Role Of Library Committee In The Development Of An Academic Library (A Case Study Of Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Role Of Library Committee In The Development Of An Academic Library (A Case Study Of Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa)


This study was carried out on role of library committee in the development of an academic library (a case study of federal polytechnic nasarawa).

School governing bodies have the authority and responsibility for making decisions about various policies and procedures. One responsibility is to create sub-committees, such as a library committee, to perform particular functions of the school governing body. There is little research relating to such committee functions in school development in Nigeria.

Thus, this study explores the role of the library committee in development at Nasaraw state polytechnic,Nasarawa state. Using decentralisation as the theoretical framework, the library committee’s contribution to school development is examined. Case studies of the three schools employed semistructured interviews of principals and teacher-librarians. The case studies reveal that there are similarities in how library committees understand their roles and responsibilities in terms of the school development function of the governing body.

The roles concern the provision of advice to the teacher-librarian, monitoring and evaluating library resources and services, and networking and advocacy to promote reading and library use. The committees perform seven basic responsibilities of policy making, planning, management, budgeting, acquisition and selection, reading promotion and co-ordination.

The findings relating to gaps and problems among the library committees concern the insubstantial involvement of the governing body representative; a poor working relationship between the school library committee and the governing body; a weak understanding about what development means in how the library committees function; and the committees work in isolation of the governing body.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of study
  • 1.1.1 Composition of a library committee
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Aims and purpose
  • 1.4 Research question
  • 1.5 Significance of study
  • 1.6 Scope of study

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Conceptual framework
  • 2.3 Theoretical framework
  • 2.4 Review of policies and literature on school library committees
  • 2.4.1 Review of international literature
  • 2.4.2 Review of Nigerian literature
  • 2.5 Conclusion

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Methodology
  • 3.3 Selection criteria for school sites and participants
  • 3.4 Data generation method: Semi-structured interviews
  • 3.5 Data generation method: Document analysis and observation
  • 3.6 Ethical Considerations
  • 3.7 Data analysis method

Chapter Four:

Discussion Of The Thematic Findings About The School Library Committee And Development

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Conception of school development
  • 4.3 Roles
  • 4.3.1 The advisory role
  • 4.3.2 The monitoring and evaluation role
  • 4.3.3 The networking and advocacy role
  • 4.4 Responsibilities
  • 4.4.1 Policy making
  • 4.4.2 Planning
  • 4.4.3 Management
  • 4.4.4 Budgeting
  • 4.4.5 Acquisition and selection
  • 4.4.6 Reading Promotion
  • 4.4.7 Co-ordination
  • 4.5 Performance
  • 4.5.1 The physical challenge
  • 4.5.2 Security
  • 4.5.3 Personnel
  • 4.6 Local social context
  • 4.7 Conclusion

Chapter Five


  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Key conclusions
  • 5.2.1 The nature of the school library committee’s development functions
  • 5.2.2 The relationship between the SGB and its library committee
  • References Appendices

Chapter One


1.1 Background of study

Library committee is defined as a group of people appointed by a larger group to deal with a particular matter in the institution. In other words they are fully involved in the planning and improvement of academic libraries in the institution.

According to Izebekher (1992) library committee is a crucial internal government unit of the library, a partner in progress and a force to drive home the demands and needs of the library in the academic board.

In this, the establishment of the library committee has become an accepted practice in academic libraries in Nigeria. Therefore in every well organized library, especially in the academic context, emphasis has been made on the existence of a result oriented library committee. In some academic libraries, they are as old as the library itself.

According to Oduagwu (2006): library committee is the management of a library, the government of a library, the library board, library trustee board, library advisory committee etc. the library committee plays an important role, it is the committee that is responsible to provide an atmosphere where student and faculty alike will feel free to seek help of libraries and staff in obtaining information either from our own collection or from other sources.

They also take part in the college programs as it strives to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff in their academic and research programs as well as providing materials for their leisure and reading needs. Library committee could be seen as a group of people appointed by the institution and government to control the entire library system. The library committee is the body of the library that makes policy.

They are appointed by the institution and the government as well. Their appointment does not base because of their profession and trust but because of their ability for leadership, and are devoted to the conviction that information seeking, reading are very essential to the institution.

However it should be noted that the future of the library will depend on the effectiveness with which trustees members are handling polices, and serve the interest of the library. They also advance library objectives, refrain from interfering with management and avoid politics.

The absence of library committee in the institution means that when issues affecting the library are brought before the management and the academic board meeting will only be treated by the librarian and some times, he loses out in the final analysis.

The researcher as a student of an institution notes that the absence of a library committee in the universities contributed to the low standard in the management of the academic library. The committee guide and promotes the library development by recommending and securing necessary funds from appropriate sources.

They also guide the library and its property by making rules and regulations for the proper use of its resources and service. The committee is an advisory body and is responsible for the provision of the library services. The committee meets with the vice chancellor (VC) on the advice of the university librarian.

1.1.1 Composition Of A Library Committee

The library committee is comprised of faculty members representing all academic department and programs. The committee meets twice each semester and it is chaired by the library director. The main functions are:

  1. To assist the university librarian to select materials and in recruitment of staff.
  2. To serve their department and programs as a knowledgeable resource for library information.
  3. The committee maintains a good relationship with the government and secures the interest of the library in the over all government organization and financial structure in planning and improvement.
  4. They enlarge public and official understanding of the library, its purpose, problems and progress so that its public relationship may be fruitful.
  5. They also communicate to the library director, the needs of their department and programs.
  6. They report to the department and programs they represent and recommend appropriate faculty action.
  7. The committee works and make sure that salaries of the workers are being paid and promotions are duly received.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

It has been noted that the academic library practices in many universities in the country is nothing to write home about. It is true that it is not only one factor that is responsible for the imperfection in the universities libraries; such the library committee can be having influence in matters affecting the libraries.

