Effectiveness of library resources in the libraries of agricultural research institutes in Nigeria.
Nigeria's agricultural research institutes in Nigeria were founded during the period of colonial administration (1861-1950). They passed through the periods of internal self-government (1951-1960), and have continued to develop and grow during the post-independence era. There are fourteen agricultural research institutes in Nigeria, which were founded in different circumstances at different times to satisfy different agricultural needs (Idachaba 1987). The purpose of these institutes is to conduct research in various areas of agriculture to enhance agricultural production. Research results are communicated to farmers through agricultural extension. Each institute's responsibilities call for specialized information collections to achieve their objectives and to function efficiently. The agricultural research library is responsible for supplying and organizing information that is relevant to the work of the institutes.
The agricultural research libraries face problems that may make them ineffective: poor funding, poor infrastructure, and lack of technology. These libraries cannot improve without evaluation of the present situation. This study assesses the level of user satisfaction with agricultural research institutes' library resources in order to identify impediments to effectiveness and offer research-based solutions.
Nigerian agricultural research institutes face rising demand for scientific data and information, which places more demand on the libraries. Fabunmi (2004) describes library effectiveness as including information customized to meet individual needs, stating that effective library systems are timely in delivery, meet their specific needs, are easy to understand/use, and are delivered by courteous and knowledgeable staff.
Effective research libraries provide ICTs that aid timely delivery of information in response to researchers' needs. ICTs are combined with standardized information delivery techniques. Librarians in administrative and management positions coordinate these things to provide an effective system. Nwalo (1997) advises that library effectiveness be measured in terms of the satisfaction expressed by library users.
The effectiveness of library resources and services can be measured in various ways. Nwalo (1997) citing Ene (1978) states, "libraries are judged by set objectives ... [And] application of set standards to measure the quantity of operations ... " Ifidon (1977) observes that library evaluation can use both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Irrespective of whether the evaluation is quantitative or qualitative, parameters are set to be judged by users, who are in the best position to evaluate the effectiveness of the library. Agricultural institute researchers should have the prerogative of evaluating the agricultural research institute libraries. Kellaher (2005) gives six reasons why library evaluation from user's perspective is very important.
* the place of initiative services;
* the quality of these services;
* the flexibility of these services;
* users ability to effect changes to services they receive;
* how initiative service can fit with mainstream services; [and]
* how the library might develop mechanisms for assuring quality in library resources and services.
The scope of this study covers facilities available in the libraries, serials collection, library services, and special services such as selective dissemination of information (SDI), current contents search, and reprography. Library adequacy variables in this study are internal to the library.
This is social survey research that involves systematic collection of data about opinion, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors of people (Aina, 2002). The survey technique was chosen for this research, which involves evaluation of the information services of many research libraries and their diverse resources. This total population for the study consists of research officers in the fourteen agricultural research institutes in Nigeria. The research officers include veterinary doctors, medical laboratory scientists, animal health scientists, horticulturists, biochemists, agricultural scientists, and so on. The research officers in the branch offices (Outstations) were not involved because a majority of such branches do not have libraries.
The objectives and the hypotheses of this study necessitated the use of questionnaire, structured interview and direct observation to collect the required data.
Table 1 shows that respondents are unsatisfied with electronic resources in the libraries. Buckland's (1975) views on library services state that, "intellectual access to recorded information has quite properly been a major pre-occupation of librarians," and that "intellectual access needs to be accompanied by physical access if the documents are to be used to obtain information." The libraries must enhance electronic access to be in line with current trends in information selection and distribution to spur productivity.
Table 2 shows that respondents find their library's collections unsatisfactory. The libraries are not meeting user expectations. The books that are available are not current as reported by the respondents in Table 1. Electronic resources can substitute for print collections, which are not available in most of the libraries.
More than three quarters of the respondents indicate that the libraries are ineffective, which implies that the productivity of the research scientists could be hampered.
The results of the survey show that the agricultural research institute libraries in Nigeria are ineffective in supporting their institution's research mandate. This ineffectiveness has resulted from gross underfunding of the libraries by the parent institutions and failure by the management to give the library the status it deserves. This has adversely affected the resources and services of the library. The low research and publication productivity of agricultural research officers may be attributable in part to the ill-equipped libraries.
Aina, L.O. (2002). Research in information sciences. In Onyango. R.A.O. (Ed.), Data collection instruments in information sciences. Ibadan: Stirling-Horden. pp. 63-109.
Buckland, M. K. (1975). Book availability and the library user. New York: Pergamon.
Ene, N. (1978). Analysis of the clientele of the public libraries in Benin-City and the effectiveness the libraries in meeting their needs . Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Ibadan.
