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This study investigated the status of digitization in federal university libraries in South-Eastern Zone of Nigeria. Seven research questions guided the study. The research design adopted for this study is a descriptive survey. The total population for this study was three hundred and twenty-three (323) library staff, but sixty (60) rspondents that were directly involved in digitization were sampled. The major instruments for data collection are questionnaire and observation checklist. A total of sixty questionnaire were distributed to the respondents who comprised of the library staff from the university libraries under study. Fifty-five copies of the questionnaire were correctly filled and used for this study. Data were analyzed using percentage and mean scores. From the analysis, the findings revealed that improved library services, increased access, speedy retrieval of documents and effective preservation are the major purposes for digitization of library resources. The result also shows that librarians have not yet acquired all the skills needed for digitization especially skills on creation and management of library website, database management skill, troubleshooting, metadata creation of library resources, and web publishing. High cost of purchasing equipment, poor internet connectivity, preservation of digital resources, inadequate skilled personnel, lack of standards, and inadequate funding are some of the major problems militating against effective digitization project. Based on the
findings, the study recommended alternative power supply, adequate funding, training of librarians to acquire digitization skills and proper selection of software packages as strategies for effective digitization. The study concluded that in order to remain relevant in the present digital environment, libraries especially in developing countries should make every effort to digitize their local content for preservation and easy access.


Background to the Study

The University library can be seen as the central nervous system of its parent institution as they are primarily established to provide information resources to back up academic programmes. It is the principal instrument of the university in the conservation of knowledge. Proper fulfillment of this role provides a sound basis for the transmission and advancement of knowledge. The University library therefore collects materials, published and unpublished, print and non-print, in some depth and globally in almost all fields of knowledge (Aguolu and Aguolu, 2002). Thus the main purpose of the university library is to support the objective of the university which is to promote teaching, learning and research.
Globally, Libraries are digitizing information resources and making them available and accessible to end users via electronic media such as the World Wide Web (WWW), the Internet, and CD-ROM. The present revolution in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and digitization initiatives are now critical issues that libraries, especially in the academic environment can no longer afford to fold their hands if they must continue to remain relevant in this digital age. Nwalo (2003) noted that “Libraries in Africa including Nigeria are gradually but steadily converting from manual process to computer-based library routines.” This is as a result of the changing need of library users.
Obviously, the general library environment is gradually changing from analogue to digital and/or hybrid library, as a result of the present ICT revolution
which has been the central driving force for digitization project. Hence, ICT is the gateway for library digitization; although these technologies have been in a very low supply in Nigerian universities and most African countries. The advent of ICTs and the present digitization projects are key developmental factors in the present day libraries especially in the academic environment.


ICT according to Blurton (1999) is a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information. Anaeme (2006) pointed out that the emergence of fast growth of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and their application in libraries, especially academic libraries, has continued to revolutionize the pattern and scope of library services. In the same vein, Campbell (2006) observed that “numerous creative and useful services have evolved within academic libraries in digital age: providing quality learning spaces, creating metadata, offering virtual reference services, teaching information literacy, choosing resources and managing resources licenses, collecting and digitizing archival materials, and maintaining digital repositories.
Digitization is the process of converting the contents of a document from hardcopy into electronic or machine-readable form. It involves the selection of source materials of intellectual value, scanning them, and saving the scanned document into the computer to be accessed locally and remotely via the internet. According to Witten and Bridge (2003), digitization is “the process of taking traditional library materials that are in the form of books and papers and converting them to the electronic form where they can be stored and manipulated by a computer”. Fatoki (2005) defined digitization as “the conversion of analogue media to digital form”.

In the same vein, Library and Archives, Canada in Akintude (2007) defined digitization as “the process of translating a piece of information such as sound recording, picture or video into bits”. Digitization therefore involves more than the conversion of analogue materials into digital format; it includes the organization of the digital content into a navigable format. Generally, digitization has a lot of invaluable benefits such as increasing the visibility of libraries globally, improved services to an expanding number of users, enhanced access to current and vast amount of information from remote sites as users can easily access library resources from different parts of the world no matter the distance; flexibility in information search and retrieval; it ensures better preservation of library resources by reduced handling of the original analogue surrogate materials and alleviating the problems normally associated with the traditional library environment such as mutilation of information resources, theft, space constraints, scarcity or limited number of copies, limited hour of operation, and poor storage environment normally associated with manual preservation; it is a veritable information source for e-learning and it offers a platform for collaboration and interoperability of libraries globally.
Digitization has the potentials of making Africa global producers of indigenous information and preservation of our cultural heritage rather than being
passive consumers of imported information. Hence, digitization paves way for the globalization of local content and the accessibility of global information resources locally. In Africa, there have been some digitization projects. Chisenga (2004) noted that while digital libraries and archives are being created around the world in order to preserve, store, catalogue, disseminate and share information resources, target scale digitization projects in Africa have not yet taken off, though there are notable efforts being made in some countries, but mainly in a small scale.

Digitization enhances the visibility of a library globally as materials digitized can be easily accessed by other libraries and research institutions once there are compatible infrastructures such as relevant hardware, software, and internet connectivity. The immense importance of digitization is that it offers opportunities for collaboration among libraries worldwide. It enhances the visibility of a library globally as digitized materials can easily be accessed by other libraries and research institutions locally, nationally and internationally, once there is compatibility of infrastructures such as relevant hardware and software.
Digitization has recently become a very popular term in libraries as there has been a global need for nations to preserve their cultural heritage and make them accessible in order to contribute positively to the global information and knowledge economy. The concept of a library as a physical place where one can visit to access information has dramatically changed to services which provide organized access to the intellectual records, wherever it resides whether in physical places or in scattered digital information spaces paving way to the present model of hybrid libraries (Carr, 2001) Digital libraries emerged largely in the 1990s because of the revolution in the ICTs and the need for enhanced access and preservation of cultural heritage materials.

The term digital library was first made popular by the NSF/DARPA/NASA Digital Libraries Initiative in 1994, (Eyitayo, 2007). Digital libraries according to the Digital Library Federation (DLF, 1998) are “organizations that provide the resource, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities”. Digital libraries offer a brighter future for academic, research institutions, and digital information professionals. They offer access to and opportunities for use of online primary resources. The main  result of the invalua


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