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An Empirical Study on Knowledge, Access and Utilization of Electronic Resources by University Students in Philippines

  • Analiza C. Rosales
  • 23-42
  • May 27, 2024
  • Education

An Empirical Study on Knowledge, Access and Utilization of Electronic Resources by University Students in Philippines

Analiza C. Rosales, RL, LPT, EdD

School of Education, West Visayas State University-Pototan Campus

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.47772/IJRISS.2024.805003

Received: 04 April 2024; Accepted: 23 April 2024; Published: 27 May 2024

ABSTRACT

Objective – In view of the substantial investment in electronic resources, it is imperative that libraries ensure the maximum utilization of these materials. Three hundred and eighty-two university students from seven colleges of a private sectarian university in Iloilo City, Philippines were surveyed to determine the knowledge, access, and utilization of electronic resources in its University Library. This research looked into the relationship between the personal profile of the respondents and their level of knowledge about electronic resources and the correlation of respondents’ knowledge as to the relationship with the extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose.

Methods – This is a descriptive-correlational study that utilized the one-shot survey design. Multi-stage sampling was used to determine the number of respondents of the study. A validated and pilot tested self-made questionnaire was used in collecting data for this study.  Frequency count, Percentage, Chi square test, Cramer’s V, and Gamma were the statistical tools employed in the study to analyze the data gathered.

Results – The result of the study revealed that respondents were moderately knowledgeable about electronic resources. Majority of the respondents have accessed specific online databases occasionally and in various places of access. Electronic resources were utilized by the majority of the respondents for the purpose of research. Further, respondents’ access was dependent on their knowledge about electronic resources. Moreover, with regards to their knowledge and access to type of online databases, it shows that respondents’ knowledge about electronic resources had a correlation as to the type of online databases accessed and the place of access. The respondents’ knowledge also shows a relationship with the extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose.

Conclusion –The study concludes that knowledge about electronic resources is not sufficient to encourage utilization of resources. This study advances that familiarity through firsthand experience is important in order to adopt change, particularly, on innovations that integrates technology.

INTRODUCTION

University library plays a crucial role by making its Electronic Resources (ERs) and facilities available for students’ learning and research activities. The nature of library work and its environment has changed profoundly with the introduction of Ers. More sources, more options for sources, higher patron expectations, and more reliance on new technologies create an ever-changing environment (Buenrostro, 2009).

Library users’ interests are also undergoing changes. Technology advancements have made university libraries’ use of ERs a global phenomenon. These resources are altering both the nature of librarians’ work and the expectations of library users (Bentil, Liew & Chawner, 2022).

Library users are now more and more used to getting the benefits and user-friendly services thrown open by the computer applications. Advances in computer applications during the past few decades have brought radical changes in the way information is gathered, stored, organized, accessed, retrieved and consumed. The application of computers in information processing has brought several products and services to the scene and online databases and the internet are replacing the print media (Sharma, 2009). ERs have become an integral and substantial component of university library collections worldwide and these are regarded as essential for learning, teaching and research activities (Zhang, Ye & Liu, 2011).

A private sectarian University in Iloilo City, Philippines is committed to its thrust of providing quality services, updated and relevant collections and state-of-the-art facilities. Changes in technology have made a notable difference in the service that the library offer to their patrons. To keep up with the pace of the demands for a globally competitive and technologically advanced education, the library installed an internet work station and Wi-Fi connection. To supplement the print journals of the library, the university administration and library management formally subscribed to Proquest Research Library, Credo General Reference, CABILeaisure& Tourism, EBSCO host and Infotrac.

In view of the substantial cost in subscribing to ERs, library makes them easily available to users so they could utilize the materials to make the subscription justifiable.

There are questions that have to be addressed in this context: Do the students know about the availability, accessibility, advantages, and use of ERs? If so, what is their level of knowledge about electronic resources? Have they accessed electronic resources? If so, from what online databases have they accessed electronic resources? Where did they access electronic resources? What is their extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose?

In order to find answers to these questions, this investigation on the knowledge, access, and utilization of electronic resources was conducted.

Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

The application of electronic information resources has changed the functions of the libraries from manual to digital all over the world. With the emerging technologies, libraries seek to facilitate information retrieval in a systematic and effective way.This study was anchored on the  Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations theory and Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).

The Diffusion of Innovations Theory posits that innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. Given such decision is not authoritative or collective, each member of the social system faces their own innovation-decision by the following mechanisms: knowledge in which a person becomes aware of an innovation and has some idea of how it functions and implementation in which a person puts an innovation into use (Rogers, 1995). With the online technology along with the databases in the social system of the academic endeavors through the library, each potential user would tend to develop their innovation-decision mechanisms in the process.

