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Information literacy competency has become inevitable especially with the rapid growth of information resources and advancement in technology. The need for information literacy competence among medical students is essential for their continuous access, retrieval and effective use of information resources. Literature and discussion with Colleagues indicated that medical students encounter difficulty when using library resources which could be attributed to the lack of search or retrieval competencies for exploiting resources, thus making the level of use of resources low. Hence it becomes necessary to investigate the information literacy competence and use of information resources by medical students in two universities in Lagos State, Nigeria.


Survey research design was used for the study. The population consisted of 387 medical students in the 3rd year of study from the University of Lagos College of Medicine and Lagos State University College of Medicine. Sampling was enumerative as all 387 members of the population were included in the study. A structured questionnaire title “ Information Literacy Competence and Use of Information Resources (ILIRUQ)was used for data collection. The response rate was 90%. The questionnaire was pretested using the Cronbach’s Alpha method. The reliability coefficient for the respective scales that made up the questionnaire were:(0.97) types of information resources available, (0.94) for information resources use, (0.87) for extent of information literacy competency and (0.93) for the challenges faced by students. Data collected was analyzed using frequency distribution, mean, standard deviation; and Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC).

Findings revealed that information literacy competence (r=600, p>.05) had asignificant positive relationship on the use of information resources by medical students. Findings also revealed that newspaper/magazine (Mean=3.72) was the highest available resource, followed by maps (mean=3.71), medical records/cases (mean=3.71) and pamphlets (mean= 3.70). Information  resources were  mostly used for preparing for examination (mean= 3.61), getting information about patient diagnosis/intervention (mean= 3.60) knowing what has been done in the field of research in their subject areas (mean =3.45). In the aspect of information literacy competency, most of the respondents were found to be competent as they could identify search topic (mean=2.92), identify a lack of knowledge in a given subject area (mean=2.91) and identify different formats in which information is provided. The major challenges faced inacquiring information literacy competence is lack of well-equipped library where information literacy could be practiced and inadequate information and communication technologies infrastructure for teaching information literacy were identified.

The study concluded that the importance of information literacy competence to the use of information resources cannot be overemphasized and therefore recommended that medical students, should acquire information literacy competence to effectively use information resources for academic, personal development and for excellence in professional practice activities. However, it is recommended that medical students should continue to improve their information literacy competence by training and retraining. Likewise, institutions should put in place an assessment programme to further strengthen the information literacy competence of students with the view to further improve their use of information resources.

Keywords:Information literacy competence, Information resources, use of information,                Library,medical student

Word Count: 491


Content   Page

Title Page                                                                                                                                i

Certification                                                                                                                            ii

Dedication                                                                                                                              iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                                                iv                                                                                     Abstract                                                                                                                                   v

Table of Contents                                                                                                                   vi

List of Tables                                                                                                                           ix

List of Figures                                                                                                                          x

Appendix                                                                                                                                xi


1.1   Background to the Study                                                                                                           1

1.2   Statement of the Problem                                                                                               5

1.3   Objective of the Study                                                                                                   5

1.4   Research Questions                                                                                                         6

1.5   Hypotheses                                                                                                                     6

1.6   Scope of the Study                                                                                                         6

1.7   Significance of the Study                                                                                               7

1.8   Operational Definition of Terms                                                                                     7


CHAPTERTWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE                                                                                                

2.0 Introduction                                                                                                                       9

2.1 The Concept of Information Literacy                                                                                            9

Content                                   Page

2.2 The Concept on the Use of Information Resources                                                         12

2.3 The Need for Information literacy Competenc3e Tertiary Institutions                            14

2.4 Availability of information Resources to Medical Students                                            20

2.5 Access to Information Resources by Medical Students                                                   21

2.6 Use of Information Resources and Information Literacy Competency of Medical                     Students                                                                                                                        24

2.7 Challenges of Information Literacy Competency Acquisition by Medical                      Students                                                                                                                      29

2.8.1 Theoretical Framework                                                                                                  30

2.8.2 SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy Model                                               30

2.8.3 Fishbien and Ajzen theory on Use of Information Resources                                       33

2.8.4 Relevance of theories to the study                                                                                35

2.9 Conceptual Model                                                                                                             36

2.10 Appraisal of Literature                                                                                                    38


3.0 Introduction                                                                                                                      39

3.1 Research Design                                                                                                               39

3.2 Population                                                                                                                         39

