Public Relations Practices In Nigerian Public Libraries (A Case Study Of Anambra State Library Baord Awka)

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Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science


I dedicated this project to God Almighty who is, who was and who is to come again.


My profound gratitude goes to my believed mother Mrs. Dorathy Okolie and to my lovely siblings Ikechukwu, Chinyere, Angela and especially Eugenia Okolie whose pieces of advice and support I cannot forget in a hurry.

A special acknowledgement is due to my project supervisor, Dr. Umunna Opara, whose supervisor, guidance and invaluable advice helped me in carrying out an objective research work.

I am also indebted to amiable and erudite lecturers:Mr. Desmond Oparaku (HOD), Barr. Emmanuel Oduagwu, Mr. Emmanuel Anyanwu, Mr. Enyia, Mr. Emmanuel Amadi, Miss Onu Blessing and Mr. OGB Nnadimele for their academic and moral instructions while I was under their tutelage.


Good public relations are a panacea for any good relationship between organizations and clients. The library, a client oriented organization is not an exemption public relations popularly known as PR within the Nigeria context s a prerequisite for the effective functioning of any library, public services librarians in most libraries are the image makers and indeed, the gateway through which people get in contact with the information and reach environment of library. This research work therefore evaluates how public relations are practiced in Nigeria public libraries.

Table Of Contents

  • Title page i
  • Certification ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgment iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of contents vi

Chapter One

  • 1.0 Historical background of the study 1
  • 1.1 Definition of public relations 9
  • 1.2 Historical background of Abia state library board 2
  • 1.3 Statement of problem 14
  • 1.4 Aims and objectives of the study 15
  • 1.5 Research questions 16
  • 1.6 Scope of the study 17
  • 1.7 Methodology 17

Chapter Two

  • 2.0 Literature review 19
  • 2.1 Importance of public relations 22
  • 2.2 Enhancing good public relations through the services of public librarians 26
  • 2.3 Qualities of a good public services librarian as a vehicle for good public relations in the library 28
  • 2.4 Types of public relations ion public libraries 33
  • 2.5 Media of public relations in public libraries 37
  • 2.6 The practice of public relations 40
  • 2.7 Constraints of PR in public libraries 48

Chapter Three

  • 3.0 research methodology 50
  • 3.1 Research design  50
  • 3.2 Methods of gathering data 51
  • 3.3 Population of the study 52
  • 3.4 sample size 53
  • 3.5 Statistical analysis 53

Chapter Four

  • 4.0 Results and Discussions 54

Chapter Five

  • 5.0 Summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations
  • 5.1 Summary of findings 64
  • 5.2 Conclusion 65
  • 5.3 Recommendations 65
  • Bibliography 67
  • Appendix 70

Chapter One

1.0 Historical Background Of The Study

The practice of public relations can be traced back to ancient times. The military reports and commentaries prepared by Julius Caesar can be viewed as triumph in personal and political public relations.

During the medieval times both the Church and the guilds practice rudimentary forms of public relations. It was not until the Nigeria revolution against the British rule that more recognized PR activities became evident. The early patriots were aware that public opinion would play an important role in the Nigerian independence and planned their activities accordingly.

The debate of modern public relation techniques dates back to the first decade of the 1900’s. Most historians agree that the first real PR pioneer was a man named Ivy Lee. In 1903, lee and George Parker opened a publicity office. A few years later, lee became the press representative to the anthracite coal operators and the pennsylvama Railroad. When confronted with a strike in the coal industry, Lee issued a “Declaration of principles”.

This statement endorsed the concepts of openness and honesty in dealing with the public. It is also marked the shift from 19th century press agency to 20th century public relations. Lee went on to have a successful career counseling people such as john D. Rockfeller (Jr.). Among other achievements is most effective when it affects employees, customers and members of the community.

As Harold Lasswell explained 1928 “public relations” was a term used as a way of shielding the profession from the ill repute increasingly associated with the word “propaganda”. Propaganda has become an epithet of contempt and hate, and the propaganda have sought protective coloration in such names “public relation council, specialist in public education, public relation adviser”.

Public relations and publicity are not synonymous, but many PR campaigns include provision for publicity. Publicity is the spreading of information to gain public awareness for a product, person, service, cause or organization, and can be seen as a result of effective PR planning. More recently, in public relations, professionals are using technology as their main tool to get their messages to target audiences.

