Prudent Financial Management In Nigerian Public Libraries (A Case Study Of Imo State Library Board Owerri.)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Prudent Financial Management In Nigerian Public Libraries (A Case Study Of Imo State Library Board Owerri.)


This research work, prudent financial management in Nigeria public libraries: A case study of Imo state library Board, was embarked upon to survey the sources of finance for public libraries.

The research design adopted was the survey method and the questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents.

The study discovered that the Imo state library Board is faced with many problems like; lack of funds, lack of computers, lack of accounting materials, irregular subvention, and lack of accommodation and mismanagement of available funds. Based on these findings, the following recommendations were made:

  1. The state government should pay adequate attention to the funding of the library.
  2. The management should ensure proper utilization of the available resources.
  3. Staff salaries should be paid as and when due.
  4. More personnel should be employed to manage the financial resources for proper accountability.
  5. The staff should be exposed to in service training, workshops and seminars for acquisition of more skills that will enable them perform better.
  6. Certain jobs should be done through direct labour, they should avoid unnecessary contract work which consumes money, thereby leaving the board with empty purse.
  7. There should be alternative sources of funding. Suggestions were made for future researchers.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • List Of Tables
  • Table Of Contents
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Overview
  • 1.2 Background information of the library under study
  • 1.3 Statement of problem
  • 1.4 Objectives of the study
  • 1.5 Research questions
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Assumptions of the study
  • 1.8 Significance of the study
  • 1.9 Definition of key terms
  • 1.10 References

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Definition of finance
  • 2.3 Concept of prudent financial management
  • 2.4 Who is a financial manager?
  • 2.5 Duties of a financial manager
  • 2.6 Financial position of the public library
  • 2.7 Functions of the public library
  • 2.8 Objectives of the public library
  • 2.9 Problems of the public library
  • 2.10 Importance of prudent financial management
  • 2.11 Summary

Chapter Three:

Research Method

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Types of data required
  • 3.3 Instruments for data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Method of data analysis
  • 3.6 Pretesting of instruments
  • References

Chapter Four:

Data Analysis and Interpretation

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Analysis on distribution of instruments
  • 4.3 Data analysis on research questions
  • 4.4 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five:

Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • 5.3 Limitations of the study
  • 5.4 Suggestions for future study
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices

Chapter One


1.1 Overview:

Finance is sometimes misinterpreted as money, but this is not really what it means. The two are always used in place of the other. For example, it is common for people to use “lack of finance” when in actual sense it means “lack of money”. Money on its own means anything generally acceptable as a means of exchange by people of a particular country. Finance means more than this as it is any capital which is an important factor of production. As a factor of production, capital is used to acquire other productive resources such as land, machinery, equipment and labor. Finance holds the key to all activities.

It guides, regulates investment decisions and expenditure. prudent Financial management therefore has to do with judicious use and distribution of available fund to achieve an organizational goal. Without finance the organizing cycle of management could hardly take place. Anafulu (2002:11) is of the opinion that fund is essential in any organization for hiring of personnel, for procurement of raw materials and maintenance of plant and other facilities. Finance is inadequate, then efficiency is bound to be adversely affected as finance underpins all activities. Since finance is at the heart of any enterprise.

It follows that prudent financial management must occupy the attention of all serious managers. Like any other resource, finance is limited and scarce. Even where the finance is abundant, an organization that applies it very well achieves its objectives, because every activity has a cost. prudent Financial management is an integral aspect of planning, organizing and control. In organizations, prudent financial management is important because of the need for accountability to the owners or investors. Financial management operates at three levels;

  1. Income generating and investment.
  2. Management of assets ; and
  3. Budgeting.
I. Income Generating And Investment:

The income has to do with the money coming in through available resources while the investment is the actual project for which the money is being realized. The investment can be on purchase of materials, payment of salaries, building of more structures, maintenance and procurement of their facilities.

Ii. Management Of Assets:

he most important aspect of any organization is the management of the assets; this also involves hiring of qualified staff and managing of materials and other facilities.

