Problems Of Book Acquisition In Academic Libraries

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Problems Of Book Acquisition In Academic Libraries


This study was based on the Problems of Books Acquisition in Academic Library. A case study of Imo State University Owerri (IMSU).

The study was also made to find out what roles money play in the acquisition of book in the academic libraries. It also determined the level to which students and lecturers are consulted during selection of books to be acquired in their library through the findings it is observed that academic libraries acquires books through purchases gifts, exchange and inter-library cooperation, while the major sources of acquisition include direct purchase, book vendors from publishers, importation from overseas and donations.

Furthermore, inadequate financial provision to academic libraries has a negative effect on the two libraries studied.
Finally, lecturers should be consulted adequately during selection of books to be acquired by their institutions libraries which will help in the smooth running of acquisition of materials.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Academic libraries are mainly libraries within institutions of higher learning including universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. They are billed to support the teaching, research and extension services of parent institutions.

Large part of funding comes from government grant. Academic libraries start as far back as 16th and 17th century in Europe and America.

Therefore, in this study, the researcher will consider book as reference books and non-fiction book.

Reference Books: According to Harrods libraries glossary, reference books is a book such as dictionary, encyclopedia, gazettes, yearbooks, directories, atlases which are compiled to supply definite piece of information of varying extent and intended to be referred to rather than read through. Reference books are usually comprehensive within scope, condensed in treatment and systematically arranged to facilitate ease of use. They are not read chapter by chapter they are not borrowed for home use rather they are consulted by the librarian.

Non-fiction Books: This is the prose writings that deal with facts (as distinct from novels, stories, etc, which deal with unreal people and events, it includes books in various sport areas. Donna Norton is of the view that one should start from who’s who to how to. Examples of reference books encyclopedia, dictionary and text books.

The first three laws of library science by S.R. Ranaganathan emphasizes the importance of a book in the library. The first is that books are meant for use, second, to every reader his book and third to every book its reader, with this special emphasis and importance according to book, it is therefore necessary that books are acquired in any library. In academic libraries, the notion of book acquisition is of prime importance of greater importance too is the method and source through which books are acquired especially fro academic libraries.

When the image are what the collection of the library is made up we will not address our minds to the fact that the bulk of this is the various volumes and title of books displayed conspicuously on the library’s shelves. In other words, the book is an essential and important constituent of the academic library to be precise. In academic libraries in Imo State, effective consideration is given to book materials. A lot of books are acquired in academic libraries through various methods and sources.

Evans (1974) definition of acquisition incorporate some of these methods. According to Evans, acquisition is the process of securing materials for the library collection whether by purchase, as gifts or through exchange programme.

There are other methods involved and the acquisition librarian must explore all these method and utilize sources that will be advantageous to him to acquire books for his library. This statement emphasizes the most obvious activity in academic libraries. This activity and its importance is summed up in Fatuji (1982) statement that to provide a plentiful supply of goods and useful books in the college library’s raison d’etre.

Since the academic library feels all the social forces of education, research and services, it provides information materials necessary for aiding this activity by utilizing greatly all available methods and sources for its acquisition of books.

1.2 Background History of Imo State University

The Imo State University in Uturu was established in 1981 following the bill passed by the late chief Mbakwe’s Administration on the 13th of April 1981. The school was officially opened in Etiti in 1981 with a second campus at Aba on temporary site. The school was later moved to Okigwe by the military administration major general Ike Nwachukwu (rtd).

The establishment of the University grew out of the need for an academic institution of the highest status owned supported and managed by the state in order to attend to the academic vision of Imo indigenes in gaining admission into the university. The first phase of the permanent building for the university was later completed at Okigwe, with an ultra-modern university Okigwe in 1992 following the creation of new Abia State from the old Imo State.

The present Imo State University at Owerri is relocated from the old Imo State University Okigwe. The old University was left to Abia State because of change of asset which resented to Imo State having no university of its own.

The Imo State University now occupies the former temporary site of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) at Lake Nwaebere Campus, inheriting the physical facilities vacated by the Federal University of Technology Owerri as they move to their permanent site at Ihiagwa.

The objective, philosophy and aspiration of the university includes to encourage the advancement of learning in Imo State and Nigeria in particular to give all person without discriminations of race, sex the opportunity to acquire higher education for the purpose of carrying the philosophy and objective. The university was then known as Evans Ewerem University and its vice chancellor was professor O.E. Nwebe from 2009-May 2011. The university is now known as the Imo State University.