With the creation of social network, blongs and even internet radio public relations professionals are able to send direct messages through these mediums that attract the target audiences. Methods used to find out what is appealing to target audiences include the use of surveys, conducting research or even focus groups” tactics are the ways to attract target audiences by using the information gathered about that audience and directing a message to them using tools such as social media or other technology.

There are various tools that can be used in the practice of PR, traditional Tools include press releases and media kits which are sent out to generate positive press on behalf of the organization other widely and annual reports.
Increasingly, companies are utilizing interactive social media, such as blogs, twitter and face book, as tools in their PR campaign unlike the traditional which allowed for only one-way communication, social media allows the organization to engage in two-way communication, and receive immediate feedback from their various stakeholders and publics.

A press kit as one of the most popular and traditional tools for public relations are usually a folder that consists of a promotional materials that gives information about an event, organization, business, or even a person.
A fundamental technique used in public relations is to identify that audience and to tailor every message to appeals to that audience. It can be a general, nationwide or worldwide audience, but it is more often a segment of a population. A good elevator pitch can help tailored messaging to each target audience.

Marketers often refers to economy-driven “demographics, such as black males”, but in public relations an audience is more fluid being whoever someone wants to reach. “Soccer Moms” and “NASCAR” clads. There is also psychographic grouping based on fitness level, eating preferences, adrenaline junkies”, etc.

In additions to audience, there are usually stakeholders, people who have a stake in a given issue. All audiences are stakeholders but not all stakeholders are audiences. For example, if a charity commissions a PR agency to create advertising campaigns to raise money to find a cure for a disease, the charity and the people with the disease are stakeholders, but the audience is anyone who is likely to donate money.

Sometimes the interests of differing audiences and stakeholders common to a PR effort necessitate the creation of several distinct but complementary messages. This is not always easy to do and sometimes especially in polities (decision making) a spokesperson or client says something to one audience that angers another audience or group of stakeholders.

Reasons For Public Relations

The purpose of PR practices is to establish two-way communication seeking common ground or areas of mutual interest and to establish understanding based on truth, knowledge and full information.

In a family, or a small closely-knit communities there are few obstacles to mutual discussion and the communication of ideas. In commercial life, however, the family circle is usually widely dispersed and the absence of personal contact makes co-operation and understanding more difficult.

People skills in public relations practice use modern method of communication and persuasion to bridge the gap toe establish mutual understanding. Understanding is conditionals by reputation, previous experience and culturally; factors.

To cultivate a good reputation, a credible identity and a positive co-operate strategy are important integral part of most public relations programmes.

Since the end of Nigeria independence, changes in Nigeria society have created an atmosphere in which public relations has shown tremendous growth. Some of the reasons behind the recent surge in this include:

  1. Many co-operation have recognized that they have social responsibility to serve the public. Finding the means of fulfilling this responsibility is the task of the PR department.
  2. A growing tide of consumerism has caused many corporation and government agencies to be more responsive and communicative to their customers or clients, a function served by the public relation department.
  3. The growing complexity of modern corporations and government agencies has made it difficult for them to get their message to the public without a department that is specially assignment to that task.
  4. Increasingly population growth along with more specialization and job mobility have made it necessary for companies to have communication specialists whose task is to interpret the needs of the audience for the organization.

All of the above have combined to marked the last thirty years the “era of PR”. Today, more than 50% of the top company in Nigeria has some kind of PR department. Along with this growth has come increased professionalization among public relations practitioners. For example, a professional organization, the public relations society of America, was founded in 1947 and adopted a code of standards in 1954.

Public relations education has made great strides in Nigeria. Recent estimates suggest that more than twenty universities in Nigeria offer courses in public relations.

The importance of good PR practices to any organization cannot be over emphasized. The operation of successful library services relies heavily on the effective application of public relations strategy.

Thus, public relations practices in library are aimed at increasing visibility of the profession within that society and also getting the public to understand and appreciate the role of the library as a social institution.

The work of public services librarians has indeed gone beyond answering questions through the use of catalogues, stacks and shelves, to a stage were our communicative value has to improve. The library has to communicate its services to the outside world in order to breach the information and support life long learning.

Therefore, public relations in this context deals with the several ways the public services librarians can use in promoting the library as a whole, through developing an identity and image and communicating library goals, and missions, to the community.

1.1 Definition Of Public Relations

Public relation is often term that is ubiquitous. Every known department lays claim to it. It transcends every relationship and it is becoming one of the 21st century’s most maligned term, meaning different things for different people. Therefore, a cursory look will be taken on some of the definitions given by some works before it could be zeroed down to library professional definitions.