3.3 Sample size and sampling Technique                                                                                40

3.4 Research Instrument                                                                                                         40

3.5 Validity and Reliability of the instrument                                                                        41

3.6 Method of Data Collection                                                                                               41

3.7Method of Data Analysis                                                                                                  41

3.8Ethical Consideration                                                                                                        42

Content                                                                                                                                Page


                                   DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS


4.0 Introduction                                                                                                                      43

4.1 Demographic characteristics of the respondents                                                              43

4.2 Analysis of Research Questions                                                                                       45

4.3 Use of information Resources                                                                                          47

4.4 Analysis of Hypothesis                                                                                                     53

4.5 Discussion of the Findings                                                                                               54




5.0 Introduction                                                                                                                      57

5.1 Summary                                                                                                                           57

5.2 Conclusion                                                                                                                        58

  • Recommendations 59

5.4 Contribution to Knowledge                                                                                              60

5.5 Suggestion for Further Studies                                                                                         60

References                                                                                                                              61

Appendix                                                                                                                                76


Table                                                                                                                              Page

3.1: Population                                                                                                                       40

4.1: Demographic characteristics of the respondents                                                             43

4.2: Availability of Information Resources                                                                            45

4.3: Use of Information Resources                                                                                     47

4.4: Information Literacy Competency                                                                                 49

4.5: Challenges Faced in Acquiring Information Literacy Competency                               51

4.6: Information literacy competence and the use of information

Resources                                                                                                                        53


Figure                                                                                                                                   Page

2.1: The Seven Pillars Model of Information Literacy; core

Model for Higher Education (2011) by Society of College, National and

University Libraries (SCONUL)                                                                                            32

2.2: Theory of Reasoned Action Model – Fishebein and Ajzen (1975)

Conceptual Model for Information Literacy Competencies and Use

Information Resources of Medical Students (self-constructed) 2016                                    33




  1. Questionnaire



1.1 Background to the Study

University libraries are set up to provide the information requirements of students, staff, and others within the institution community. Oyewusiand Oyeboade, (2009) Stated that the keyreason for establishing university libraries is to upholdthe teaching, learning, and research in a mannerreliable with, and helpful of, the institution’s mission and goals. Moreover, the library resources and services should be satisfactory in worth, depth, variety, and up to date to support the institution’s curriculum.Iyanda and Salawu (2006) defined the library as an educational and self improvement place that functions as a vitalcomponent of a university or a school. Adeoye and Popoola(2011) stated that librariesmake availableinformation resources that offer knowledge attainment, forleisure, forindividualinterest and lastly for inter-personal relations for everygroup of clientele; however in an academic environment, attention is placed basically on academic, non-academic staff, students and researchers.

Information resources/library resources on the other hand according toPopoola and Haliso (2009)  are  all manner of informationmaterials which are both printed and electronic formats: Like textbooks, journals, indexes, abstracts, newspapers and magazines, reports, CD-ROM databases, internet/E-mail, video tapes/cassettes, diskettes magnetic disk, computers, micro forms etc.In time past, library resources were usually in the print format like books, journals, encyclopedias, gazetteers, atlases, newspapers, and maps, and also audiovisual materials like records, audiocassettes, videocassettes, etc. But with the adva           ncement in technology, most libraries have now expanded their collections to include electronic resources such as: CD-ROM, online databases, e-books, e-journals. The change in formats of information resources and their availability, which is now in various media, calls for users of libraries to be guided and educated in their use. To educate users, most university libraries organize seminars, one on one instruction and orientation for new students in order to continually update users with knowledge on the retrieval and ethical use of information resources which is also known as information literacy.

The term Information literacy is synonymous to user education and orientation in the use of libraries. Information literacy has been expanded to deal with the needs by the concept such as information over load brought about by the speedy growth in digital technologies, and the desire of the information society for competent information patrons, and as well as meet with the prerequisites of the knowledge economy for a sensitive and well-versed labour force amongst medical practitioners (Andretta, 2005).

Bruce (2003), affirmed that  information literacy is further than the capacity to read and write any type of information to the desired audience, it is also the capability to locate, access, evaluate, organize and use information to learn, solve problems and make right decisions, in any contexts, either at work, at home and even inlearning situations. Information literacy competence as described by Kovalik, Jesen, Schloman and Tipton (2010) is an individual’s aptitude to recognize the need for information, and be capable ofidentifying, locating, evaluating, and effectively use the information for the problem. Mitchell (2009) specified that information literacy skills are displayed by ideas such as the abilities to find, retrieve, and use information, the capability to handle information, and the ability to make decisive choices about information resources.