However the committee becomes unavoidable in every academic library distribution because of its decisive roles. The absence of library committee in any university has been a concern to most people whose interest lie on the library and documentation services.

The researcher duel into this area of study, the reasons behind the continued absence of the library committee in the universities.

1.3 Aims And Purpose

  1. To act as a channel of information between the library and the academic development and programs.
  2. To find out the important of operation of the library committee to the development of the academic library.
  3. To represent teaching and research interests relevant to the library.
  4. To find out the function of the library committee in academic library
  5. Advice the library on collection, facility, and service policies and on new initiatives.
  6. To promote the libraries role and enhance its effectiveness in the educational process.

1.4 Research Question

In this research work: the following research questions were posed to effectively address the users involved in this project.

  1. Is there any problem encountered by not having a library committee in an institution.
  2. Is there any impediment that is hampering the growth of library committee?
  3. Who and who are involved in the committee?
  4. What are their function
  5. Is this committee important in the institution?
  6. Are the students deriving any benefit from the committee?

1.7 Significance Of Study

It is hoped that this research will go beyond finding the problems being envisaged to provide recorded knowledge of an ideal academic library situation. By elaborately discussing the topic, a good reference material will be achieved at the end.

By usefulness of this work to students of library and information science discipline in term of reference material, clarity of expressions herein, etc will be great. Nevertheless, after reading this piece of work, the decision for one to join the campaign in advocating a library committee in each of the Imo state university will be seen by both the researcher and the institution as underscoring all other aims

1.8 Scope Of Study

The study is basically on the role of the library committee in Nasarawa state polytechnic. The areas to be covered in this study include:

  1. The need to redress the situation by ways of seeking to, or the development of the committee in order to help the librarian and his staff to achieve the educational objectives of the institution for which the library was established.
  2. The problems/impediments which the library had witnessed as a result of the absence of this library committee. These problems shall be viewed as they affect the library, the librarians, the student, as well as other users of the library.
  3. Further more, this project covers the roles of library committee in the development of an academic library, an appraisal of its role in Imo state university Owerri (its creation till date).

Chapter Five


5.1 Introduction

In this final chapter I present my conclusions based on my findings about the role of the library committee in school development. The findings, presented in chapter 4, were derived from interviews with the principals and teacher-librarians from Nasarawa Polytechnic, Nasarawa state Department of Education.

5.2 Key conclusions

Two conclusions stand out in this study. The first concerns the nature of the roles and responsibilities, that the school library committee performs in terms of the Section 20(1) (a) development function i.e. to develop quality education for all learners at the school (Republic of Nigeria, 1996). The second conclusion concerns the functioning of the relationship between the SGB and its sub-committee, namely the school library committee.

5.2.1 The nature of the school library committee’s development functions

The school library committee develops quality education for all learners as required in SASA Section 20 (1)(a) through three roles and seven responsibilities. This was a common finding across the three case studies. The three roles are advisory; monitoring and evaluating; and networking and advocacy.

The previous chapter outlined two levels of responsibility i.e. the conventional and the hands-on levels for which there are seven responsibilities, namely: policy making; planning; management; overseeing the budget; acquisition and selection of resources; promotion of reading and co-ordination of library programme. The conventional level of responsibility is normative when the committee’s responsibility is limited to a general one. The hands-on level is when the responsibilities are enhanced in relation to the competency level of the library committee.

On the basis of these common findings about roles and responsibilities, conclusion was made that the library committee is involved in developing the school library and this contributes to the quality of education for learners. The library committee contributes in a significant way to the Section 20 (1)(a) development function that has been devolved to the school governing body, Thus, I conclude that the SGB has delegated some of its responsibility for the Section 20 (1)(a) development function to the library committee. The decentralisation of school development that is devolved from the education authority to the SGB is carried through in some delegation of the Section 20(1)(a) function of the library committee. My qualification of it being only a partial delegation is because I found no evidence that the library committee is the sub-committee solely responsible for Section 20 (1)(a). This conclusion is consistent with the assertion of Nieuwenhuis & Mokoena (2005) that decentralisation of school development is affected negatively when the SGB and SMT do not understand and play an active role in school development subcommittees.

5.2.2 The relationship between the SGB and its library committee

My study sought to identify the role of the library committee in school development. I found that the key members of the library committee, namely the principal and the teacher-librarian, have a broad but weak understanding of the concept of development as defined by Smelt (1998), Pierre (2000) and Mothata (2000) i.e. that development deals with decision–making about policy. The participants’ limited understanding contrasts with statements issued from government, that construct partnership as being between state and community. This limited understanding is contrary to Section 20 (1)(a) of SASA which states that the SGB should ‘promote the best interests of the school and strive to ensure its development through the provision of quality education for all learners at school’(Republic of Nigeria, 1996). My finding is that there is a poor relationship between the SGB and the library committee.

Participants revealed that there is a weak policy link between the SGB and the committee because the SGB representatives are not present at library committee meetings where library policies are formulated. Thus, SASA gives the SGB the power to approve and develop school policies. It is important that the SGB be involved with the committee in library policy formulation so that the partnership that SASA advocates is practiced. Decentralisation of school development is associated with shared decision-making among local stakeholders, such as parents and teachers. The school governing body lack of input in decision making at the case study schools concerning the development of the library as a key component of quality education results from a poor understanding of their role in the subcommittee for the school library.

Thus, although there is constituency representation in the composition of the school library committee, there is a weak performance in the functional link between the SGB and the library committee. This played itself out in the problems faced by the library committee such as their inadequate spatial and security arrangements and low budgets. As Karlsson (2002) has pointed out a balance in form, function and resources is required for development to function effectively in a school.

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