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) of Davis is an information Systems theory that models how users come to accept and use a technology.  This model is based on the theory of reasoned action\and the theory of planned behavior of Fishbein and Ajzen. According to TAM, usage of an information system is determined by users’ intention to use the system, which in turn is determined by users’ beliefs about the system. The introduction of a new technology to users shapes their decisions regarding its perceived usefulness and the timing of its adoption; in which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance their job performance; and perceived ease of access, in which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort.

In the context of this study, it was assumed that students who have knowledge about the availability, accessibility, advantages, and use of electronic resources at a library setting will utilize it to the fullest. Students who are knowledgeable about electronic resources are more likely to accessthe materials. When students perceive electronic resources as beneficial for improving their research performance, they are inclined to use them without exerting additional effort in accessing them.

Ranganathan’s (1931) Five Laws of Library Science advocated that the library resources and services are for use and necessary measures should be taken to connect the user with the information sources and services available in the library. Users must have a working knowledge of the electronic resources available in a Private University library and fully utilize it to its maximum benefits.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Concepts of Electronic Resources

New technologies, databases, and more innovative systems for accessing information have made the library and information environment more complicated and challenging for librarians and users alike. The abundance of electronic resources available and the inherent difficulty in clearly being able to evaluate these resources also create problems to users.

Sharma (2009) identified e-resources to include electronic version of journals, manuscripts, maps, books, magazines, theses, newspapers, research reports as well as e-mail, data archives and bibliographic databases.

Haridasan (2009) defines ERs as resources in which information is stored electronically and which are accessible through electronic systems and networks. E-resources is a very broad term that includes a variety of different publishing models, including online database, e-journals, e-books, internet resource, print-on-demand (POD), e-mail publishing, wireless publishing, electronic link and web publishing, etc. In this context, the term means “any electronic product that delivers collection of data be it in text, numerical, graphical, or time based, as a commercially available resource”. Considering a more complex system that the electronic resources entail, a working knowledge is important.

Knowledge of Electronic Resources

Knowledge about electronic resources is very important to promote high patronage of users. According to the study of Madhusudhan (2010) on the Use of Electronic Resources among research scholars of Kurukshetra University, possessing skills is essential to effectively utilize e-resources. When research scholars were asked whether they know about the e-resources available in the Jawahar Lal Nehru Library, it was found that all of the respondents claimed that they know about the e-resources available. It was evident that the respondents had the knowledge of e-resources in the Infonet Digital Library Consortium accessible via the University wide area network.

The survey of Nisha (2013) on the Awareness and se of E-journals among IIT Delhi and Delhi University users also found that most of the users were aware of e-journals and they were not only using them for building and updating their knowledge but also for collecting relevant material for their study and research purposes as information can be acquired expeditiously through e-journals. This was confirmed by the result of the study conducted by Thanuskodi (2011) among education faculty members in Chennai to determine the extent to which user are aware and make use of e-journals. The studies revealed that majority (92.30 percent of the male users were aware about the e- journals whereas only 83.33 percent of female respondents were aware about the availability of e-journals.

Access to ERs

In the digital age, libraries and librarians have embraced the more challenging roles of providing easy and fast access to more complex information resources of the internet. Through the development of digital collections, the library provides remote access to its users. To be more precise, a digital library is created for a designated local or remote user community so that users can easily search, retrieve and use digital information that is relevant to their specific information needs (Chowdhury, 2012).

According to the study of Adegbore (2011) on University Faculty Use of Electronic Resources: A Review of the Recent Literature among the faculty at Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria, libraries have transformed into digital and virtual libraries where books, journals, and magazines have changed into e-books, e-journals, and e-magazines. This has increased the global dissemination of information.   Electronic resources are now easily accessible even in remote areas. Electronic resources solve storage problems and control the flood of information. Likewise, Matthew & Sheeja (2005) presented that at the University of Washington, use of physical library has declined while use of electronic resources has increased. He found out that remote usage significantly exceeds in-library usage of electronic resources and remote access to full-text materials as well as citation and abstract databases was the most important service offered by the library. It was also confirmed in the study of Okiki (2012) among academic staff members of University of Lagos, Nigeria that the users access to electronic Information Resources were more from their office as compared to the library.

Utilization of Electronic Resources

Zhang’s (2011) study on the users of National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) found that electronic resources are used for the purpose of conducting scientific research, teaching, and for self-development. This is corroborated by the study of Madhusudhan (2010) among the research scholars of Kurukshetra University which revealed that 94 percent of the respondents used e-resources for research work (thesis/dissertation/project work), 54 percent for finding relevant information in their area of specialization, and 42 percent for keeping themselves up-to-date in their subject field and getting current information. The percentage of research scholars using such resources for teaching and publishing articles/books was 22 percent. It is interesting to observe that the respondents used the library’s e-resources for their research work.

