SCHOOL LIBRARY RESOURCES AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN ECONOMICS IN ESSIEN UDIM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
The research on school library resources and academic performance of students in Economics was conducted in Essien Udim Local Government Area. Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. A quasi-experimental design was employed in carrying out the study. Four thousand, eight hundred and forty-six (4,846) SS1-3 Economics students formed the population of the study. A simple random sampling technique was used in the selection of 4 schools and 200 Economics students to form sample for the study. A structured questionnaire and Economics Achievement Test (EAT) were the main instruments used to gather data for the study.
The data generated from the instruments were analyzed using independent t-test statistics. Results showed that there is a significant difference between the performance of students in Economics who used library resources frequently and those who do not use frequently. It also revealed that there is a significant difference between the performance of male and female students in Economics who used library resources in favour of the males. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that government should provide school libraries with the necessary materials such as textbooks etc for students to use so as to promote their interest in learning and academic performance in Economics.
School Library Resources and Academic Performance of Students in Economics
1.1 Background to the Study
School libraries in the educational institutions such as pre-primary, primary and secondary schools are important to the life-wire and foundational up-bringing of children. This is because they primarily stock materials that are of interest and developmental growth for young, teenagers and youths of this era are available in school library (Edeghere, 2011). However, such collections of materials, to an extent make provisions for teachers, whereas the services are mainly aimed at students in the school. School libraries are known as learning laboratory for the school. They provide the total learning package required by the students and their teachers.
The use of library resource has played a critical role in student learning by usefulness of the information, better writer and reader (Bledidt, 2011). Reading of literature as a vital component of student learning enriches their understanding of theories and issues. School libraries promote higher reading achievement through access to books and free reading. (Krashen,2015). The concern of this study is to establish the impact of utilization of library resources on the academic performance of Economics students.
Academic performance and attainment is an important parameter in measuring success in students. Observations and reports have shown that success or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by students in recent times. The performance of students at all levels in educational institutions in Nigeria has attracted much criticisms from all and sundry from time immemorial. Poor academic performance were recorded both at the primary and secondary levels of education in Nigeria (Tenibiaje, 2019). The decline in the academic performance of students in Nigerian secondary schools had been described as very poor.
School library media resources are vital to the teaching and learning of school subjects which may likely influence academic performance of students at the Junior Secondary School level. The Federal Republic of Nigeria, in its National Policy on Education (2004), recommended the provision of functional school libraries stocked with appropriate media resources meant to promote sound and effective teaching and learning activities, boost students’ reading habits and motivate students to come up with desired academic achievement.
The minimum standard, according to the policy, should consist of books, pamphlets, paper cuttings, gazettes and government publications, atlas, maps and charts, photography records, films, record players, cassette tapes/ payers, film projections, slides, pictures, photographs, realia and periodicals. The book collections, according to the policy outline, comprise reference books, non-fictions and fictions. The need for the provision of these school library resources is to provide a clear path towards the realization of curriculum goals of secondary school subjects, including Economics.
The library is meant to bring information services to the door steps of its users. It is therefore expected that it would enjoy high patronage, especially if it is well equipped and adequately staffed. In an academic community, students, lecturers and researchers will always be encouraged to frequently visit the library to satisfy their information needs.
The adequacy of information resources will normally prompt a reaction to its use, which will stimulate progress and development in the overall system. For effective learning, teaching and research in the university, the library information resources should be relevant, current and in a variety of formats such as print, non-print and electronic. Inadequacy and or unavailability of information resources, according to Oluwatoyin (2013), however, affect the academic performance negatively.
However, it was based on this premise that this study was conducted to determine the influence school library resources on academic performance of students in Economics in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The effectiveness of any library depends to a great extent on the quality and quantity of the resources at its disposal. In fact, effective library services cannot be carried out nor sustained without sufficient information resources. Library in Nigerian secondary schools requires adequate funding for the provision of information, human and physical resources. The resources, if adequately provided can also facilitate the academic performance of secondary school students in Economics.
Most secondary school students learning Economics do not rely on their library because of the lack of library resources. They are likely to look elsewhere to satisfy their information needs in order to facilitate their academic performance. In the light of the foregoing, the study is aimed at investigating the influence of utilization of school library resources on academic performance of secondary school students in Economics in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to find out the influence of school library resources on academic performance of students in Economics in Essien Udim Local Government Area. Specifically, the study was designed to:
- Find out the performance of students in Economics who use library resources frequently and those who do not use frequently.
- Assess the performance of male and female students in Economics who use school library resources.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study which aimed at investigating the influence of school library resources on academic performance of students in Economics is significant for the following reasons.
- Students and general readers would find the study useful as it stimulate and guide students in all phases of their reading so that they may find increasing enjoyment and satisfaction and may grow in critical judgment and appreciation.
- Principals and Proprietors of secondary schools would benefit from the study, as it would unmask the role of the school library in secondary school system of education, especially as it relates to enhancing education.
- Schools and practicing teacher-librarians would need this study to execute their library operation so as to enhance academic performance of students in schools.
- Library educators would find this study a worthy companion as it would provide and enrich literature for effective teaching and learning in schools.
- The findings of the study would serve as a valuable working document in the hands of Educational Administrators in finding a long lasting solution to the problem of falling standard of education in the country.
- This study would also be of immense benefit to educational policy makers and implementers as it would serve as a guide in formulating and implementing relevant educational policies relating to school library services.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were asked to guide the study:
- To what extent does the performance of students in Economics who use library resources frequently differ from those who do not use library resources frequently in Essien Udim Local Government Area?
- How does the performance of male and female students in Economics differ when library resources are used in Essien Udim Local Government Area?
School Library Resources and Academic Performance of Students in Economics
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated for the study:
- There is no significant difference in academic performance between Economics students who use library resources frequently and those who do not use library resources frequently in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
- There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students in Economics who used library resources in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study was only restricted to the influence of school library resources and academic performance of students in Economics in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
1.8 Limitation off the Study
Several problems were encountered while undertaking this research works. Some of these include:
- The period given for the completion of this study was not enough for a wider and more in-depth research into the problem situation.
- Lack of funds to procure necessary materials for study and high costs of transportation in getting to sample schools constitute some hindrances.
- Lack of enough previous research materials in the subject was also an added constraint encountered during the course of this work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
School: A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or learners) under the direction of teachers.
Library: A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined set of students for reading, reference or borrowing.
Library Resources: This is defined as any organized collection of printed books and periodicals or any other graphics and audio-visual materials as well as the services of the staff to provide and facilitate such materials as are required to meet the information, research, education or recreational needs of its users.
Academic Performance: This can be defined as the outcome of education; the extent to which a student has achieved his/her educational goals.
Economics: This is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.
Students: As used in this study refers to as group of learners in both the secondary schools and at the higher institution of learning.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.