READER AND LIBRARY USERS: A STUDY OF READING HABITS AND PUBLIC LIBRARY USE IN NIGERIA
Reading is the ability to understand words contained in a document and make use of the knowledge for personal growth and development (Dadzie, 2008). This implies making meaning out of recorded information either printed or non-printed in the life of an individual. People read for different reasons and purposes, some of which include for pleasure, leisure, relaxation, information and for knowledge.Public Library.
Reading is the identification of the symbols and the association of appropriate meaning with them. It requires identification and comprehension. Comprehension skills help the learner to understand the meaning of words in isolation and in context (Palani, 2012).
He believes reading is a process of thinking, evaluating, judging, imagining, reasoning and problem solving. Reading is an essential tool for knowledge transfer and the habit of reading is an academic activity that increases skills in reading strategies. To know about the world and its environment, a child helps himself through reading books, newspapers and other magazines. Once the child has been taught to read and has developed the love for books, he can explore for himself the wealth of human experiences and knowledge through reading. Children, who miss the opportunity of getting in touch with books in their early stages of life, find it hard to acquire good reading habits in their later years (Deavers, 2000). Reading is an intellectual action which is possible only if a man forms a habit of reading and practices these from childhood. Reading habits, therefore, play a very crucial role in enabling a person to achieve practical efficiency. “Laws die but books never.” Indeed, books are the most suitable medium through which knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation (Issa et
Singh (2011) examined academic achievement and study habits of higher secondary students. The study was conducted on hundred (100) higher secondary students randomly from two higher secondary schools. The result indicates that girls and boys differ significantly in their study habits and academic achievement. Bhan and Gupta (2010) on the other hand examined study habits and academic achievement among the students belonging to scheduled caste and non-scheduled caste group. The results revealed that sex has no significant impact on the study habits and academic achievement of students. Higginbotham (1999), examined the reading interests of middle school-sixth, seventh, and eighth grade-students in a metropolitan, public school located in a southeastern state Atlanta, Georgia. The result of this study showed differences in interest by gender, which are congruent with many society’s stereotypes, and females reported a stronger interest in Romance, Friendship, Animal Stories, Adventure, and Historical Fiction, while the males reported stronger preferences for the categories of Sports and Science. Also, the male respondents had a stronger preference for non-fiction than did the
female respondents. Public Library.
Gallo (2007) said “books, yield their best to you, if you read them at the age at which each particular masterpiece can ideally be chewed and digested”. There is little knowledge about the everyday reading practices of tertiary education students and how these practices affect their academic achievement. Everyday reading consists of individuals’ reading activities for a variety of purposes, such as for
relaxation or information (Issa. et al, 2012). They believes that from middle childhood through adulthood, reading becomes a major component of studying, and much information learned through studying is initially acquired through reading. Thus everyday reading activities in which students engage may, considerably influence their studying skills and subsequent academic performance. There
is a general sense in which one appreciates the link between good habits of reading and the academic
performance of students generally, (Issa et al, 2012). Guthrie, Benneth & McGough, (2007) believe that “reading” is the act of getting meaning from printed or written words, which is the basis for learning and one of the most important skills in
everyday life. (Issa et al 2012) further explain that reading is usually associated with books as only the written words provide a complete picture of the act of reading. It means that through reading, the individual is able to build or fix things, enjoy stories, discover what others believe and develop ideas or beliefs of their own. Thus, reading provides the key to all forms of information necessary for our
day-to-day survival and growth. Public Library
It follows then that if you are in the practice of reading regularly without thinking about it because of the permanence of its continuity, one can conclude that good reading habits have been formed. This is because a habit is formed unconsciously when an individual does something many times, and becomes part and parcel of such a person’s life. Incidentally, many students do not belong in the category of
those with good reading habits.
Their poor or bad reading habits could partly be held responsible for general poor performance that the school systems usually record in both internal and external examinations (Issa et al, 2012). Perhaps, due to lack of good reading habits among students, academic performance with respect to their examination result has been dismal nowadays creating a great source of worry and concern for all stakeholders in the educational sub-sector (Issa et al, 2012). The setting of “crashed programmes,”
quite prevalent in the school systems today has not been supportive in the development of the good practices of reading.
Thus, the enthusiasm associated with the urge to engage in reading practices voluntarily, pleasurably and extensively is almost nearly absent among the greater number of students in the schooling system today (Issa et al, 2012). According to (Ogbodo, 2010) Parents send their children to school to learn. In the school, children are exposed to various experiences which influence their behaviour. Therefore, learning is a change in behaviour. Such a change is seen in their mental reasoning, physical growth, manipulative skills and development of values and interests. The change may be easy or difficult depending on the home and
the school environment.
Ogbodo (2010) further identifies three main types of reading habits. These are Hobby, Recreational and Concentration. A hobby is an activity one does because one derives some joy and satisfaction from doing it. After formal education’s attainment, some people like reading as their hobby. Its purpose is to widen the reader’s horizon areas like educational, religious, political, economic, current
affairs, fiction and non-fiction. The practice of reading as a hobby helps one to be versatile in knowledge in many areas and the person can discuss issues knowledgeably with others. Fundamentally, reading for recreation or relaxation is very common among the educated elite. People who have gainful employment spend the whole day in the offices trying to solve problems related to the jobs they do. When they come back from work, they normally desire a change by reading books, newspapers and other written materials which are different and of interest to them. Students should be encouraged to read magazines instead of reading textbooks all the time. Students, who read magazines
at intervals learn to relax, cool their brain and avoid mental fatigue and also makes them live a disciplined life in the school. In most cases, its effect in inducing sleep and rest after tedious reading in the classroom or the library adds to good health habits. The concentration reading is the most important type of reaching the desired outcome. It is the bedrock and the result oriented reading which
makes for achievement (Ogbodo, 2010). Public Library