Study Of The Problems Of Private Libraries In Nigerian

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Study Of The Problems Of Private Libraries In Nigerian


This research study exposes the problems encountered in running private libraries.

The library chosen as the case study is a private subscription library. The faith foundation library Aba.
The instrument used in this study for data gathering, are interview, questionnaire, observational method and existing data in the library.

The findings show that the problems encountered in the running of private libraries are inadequate accommodation, inadequate fund, inadequate staff, lack of written objective for the library and lack of proper management.

However, the researcher does not believe that the problems are insurmountable. The concluding chapter therefore, recommends on how the problems so identified can be solved.

Chapter One

1.0 Background Of The Study

1.1 Introduction

This survey is a critical investigation into the problems of faith foundation library Aba. Private libraries are libraries owned and maintained from the private pulse of the owners and the collection is mostly based on the area of interest of the owner.

Basically, there are five types of libraries which help to provide knowledge and information to the populace of any nation. They are public libraries, National libraries, Academic libraries, Special libraries and Private libraries.
Public libraries are established to cater for the interest of all irrespective of age, race, religion, and culture-in education, information and recreation.

National libraries on the other hand are set up by the central government of a country to provide comprehensive reference; lending, bibliographic and related services on a national scale.

Academic libraries on their part cater for the educational and research need of higher institution and their communities. They provide materials not only for the undergraduates to use in their study but also for research student and academic teaching staff.

Special libraries exist to serve limited number of users because they are attached to institutions.

The fifth and most important in this study is the private libraries. Private libraries are owned and maintained by the private individuals but they serve the needs of interested members of the general public. Private individuals have established private libraries to meet their personal needs. For example, Henry Clay Folger collected no fewer than seventy copies of one book-the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. In 1932 he opened the folger Shakespeare library in Washington DC which has been built to house his collection. As a result of his collection, he added greatly to the sum of knowledge about the printing of Shakespeare plays and about 17th century printing in general.

Collectors if private libraries have sometimes benefited posterity by leaving their collections to the public or founding a library. Example in the United States includes Henry E. Huntington, John Carter Brown, William L. Clements and J.P. Morgan. The tradition has long been established in Europe where many important libraries have been built up around the nucleus of private collection.

Other reasons why private individuals established private libraries include “Impossibility of the general libraries to supply adequate to coverage of available information on the specific topics to the individuals, a need for on the spot service, the obvious advantages of personally directed dissemination, and in many cases a desire for exclusive information.

The main interest of private libraries rests on the demand and the interest of the owner.

Another feature which is worthy of note and which further differentiates private libraries from other conventional libraries arises from the type of ownership. The benefit which the owner derives cannot be measured in the huge amount of money used for acquiring the materials. What really matters is the resultant gain when the individual puts the information obtained by its library to use, this is the true measure of achievement.

Service is the prime objective of all libraries. Initially the owner of the library acquires the materials for personal service. Later the service is extended to interested members of the required fees to the owner. The libraries owned by private individuals are as varied in their range of interest as the individual who collected them. As a result of this initially they do not lend themselves generalized treatment there will be no acceleration development maintenance of libraries in Abia state.

The quest for education and information countries to grow by leaps and bound and libraries which are supposed to help in there two fields do not appear to be growing at an equal place. But since the development of any country depends on the amount information available to the populace especially to private individual, the development of private libraries in Aba and in other parts of the country becomes very urgent. To meet with the knowledge and information needs of the populace of Nigeria private libraries should be adequately provided and developed.

Against this background therefore, the urgent need for the development of private libraries cannot be over-emphasized. it is with this view therefore that the problems of private libraries becomes the object of this study.

1.2 Background Information

Before examining the details of he problems of faith foundation library Aba, it would be helpful to give a brief account of the library.

The library was established in 1987 by Mr. Joel Mojekwu. Initially the books he has were in his area of interest, but when he has the intention of making it a subscription library, he started collection books on other subjects.

In 1987 he transferred the books from his house to constitution crescent Road Aba where he instituted the faith foundation library. Interested members of the public make use of the library on the payment of the required feeds daily basic.

1.3 Aims / Objectives Of The Study

The aim of this study is;

  1. To find out the problems of private libraries
  2. To find out external factors that contributed to the problem
  3. To find out the factors of management that militate against the problems of private libraries
  4. To find out how private libraries operate
  5. The types of services which private libraries provide to the owners and later to the interested members of the public
  6. The number of stock both in quality and quantity
  7. The space available for the library
  8. How well the library is founded and where the library fit to in educational development.
  9. It is also to enable them to fulfill the requirements for getting the Higher National Diploma Certificate.

1.4 Scope And Limitations Of The Study

This project is solely design to investigate the problem of private libraries especially the faith foundation library. The scope will be limited to problems of private libraries with particular emphasis on faith foundation library.
Within this scope, the study will attempt to take stock of certain vital areas and individuals such as the staff of the library, stock of the library, arrangement of materials on the shelves, characteristics of the different users, the general layout of the circulation and reference services and sitting arrangement of users in the library.

This work will be limited to 2009/2010 academic session. The following factors will also act as a limitation to this study namely the time available to complete this project, lack of fund to carry out the research, place that the research will have top travel to get the required information and the inability of the researcher to get the required information.

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