Subject Discipline, Age and Gender Differences in Use of Library among Nigerian University Undergraduates

  • John E. Eze
  • Baba A. Karatu


The study sought to determine whether there were subject discipline, age and gender differences in undergraduates' use of the library. A multi-group cross-sectional design was employed. Participants were 362 undergraduates in subject disciplines of Arts, Education, Law, Social Sciences, Pharmaceutical Science, and Veterinary Medicine in four universities in eastern Nigeria. Participants were aged 18-32 years, with a mean age of 25 years. The Library Utilization Questionnaire developed by the researchers was administered on the participants to assess their use of the library. ANOVA results showed that participants did not differ significantly in use of the library on the basis of subject discipline, age, or gender. However, there was significant interaction effect of subject discipline and age on use of the library, F(2, 338) = 2.61, p = .03: use of the library increased with older age for undergraduates in Arts and Veterinary Medicine, whereas it decreased with older age for those in Law and Social Sciences. The effect size (eta squared) of this interaction effect was however relatively small (. 04). It was concluded that the primary interest of majority of older undergraduates in Law and Social Sciences might be status advancement rather than quest for knowledge.