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Library patronage is an essential factor for justifying the value and existence of libraries to the university community. However, observation and reports have showed significant decline in library patronage in many academic libraries in Nigeria. One wonder if this could be as a result of poor reading culture among students or lack of satisfaction with the information resources and facilities provided by libraries. This study therefore examined the influence that reading culture and user's satisfaction has on academic library patronage in private universities in Oyo State, Nigeria.
The descriptive survey design was used for the study. The population was made up of 1,244 final year students. Multi-stage sampling technique was used for selecting a sample size of 428. Data was collected with the aid of a questionnaire and analyzed using frequency distribution and percentage counts while linear and multiple linear regressions were used to analyze the hypotheses.
Findings from the study revealed a moderate reading culture with the overall mean (2.71) among undergraduates of private universities in Oyo State. The study also revealed a moderate extent of satisfaction with library resources and services provided with the overall mean (2.71). Respondents were also found to patronize the university libraries to a moderate extent with the overall mean (2.48). Reading culture was found to have a significant influence on library patronage (β =.627, p<.05). Also, there was positive significant influence of user satisfaction on academic library patronage of student (β =.538, p<.05). The study further revealed that reading culture and user satisfaction jointly contributed 50.3% to the variation in library patronage of students. Therefore, both factors jointly influence academic library patronage of student in private Universities in Oyo State, Nigeria (R2 = .503, P<.05).
The study concluded by noting that the university library is responsible for meeting the information needs of its community and as such recommends that libraries should encourage students at all level to show interest in reading by organizing periodic seminar, workshops to improve reading culture. Reading campaign should be organized regularly and reading should be part of the student handbook that every student must read when they gain admission. The University library should also endeavor to provide facilities and resources that will satisfy the information needs of its user community as well as competent and capable staffs to assist library users whenever they seek for help while using the library.
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