Restoring the Library OPAC towards Usability by Undergraduates Students of the University of Benin

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Author(s) Christopher Osaretin Ukpebor
Pages 184-188
Volume 1
Issue 4
Date April, 2012
Keywords University of Benin, OPAC, Academic Libraries, Search engines, Search options, OPAC Interface, Google
Abstract

The University of Benin (Uniben) students have shown more desire in internet search than the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC). OPAC has been the most common tool for library users and librarians recently, and it will be also commonly used in electronic libraries. Google search engines have become the preferred tool over the library online public access catalogue for finding information. Few academic libraries in Nigeria can boast of OPAC system, while the few with the systems are losing ground to online search engines. Students and faculty are accustomed to the usability, flexibility, and performance of the internet best web applications when they logon into the Internet. This usability is preferable when compared to the libraries that have meager information resources as well as few search options in accessing the OPAC. This view point highlight the; current OPAC interface and searching capabilities, as well as a more modernized OPAC interface built on Web 2.0 which many academic libraries lack in Nigeria. The purpose of the study is to find answers to the current debate: Why is the Uniben OPAC ineffective? What can libraries, librarians and programers do to deliver an OPAC that is as good as search engines to better serve our users? The case study is on University of Benin Library state of the art, where their OPAC is less effective and cannot be built on the web.

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