Acquisition and Use of Library Resources in a University of Technology: A Statistical Record Assessment
Towolawi K. Oluwakemi
Many organizations rely on data-driven decisions to evaluate and improve. Adebowale (2006), Ogundipe, Lucas &Sanni (2005) defined data as raw facts, unassembled and frequently unrelated symbols which are the building blocks of information. Tanur, Mosteller and Peters (1989) as quoted by Adetoro (2008) also corroborated and suggested that data is a guide to the unknown. Adamu S & Johnson (2006) emphasized that statistics is the aspect of decision making which has to do with numerical information. According to Adetoro (2008), the library relies on numerical data to understand the present and make corrections and improvements in the future. In many libraries all over the world, statistics which is an important aspect of modern life are compiled on daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis through recording information about activities and services which the library provides for its users. Library statistics include: traffic, registered users, materials consulted, and materials loaned which Adetoro (2008) quoted Sokoya (2002), describes as derived records of library use.
Bells University of Technology
The Bells University of Technology, Ota is the first private University of Technology in Nigeria. lt was established by the Bells Education Foundation and obtained its operational license on 9th June, 2005. ln addition to teaching, learning and research, the University has "training" as a mission, so that its products can go from "Lab to Land." The University is committed to the development and transformation of the society through environmental friendly technology and other innovations
The University Library
The University Library has a collection of over 15,000 volumes of current and relevant books in its core areas as well as related programmes. It equally makes provision for recreational reading materials, study kits, general knowledge materials, with about 600 Journal titles in about 1,500 volumes. The library is connected to the Internet with the electronic section having over 70 computers and accessories with open access to web based and non web based electronic resources of over 50,000 titles and subscriptions to more than 600 print journal titles, local and foreign, as well as national newspapers and magazines.
Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study is to analyze the acquisition and use of library books and journals for the last five years in a University of Technology
The specific objectives are:
The Research Problem
This study was necessitated by the need for BELLSTECH library to evaluate its collections with the aim of identifying its weaknesses and make amendments to adjust to the challenges of its two new colleges of Environmental Sciences and Engineering Sciences. The library books and journals collection at BELLSTECH library are presumed to be adequate to cope with the population of students and Staff, but may be inadequate for the new colleges.
Spiegel, Murray & Stephen (1998) defined Statistics as the scientific method for collecting, organizing, summarizing, presenting and analyzing data as well as drawing valid conclusions and making reasonable decisions on the basis of such analysis. This is usually done in order to minimize uncertainty. Adebowale (2006), Ogundipe, Lucas & Sanni (2005) remarked that data are the input raw materials from which information is produced and they are found everywhere, and no matter what your line of work is, you will make decisions that involve data. Library activities can be expressed in statistical form, which is why librarians have compiled
statistics to evaluate the library. Statistics according to Hameed (2004) as quoted by Adetoro (2008) are an effective tool for management appraisal of a library , while comparing statistics from several years can also be useful in planning (Kumar, 2001).
Thus, Library effectiveness measures are concerned with determining how well the library meets the needs of its users, relative to the library goals and objectives Nwalo (2001)
Through the use of compiled daily, weekly, and monthly acquisitions and statistics. According to Nwalo (2001), one of the best ways to determine library effectiveness is the use of library statistics, while Amusa (2008) observes that the standard of libraries may be measured and assessed by its services and is such the basis for the establishment of library standards. The most common among these are statistics on size of collection, volumes added annually, circulation, reference questions answered and unanswered, interlibrary loan requests and expenditure . The documentation of facts about individual library's history, resources, clientele, organization, administration, and management also has relevance in the conduct of research by librarians. This, in the view of Onye (1998) as quoted by Adetoro (2008), will lay the foundation for further future critical interpretations and solutions to problems for the overall improvement of library operations and services.
The descriptive survey design was used for the study. Data was obtained from the library
statistics which had been compiled over a five year period covering 2005/2006 – 2009/10,that is from the inception of the library till date .The data were compiled and collated by the staff in the readers' services department, which includes circulation, security Desk and Serials The data were analyzed using frequencies, bar charts, and percentages.
Table 1; Acquired Books and Journals:
The number of books and journals both in titles and Volumes increased during the period under study, at a very high rate of increase. A total of 15,329 volumes of books were added to stock during the period under study, of which about thirty-five percentage were gifts. Journals added for the five year period were 454 titles or 1,475 volumes,
Table 2: Consulted Books and Journals
The total number of consulted books during the period under study rose sharply and reached its peak during the 2009/2010 academic session, with 10,564 books, while the consulted journals also rose gradually reaching its peak in 2008/2009 session with 321 journals
Table 3: Readers Attendance and Registered Users
The table 3 above, shows that the readers' attendance and the number of registered users
increased gradually during the period under study. In 2005/06, library visits by students was 650, and by 2009/10 session it had risen to 20089. Staff attendance rose from 480 in 2005/06 to 5290 in 2009/2010. User's registration expectedly increased generally during the period under study as the University population increases.. Registered students in 2005/06 totaled 42. By 2009/10; the number of registered students was 1053. Registered staff as at 2005/06 was 48, while 227 staff had registered during 2009/10 out of the total population of 262.This constitutes about eighty-seven percentage (87%) of total staff
Table 4: Loans to Users
Loans to undergraduate students were initially low during 2005/2006, because the University had just taken off as a university of Technology 2005. As the population of students rose, the number of loans to students jumped from a mere 507 in 2005/06 to 3,487 loans in 2006/2007 session. Loans to students were reduced in 2007/2008 but thereafter witnessed a steady increase, reaching its highest point in the 2008/2009 session with 3957 loans. The unusual reduction in loan during the 2009/10 is due to the fact that the university is its first quarter of the session at the time of this study. The trends of Loans to staff have been relatively low as shown on fig. above. Bells University has staff strength of about 265 and the loans to staff reached it peak of 328 during the 2008/09 session.
Summary of Findings
In view of the findings, it is therefore recommended that:
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