Iii. Budgeting:

Webster’s New collegiate dictionary (1977) states that “ Budget is a statement of the financial position of an administration for a definite period of time based on estimates of expenditures during the period, and proposals for financing them.” It is also seen as the amount of money that is available or assigned for a particular purpose.

It is generally seen as a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. Anafulu (2002.120) shares the view that budget is a principal tool of management, because it is a master financial plan as well as control measure. It takes into account the external factors beyond the control of management, such as the state of the economy and internal factors within the control of management, such application of personnel rationalization and other cost cutting measures.

1.2 Background Study Of The Imo State Library Board:

Within the creation of more states in Nigeria on 3rd February 1976, two more states were carved out of the former east central state. The state became Anambra and Imo states respectively. In consequence, the east central state library was split into its constituent Anambra and Imo state libraries.

In this regard, Enugu retained the capital of Anambra state Owerri became the new capital of Imo state. The Imo state library however continued its operation from Enugu until September 1976 when the indigenous Imo staffs in Enugu were transferred to Owerri. The divisional library building in Owerri initiated by the east central state library board was thought to be more suitable for use as the nucleus of Imo state central library.

1.3 Statement Of The Problem:

The public library is a library for the general public. This means that everybody has the right to use the public library. The young, the old, the literate and non- literate, no wonder it is regarded as the peoples “university.” The public library should house materials and provide library services that will interest all these groups, but unfortunately, they have not been meeting this obligation. Ukaegbu (1998) and Onwuama (2003) who carried out the studies in public libraries is that of finance.

The researcher therefore wants to find out if this condition is as a result of non-funding of public libraries or the mismanagement of available funds. To add to this, no outstanding research has been conducted in this area. This research work is embarked upon ton fill the gap created by lack of literature or prudent financial management in public libraries.

1.4 Objectives Of The Study:

The following are objectives of the study.

  1. To determine the sources of the finances of Imo state library board Owerri.
  2. To find out if the Imo state public library is adequately funded.
  3. To ascertain who manages the financial resources of Imo state library board Owerri.
  4. To find out who controls the finances of the Imo public library.
  5. To determine how the available resources are managed in relation to achieving the objectives of the Imo state library board Owerri.
  6. To ascertain whether the accounting officers are qualified and competent to manage the finances of the public library under study.
  7. To know the problems encountered in managing the finances of Imo state library board Owerri.
  8. To know what could be the solution to these problems.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What are the sources of finance in Imo state library board? The state government is the major source of finance through its monthly subvention.
  2. Is the Imo state library board adequately funded? Imo state public library is not adequately funded.
  3. Who manages the financial resources of the library? The director of library services manages the financial resources of Imo state library board Owerri.
  4. Who controls the finances of the Imo state library board?
  5. How is the available resources utilized in relation to achieving the objectives of the public library? The available resources are not adequately utilized in relation to achieving the objectives of the library.
  6. Are the accounting officers qualified and competent to manage the resources of Imo state public library? The Imo state public library has qualified accounting personnel.
  7. What are the problems encountered in managing the finances of Imo state public library? Poor funding, lack of computers, Lack of accounting materials and mismanagement of fund are the problems encountered in managing the finances of Imo state public library.
What Are The Solutions To These Problems?
  1. here should be improved funding by the state government and the library should have ways of alternative funding.
  2. Provision of accounting material should be made.
  3. The accounting staff should be sent to seminars and workshops.
  4. There should be provision of computers.
  5. The director should be trained in accounting skills.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study is limited to Imo state library board. It focuses on the prudent financial management of Imo state public library. Administrative factors such as finance, staffing, accommodation and stock, which can be affected by the financial condition of the establishment are also studied.

1.7 Assumptions Of The Study

These assumptions are made to help guide this study. As the topic of this research work sounds, these assumptions are relevant. They are;

  1. The Imo state library board needs to be funded adequately by the state government.
  2. The Director of the library services should manage the available resources of the states public library very well.
  3. The accounting officers should attend seminars and workshops to enable them perform their duties effectively.

1.8 Significance Of The Study

The public library as a poor man’s university is the intellectual powerhouse of the community. This being the case, the public library has to be well managed financially to meet its obligation as the enlightener of the masses. The study will help the government to know that it is important to fund public libraries to serve their clientele better. It will also help the managers of the public library improve on prudent financial management of their establishments. The study will as well add to the body of literature in public library management.