Furthermore, Adegbore’s (2011) study concluded that databases and electronic journals are used by academics for both teaching and research, among many other uses. Academics have indicated satisfaction with their use of electronic resources and have committed their interest to the continuous use of e-resources because their use leads to better research and enhances scholarly communication.  On the other hand, the study of Nisha (2013) among library users of IIT Delhi and Delhi University found that most of the users were aware of e-journals and they are not only using them for building and updating their knowledge. but also, for collecting relevant material for their study and research purposes as information can be acquired expeditiously through e-journals. The main aim of consulting these journals is for retrieving information regarding research, publishing research papers and manuscripts, assignments, presentations, seminars, and largely to update their own knowledge.

According to the Technology Acceptance Model of Davis (1989) usage of information system is determined by users’ intention to use the system, which in turn is determined by users’ beliefs about the system. When users are presented with a new technology, it influences their decision about how and when they will use it in their perceived usefulness; in which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his/her job performance.  It is also perceived that using a particular system would be easy. This is supported by the results of the studies by (Diaron, 2009; Letchumanan, 2011; and Sivapragasam & Raya, 2012).

The result of the study by Diaron (2009), showed that current awareness service presented to the clients are crucial considerations to ease of access of materials. She cited that accessibility is concerned with the availability of knowledge to potential users.  The phenomenon of current awareness becoming information as an end in itself has further implications for the changing position of libraries and library collections within the university.

Aims

This study was conducted to determine the knowledge, access, and utilization of electronic resources among the students of a Private University in Iloilo City, Philippines.

Specifically it aimed to determine: the respondents’ level of knowledge about electronic resources; the respondents’ access to electronic resources;  the extent of utilization of the electronic resources among the respondents;  if there is a significant relationship between the personal profile of the respondents and their level of  knowledge about electronic resources;  if there is a significant relationship between the personal profile of the respondents and their access to electronic resources; if there is a significant relationship between the personal profile of the respondents and their extent of utilization of the electronic resources; if there is a significant relationship between the respondents’ level of knowledge and their access to electronic resources; if there is a significant relationship between the respondents’ level of knowledge and their extent of utilization of electronic resources; and if there is a significant relationship between the respondents’ access and their extent of utilization of the electronic resources.

METHODS

Research Design and Sampling Procedure

This is a descriptive-correlational study that utilized the one-shot survey design. The target population of this study consisted of 8,273 undergraduate students of the Private University in Iloilo City from six (6) different colleges namely: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Management and Accountancy, College of Education, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and Medical Technology, and Conservatory of Music. Based on the target population, the sample size of 382 was determined using the Slovin’s sampling formula (n = N / (1 + Ne2) taken from the book of Vizcarra & Lubina, (2012).

The sample size obtained was proportionately allocated to the different colleges using stratified random sampling by college and cluster sampling in drawing the sampling units. All the sections of every college were listed, each section representing a cluster. The sample clusters were drawn using simple random sampling which was done by drawing of lots.  All the students available in every sample cluster (section) were considered respondents.

The study population and needed sample by department are shown in Figure 1.

Study Sample by Department

Fig. 1. Study Sample by Department

INSTRUMENTATION

A self-made questionnaire was used in collecting data for this study.  It consists of two parts. The first part dealt with the respondents’ identification and personal profile such as their sex, department, and year level, while the second part dealt with the knowledge, access, and extent of utilization of the electronic resources among the respondents.

The instrument was subjected to face validation. It was presented to the jury of experts in the field of librarianship, research, and statistics. Their comments, suggestions, and recommendations were taken into consideration in the revision of the research instrument.

To further ensure the validity and reliability of the instrument, it was pilot-tested using the test-retest method to thirty student assistants from different departments of a Private University in Iloilo City. The completed instruments were retrieved and encoded. Pearson r was used in the pilot-tested questionnaire for reliability testing. The data were processed and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The result showed a reliability coefficient of 0.856 indicating that the questionnaire was reliable.

RESULTS

Answers to the Research Questions

What is the level of knowledge about electronic resources?

Table 1 shows the distribution of undergraduate students according to their level of knowledge about electronic resources. The findings of the study revealed that more than half of the undergraduate students (57.1 percent) were moderately knowledgeable about electronic resources. Little over one-fourth (26.7 percent) had a high level of knowledge, while less than one-fifth of the respondents had low level of knowledge about the electronic resources’ availability, accessibility, advantages, and use.

Table1. Distribution of Respondents’ Level of Knowledge about Electronic Resources

Level of Knowledge f Percent
High Level of Knowledge (11 and above) 102 26.7
Moderate Level of Knowledge (6-10) 218 57.1
Low Level of Knowledge (0-5) 62 16.2
Total 382 100.0

Do the students have accessed to the library electronic resources?

