., 2013; Kuzlu, Pipattanasomporn, and Rahman, 2014). Simple computer skills are required for efficient operation and easy access to the materials. Broadband access networks of different types are installed in the libraries to make the retrieval of the materials stored in the institutions’ website easy (Han, Gopalakrishnan, Ji, and Lee, 2015). Libraries depending in their environmental set up, there are computer use polices that govern the use of computers in the libraries (Aabø, and Audunson, 2012). The policies are aimed at ensuring for the proper use of computers while in the libraries and that internet is not used for other purposes but specifically for research and learning purposes. Dire consequences are put in place to deal with the cases of misuse of the library internet as outlined in the regulatory rules (Morel, Palier and Palme, 2012). Such policies had been employed in Dormant Public Library in their struggle to come up with collection development, services and the resources that meet educational, cultural and informational of the diverse community. Violation of the library policies were resulting to suspension or denial of access to library resources.
In order to have access to the library electronic resources, computers, internet and Wi-Fi could be installed for use in the libraries making the access of these resources free when within the library premises (Menezes, 2012). In order to have access, security details might be required in the log in details using the particulars provided during registration (Ullah, Mohaisen and Alnuem, 2013; Ruj and Nayak, 2013.). The login details are password protected to avoid unnecessary access of the institutions’ resources (i.e. details are username and password). In this case, priority is given to the students who are carrying out research activities. The resources available to be accessed using the computers on the internet from the libraries are in most cases copyright protected and read only (Krstev and Trtovac, 2014). That means that they cannot be written on or be edited by the researchers since they are only available for knowledge boosting and reference purposes. Libraries operate at different hours of the days of the week while others serve 24 hour of the day in seven days of the week.
For instance, the UOW library operates for 24 hours in every day of the week and is accessible from academic block and main foyer and the access of the library materials in the university is by security cards at any time students or researchers need to have access to the materials in the library. The library is filled with 16 computers with one MFD (printer, copier scanner). And the room is supplied with the wireless as well as SNS. In regards to the use and importance of computers in the libraries in the institutions, this proposal is then aimed at assessing the usage of computers on the ground floor library in the UOW. Various activities in the process are then in regards to supporting the subject under investigation as so stated.
The benefits of computers as a result of development of technology have made it easier for storage of materials thus e-library accessible through the internet using computers. Engagement of computers in the library activities such as storage of research materials is expected to have additional value in the functionalities of the library in their service provision to the students and researchers. Wireless access internet and the Wi-Fi are made available but particularly for research purposes not browsing and surfing on the social media. Not all the people that access the library use the computers but they used hard copy books from shelves. As a result therefore, computers in the library are at sometimes scrambled for when the students outnumber the number of computers installed in the library. Also, some time students don’t occupy the computers though in the library and in that case some computers run while other remain shut. This therefore sparked the determination of the computer usage in the UOW library particularly the ground floor library.
This is the main goal that need to be met by the end of the research findings. This study proposes to investigate the computer usage in the UOW library.
To determine if the number of computers used in the ground floor library at different time intervals are at least half the total number of computers in the library.
This study will be guided by research question that states, “What is the computer usage in the ground floor library in the UOW?”
Specific research question
Is the number of computers used in the ground floor library at different times at least half the total number of computers in the library?
Through technology development, computers have become more important and vital in all working environments making activities faster and time saving (Brynjolfsson and McAfee, 2014). Libraries are places where materials are kept mainly for the purpose of reference. Previous literatures show that libraries uphold the work and store academic materials for understanding betterment of the students and future researchers (Jeschek, Gerngross and Panke, 2016). Among various facilities contained in the library, computers play important role in storage and safety of academic materials in the library (Rao, 2013). Before the emergence and gain popularity, traditional methods that were used in the storage of books were particularly shelves and cabinets. The books then were arranged in the libraries according to the subjects and departments following certain order letters (Brandes and Brook, 2013). In the current world, research and academic sources have been made accessible to the students almost everywhere anytime through the incorporation of the mobile broadband networks that makes it easy for people through search engines to have access of library materials (Ahamed and Lawrence, 2012). The earlier researches show that since the incorporation of computers in learning, it have made the learning process virtual i.e. with no physical contact between tutors and learners (Kottomtharayil et al., 2015). The road is never to an end and the computers had also been adopted for use in the libraries where they are used for making the research process easy. Computers are connected to the internet where all the materials are uploaded on the library website that can be accessed by the researchers once they load the library web page (Johnson, Becker, Estrada and Freeman, 2015). It is as well stated that access to the libraries through the website is only accessible through the provision of login details such as username and the password (Dewe, 2016). In response to that, it was further stated that the login details are the requirements through which access to the library resources is validated and prohibit unauthorized use of resources (Dewe, 2016).
These are the techniques employed by the researchers in the data collection procedure (Håkansson, 2013). In this research, the researcher will use observational research technique. This is the special type of survey where the researcher present himself or herself to the phenomenon area and takes the number of elements of interest under study (computers) that are in use by the students at different time interval i.e. morning hours and in the afternoon or evening hours. Quantitative data will be resulted to by the researcher through the observations made and numbers recorded.
In the data analysis of the data collected, one sample t-test will be used to test the hypothesis that the number of computers in the ground floor library were at least half the total number of computers in the library.
Significance of the problem
The purpose of this proposal is to bring to light to the usage of computers in the library. Meeting this primary goal will help the UOW institution if adopted on whether they should add the number of computers in the ground floor library. On the same, it will as well help them to know if the number of computers were too many for the students who used them in the ground floor library. Adopting the results of this study might save costs in the procurement process for the institution on the facilities to be added in the UOW learning institution.
The results from this study are expected to meet the primary objective set by the researcher and supporting the claim that the number of computers used by the students at different time are at least half the total number of the computers available in the library (i.e. the ground floor library) of the UOW.
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