Security Problems In Academic Libraries Of Higher Institution Of Learning

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Security Problems In Academic Libraries Of Higher Institution Of Learning


This study concerned the security problems that confronted academic libraries in Imo state University library, research questions for the study were constructed.

The description survey method was used on the total of 50 staff, this 50 staff were made up from the Imo state University libraries.

The sample and sampling techniques was done in a systematic way, it was found that the major cause of security problem was high cost of books and periodicals, it is also found that the major source of loss in academic library was stealing the library materials.

Finally, it was discovered that the highest measure taken to reduce loss was to employ qualified security staff.

Chapter One

1.0 Overview

1.1 Background of the Study

Security is the activities involved in protecting of country, building or person against attack or danger. The use of closed access by the libraries in medical time gave an indication that owners of libraries were security conscious, hence they used it as a means of safeguarding library materials over the years people realized that running libraries on closed access did not allow library users to make the best use of library materials, this was because library patron or users were always constrained even when they know that they were not in the mood to read at that time.

This limitation and development in technology coupled with the various revolution taking place, the world over made the libraries to discover that many reliable book materials were either mutilated or stolen while the non-books materials become targets of thieves who vandalize them, the rate at which these materials were getting lost made libraries involved security measures to check the trend.

Libraries become involved in extra expenses by employing security men who conduct physical search on the patrons, there security men and women are stationed in conspicuous areas of the library and they went through all materials being checked in and out of the library.

The fear for the security of library resources has always been a reach one such as the fear that even in Egytian and monastic libraries valuable materials were held in chains for example “in ancient Egypt, writing on papyees and leather was restricted to tonbs and temple achieves rooms under lock and key to prevent them from theft”. This type of problem on library resources is not a new phenomenon in the history of librarianship, the introduction of face and open access to materials gave way to anti-social or antiregulatory library behaviour towards the library resources and even to staff themselves.

W.A Akinfolarin “Towards Improved Security Measures in Nigeria University Library” African Journal of library and information science 20 no 1 (1992) 51. Thompson and care recorded that materials on open access were at greater risk in Cambridge university library than those issue on request.

Many anti regulatory behaviour are real and as discussed, many of them have become the talk of the day in the universities. Patrons tend to steal multilate or vandalize library materials, staff who serve theses patrons find themselves exposed to greater risk as a result of nature of their job.

Having observed these various security treats to library materials while undergoing patrical librarianship academic library resource is becoming increasingly everyday. It becomes necessary to critically examine the cause of the security problems in the academic libraries sources of loss of library materials and recommend measure, which if taken by the library were drastically reduce the security problems.

The Imo state university library beg an on Feb. (1993) following state creation in (1991). The former Imo state university was succeeded to Abia state in February 1993, the Imo state university which originally occupied a building in Alvan Ikoku College of Education Owerri moved to its permanent site at Lake Nwaebere, the mission of the university was stated by them vice chancellor, professor T.O.C. Ndubuisi and being professional skills and modern research facilities closer to Nigerians”.

The Imo state university library actually took off in february 1993 and occupied rooms at Lake Nwaebere compus untitle the federal university of technology owerri ?(FUTO) left for Iheagwa that same year. Consequently Imo state university library took physical occupation of the libraryt building previously used by FUTO.

The main library subdivided into administrative, reader services, technical services, Audio visual and four departmental libraries.

The four departments that have libraries are: Social sciences, Law library the library is the heart of the university. It purchase the basic core reference materials like journal, technical research report and the basic technical equipments to enhance information storage and dissemination.

The library at its inception had seven professionals, one Para-professional staff and twelve support staff, presently the library has staff strength of 44 personnel made up of eight professionals, and 35 support staff. The library started with about 850 volumes of books 150 volumes of serial titles but currently there are thirty thousand and six two thousand (3062) volumes of serials in the library, the library is open to both student and staff of the university as well as researchers and students of other institutions. The library has about 6750 registered users, it opens by 10 am and closed by 6:pm daily and offer Saturday services to the university communities.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

Libraries are concerned with security of the materials they acquired and often donate resources for achieving its aims. Loss of library materials is a recurring problem of libraries all over the world but it seems to be more serious in academic institution in Nigeria.

A large number of populations of the university communities have probably developed the habit of not obeying the security of the library and this hinders the progress of the library in our institutions.