1.9 Definition Of Key Terms.


It is money or other liquid resources of a government, business, group or individual that helps to achieve organizational goals.


It is the process of making provision for resources in discharging some duties, i.e. sponsoring or supporting a Programme financially.

Prudent Financial Management:

This has to do with the judicious utilization of the available resources to achieve the stated objectives of an organization.

Capital Expenditure:

When expenditure runs more than 50% of the monthly allocation, such expenditure includes: Building a new block, procurement of vehicle, book and other materials, it is refer to as capital expenditure.

Re-Current Expenditure:

It also includes payment of staff salaries and other allowances and day to day running of office duties, which also means short term budgets.

Chapter Five

Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

In concluding this study, it is appropriate to find out if the findings of the research have answered the research questions of the study and achieved the set objectives. Objectives one was achieved because it was found out in the course of the study that the state government funds the public library because, it is their parastatal. Objectives two was on whether Imo state library board is adequately funded by the state government and that they do have only a few source of alternative funding like sales of tickets, bindery section, fine and consultancy services. Objectives three and four are on who manages and controls the finances of the public library under study. The findings of the study revealed services (DLS) manages and controls the finance of the public library.

The account advice him on financial matters and the auditor audits their accounts and checks the fairness in the payment of any money. Objectives five is on whether the available resources are utilized in such a way as to achieve the objectives of the establishment. The one that is addressed is the provision of services to the handicapped persons which is presented on table 11. It was found out that their problems are lack of funds and mismanagement of already available funds. Objectives six is to ascertain whether the accounting officers are qualified and competent to manage the finances of the public library. The objectives was also achieved because the researcher found out from the analysis of data that the accounting officers are competent and qualified. Objectives seven was also achieved because the researcher found out from the analysis of data that the problems encountered in managing the finances of the public library under study are

  1. Poor funding.
  2. Lack of accounting materials
  3. Lack of computers
  4. Mismanagement of already available funds and the solutions to the problems are.
    • Improved funding
    • Provision of accounting materials
    • Ensuring proper accountability
    • The director and accounting officers to be exposed to seminars and workshops to improved their skills.
    • Provision of computer and alternative funding.

The researcher believes that if the government educational agencies and good spirited individuals assist the funding of the library, there will be enough for the provision of all that is needed of the effective and smooth running of the library. The present generation should leave a legacy behind for younger ones without which in the near future education and intellectual advancement in this great country might turn out to them as a historical, even le3adingd to educational derangement. No library no matter how well equipped is completed without stratifying its users.

5.2 Recommendations

The data gathered and analyzed in the course of this research show that the major problems of the library are poor funding and mismanagement of available resources. Therefore the following recommendations are made.

  1. The government should give regular subvention to the library.
  2. The government should monitor the problems of Imo state library board.
  3. The library should improve on its alternative source of funding e.g. sales of tickets, binding, fines and introduce use of computer and photocopying services.
  4. The accountant, being the adviser on financial matters should come into the decision making and control of the resources.
  5. The management should know their objectives and work towards achieving them.
  6. They should provide better accommodation for their staff, equipment and information materials.
  7. The library should expose its staff including the DLS to seminars and workshops to improve on their accounting skills.
  8. The management should use direct labour in the discharge of certain duties and avoid unnecessary contract work which keeps the board’s purse empty.
  9. Staff salaries should be paid as and when due to avoid complacent attitude to work on the part of the staff. They should be motivated by paying all their allowances owed to them.

5.3 Limitations Of The Study.

The researcher encountered some problems in the course of carrying out this study. The researcher visited the library severally and kept to appointments which were delayed. Another problem was the reluctance of some respondents to complete and return the questionnaire at the appropriate time.

5.4 Suggestions For Future Study

  1. The researcher is of the opinion that further research work on this topic be carried in all the public libraries in Nigeria. The findings will help public libraries to improve on their standard. It is also suggested that research work should be done in public libraries and on,
  2. The problems of poor funding in public libraries in Nigeria.
  3. Improved alternative sources of funding of Nigerian public libraries.

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