1.3 Statement of Problems

The statement of the problems are the issues that make on go into the study for instance, in the olden days most academic libraries do not acquire books rather they depend on gifts, but some gifts given to them does not reflect the need of the institution.

Moreover, most of the staff employed are not qualified librarians and thereby cannot carryout the smooth operation of acquisition and classification.

Also, in some cases some acquisition librarians do not consult the entire library committee before acquiring books.
Furthermore, books acquired from abroad take a long time to arrive and at times they are not useful to readers.
This study is therefore to investigate the methods and sources of boo acquisition in academic libraries to un-earthen the difficulties.

1.4 Scope / Limitation of the Study

The coverage of the study is restricted to the academic libraries in Imo State that is the Imo State University (IMSU). This study limits its scope only to the acquisition of books in the above mentioned academic libraries excluding periodicals, magazines, etc. which are not book materials.

1.5 Objective of the Study

The objectives of this study are listed ad follows:

  1. To identify the problems affecting acquisition in academic libraries.
  2. To find out the factors that are responsible for these problems.
  3. To examine the impacts of these problems on the services of the library under study.
  4. To suggest solutions to the problems of acquisition in academic libraries.

1.6 Research Questions

The following are the research questions:

  1. What are the problems affecting acquisition in academic libraries?
  2. What are the impacts of these problems on the services of the academic libraries?
  3. What are the impacts of these problems on the services of the academic libraries?
  4. How can the problems of acquisition can be solved in academic libraries?

1.7 Significance of the Study

This study is significant for the following reasons.

  1. It will highlight the inadequacy of the collection of Nigeria University libraries.
  2. It will enable library users, especially the students and lecturers to beware of these problems.
  3. It can make the financiers of Nigeria University libraries to understand the problems that confront these libraries in acquisition.
  4. It will identify how to solve thee acquisition problems.
  5. The work will also add to the library science.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Book Acquisition:

It is the process of obtaining materials to satisfy the need of the users. It is carried through purchases, gifts and exchange, it also building of collection in line with the objectives of the library.

Academic Libraries:

These are libraries in the institution of higher learning which are devoted to academic institution. They support teaching, learning and research. They include universities, polytechnics and colleges of educations libraries.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

Book acquisition is the process of bringing into the library new materials to meet the wide and varying needs of the users book acquisition is meant to be a continuous process. As we all know, knowledge is not static, there are new development day in day out, so a library is expected to be acquire new materials as they are published.

Acquisition process is being carried out by a professional in the field of librarianship. Even though no library can acquire all that are needed by the users. He needs a guide and equally an assistance of some people and other neighboring libraries to meet the need of its users/patrons.

An acquisition policy is a guide for the librarian and it is a document that spells out a plan of action and gives information that are to guide decisions, actions and thoughts when acquiring materials for a library.

Library materials comprises print and non print materials which are systematically acquired, arranged for easy retrieval of information, knowledge research, relaxation and cultural enjoyment.

The various methods of acquisition can be through direct purchase, gift and donations, exchanges, legal deposits and inter library co-operation. All those methods are to be combined for acquisition in a library. No one should be left out.

The problems encountered are lack of fund to build up the library book, problem of staffing in the department/ library compared to the number of library users. There is also problem of inadequacy of reading space and furniture. These problems should be carefully looked into so as to improve the acquisition work of a library.

Genuine acquisition work is not just acquiring materials that are in the market but acquiring the relevant materials which are in line with academic programme of the institution. When a material goes out of use, those materials should be weeded so as to create space for new materials that you are to be acquired.

5.2 Recommendations

This is the researcher’s personal opinion on how book acquisition could be improved.

  1. The library should be re-organized, more skilled staff who are dedicated and knows much about different sections in the library should be employed.
  2. The researcher proposed that the institution’s management should not depend on the government grants alone but should try to allocate more fund to the acquisition department to enable it continue with providing materials for the users.
  3. The acquisition librarian should try as much as he can to follow the policy of acquiring materials if he wants to be in the right track, also for consistency and continuity.
  4. The acquisition librarian should bear in mind that he is not acquiring materials for himself but for the students and other users. Should Endeavour to satisfy the needs of the users.

5.3 Conclusion

In viewing the research, the library acquire most of its materials through gift and donations. Students of the institutions finds it difficult to go to the library because they do not acquire enough and up to date (current) materials. if the library is not well equipped or booked, students finds it difficult to retrieve information and up date themselves in the library .Table 1 shows that 90.9% of library materials are acquired through donations/gift and sometimes, these gifted materials will not cover the polytechnic curriculum.

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