Students do not make use of security networks used by libraries to secure documents. There is lack of security to control behaviours and loss of books. Also lack of funds has not helped matters as a lot of funds is needed for effective security if library materials.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To find out the security problems of Imo state university libraries.
  2. To find the causes of these security problems
  3. To identify the factors which enhances library security.
  4. To investigate the extent to which available library materials are secured
  5. To encourage lirbary security in libraries
  6. To provide security measure and know the levels of security problem in the libraries
  7. To proffer solution to the problem of security.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the security problem of Imo state university library?
  2. What are the causes of these security problems?
  3. What factors enhance library security?
  4. To what extent is security available in the libraries?
  5. How do management of library encourage library security?
  6. What are the security measures and levels of security library materials?
  7. What are the solutions to the problem of security?

1.5 Scope / Limitation of the Study

This study focused on the security problems in academic libraries, with the emphasis on Imo state university. This study is also emphasis on security of library control of users behavior in the library and control of loss of books.

1.6 Significance of Study

  1. This study will be useful to all users of library in that it will find out the securities problems of library materials and the effective measure to control it.
  2. This study will serve as a future guide for those who need information on security problems in academic libraries.
  3. The study will be useful to scholars and researchers who may be interested to research into other areas related to the study.
  4. It will also guide researchers in the process of carrying out similar studies in the related areas.
  5. This study will create awareness to staff to know that library security exist I the library.
  6. The study will be useful to all will need information on security problems, thus it highlight the security problems of academic library as in the case study of Imo state university library.
  7. The study will generally alleviate the security problems in academic higher institutions as well as saving the school and the school authority and cost of replacing the lost and damaged materials.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

Based on the data analysed in chapter four (4) out of 50 respondents, 20% said the cause of security problem was cost of books and periodicals, 15% also said is a multiples copies library find, However, judging from the above figure, the can say that the major cause of security problem identify by respondents was high cost of book and periodical.

It was also observed from the data analyzed that out the respondents 20% indicated that the ft of library materials was the source of loss of library materials was tearing of pages for books and 15% indicates hat it was unreturned of books and periodicals.

This shows that theft of library materials concerning the measures adopted by libraries to contains loss, the researcher reduced from the data analyzed the highest measure adopted to contain loss was employment of trained and experienced security staff, this was represented by opinion of 25% in table 5 going through the data collected from the academic libraries in Imo state university library.

The Following Findings Based on the Objective of the study Were Made.

1. Some of the libraries have more than one exist which makes it difficult to concentrate in place. Bowel (2000) offering advice on building a new library he recommends that securities will be discussed and include in any negotiation with architectural firms. Also Bahr (2998) he said that concentrating on the academic library buildings, whether the stock were open or closed, it should be possible to design the library so that there will be one contracted exist though which all library users must pass before reaching.

2. The study revealed a wide range of articles and views on anti-social behaviour in libraries and other forms of crime perpetuated, diligent readers in library sometimes theft made away with library books and periodicals through windows, this was said by Akpata (1990) that in academic library in Nigeria books sometimes fly out that assault on staff were cause by

  • Student refusal to obey library regulation
  • Impatience on the side on the student with the staff
  • Wrong approach by student.

The study further revealed that all the crime detective device employed in Imo state university library are manually oriented such devices monitoring of users property making, checking of users at the exist door by security guards, other includes maintaining vigilance on the in-house use of materials to detect book mutilation.

5.2 Recommendations

Based on result of the study, the following recommendations were therefore made for the improvement of the security arrangement in Imo state university library owerri.

For the fact that some libraries have more than one exist which make it difficult for guards to concentrate in one place, there should be on exist, so as to enhance effective guards. Also library administration should pursure unreturned of books as quickly as possible after two copies of overdue notice have been sent out, it should be compulsory made to return the books since we could not entirely prevent people from stealing, mutilating and hiring library books.

The researcher also made this following recommendations.

Sufficient reacting spaces, chairs and table should be made available in the lirbary to accommodate greater number of people using the library.

Also photocopying facilities should be made available in the library as a matter of necessity, this will enable the user have access to the library materials and to the extent to reduce the problem of theft and mutilation in the library.
Again materials borrowed by any staff should be properly recorded in the request five with the full bibliographic details of the books given.

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