Financial Management In Nigerian Public Libraries

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Financial Management In Nigerian Public Libraries


Abstract


Financial management and Acquisition of information resources is an essential activity which is crucial to the satisfaction of the information needs of library users and the attainment of library objectives. This study examines the financial management and acquisition patterns of academic, special and public libraries in Benue State, Nigeria for a period of three years. The survey research design was adopted for the study while the total enumeration technique was used to select twenty-five (25) libraries staff from the state. Questionnaire and interview were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data for the study while the analysis of data collected was based on descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The public library is established to provide materials, which communicate experience and ideas from one person to another and make them easily and freely available to all people. The public library is a local centre of information that makes all kinds of knowledge and information readily available to its users. It is established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some other form of community organizations. It provides access to knowledge, information and works of imagination through a range of resources and services. It is equally available to all members of the community regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, religion, language, disability, employment status and educational attainment (Aboyade, 1984).

The public library is regarded as the local gateway to knowledge, providing a basic condition for lifelong, independent, decision-making and cultural development of the individual and social groups (IFLA/UNESCO), 1995). (IFLA, 2001) also defines public library as “an organization established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some other forms of community organization”. (IFLA, 2001) further opines that a public library provides access to knowledge, information and works of the imagination through a range of services and is equally available to all members of the community regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, religion, language, physical and mental limitations, economics and employment status and educational attainment. (Conable, 2012) opines that every citizen should have equal right of public library services, buttressing the IFLA position on public library services.

The public library is a social institution which is tied to the political and social realities of the communities where it is situated. As the name implies, this is a library that serves the public. UNESCO (1966) defines public library as “Those which serve the population of the community or region free of change or for a nominal fee. It is a library designed to serve the generality of the people. According to Ode & Omokaro (2007), Public libraries are established, owned and funded by the government either state or federal governments at the state capitals and with branches in the local governments headquarter. According to Oduagwu (2002) public libraries that serve the public are supported by government subvention, local rates or charges. He went further to explain that public library is often regarded as a poor man’s university. Its clientele is heterogeneous devoid of race, status, rank, bias as to who would avail of its services. It stocks every conceivable item that would add knowledge, education, research, information and cultural needs of the society.

Public libraries are public organisations which are governed by the state since they are established and maintained with public funds and taxpayers’ money. The delivery of public library services as a governmental activity requires efficient legislation and policies, and a management structure that is responsive both in terms of the implementation of the legislation and policies, and also in satisfying the needs of the people to whom services are delivered.

Service delivery takes place through an organised process which cannot be achieved without adequate governance and management structures in place, as the ability to deliver the expected public services at grassroots level requires commitment and efficiency in the capabilities of both the authority and the institution (Islam and Mezbah-ul-Islam, 2010). Foo et al. (2015) posit that service delivery is gauged by the performance of policymakers and managers. For an organisation to deliver the expected services to the populace resources must be available.

However, these are in many cases in short supply and must be shared among competing organisations. In acquiring these scarce resources, organisations must demonstrate value by realising cost efficiency in the process of delivering high quality, useful products and services (The World Meteorological Organisation, n.d.). Therefore, ifpublic libraries are to deliver the services expected from them by their communities, policymakers should continuously assess through public participation the effectiveness of the services delivered.

Within the Nigerian public library context a number of studies have indicated widespread disillusionment with the services delivered by the public libraries. Challenges often mentioned concern issues such as a lack of appropriate laws and policies governing the public library system and inappropriate government support, funding issue, lack of efficient library management and staffing issues.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In many public libraries, the budgetary allocation is not always released as when due, and this in turn delays the implementation of the programs of these libraries when funds are eventually released. There is inadequate funding of public libraries by the state government which is suppose to provide about 80% of the funds required by the public libraries. Shortage of funds has resulted in shortage of relevant text books as currently being experienced by users who are in need of the materials. Inadequate provision of funds has prevented the provision of current materials needed by the staff and clientele in public libraries.

Acquisition of information resources occupies a central place in the activities of libraries as the effectiveness of libraries in serving their users is greatly determined by their acquisition process. It is an essential activity which is done painstakingly in order to prevent library collections from being filled with outdated and irrelevant information resources. However, acquisition of information resources in Nigerian libraries is threatened by declining budgetary allocation and rising cost of information resources. Owing to this development, these libraries find it difficult to satisfy the information needs of patrons as their collections are usually filled with outdated information resources. This study therefore aims to interrogate the issues mentioned to establish the reasons for the poor service delivery record of the public library system in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the financial management of public libraries in Nigeria. A case study of Benue State Library Board.

The specific purposes are as followed;

  1. To identify the major source of funding of Benue State Library Board.
  2. To identify the alternative source of funding of Benue State Library Board.
  3. To examine the effect of poor funding of public libraries on their users
  4. To identify the implication of poor funding on staff morale of public library in Nigeria
  5. To identify problems associated with inadequate funding of Benue State Library Board.
  6. To proffer solution on how to overcome inadequate funding of Benue State Library Board.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;

  1. What is the major source of fund for public library?
  2. What are the other alternative sources of funds available to Benue State Library Board?
  3. What are the effects of poor funding of public libraries on their users?
  4. What are the implications of poor funding on staff morale of public library in Nigeria?
  5. What are the problems associated with poor funding of public libraries in Nigeria especially Benue state public library board Makurdi.
  6. What are the solutions on how to overcome inadequate funding of Benue State Library Board?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this research will hopefully be of immense benefit to the following; professional librarians, library users, governments, policy makers, stakeholder in the education industry and researchers.