The Mexican statement, signed by the representatives of more than thirty (30) national and regional public relations Association in Mexico (1978), defined PR as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling, organization and the public interest.”

Dr. Rex Harlow, a veteran public relations practitioner of san Francisco examined 472 different definitions of PR practice and distilled them into the following working definition. PR is a distinctive management function which helps to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and co-operation between an organization and its publics; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion, defines and emphasis the responsibility of management to serve the public interest, help management keep abreast of and effectively utilize change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication techniques as its principals tools”.

The Webster’s new international dictionary 1995 succinctly defines the scope of modern PR as “co-operation, profession, government or often, organization in building and maintaining sound and productive relations with special public such as customers, employees or stock holders

 so as to adopt itself to its environment through mutual understanding based on truth and full information.

The international encyclopedia of Higher Education (1978:3408) sees the term as “an active effort to create understanding and favourable impressions of the institution in the mind of all individuals and groups important to that institution”.

At this juncture, it is germane to look at other definitions of the term from scholars in the field of library services.
Ushermood (1981) defined PR as “the process that seeks to promote mutual understanding and co-operation between the library and its publics”.

Public relations is also defined as a deliberate and conscious effort to create understanding and communication favourably impressions about the library in the minds of the reading public.

It is also defined as a planned and sustained effort by a library association or a library authority to promote librarianship within a given community or society.

From these definitions, ‘communication’ is a paramount aspect of PR and has been recurrent in all. Communication is most importantly done to created positive attitudes towards an organization by its clients. When this favourable and positive climate is created, the organization can then market its serviced effectively.

1.2 Historical Background Of Anambra State Library Board Awka

The Anambra state library board (ASIB) came into existence on 27th July 1992.. It acquired most of its equipment, services and personnel from Imo state.

The law establishing Anambra state Library Board came into force in 1992 which was signed by the then civilian governor of the state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, soon after the six-men library headed by the chairman was appointed by the state Board. The board was inaugurated by the then commissioner of education, Mrs. Eunice Nwankwo on the 16th April, 1993. The Abia state library Board is a parastatal under the ministry of education, information, culture, youth and sports.

This public library was located at No 1 Library Avenue Awka capital of Anambra state. The library has director, secretary, deputy director, with also each section being supervised by professional librarians. The section of Anambra state library board was as listed in a storey building with the following sections namely:acquisition section, technical section, readers services sections, reprographic section and children’s section. The present director of Anambra state public library is Mr. Okeke.

1.3 Statements Of The Problems

It is the intension of the researcher to investigate ways public relations is practiced in Nigeria public libraries and its effect on libraries. Over the years, public libraries had not considered it necessary to establish public relation units. Many organizations though that PR operates only in industries, ministries, newspapers, organizations, business organization, military etc. the development have retarded the marketing of PR services in public libraries. The need for it is seen in library board.

The public should be reminded that we live in an information dependent era, in which every individual requires access to various kind of information in order to be informed and lead a meaningful life and, to participate intelligently and knowledgeably in matters of public interest.

They should know that the library plays an important role in this process. A significant number of people in the country do not only lack an understanding of what library does but, also lack the knowledge of the range and nature of services offered by libraries.

Through public relations we should seek to establish, maintain and develop mutual understanding between the library and the various publics. This false image should be corrected in a possible way by informing and educating the public about the services offered by public libraries.

1.4 Aims And Objectives Of Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the state of public relation practices in Nigeria public libraries, using Anambra state Library Board as a case study. The study will therefore cover the following.

  1. Identifying those who are responsible for carrying out the practices of public relations in public libraries.
  2. Identifying the library’s public
  3. Discovering the public relation procedures, techniques, strategies and available operational tools.
  4. Estimating the impact and benefits to be derived from good PR practices by Nigerian public libraries.
  5. Critically evaluating PR operations in public libraries problems and prospects.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What are the activities of public relation units?
  2. What impact has public relations practices made to library services?
  3. What tools are used by library to facilitate public relations practices?
  4. What problems hinder effective PR practices in the library?

1.6 Scope Of Study

The scope of this research is limited to Anambra state library Board, Awka. The board is used as a standard for assessing the extent public relations have been in practice in public libraries and the relationship public library has with its public.

1.7 Methodology

This is a means by which data are collected in study area so that the issue under survey would be brought to focus at the point worth pursuing and analyzed.

The methodology to be adopted in this research work is the questionnaire method. This method is chosen because of the population that is involved in the research is otherwise called ‘a case study research work’ as a particular library is focused on investigation, allowing the gathering of data on large number of variables to enhance the validity of the findings.

