An Evaluation Of The Acquisition Practices In The Academic Library In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

An Evaluation Of The Acquisition Practices In The Academic Library In Nigeria


Abstract


Over the years, libraries have been faced with the problem of inadequate and outdated collections. Providing the information materials a user wants regardless of its format or location is the main reason for the existence of libraries and librarians. Various efforts are being made by Academic libraries in Nigeria to acquire information materials that will meet the desired needs of users in terms of adequacy, currency and availability.The objective of the study is to evaluate the acquisition practices in Academic libraries using the Ibarapa polytechnic, Eruwa,academic library a case study. Survey research design was employed for the study and with aid of convenient sampling selected a total of three hundred and thirty (330) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which two hundred and ninety-eight (298) were returned and validated. The sources of data collection was both primary and secondary with the application of questionnaires as an instrument to gather the necessary data. Textbooks, journals, articles, law reports, newspapers publications, were collected as secondary data, and also limitations to the study were indicated. Data was analyzed using simple percentage frequency mean and means score presented in tables. The result also shows that information materials are acquired mainly by purchases and gifts or donations. The study indicated that information materials like books, journals, and reference materials are more current than other information materials in the library and that collection development policy is oral and not well written as a document and encompasses only acquisition. Obsolete materials, worn out materials, inadequate professionals, problem of storage facilities, lack of sufficient funds, and lack of collection development policy and duplication of titles are some of the difficulties encountered in developing library collections. Based on the analysis findings, it was suggested that libraries ought to have a written collection development policy that will embrace acquisition, selection ,weeding, gifts and exchanges, there ought to be consistence staff training in workshops and seminars, library staff should consult with lecturers in order to get information on the their curriculum so as to acquire materials that will suit the curriculum, employment of qualified and experienced library staff, provision of space for the library to enable it to have archives where it can deposit outdated materials. The study concluded that adequate and efficient assessment of acquisition exercises and collection development in academic libraries would effectively improve the performance of the university’s research output.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

An academic library is a library that is attached to an institution of learning, a major function of which is research and the advancement of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. It is a central service or unit of operation set up to provide location ,materials and facilities for study, teaching and research carried out in the institution.
The main function of an academic library is to serve as an auxiliary to the parent institution in carrying out its objectives. The Library is an important intellectual resource of the academic community, and helps them fulfill the curriculum requirements and to promote studies and research (Rajendran and Rathinasabapathy, 2005). The library caters for the information needs of the community, through the provision of reading materials for the various programmes of the institution (Igbinosa and Idiodi, 2002).

According to Danton (1963), the major obligation of the academic library with respect to its book selection and book collection is to provide the materials which will now and in the future best contribute to the fulfillment of these closely related functions of teaching, conservation and research. Ajibero (1995) opined that the academic library is the heart of the institution.

He contends that what all academic libraries have in common, virtually regardless of country or history is their basic position, roles, aims and objectives. The reputation of these libraries depends highly on the library facilities it offers its clientele in terms of information resources. As information and research resources become more varied, it places a challenge on academic libraries. Hazen (2000) argued that the changes in the nature of information, in research strategies, and in the structure of higher education are affecting academic libraries. These changes define much of the shifting context within which academic libraries must operate.

It is absolutely essential for a library to possess the resources that will enable it meet its goals. Beautiful buildings, well trained staff and modern information storage and retrieval system can only be appreciated if excellent services are given to users. These services cannot be given without a collection of information materials.

The objective of any academic library is to support the teaching, learning and research activities of the parent institution. It is an objective which is achieved through a systematic acquisition and organization of all forms of recorded and undocumented information in all fields pertinent to the goals of the institution. This can be realized by making such information available to the members of the academic community and other scholars engaged in research and study (Ekere, 1992).

Collection development is one of the fundamental functions of the library and information profession. Magrill (1989) described it to include all planning for the systematic and rational building of a collection. In one sense, collection development includes assessing user needs, evaluating the present collection, determining selection policy, coordinating selection of items, re-evaluating and storing parts of the collection and planning for resources sharing.

However, in a broader sense, collection development is not a single activity, or a group of activities; it is a planning and decision-making process. In order to play these vital roles effectively, academic libraries are supposed to be adequately funded by their parent institutions to procure adequate information resources. A library?s collection development efforts cannot be effective unless its acquisition efforts are efficient. This practice that is responsible for selecting and acquiring information specialist to perform their myriad function to the users effectively (Aina, 2004).

Academic librarians must strive to remain competent navigators of acquisition and collection building in order to assist library users? .In addition, acquisition practices includes a policy on the conservation and preservation of information materials as well as the weeding of information materials. The policy is to provide guidance to staff when selecting and deselecting resources for the local collection.

Furthermore, collection evaluation is concerned with how good a collection is in terms of kinds of materials in it and value of each item in relation to the community being served, and to the library potential users. The complexities of operating effective and efficient libraries require greater knowledge about measuring the processes and evaluating how they influence library?s decision making and planning. Collection evaluation is a broadly encompassing activity. It can be as simple as the assessment of size of dollar worth of a collection and it can be as complex as measuring its value to a given community. The process is an excellent situation for communication among units in the library.

Generally speaking, all the Libraries under study are involved with collection development and evaluation. In one sense, the issue of policies guiding the process and constant evaluation of collection is yet to be fully actualized. Adequate information resources that meet the needs of users are slightly above minimal level. This situation might be as a result of some problems such as insufficient staff/manpower to carry out the practice, inadequate funds to acquire relevant materials and then the issue of nonexistent or minimal demand from students, academics, departments and faculties for up to date or topical materials relating to current curriculum.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Over the years, libraries have been faced with the problem of inadequate and outdated collections. Providing the information materials a user wants regardless of its format or location is the main reason for the existence of libraries and librarians. Various efforts are being made by Academic libraries in Nigeria to acquire information materials that will meet the desired needs of users in terms of adequacy, currency and availability. The consistent review of library materials is necessary for maintaining an active library collection of current interest to users.