Fabunmi, B.A. (2004). Planning the university libraries for effective customer services in Nigeria . In Madu, E.C. (Ed.), Technology for information management and service: Modern libraries and information centers on developing countries. Ibadan : Evi-Coleman. pp. 147-158.
Idachaba, F.S. (1987). Food for all Nigerians: Is there hope? Alumni Lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Ibadan: Ibadan University press.
Ifidon, S. A. (1977). A quantitative assessment of adequacy of Nigerian university library collections in the humanities and social sciences in relation to postgraduate research. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Ibadan.
Kellaher, L. (2005) Quality measurement: A user approach. Available: http://www.psi.org.uk/publications/archivepdfs/making/4-KELLAH.pdf.
Nwalo, K.I.N. (1997). Measures of library effectiveness in Nigerian polytechnic libraries with emphasis on user satisfaction. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Ibadan.
Lily Oluebube Ezeala, PhD
Technical Services Unit, Library Division
National Veterinary Research Institute
Result and Interpretation
Table 1: Assessment of user satisfaction with Electronic Resources Types of Electronic Resources Responses Very Inadequate Inadequate No % No % Functional Computers 104 41.6 63 25.2 Photocopying Machines 87 34.8 74 29.6 CD-ROM Resources 127 50.8 68 27.2 Microforms 136 54.4 79 31.6 Microform Readers 153 61.2 63 25.2 Fax Machines 187 74.8 37 14.8 Internet Services 111 44.4 38 15.2 Local Area Network 126 50.4 56 22.4 Radio Message 150 60.0 52 20.8 Telephone 111 44.4 48 19.2 Lighting 49 19.6 34 13.6 No. of Computer Work 125 50.0 64 25.6 Stations for the Library Users Mean 122 48.9 56 22.5 Fair Adequate No % No % Functional Computers 38 15.2 29 11.6 Photocopying Machines 40 16.0 39 15.6 CD-ROM Resources 32 12.8 18 7.2 Microforms 23 9.2 7 2.8 Microform Readers 24 9.6 5 2.0 Fax Machines 11 4.4 12 4.8 Internet Services 38 15.2 38 15.2 Local Area Network 32 12.8 27 10.8 Radio Message 30 12.0 13 5.2 Telephone 44 17.6 33 13.2 Lighting 56 22.4 84 33.6 No. of Computer Work 39 15.6 15 6.0 Stations for the Library Users Mean 34 13.6 27 10.7 Very adequate Total No % No % Functional Computers 16 6.4 250 100.0 Photocopying Machines 10 4.0 250 100.0 CD-ROM Resources 5 2.0 250 100.0 Microforms 5 2.0 250 100.0 Microform Readers 5 2.0 250 100.0 Fax Machines 3 1.2 250 100.0 Internet Services 25 10.0 250 100.0 Local Area Network 9 3.6 250 100.0 Radio Message 5 2.0 250 100.0 Telephone 14 5.6 250 100.0 Lighting 27 10.8 250 100.0 No. of Computer Work 7 2.8 250 100.0 Stations for the Library Users Mean 11 4.4 250 100.0 Table 2: User Satisfaction with the Library's Collection Types of Library Collection Responses Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied No % No % Text books 35 14.0 77 30.8 Journals 36 14.4 85 34.0 Reference books 29 11.6 75 30.0 Newspapers 36 14.4 37 14.8 Magazines 58 23.2 89 35.6 Microforms 102 40.8 63 25.2 CD -ROM 98 39.2 64 25.6 The entire collection 28 11.2 83 33.2 Mean 53 21.1 72 28.7 Undecided Satisfied No % No % Text books 34 13.6 92 36.8 Journals 21 8.4 90 36.0 Reference books 53 21.2 79 31.6 Newspapers 37 14.8 92 36.8 Magazines 57 22.8 38 15.2 Microforms 68 27.2 15 6.0 CD -ROM 56 22.4 28 11.2 The entire collection 77 30.8 57 22.8 Mean 50 20.2 61 24.6 Very satisfied Total No % No % Text books 12 4.8 250 100 Journals 18 7.2 250 100 Reference books 14 5.6 250 100 Newspapers 48 19.2 250 100 Magazines 8 3.2 250 100 Microforms 2 0.8 250 100 CD -ROM 4 1.6 250 100 The entire collection 5 2 250 100 Mean 14 5.6 250 100 Table 3: Overall Assessment Effectiveness of the library Frequency Percentage Very Ineffective 13 5.2 Ineffective 177 70.8 Effective 58 23.2 Very effective 2 0.8 Total 250 100.0
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|Author:||Ezeala, Lily Oluebube|
|Publication:||Library Philosophy and Practice|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2009|
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