The study will be significant to professional librarian as it will enable them to seek for ways of sourcing funds for the development of public libraries. It will also be of significant to government as it will enable them to budget more funds to public libraries. The study will also benefit students of library and information science as it will enable them has first class information in the subject area. The findings of this study will also benefit policy makers and stakeholders in the education sector as the study will enable them make policies concerning the public libraries. And finally the findings of this study will serve as a springboard for other researchers who may want to carry out further research in the subject area.


1.6. Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study focuses on the financial management and acquisition patterns of libraries in Nigeria. The study covers acquisition activities carried out in the libraries within a period of three years (2014 – 2016) and it will be limited to the professional librarians saddled with the responsibility of acquiring information resources in these libraries.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion, Recommendation and Suggestions

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary of the study and appropriate conclusion based on the data collected and analysis as well as recommendations and suggestions for further research.


5.2 Summary of the Study

This study was designed to look at the financial management of public libraries in Nigeria: case study of Benue State Library Board Makurdi, Benue State North–central of Nigeria. The objectives were: to identify the major sources of funding of public libraries; identify alternative source of funding of public libraries; examine the effect of poor funding on staff morale; identify problems associated with inadequate funding and lastly proffer solution on how to overcome the problems identified. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study, and 25 professional librarians were sampled. There was no need for sampling since the entire populations which are the 25 professional librarians were used. Questionnaire was used for data collection. 25 copies of questionnaire was distributed and the 25 completed copies were collected, representing the 100% in analyzing the data obtained, frequency counts and simple percentages were used as statistical methods.

The results obtained from the findings, revealed that, it is obvious that government subvention, endowment, consultancy services, reprographic services and internal generated income within the library board were the major sources of funding of Benue State Library Board. It has been established that, donations, fines for overdue books, reprographic services, philanthropic organizations and consultancy services are all alternative sources of funding of Benue State Library Board; the findings also discovered that, Lack of current materials, poor research, poor reading culture, poor patronage, and un-satisfaction by users were the effects of poor funding of the Benue State Library Board, The findings also shows the implication of poor funding on staff morale of public libraries as; lateness to work, poor service delivery, and poor attitude to work, the findings further reveals the following as the problems of poor funding of public libraries as; lack of current materials, lack of training for staff, recruitment of unprofessional staff, inadequate facilities and poor allocation of funds to library board and finally the findings revealed strategies for overcoming inadequate funding of Benue State Library Board as: Provision of current information materials, training and re-training of staff, employment of professional staff, and provision of adequate facilities and prompt allocation of funds to library board. And finally, the study made some recommendations as: public libraries should involve in Inter library cooperation (Resource sharing), NGO’s and other well meaning individuals should assist in financing the public library, the study further suggest employment of professional librarians.


5.3 Conclusion

Funds are very important and vital aspects to public libraries, as every activity in the library is based on funds, starting from acquisition, administration personnel and circulation. The public library cannot meet its objective without adequate fund. Public libraries reassure their subventions through government subvention. The public libraries are funded through their parent ministries be it either that of education and in some case ministry of information. At the time of increasing cut back in budget either by government due to economic situation, libraries are under pressure to search for alternative sources of funding their services in addition to government subvention, other sources of financial supports are activity being explored, since libraries have played important role in civilized community from the early times to the present and their very existing and continued development demonstrated the value that educationist placed on libraries, but then, our country Nigeria is not a reading nation.

Morever, when compare with other developing countries, it is clear that the Nigerian government does not pay priority attention to education. The conclusion arrived at this research work is that government subvention is the main sources of funding for public libraries, but those funds are not enough to meet the needs of the libraries.


5.4 Recommendations

Funds available to public libraries are not adequate, therefore, additional funds is required. The following recommendations are made:

  1. Public library should be involved in inter library cooperation, otherwise known as resources sharing. It should team up with other agencies involved in cooperation. It should not claim self sufficiency rather they should embark on library cooperation and benefit from book aid international i.e. British Council which specializing in donating books to libraries.
  2. In the area of fund generation, the government should improve its financial allocations to the state library board to enable them purchase new mobile vehicle therefore, enabling them market their services and repair the broken vans.
  3. In this era of technological development the public libraries in particular should computerize their services, they should be connected to Internet to give relevant and up to date materials for the libraries.
  4. Government should also change their negative attitudes towards libraries, especially in the democratic dispensation it affect national development.

The management board should not always wait on government to provide funds rather the library should look for other services that will yield fund, such like reprographic services, sales of library cards, binding and printing, photocopying services, fines and overdue books and ensuring that offenders comply with the library’s rules.


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