Pejowa (2002) added that theinadequate information literacy competencies possess by users of information resources in developing nations like Nigeria might continue to under use technology related resources that are provided for their use cause of low information literacy skills, there by leading to waste of resources.Boekhorst (2003) observedthat every single definition orwhichever way  IL has been described or brought to the fore over the years can only be reduced into three concepts such as: The concept of Information Communication Technology, this refers to the competence which is required for the utilization of I CT for retrieval and dissemination of information. The information  resources concept, this is the competence required to locate and make use of information by one’s self or by means of the help of intermediaries, lastly,, the information process concept of information literacy, this means the process of knowingthe need for information, getting information, assessing, using and disseminating information to obtain or expand knowledge. Both the ICT and use of information sources are all included in the concept.

Several studies (Sahead& Saad (2012); Ojo and Akande (2005) corroborated withthe fact that users/students of the library are often confronted with the challenge to effectively and efficiently locate, evaluate, manage and use information from a variety of sources. These challenges not only hinder the effective use of library resources but also result in time wastage for library users. Sahak and Saad (2012) investigated the usage of information resources, services and facilities among first and third – year medical students in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Putra Malaysia (UPM). All respondents, 205 (100%) claimed that they visited the library to study and use the Internet. Majority of the students 199 (97.1%)also regularly visited the library to do their assignments discussions with friends. Online databases, library (OPAC), project papers, full text journals, encyclopedia, thesis and statistical reports were, however, found to be less frequently used. The low rate of use allied with these resources, particularly the OPAC which is the pointer to library resources impliesthat  respondentsmay possibly have poor knowledge of how to exploit these resources due to lack of information literacy skills.

In the same view, Ojo and Akande (2005) examined undergraduates’ access, usage and awareness of e-resources at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Nigeria. The study establishes the low level of electronic resources usage. It also acknowledged the lack of information retrieval skill for exploiting e-resources as a major restriction to the use of information resources.It is in line with this that Mwiges (1990) as cited in Kavulya (2003) commented that not being familiar with exploring, discovering and retrieving information from the library sources, bring about a waste of time going through wrong sources and using retrieval tools on trial and error basis.The concept of information literacy isvital to the library profession; hence, theAssociation of College and Research Libraries, (ACRL, 2000) provided a standard for information literacy in higher education. The standard asserts that information literate individuals should be able to: discern the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources, assimilate information into one’s knowledge base, use information effectively to achieve the particular goal, comprehendthe economic, legal, and social matters thathas to do with the use of information and also the access, ethical and legaluse information.

On the basis of this affirmation, it is evident that users of information resources should possess information literacy competence so that they can benefit from the information resources available to them. In order to be abreast and effectivelyrespond to an always -changing technological environment,all categories of users of information resources need not only knowledge base, but they also need techniques for exploring it, this in turn will connect to other knowledge bases and thus making practical use of it for rational decision-making or problem solving in their area of specialization; In order for students to access and use the various information resources that meet up their needs, they have toacquire information literacy competence and knowledge to use the available resources(Owusu-Ansah, 2004).

Medical students are acquiring university education and training for lifelong learning to serve as information providers and medical practitioners. Hence it is vital for medical students to acquire information literacy competencies to enable them to discern when and why information is required, where to find it, how to evaluate, use and communicate information ethically and legally. Lifelong learning will help a medical student to have a profound understanding of how and where to find information, and also the ability to evaluate if that information is important or not, and how best that information can be integrated into solving the problem. Information literacy enables students’ to get used to and comprehend course content and widen their study further than the classroom, this will make students become more autonomous and will help them to take good control  over their own learning activities.

Nevertheless, medical students need knowledge and competence to explore the information resources of the university library. Due to the importance of technology in the provision of information in the 21st Century, information literacy can no more be consideredor be defined without taking into consideration technology literacy. For individuals to function in an information rich, technology infused world, it is imperative, for everyone to be ICT literate because Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy will empower and allow individual or groups and indeed medical students to work productively in their search for information.