A uniform questionnaire shall be designed and the individual data from the respondent is collected and joined to aggregate data for evaluation.

The questionnaire on the other hand shall be devoted to x-ray, assess and/or evaluate PR practices in public libraries. The researcher shall ensure that question in the questionnaire are carefully designed so as to avoid the collection of faulty and deceptive data. Furthermore, the questionnaire shall be personally administered or distributed by the researcher to the respondents, and shall be collected back by her thereafter.

I bet you, the complete material is fully loaded. This is just an excerpt. The Material is in MS-Word Format which you can easily edit and is comprehensive for a complete research work for this topic

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How to nail it on the head during your project defence

You are through with writing that project. Now what?

You have found yourself at that point where you have to defend what you have written. Of course you have to stand in front of your supervisor and other literary personalities to prove that you know what you wrote in your project paper. Unfortunately, the more you think about it, the more it looks like you are about to face a legion. It is not a war. But the emotion of dread welling up inside of you makes it look like one. So now you are asking yourself questions.

  • How am I going to start?
  • I hope I will do well enough to get an A.

You really want to nail it, but you need to come to terms with exactly how to get everything in perfect control. Especially your emotions of fear that seem to make a wreck of you every time you think about public speaking.
So here is the deal. I want to help you avoid that feeling that would ruin your precious moment if you dare to let it. And we are going to do it together.

I am going to highlight some very important tips to help you get in control for you to be comfortable enough to move from that feeling of DREAD to CONFIDENT; and making an awesome Impression for that great rating your supervisors should be giving to you so freely.

Consider these tips as you prepare for your defence. We will be taking them one after the other so here we go.

Watch Your Body Language And Keep It Confident:

Can you tell that a person is falling apart if they look confident? … If I can second guess you rightly, am sure you answered no to that question. Remind yourself that you need to come out that way. Now this might seem like a huge big deal when you are dealing with the foreboding. Maintaining a poise of confidence is very important. So find your most comfortable position, sitting or standing and draw up your body. You must exude confidence. It is something you need to do for yourself. People can only see what you allow your body language to show. So you must endeavour to put that out. Remember the story of David and Goliath? … At the end of your defence day, you want to be David.

Dress In Your Most Comfortable And Impressive:

Am sure this one is a no brainer. However I must highlight that you choose comfortable pieces. You don’t want to look so good and yet look like you were forced to wear something that does not belong to you. It’s great to ensure that as impressive as your clothes are on you, that they are also very comfortable.

Speak With Authority:

Going hand to hand with that aura of confidence is your most powerful asset:your words. If you look that confident, your words must not come out like whimpers. To be able to pull this off, you definitely need to speak as deliberately as possible in expressing yourself. Let them also hear what they see.

Use, Your Gestures:

I have often found this to come to my rescue in dealing with shyness and conveying my confidence. Usually it gives you an edge to also drive home your point. You must, however, ensure that you do not over use it. It doesn’t mean that your hands should be flying all over the place. That would be absolutely unnecessary. If you do this well, after a while you will realize that you are not as self-conscious as you used to be at the very start. For most situations, it would have completely disappeared altogether; leaving a really confident you talking.

Have A Good Opening And Closing Line:

Make sure you have perfected a good opening line. You should also be armed with a good closing line too. Try and rehearse it to a friend. If for the first time you presented it, your friend does not say “wow, that’s beautiful” or something like that; just know you need to keep refining it until you get the perfect line. Both opening and closing lines will go a long way in how impressed your panel gets to rate you high.

Make Sure You Know Your Work:

Certainly you should understand how important it is to know your own work from start to finish. Not having in-depth knowledge of your own work is tantamount to a suicide mission. Why should you kill yourself?
When all is said and done, this is what you came to defend in the first place. You should know your work from A to Z.

Prepare For The Questions:

Now this part is truly essential. You must be sure you do not floor all the good work you did on your presentation by not answering correctly. You must pay attention to the questions you are asked to be sure you will give the right answer. Many people get it wrong at this stage and spoil their good presentation. When you do not understand any question do endeavour to ask the person to expatiate what they mean before you answer.

These tips are by no means exhaustive, but applying these tips will give you some necessary advantage you need for a great outcome. Of course that outcome would mean that you eventually earn all your points on this project.

