What drives students of Osmania University College of Engineering to the library? If one goes by a study conducted to understand the usage patterns of e-resources by OU engineering students, it is more the fear of examinations than gaining more knowledge of the subjects.
The study, ‘Use Patterns of E-Resources by the Professional Students of University College of Engineering, Osmania University, Hyderabad: A Case Study’, published in the latest edition of International Journal of Library and Information Studies gives some interesting insights into the e-resources consumption pattern of the engineering students of Osmania University.
The study probes the use of e-resources at the OUCE library, also known as Diamond Jubilee library, which has access to 175 international and 30 national journals, apart from 88,000 books. However, what stands out is the answer chosen for the question on ‘Purpose of using e-resources’ by the 165 students of OUCE who were given a questionnaire.
A hundred of them were B.Tech students and 65 were M.Tech students. Only 34 of the 165 surveyed students, about 20.6 per cent, said that their purpose was to gain knowledge. While only 22 (13 pc) B.Tech students said they visited the library for gaining subject knowledge, it was a meagre number of 12 (7 pc) M.Tech students who ascribed their visits to this purpose. A majority of the students said they visited the library to study for examination and to get help from e-resources for their project. While 53 (32.12 pc) students said that they visited library “for examination” and 63 students (38.18 pc) “for project work”.
The study also delved into the problems faced by students in accessing e-resources in Diamond Jubilee Library (DJL). Problems in downloading the content and low bandwidth were cited as the problems faced by most of the students with 90 (54.5 pc) and 53 (32.1 pc) respectively. However, when contacted, engineering students from OUCE told KhabarLive that it was not the Internet speed but the computers with old configuration that posed problem in the DJL.
The limited time available to access e-journals in library is another problem. One OUCE student told KhabarLive, “If the library stays open beyond the working hours of the engineering college & access is granted even on holidays, then it would be very helpful. In the college’s working hours we are mostly busy attending lectures and cannot spend much time at the library.”
When asked about the findings of this study, OUCE principal Prof S Sameen Fatima said, “At the department level itself students have access to huge volumes of e-resources, books and journals. Many of them access e-resources on their smartphones thanks to the good Internet connectivity. Moreover, many resources like the GIAN courses are uploaded on the college website. As a result of all these factors, many students do not visit DJL.” #KhabarLive