AN ASSESSMENT OF THE COLLABORATIVE ACTIVITIES AMONG LIBRARIANS IN NIGERIA.

Author:Olaniyi, Olanike Oladunni
 
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Introduction

Positioning is the activity and process of identifying a problem or opportunity and developing a solution based on research findings and supporting data. Positioning may refer to the position, a group of professionals have chosen to carry out their professional objectives. Positioning relates to strategy on the specific or tactical development phases of carrying out an objective to achieve their professional goals. Positioning is also defined as the way by which the librarians attempt to create a distinct impression in the library user's mind and Nigeria at large. Also, positioning means place, occupy, attitude, disposition, the ground taken over an issue, place/post that one occupied in the society.

Collaboration is working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organization work together to realize shared goals, which is the collective determination to reach an identical objective for example, an endeavour that is creative in nature by sharing knowledge, learning buildings consensus. Library and Information Science (LIS) education plays an important role in the training and production of high quality information science professionals who occupy a unique position in national development. LIS professionals are gate keepers and brokers of information which is essential for knowledge acquisition decision making and national development (Source?). The West African Library Association (WALA) played major role in the establishment of the first LIS school in Nigeria in 1956. The report of the study, popularly known as the Lacier Report established training needs and recommended the establishment of a library school at the then University College Ibadan. The first LIS School in Nigeria was established in October 1959 with a grant from Carriage Corporations. As at today in Nigeria, the list of accredited university LIS school is twenty five schools in number. In view of the fact that challenges are better addressed through concerted efforts--collaboration. American librarians have become a potent strategy for overcoming some of the problems associated with the development of library and information science in Nigeria.

Statement of the Problem

Librarians are faced with several challenges which are better tackled through collaboration. Collaboration is known to have been well developed among librarians in the developed countries of Europe and North America but collaboration is not common among librarians in developing countries especially in West Africa e.g. Nigeria. Librarians in Nigeria are expected to be models in collaboration for library and information science development but little seems to be known about collaborative initiatives among them. What then is the nature and extent of collaboration among librarians in Nigeria towards the development of library and information science in Nigeria? This is the focus of this study.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of the study was to investigate collaboration activities between librarians of different libraries in Nigeria towards the promotion and development of Library and Information Studies (LIS) the study set out to:

1 determine the extent of collaboration between libraries and their colleagues at their libraries and outside their libraries;

2 identify what stimulate librarians in collaboration;

3 ascertain the areas or nature and extent of collaboration between librarians from different types of libraries;

4 find out the barriers to collaboration among librarians in Nigeria; and

5 suggest future trends in collaboration in LIS in Nigeria

Literature Review

Collaboration is important among librarians in national, academic, school, special, public or private libraries. Harvey (2012) emphasizes that it is not enough to just co-exist in the same community, but to ensure that communication is on-going every day, he explained further that exposure to another perspective or outlook can lead to strong thought provoking discussions, ideas and activities. Harvey submits further that by working together as librarians it will be possible to learn from each other, He said there is a need to create a culture where collaboration is the foundation for how our libraries work and operate. He explained further that Nigeria librarians can help take a lead by modeling this behavior as they work with each other not minding the type of library where they are working to ensure communication is going on among the Nigeria librarians toward the development of library and information science.

Kajberg (2009) explained that collaboration is, therefore, a strategic means of tackling problems like skill incompetence, funding shortage of manpower etc facing the development of LIS. He explained further that the dawn of the digital age and the constantly changing global outlook make collaboration inevitable. Lin (2004) defined cooperation to include networks, collaboration and consortium. Al-suqri (2010) described collaboration as "co-operation". Ochalla (2007) described collaboration as co-operation, partnership, networking and alliance; he explained further that the reason for collaboration is to jointly tackle the problems and challenges of LIS. Sacchanand (2012) mentioned three key strategies for successful collaboration as: policy, people, process and communication, commitment.

Johnson (2009) enumerated the success actions to collaboration which include the following: evaluating the potentials for collaboration before entering into a commitment; understanding the prospective partner capacity, environment with incentive and resources to collaboration and the sense of shared purpose; recognizing political and other realities; creating and enabling environment with incentives and resources to collaborate; creating trust in the partnership and developing mutual respect and a shared culture; and identifying the key individuals that are...

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