Data on Table 2 provides the data on the distribution of respondents on their access to electronic resources. Out of the 382 respondents, more than half (or 65.4 percent) have not accessed the electronic resources from the online databases subscribed to by the library while, only about one-third have accessed.

Table 2. Distribution of Respondents’ Access to Electronic Resources

Access f Percent
Have Accessed 132 34.6
Have not Accessed 250 65.4
Total 382 100.0

 Types of Online Databases Accessed

Table 3 presents the data regarding the type of online databases accessed by the respondents, as well as their places of access.

The results reveal that among the five types of online databases, 88.64 percent had accessed Proquest Research Library. A little more than one-third of the respondents had accessed Infotrac (35.61 percent), Credo General Reference (34.09 percent), and EBSCO host (34.09 percent). About one-fourth of the respondents indicated that they had accessed CABI Leisure and Tourism.

Further, electronic resources can be accessed from any computer at any given time anywhere as long as there is internet connection. As to the place where the respondents accessed electronic resources, the data in Table 6 further reveal that 95.45 percent of the respondents had accessed electronic resources at the library due to the availability of computers and internet connection. This simply indicates that the library is still the most favorable place of access of electronic resources among the students. The high access in the library implies that the library remains to be the first stop of students when it comes to academic/educational endeavors. More than three-fourths (77.27 percent) of the users had accessed electronic resources from the comforts of their homes. Nowadays, users expect to be able to access the electronic resources to which they are entitled not just in the library premises, but in the comforts of their home or any other location.

Table 3. Distribution of Respondents by Type of Online Databases Accessed and Place of Access

Type of Online Databases f Percent
1.  Proquest Research Library 117 88.64
2. Infotrac 47 35.61
3. Credo General Reference 45 34.09
4. CABI Leisure &Tourism 32 24.25
5. EBSCO host 45 34.09
Place of Access
1. Library 126 95.45
2.Home 102 77.27
3.Internet Cafe 83 62.88
4.University Internet Station 48 36.36
5. Dormitory 91 68.94
6. Classroom 44 33.33

What is the respondents’ extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose?

Table 4 shows the various purposes why students access electronic resources. Exactly one half (50 percent) of the respondents utilized electronic resources for the purpose of research work. A little more than one-third (38.6 percent) made use of these resources for the purpose of writing projects. There were others (32.6 percent) who used it for the purpose of completing school assignments and (31.1 percent) for preparing notes for class report. Only 15.9 percent used it for advance study. The results of the study highlight the diverse ways in which students utilize electronic resources for academic purposes. Notably, research work emerges as the predominant use, with exactly one half of the respondents indicating its importance in their academic endeavors. This underscores the crucial role that electronic resources play in facilitating scholarly inquiry and information gathering. Additionally, the significant proportions of students utilizing these resources for writing projects, completing school assignments, and preparing class notes reflect the integral role of digital materials in supporting various aspects of academic coursework. However, the comparatively lower percentage of students utilizing electronic resources for advanced study suggests a potential area for further exploration and intervention to encourage broader engagement with more specialized academic content.

Table 4. Distribution of Respondents’ Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources in terms of Purpose

 

Purpose of Using Electronic Resources

 

Never

 

 

Seldom

 

Sometimes

 

Often

 

Always

 

Total

f % f % f % f % F % f %
1. Research work 1 0.8 8 6.1 20 15.2 37 28.0 66 50.0 132 100
2. Projects 4 3.0 12 9.1 29 22.0 36 27.3 51 38.6 132 100
3. Completion of Assignments 4 3.0 18 13.6 26 19.7 41 31.1 43 32.6 132 100
4. Preparing notes for class report 7 5.3 13 9.8 34 25.8 37 28.0 41 31.1 132 100
5.  Search for relevant information 7 5.3 14 10.6 33 25.0 41 31.1 37 28.0 132 100
6. Update Knowledge 10 7.6 21 15.9 39 29.5 37 28.0 25 18.9 132 100
7. Self-development 9 6.8 24 18.2 48 36.4 33 25.0 18 13.6 132 100
8. Advance Study 13 9.8 32 24.2 37 28.0 29 22.0 21 15.9 132 100

Results on Test of the Hypotheses

1. Relationship between respondents’ personal profile and their level of knowledge about electronic resources

The data in Table 5 show the relationship between the respondents’ personal profile according to sex, department, and year level, and their level of knowledge about electronic resources. The figures revealed that respondents’ sex is not significantly related to their level of knowledge about ERs (0.275, p=0.872), while department (0.206, p=0.000) and year level (0.246, p=0.000) were significantly related to their level knowledge about ERs.

