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Library Philosophy and Practice 2007

ISSN 1522-0222

A Survey of the Organization of Resources of the Delta State University Library, Abraka

Daniel O. Akparobore
Reserve Librarian
Delta State University Library
Abraka, Nigeria
 

Introduction

The organization of library resources is central to the mission of libraries worldwide. In earlier times, libraries were designed as storehouses, in order to preserve collections rather than organize and give access to them. Today's libraries emphasize organization and access and are therefore more service-oriented. The objective of university libraries has shifted from preservation to the provision of information and user satisfaction (Rao & Rao, 1984).

The need for organization is driven by the general explosion of knowledge and exponential growth in publication. There are specific organizational activities necessary to accomplish the planned library's goals. Effective organization provides for effective use of the resources (Edoka, 2000). Well-organized university libraries enable researchers find bibliographic information in their fields and makes the library a clearinghouse for bibliographic information. Effective organization promotes efficiency and user confidence in the library services (Anyaoku, 1994).

Organizational methods involve both communication and procedures (Ifidon, 1999). The various activities in the library are grouped into a logical framework, assigning activities to specific departments and positions, e.g., creating authority files, abstracting and indexing, cataloguing and classification, and computerization.

While cataloguing and its attendant functions are crucial to the organization and retrieval of materials, so is computerization. To provide quick and easy service, the library must be computerized. Today, we are see the routine computer processing of information in the technologically developed world. Computers are now applied for the generation, storage, and retrieval of information.

Many university libraries in Nigeria lack computers and online searching. The Delta State University Library today has serious problems in this area.

Objectives

The objective of this study is to discover and describe the organization of library resources in the Delta State University Library. To achieve this, answers were sought to the following questions:

•  To what extent do the staff of the library effectively organized the library resources?

•  How effective is the automation of the library?

•  Are the qualification and skills of library staff enough to deal with the organization of library resources?

•  Are the equipment and materials provided for organization of library resources actually adequate to cope with the demands?

•  Are there possible solutions to problems that are discovered?

Methodology

Population:The population of this study comprises all ninety-six staff in the university library. From these ninety-six, the thirty-five professional and paraprofessional staff were selected, because of their experience and qualifications.

Instrumentation:The instrument used for this study was a questionnaire assessing opinions on state of organization of resources in Delta State University Library. Interview and other observation tools were also used. The questionnaires were administered by hand to the thirty-five respondents used in the study. Thirty-five questionnaires were filled and returned, representing 100%.

Results And Discussion

The results of this study are presented in table I-V

Table 1: Rating on organization of library resources

Percent: Agree % Agree Disagree % Disagree
Cataloguing 13 37 22 63
Classification 13 37 22 63
Indexing 14 40 21 60
Abstracting - - 10 29
Book shelving 14 40 21 60
Card filing 9 26 26 74

Table II: Rating of automation of the library

Division /units Availability of Computer No of Computer specialist Remarks
Open access X X -
Cataloguing/classification 2 1 Not working
Book finishing X X -
Filing unit 1 X 200 entries
Typing pool 2 4 Routine work
Collection Dev. Division 2 X Over 200 entries
Administration 2 1 Routine work
Serials Division 2 1 Over 200 entries
Reference unit 1 X Not working
Circulation unit 1 X Not working
Reserve unit X X -
Special collection 2 X -
Bindering X X -

Symbol used : (x) Not available, None

The results in table 2 indicates that there are no computers available in the open access, book finishing, reserve, and circulation units. There are computers in the cataloguing/classification, filing, typing pool, collection development, administration, serials, reference, circulationm and special collection sections.

Table III: Qualifications and skills possessed by library staff

STATUS RESPONSES QUALIFICATIONS /SKILLS
University librarian

1 Ph.D. Lib Sci
Senior librarian -  
Librarian I 2 MLS
Librarian II 4 MLS
Assistant librarian 2 MSC (LIS)
Graduate Assistant 9 BLS, B.Sc, BA
Library Officers 17 Dip LIS

Table IV: Rating Of Library Resources

Adequacy of library resources Agree % Agree Disagree % Disagree
Books 12 34 3 66
Journals 7 20 28 80
Magazines 7 20 28 80
Newspapers 17 49 18 51
Projectors - - 25 71
AV Software - - 24 69
Computers 7 20 28 80
Stationery 12 34 23 66
Furniture 10 29 25 71

Table V: Problems Impeding The Organization Of Library Resources

Problems Agree % Agree Disagree % Disagree
Funding 25 71 10 29
System 29 83 6 17
Space 18 51 17 49
Skilled manpower 19 54 16 46

 

Discussion

Based on the findings data, it can be inferred that library services are not effective in meeting the goals of the organization.

Although the library is automated, this has not been effective, since there are no specialists to handle computer operations in the various divisions and units. Computers in the some areas are not working. Those that are working are merely carrying out routine services, leaving the technical operations, which library automation is meant for, to suffer.

The strength of the library staff who organize library resources is adequate to cope with the organizational needs of the library. Table 3 testifies to this assertion. This is not the case with equipment and materials, which are are inadequate for the needs of clientele.

The problems impeding organization of library resources in university library range from funding and space to manpower, as well as problems with the system of administration. These problems do not remove the library's responsibility for the proper organization of library resources. The library staff interviewed for the study claimed that, though books and other resource materials are grossly lacking in the library, the staff and the university are making a tremendous effort to develop its collection.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This study looked at the organization of library resources of the Delta State University Library, Abraka, Nigeria, including questions of how well the library resources are organized, whether cataloguers, indexers, classifiers, and computer technologists perform well, and the variables that adversely and positively influence the organization of library resources. There is a need for training and retraining to minimize the problems impeding the organization of library resources. A short course would enable staff to make more effective contributions to the library's objectives and have special skills, for example, technical expertise and prudent use of available funds.

References

Abolaji, A. (2000). Automation of cataloguing Processes in Nigerian libraries: the experience of Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile - Ife.Nigeria Libraries 34 (2) pp. 1-7.

Anyaoku, E. (1994).Demistifying the library: The organization of library collections for effective use. Abraka: Supreme Ideal Publishers International.

Edoka, B. E. (2000).Introduction to library science. Onitisha: Palmo Publishing and Link.

Fayose, P. O. & Nwalo, K. I. N. (eds.) (2000).Information technology in library and information science education in Nigeria. Ibadan: NALISE.

Ifidon, S. E. (1999).Essentials of African university library management. 2nd ed. Lagos: The National Library Press.

Olanlokun, S. O. & Ojo, J. O. (1998). A survey of the effectiveness and converge of indexing of Nigerian publications from 1986-1998.African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science 8(2) pp. 97-112.

Rat, J. and Rao, D. (1984).A new approach to collection development. New York: Oxford.

Sahai, S. H. (1990).Academic library systems. Bombay: Allied Publisher.

Ugwuayi, A. (1998).Use of the library for higher education. 2nd ed. Ibadan: Wisdom Publishers.

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