The structure of a good project work

Undergraduate projects in Nigeria is a prerequisite for graduation amongst Nigerian tertiary students who will which to obtain bachelors degree in their respective courses of study such as accounting, banking and finance, business administration and a host of others. Writing an undergraduate project in Nigeria for final year students entails a lot both financially and otherwise. Being able to develop any final year project depends on getting a researchable topic whether it is Accounting Undergraduate project topics, Banking and Finance research topics or banking and finance project topics and materials and it all requires diligent hard work of students who are willing to develop best undergraduate projects in Nigeria and graduate in flying colors.

A typical Undergraduate project in Nigerian tertiary institutions can be said to be divided into five or six chapters depending on the format of the school and course of study which are

1. Introduction

The introduction of an undergraduate project states the main research problem and research argument. What precisely the study is all about and why it is important. It looks at the originality of the research work and how it will fill the gap in other studies. Justification for a research undergraduate topic should not be lengthy before it has been explicitly stated.

Below are the contents in chapter one of an undergraduate research project which includes;

  • Background of the study,
  • Statement of the problem,
  • Objectives or aims of the study,
  • The research questions,
  • Research hypothesis,
  • Significance of the study,
  • Scope of the study,
  • Limitations of the study and
  • Operational definition of terms.

2. Literature review

Literature review of any undergraduate research work, be it business administration project topics or Economics project topics just to mention a few is very critical to securing a high grade in one’s project work. The literature review of a research process uncovers what other writers have written about the student’s topic. A student’s undergraduate research work should include a discussion or review of what is known about the subject and how that knowledge was acquired. The review could conclude with a brief summary of the literature and its implications. The contents of the literature review are the theoretical review, conceptual framework, empirical review and summary of literature review.

3. Research Methodology

This section includes a description of the research methods used in the undergraduate research work such as the sample size, data collection methods, measurement instruments, research data analysis procedures and the population from which the sample was selected.  This section also describes the method used in selecting the sample or samples, validation and reliability of the instruments used in the research work. There are different research statistical techniques used in undergraduate research work such as SPSS, e-views etc.

4. Results & Discussion

This section presents and discusses the data analysis results used in an undergraduate research work, the results of each analysis is being summarized, tabulated, and then discussed for each research question.  Then for each research hypothesis, the statistical test of significance selected and applied to the data is briefly described, followed by a statement indicating whether the hypothesis was supported or not supported.  In presenting the result analyses/summary in an undergraduate project tables and figures and or graph are used to add clarity to the presentation.

5. Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations

This section summarizes the findings of the study in an easy to understand manner.  It also explains the practical implications of those findings, and points to recommended directions for future research in that area.


This is where every source cited in the undergraduate research work is being included. Every undergraduate research work must be properly referenced for its authenticity.

Choosing A Good Project / Research Topic

Students in Nigerian universities these days wish to choose a very simple project topic/material. There is no issue choosing a simple project topic; the only problem is your ability to choose a good project or research topic that your supervisor will easily approve for you.

Most project supervisors really want to see how good his or her project student understands his or her surrounding through the kind of topic he or she chooses for their project work.

There are some project topic that are not reject-able; for instance in Nigeria of today; what do you think is the major issue on ground now?

If a project student can choose or craft a topic on the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. Such project topic will be very interesting to write on.

Now what are the qualities of a good project topic?

  1. The materials for the project topic must be easily assessable.
  2. The project topic itself must be meaningful.
  3. The variables must be able to give a clear aim of the project topic.

What do I mean by variable?

Well I am deriving my point from the area of project writing; the variables here are those main words in the project topic.

Like the above project topic; the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. You can see the main variables that really define this project topic are:dollar, increment and economy.

Before you present your topic to your project supervisor, first of all understand your project topic, and then secondly try to do some research for your topic to see if at least you can get up to 60% of what you need to write the complete project.

I said that above because you might have a very nice topic that the materials are not available online and there are no books as regard the topic; in this case the project topic becomes difficult for you even though the topic is catchy.

What do I mean by your topic being assessable?

Well what I mean is very simple and easy to understand. Simply pick your project topic, type it on google and see if you will have at least a good background for the topic you are writing on.

If you can have a good background for your project topic and you can understand the problem associated with the project topic, then I believe the aim of the project is not far-fetched.



Samuel Obiora Blessed is the CEO and founder of Samphina Academy ( a.k.a Nigeria Students Media, the youngest engineering graduate of Federal Polytechnic Nekede in 2017 and the engine brain behind this great platform. He is the man behind the scene, filled with many potentials, a musician as well as a pro developer with the interest of Nigerian students at heart.

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