Table 5. Distribution of Respondents’ Personal Profile and Level of Knowledge about Electronic Resources

 

Personal Profile

Level of Knowledge
High Level Average level Low level Total
f % f % f % f %
Sex

Male

Female

30

72

28.6

26.0

58

160

55.2

57.8

17

45

16.2

16.2

105

277

100

100

Chi-square = 0.275                 p = 0.872 
Department

CAS

CE

CEA

CMA

CN

CPMLS

6

7

9

38

4

38

14.6

25.0

16.7

26.2

26.7

38.4

28

13

32

76

11

58

68.3

46.4

59.3

52.4

73.3

58.6

7

8

13

31

0

3

17.1

28.6

24.1

21.4

0

3.0

41

28

54

145

15

99

100

100

100

100

100

100

Cramer’s V = 0.206                   p= 0.000*
Year Level

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Fourth-Fifth Year

31

42

18

11

39.2

22.5

18.0

22.0

44

83

63

28

55.7

54.2

63.0

56.0

4

28

19

11

5.1

18.3

19.0

22.0

79

153

100

50

100

100

100

100

        Gamma = 0.246                         p = 0.000 *

 2. Relationship between Respondents’ Personal Profile and their Access to Electronic Resources

Table 6 shows the data on the relationship between the respondents’ personal profile according to sex, department, and year level, and their access to electronic resources. The figures reveal that sex is not significantly related to the respondents’ access to electronic resources. Although, there were slightly more female students (36.5 percent) than male students (29.5 percent) who had accessed electronic resources, the obtained Chi square value for the test of relationship however, did not yield a significant result (1.621, p=0.203).  However, the department they were enrolled in and the year level are significantly related to their access to electronic resources (53.621, p=0.000) and (16.325, p=0.001).

Table 6. Distribution of Respondents’ Personal Profile and their Access to Electronic Resources

 

Personal Profile

Access to Electronic Resources
Have Accessed Have not Accessed Total
f % f % f %
Sex

Male

Female

31

101

29.5

36.5

74

176

70.5

63.5

105

277

100

100

Chi-square = 1.621                      p = 0.203
Department

CAS

CE

CEA

CMA

CN

CPMT

10

20

13

32

13

44

24.4

71.4

24.1

22.1

86.7

44.4

31

8

41

113

2

55

75.6

28.6

75.9

77.9

13.3

55.6

41

28

54

145

15

99

100

100

100

100

100

100

Chi-square = 53.621                     p = 0.000 *
Year Level

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Fourth-Fifth Year

39

55

30

8

49.4

35.9

30.0

16.0

40

98

70

42

50.6

64.1

70.0

84.0

79

153

100

50

100

100

100

100

Chi-square = 16.325                   p = 0.001*

*Significant at α = 0.05.

3. Relationship between Respondents’ Personal Profile and their Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources in terms of Purpose

The data in Table 7 shows the relationship between the respondents’ personal profile according to sex, department, and year level, and their extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes. The results revealed that sex (4.831, p=0.089), department (0.237, p=0.137), and year level (0.133, p=0.220) were not significantly related to their utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes.

Table 7. Distribution of Respondents’ Personal Profile and their Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources in terms of Purpose

 

Personal Profile

Extent of Utilization in terms of Purposes
Great Extent Moderate Extent Low Extent Total
f % f % f % F %
Sex

Male

Female

10

36

32.3

35.6

8

42

25.8

41.6

13

23

41.9

22.8

31

101

100

100

Chi square = 4.831                        p = 0.089
Department

CAS

CE

CEA

CMA

CN

CPMLS

5

3

6

8

7

17

50.0

15.0

46.2

25.0

53.8

38.6

3

10

1

14

5

17

30.0

50.0

7.7

43.8

38.5

38.6

2

7

6

10

1

10

20.0

35.0

46.2

31.2

7.7

22.7

10

20

13

32

13

44

100

100

100

100

100

100

                                    Cramer’s V = 0.237                      p = 0.137
 Year Level

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Fourth – Fifth Year

13

14

18

1

33.3

25.5

60.0

12.5

16

21

8

5

41.0

38.2

26.7

62.5

10

20

4

2

25.6

36.4

13.3

25.0

39

55

30

8

100

100

100

100

                                    Gamma = 0.133                              p = 0.220

4. Relationship between Respondents’ Level of Knowledge and Access to Electronic Resources

The data in Table 8 show the relationship between respondents’ level of knowledge and access to electronic resources. The results reveal that respondents’ knowledge about electronic resources is significantly related to their access to electronic resources. Majority of the respondents who had high level of knowledge (60.8 percent) about electronic resources were also those who had accessed electronic resources. On the other hand, majority of the respondents (91.9 percent) who had not accessed electronic resources were those who had low level of knowledge about electronic resources. The obtained Chi-square value of 52.434, p = 0.000 for the test of relationship between level of knowledge and access indicates that there is a significant relationship between respondents’ level of knowledge and access to electronic resources. This implies that the respondents ‘ access to electronic resources is dependent on their level of knowledge about electronic resources. Those students with high level of knowledge about electronic resources are more likely to accessed electronic resources than those students with only average and low level of knowledge about electronic resources. The more they were knowledgeable about electronic resources the greater the possibility that they will access electronic resources.