Medical students in universities in Lagos State are, therefore, expected to possess all the attributes and competencies necessary to: determine the extent of information needed, access needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its’ sources critically, incorporate selected information into one’s intellectual capacity, use information effectively to bring about a specific purpose understand the economic, legal, and the social issues surrounding the use of information. bearing in mindthe challenges associated with the lack of competencies needed to access and use library resources and the inappropriate or unethical use of electronic information resources generally referred to as “cut and paste” which has come to characterize information use due to the ease of copying electronic materials, thisstudy, therefore, investigates the information literacy competency and use of information resources by medical students in universities in some Lagos State, Nigeria.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Information literacy competency is essential in today’s information- rich environment due to the rapid growth in information resources which comes in various media and with the advancement in information communication technology (ICT). Literature has also established the importance of information literacy, as a means of empowering people in all walks of life to access, evaluate and use information effectively and efficiently to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. However, observation and research indicate that medical students encounter difficulty when using library resources which could be attributed to the fact that they lack search or retrieval competencies for exploiting resources, thus, making the level of use of resources very low.Likewise, information retrieval tools are often used on a trial and error basis, thereby resulting in time wasting.

No matter how rich or enormous the resources provided by the library, without the competencies to use them, these resources will end up wasted. Therefore, it is pertinent to carry out a research to investigate the information literacy competence and use of information resources by medical students in universities in some Lagos State, Nigeria.

1.3   Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between information literacy competence and use of information resources by medical students in universities in some Lagos State. The specific objectives are to:

  1. examine the types of information resources available to medical students in universities in Lagos State;
  2. ascertain the use of information resources by medical students in universities in Lagos State;
  3. determine the degree of information literacy competency of medical studentsin universities in Lagos State;
  4. establish the relationship between information literacy competence and the use of information resources by medical students in universities in LagosState and
  5. find out the challenges medical students face in acquiring information literacy competence in universities in Lagos State.

1.4       Research Questions

This study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the types of information resources available to medical students in universities in Lagos State?
  2. To what extent do medical students in universities in Lagos State use information resources?
  3. What is the degree of information literacy competency of medical students in universities in Lagos State?
  4. What challenges do Medical Students face in acquiring information literacy competence in universities in Lagos State?

1.5       Hypothesis

The null hypothesis for this study was tested at 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1There is no significant relationship between information literacy competence and

use of information resources by medical students.


1.6         Scope of the Study

The focus of this study was limited to information literacy competenceas it influenced the efficient and effective use of information resources required for the medical students’academic, personal and professional purposes. Information literacy competence was  be measured in terms of their ability to: Identify,Scope (assess),Plan,Gather, Evaluate, Manage and Present information. On the other hand, use of information resources was considered in terms of print and electronic resources except for audio-visual resources such as microforms and filmstrips because these facilities are obsolete. It also considered the information resources available to medical students, purpose of use, frequency of use and ease of use.

The geographical location of this study was limited to medical students in Lagos State. A total of 387 students in their 3rd year of study from two universities in Lagos State constituted the research population. The research focused only on 300 level medical students because 100 and 200 level medical students still do general courses while the 300 level students have specialization areas such as the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and the Bachelor of DentistrySurgery (BDS)respectively. On the other hand the 400, 500 and 600 level medical students are posted out for clinical practice and consequently, they could not be included in this study

1.7       Significance of the Study

This study would create awareness among students on the need to possess information literacy competence in order to increase their search efficiency thus bringing about effective and efficient use of information resources. It would further expose information providers and librarians to the challenges faced by users/students in locating and using information resources both in print and electronic format.The finding of this study wouldequally enable policy makers in the library to put in place machinery to assist library users with the acquisition of information literacy competenciesin order to reduce challenges faced in the quest for information. Finally, it would contribute to existing literature on information literacy

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined as used in the context of this study:

Library: it is a storehouse of knowledge wherein all human knowledge in various formats are acquired, processed, organized, and preserved for easy retrieval and use by patrons.

Information Resources: These are print and non- print resources that could be sourced or accessed manually or electronically by information seekers in the library. Such as: books, journal, monographs, magazines, on-line databases, e-books, e-journals, audio books etc.

Information Literacy: Information literacy is the ability to locate, evaluate, manage and use information resources from a variety of sourcesfor problem solving, decision-making and research purposes

Information literacy competency: This is the knowledge, skills and attitude which are applied towards recognizing information and is used to interpret, locate, access, retrieve, use and communicate information ethically and legally to a particular situation for successful learning and living.

Use of Information resources:This is the utilization of both print and electronic resources and this is measured in terms of frequency, purpose, ease of access and use.

Medical Students: A university student who has not yet earned bachelor’s of MBBS or BDS degree.


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