Evaluation will be made to determine whether the collection is meeting its objectives, how well it is serving its users, in which way it is deficient and what remains to be done to develop the collection. This is why the acquisitions department of any library is essentially a service unit for the public service department and staff as customers to be satisfied. Unfortunately, most academics libraries are facing some challenges in providing, preserving and replacing damaged and worn out materials.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study is to evaluate the acquisition practices in Academic libraries using the Ibarapa Academic, Eruwa academic library. The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To examine the adequacy of the collection of the Ibarapa polytechnic academic library under study.
  2. To evaluate the methods of acquisition of the information resources by the Ibarapa polytechnic academic library.
  3. To evaluate the currency of their information resources.
  4. To examine the collection development policies available in the Ibarapa polytechnic academic library.
  5. To evaluate those problems encountered in the development of their collections.
  6. To examine the strategies that could enhance the acquisition practices in the Library under study.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. How adequate are the collections of the academic library understudy?
  2. What are the methods of acquisition of their information resources?
  3. How current are the collections of the academic library understudy?
  4. What are the Collection development policies available in the library?
  5. What are those problems encountered in developing collections of the academic library understudy?
  6. What are the strategies that could enhance the acquisition practices of the library under study?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would be useful to Librarians, students, lecturers, researchers and the Government in the following ways: As libraries deteriorate in terms of collection evaluation, users suffer. Hence, the study of this nature is needed to determine the magnitude of the problems affecting collection development/evaluation and strategies adopted in handling them. For Librarians, the result of the findings will assist librarians to create avenues of contending with the problems in the area of collection development evaluation.

This study is also aimed at alerting librarians on the need for proper collection development, policies and constant evaluation of collection in order to frequently satisfy the needs of users, of polytechnic Libraries and other academic libraries. The recommendations will help in giving the librarians an insight of information on evaluation of materials so as to adopt better ones.

For students, lecturers and researchers, the findings will provide them with basic and factual information at their disposal. It will help to determine the extent to which the aims and objectives of libraries in terms of evaluation of collection has helped students and researchers and organizational bodies of institutions.

Likewise the Government will benefit from the study as they will realize their budgeting inadequacies for library collection development. This will enable them counter these inadequacies.

Finally, the study will be useful for other academic purposes by providing the data base from which information could be obtained for future research in related areas of study.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study of collection development strategies in academic libraries is limited to the Ibarapa polytechnic library. Furthermore, the study will be delimited to: adequacy of collections, methods of acquisition, currency of collections, availability of collection development policies, problems and strategies for enhancing acquisition practices.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

  1. Network interconnectivity to enhance elaborate research ?
  2. High level of illiteracy
  3. Organization operational huddles.
  4. Time and cost constraints due to cause of scarcity in gasoline to go about the research.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The objective of the study is to evaluate the acquisition practices in Academic libraries using the Ibarapa Academic, Eruwa academic library a case study. The study further discuss the collection development policies available in the Ibarapa polytechnic academic library, evaluate those problems encountered in the development of their collections and examine the strategies that could enhance the acquisition practices in the Library under study.

Survey research design was employed for the study and with aid of convenient sampling selected a total of three hundred and thirty (330) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which two hundred and ninety-eight (298) were returned and validated. The sources of data collection was both primary and secondary with the application of questionnaires as an instrument to gather the necessary data. Textbooks, journals, articles, law reports, newspapers publications, were collected as secondary data, and also limitations to the study were indicated. Data was analyzed using simple percentage frequency mean and means score presented in tables.


5.4 Conclusion

It should be noted that adequate and effective assessment of acquisition activities and collection development in academic libraries could effectively support and improve a wide range of library staff, lecturers and students research output. This study has attempted to assess the adequacy of materials, methods of acquisition, currency of materials, availability of collection development policies, challenges and strategies that could enhance the acquisition activities in university libraries. Findings from the study have shown that information resources in university libraries such as books, reference materials, journals, computer resources and periodicals are adequate hence there should be an increased number of materials such as manuscripts, tapes (audio and video), Government publication, microfilms and magazines.

The study revealed that majority of the materials are current such as books, reference materials, journals and the collection development policy available encompasses only acquisition and oral. The polytechnic libraries acquire their materials through purchase and gifts; hence they are advised to consider other avenues such as donations and exchanges in order to have adequate information materials. However, with all the benefits inherent in having a good collection, there are still a lot of problems militating against developing a good collection in academic libraries such as duplication of titles, inadequate professionals and library staff, resistance to change, outdated materials, lack of funds and lack of collection development policy among others. In order to achieve an effective and efficient library, adequate attention must be given to the strategies and recommendation given in the study.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the subsequent recommendations are put together

  1. Libraries should have a written collection development policy that will embrace acquisition, selection, weeding, gifts and exchanges. This will facilitate a consistent and balanced growth of the library resources.
  2. There should be constant staff training /orientation on the issues of acquisition activities and evaluation.
  3. Library staff should consult with academic staff in order to get information on the institutions curriculum thus acquiring materials that will suit the curriculum.
  4. Library collection should be evaluated at least quarterly.
  5. The library should employ more qualified library staff to meet with the growing needs of the University and its users.
  6. There is need to provide adequate space for the library to enable it have archives where it can deposit outdated materials.
  7. Emphasis should be made on training of library staff in order to acquire all the skills on acquisition and collection development. There should be provision of on the job training for library staff especially acquisitions library staff.
  8. The library should seek for more financial aid from donor organizations. The University Administrators should request assistance from the Education Trust Fund for the provision of current and adequate collections.

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