Table 8.  Distribution of Respondents’ Level of Knowledge and Access to Electronic Resources

 

Access to Electronic Resources

Level of Knowledge
High Level of Knowledge Average Level of Knowledge Low Level of Knowledge
f % f % f %
Have Accessed 62 60.8 65 29.8 5 8.1
Have Not Accessed 40 39.2 153 70.2 57 91.9
Total 102 100 218 100 62 100
                       Chi-square = 52.434                                       p = 0.000 *

            * Significant at α = 0.05

5. Relationship between Respondents’ Level of Knowledge and Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources in terms of Purpose

The data in Table 9 show the relationship between respondents’ level of knowledge about electronic resources and extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose. More than one third (40.3 percent) of the respondents who had high level of knowledge about electronic resources are those who had great extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes. Those who had low level of knowledge (60.0 percent) are those who had low extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes. The obtained Gamma value of 0.163, p=0.238 is not significant at 5 percent level. This indicates that respondents’ knowledge has no relevance on their utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes.

Table 9. Distribution of Respondents’ Level of Knowledge and Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources in terms of Varied Purposes

 

Extent of Utilization

Level of Knowledge
High Level of Knowledge Average Level of Knowledge Low Level of Knowledge
f % f % f %
Great Extent 25 40.3 20 30.8 1 20.0
Moderate Extent 21 33.9 28 43.1 1 20.0
Low Extent 16 25.8 17 26.2 3 60.0
Total 62 100 65 100 5 100
Gamma = 0.163                     p = 0.238

DISCUSSION

Level of Knowledge about Electronic Resources

Findings revealed that more than half of the undergraduate students were moderately knowledgeable about electronic resources. Little over one-fourth had a high level of knowledge, while less than one-fifth of the respondents had low level of knowledge about the electronic resources’ availability, accessibility, advantages, and use.

The result of this study is in contrast with the result of the study of Kumar& Kumar (2008) which documented that both faculty members and students were aware of electronic resources.  It is, however somehow comparable with the findings of the study of Okiki (2012) among Academic Staff Members of University of Lagos, Nigeria which showed that the level of awareness of the existence of electronic information resources in the library was relatively moderate.

The study of Madhusudhan (2010) revealed that all the research scholars of Kurushetra University knew about the availability of electronic resources. The same was found by Sivapragasam and Raya (2012) among research scholars in India. Respondents’ knowledge or the lack of it can be attributed to several factors: 1) the librarians’ knowledge and skills to promote the said resources 2) the interest of students to use the library resources and 3) the technological capability of the library to facilitate the use of electronic resources.

Access to Electronic Resources

With regard to respondents’ access to electronic resources, out of 382, only a little over one third had accessed electronic resources from the online databases subscribed by the library. As to access to varied type of online databases, among the five available online databases, Proquest Research Library was the most accessed while the other four online databases namely: Infotrac, Credo General Reference, EBSCO host and CABI Leisure and Tourism were least accessed by the students. As to the place of access, almost 90 percent of the respondents had accessed electronic resources at the library due to the availability of computers and internet connection.

In the study of Ali (2005) among the users of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Library in Delhi, India, the respondents could not make use of e-resources effectively due to lack of proper IT knowledge. It was further noted in the study that the inability to access was due to slow access speed and difficulties in getting relevant information.  However, a different result was revealed in the study of Adegbore (2011), wherein the faculty members at Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria claimed that they were able to access and use electronic resources widely and rapidly.

Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources

Only a little over one third of the respondents had a great extent of utilization of electronic resources, while about a quarter had moderate extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes.

The students utilized electronic resources in support of their information needs and electronic information sources will continue to be necessary component of the academic community. The purpose of using electronic resources differs from one user to another according to Zhang (2011).

The result of this study corroborate the findings of Zhang (2011) among the users of National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) who used electronic resources for the purpose of conducting scientific research, teaching, and for self-development.  This also affirms the findings of Madhusudhan (2010) which showed that 94 percent of the research scholars of Kurukshetra University percent used e-resources for research work (thesis/dissertation/project work), 54 percent for finding relevant information in their area of specialization, and 42 percent for keeping themselves up-to-date in their subject field and getting current information.

Correlation of Demographic Profile to Level of Knowledge, Access and Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources

The study revealed that respondents’ sex was not significantly related to their level of knowledge about electronic resources, while the department they enrolled in and year level were significantly related to their level of knowledge about electronic resources. Irrespective of sex, the level of knowledge about electronic resources was average among the respondents. The department the students were enrolled in and their year levels were significantly related to their access to electronic resources, but irrespective of sex, majority of respondents have not accessed electronic resources. Sex, however, has a significant relationship as to access in terms of type of online resources used, while the department (e.g. College of Education, College of Nursing, etc) where the respondents were affiliated and year level showed no correlation. The study further revealed that sex, department, and year level were not significantly related to respondents’ place of access to electronic resources. Furthermore, the study revealed that sex, department, and year level were not significantly related to respondents’ extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose.

Correlation of Level of Knowledge, Access and Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources

A significant relationship exist between respondents’ level of knowledge about electronic resources and access to electronic resources, between level of knowledge and access to type of online databases. Similarly, a significant relationship between respondents’ place of access and extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose was confirmed.

However, no significant relationship was found between respondents’ level of knowledge and extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose and between access to type of online databases and extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose.

CONCLUSION

Advances in computer applications during the past few decades have brought radical changes in the way information is gathered, stored, organized, accessed, retrieved and consumed. The old and popular image of the library as a place where books are stored is now being changed to a channel where one can make direct access or remote access to electronic resources.

Today, the availability of e-resources in a university library is very common. Libraries can be used to the fullest by way of bringing the contents clearly and specifically to the users. Knowledge about electronic resources is very important for the high patronage of the users. In this study university students were moderately knowledgeable about electronic resources. Most of them are not well-versed in manipulating the online databases subscribed by the library. The fact that majority of the university students did not access the library electronic resources is a clear indication of poor acceptance of the use of technology that leads to poor utilization. Since the majority of the university students had accessed specific online databases occasionally only and in various places of access, it can be deduced   that the utilization depends on the need of the user and the use of different venues for access proved that that the library is still the only venue found useful and convenient by the university students.

Furthermore, that electronic resources were utilized by the majority of the university students for the purpose of research is an indication that electronic resources are considered a necessity in research works.  While university students’ level of knowledge about electronic resources is not dependent on sex, the departmental affiliation and year level were factors which determined their knowledge about electronic resources, at a certain degree; the university students’ profile has significant bearing on their knowledge about electronic resources.

The university students’ access to electronic resources was dependent on their level of knowledge about electronic resources. The more knowledgeable they were, the greater the possibility that they would access the materials, but the university students’ extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of varied purposes is not dependent on their level of knowledge about electronic resources. Access, thus, do not redound to continuous usage. Moreover, university students’ extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose is not dependent on their access to different types of online databases. Their access to type of online databases did not affect their utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose. The place of access to electronic resources correlates with their extent of utilization of electronic resources in terms of purpose.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from the study, the following recommendations are presented:

Knowledge about electronic resources is very important to increase the utilization in the library. The library must go beyond cognitive-level training and build on library instructions that enhance the skills of students. Hands-on exercises on the use of databases must be integrated in the library instruction and orientation.

Instructional services for users in the use of library databases with an emphasis on institution’s specific system must be made available online. Instructional design for basic to advanced level should be implemented to cater for the diverse needs. Moreover, readers guidance and instruction must focus on specific tools and mechanics and techniques in using the features of electronic resources. A more dynamic move for visibility of the online resources is the key to maximize utilization.

Use of old tools in a new way is an avenue to enhance the knowledge of library users. Use of time-tested traditional library sources such as research assistance and consultancy, reader’s advisory services, information management, information education in physical and virtual platforms can break the barriers of time and space for library users to acquire knowledge on how to use online resources and can make online research experience more meaningful.

Further studies should examine other possible factors that may contribute for the maximum utilization of electronic resources.

REFERENCES

  1. Adegbore, A.M. (2011). University faculty use of electronic resources: A review of the recent literature. PNLA Quarterly, 75(4). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com
  2. Ali, N. (2005). The use of electronic resources at IIT Delhi Library: a study of search behaviours. The electronic library, 23(6), 691-700.
  3. Bentil, W., Liew, C. L., & Chawner, B. (2022). The management and the usage of electronic resources in academic libraries: A bi-directional relationship. Information Development38(1), 114 124. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266666920983600
  4. Buenrostro, J. C. (2009). The digital library and other issues in library and information Quezon City : Great Books Publishing.
  5. Chowdhury, G.G. and Schubert Foo, ed. (2012). Digital libraries and information access: research perspectives. UK: Facet Publishing.
  6. Davis, F.D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3): 319-340.  Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com
  7. Diaron, R. (2009). Current awareness program of Saint Louis University library : an assessment based on user’s perceptions. Germany : VDM Verlag.
  8. Haridasan, S., & Khan, M. (2009). Impact and us of e-resources by social scientists in National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC), India.The Electronic Library, 27(1), 117-133. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02640470910934632
  9. Kumar, G.T., & Kumar, B.T. (2008). Use of electronic information sources by the academic community: A comparative study, 6th International CALIBER-2008, University of Allahabad, Allahabad. 684-692. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com
  10. Letchumanan, M., &Rohani, A. T. (2011). E-book utilization among mathematics students of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).Library Hi Tech, 29(1), 109-121.   doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07378831111116949.
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  19. Vizcarra, F. &Lubina, E. (2012). Worktext in statistics. Quezon City, Phils. : Great Books Publishing.
  20. Zhang, L., Ye, P., Liu, Q., & Rao, L. (2011). Survey on the utilization of NSTL electronic resources in colleges and universities in Wuhan, China. The Electronic Library, 29(6), 828-840. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02640471111188042 http://search.proquest.com/docview/1349931152?accountid=62955

APPENDIX

Research Instrument

“KNOWLEDGE, ACCESS, AND UTILIZATION OF ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AMONG THE STUDENTS OF A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN ILOILO CITY”

  Questionnaire

General Direction: Kindly put a check mark (✓) in the box provided for the item that corresponds to your answer.

Part I. Personal Profile

 Part II. Level of Knowledge, Access and Extent of Utilization of Electronic Resources

A. KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

Direction: Kindly check “Yes” if you have knowledge to the statement given and “No” if you have no idea on the statement given.  Please give one answer per statement.

Items About Electronic Resources YES NO

 

The Library subscribes to the following online databases:
 A.1. Proquest Research Library  
A.2. Credo General Reference  
 A.3. CABI Leisure &Tourism  
A.4. EBSCO host  
A.5. Infotrac  
A.6. Electronic resources are library materials that are made availableelectronically which usually consist of e-books, e-Journals, articles, newspapers, theses, dissertations, databases, etc.  
A.7.  Access to electronic resources requires the users to login using their assigned username and password.  
A.8.  Electronic resources can be accessed from any computer with internet connection inside and outside the library.  
A.9.  Electronic resources are multi-access. A networked facility canprovide simultaneous access at multiple points, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.  
A.10.  It is important to access electronic resources using the search tools and links provided by the library to ensure the correct authentication system.  
A.11. Electronic resources consist of mixed media such as texts, images, video, audio and animation which could not be replaced by print resources.  
A.12. The contents of electronic resources can be shared through
e-mail.
 
A.13. The contents of electronic resources can be printed.  
A.14. Electronic resources in the form of articles / issues appear online before their  printed version are available.  
A.15.Electronic resources can be searched easily through the usual bibliographic data.  

 B. ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

B.1.1. Have you accessed to the library electronic resources? YES NO
 
If you answered No, no need to proceed to the next questions.

If you answered Yes, please continue to answer questions

B.1.2 to C.1.8.

B.1.2.  How often have you accessed the electronic

resources to the following online databases subscribed by

the library?

              5- 3x a week or more

              4-once to 2x a week

              3-once to 3x a month

              2-once to 3x a semester

              1-Never

Online Databases 5 4 3 2 1

 

B.1.3. Proquest Research Library     
B.1.4. Credo General Reference     
B.1.5. CABI Leisure & Tourism     
B.1.6.  EBSCO host     
B.1.7.Infotrac     
     B.2. How often have you accessed the electronic resources

from the online databases mentioned above to the

following places?

              5- 3x a week or more

              4-once to 2x a week

              3-once to 3x a month

              2-once to 3x a semester

              1-Never

 

Place of Accessing Electronic Resources. 5 4 3 2 1
B.2.1. Library     
B. 2.2. Home     
B.2.3. University Internet Station     
B.2.4. Dormitory     
B.2.5. Internet café (Outside the School)     
B.2.6. Classroom     

C. UTILIZATION OF ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

C.1.How often did you utilize the electronic resources for the purpose of the following?                     5-Always

                    4-Often

                    3-Sometimes

                    2-Seldom

                    1-Never

Purpose of Utilizing Electronic Resources 5 4 3 2 1
C. 1.1. Research work     
C.1.2.. Preparing notes for class report     
C.1.3. Self-development     
C.1.4.Projects     
C.1.5. Completion of Assignments     
C.1.6. Update Knowledge     
C.1.7. Advance Study     
C.1.8. Search for relevant information     

Thank you for taking time to answer.

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