Assessment of Library Registration between Fresh and Returning Undergraduate Students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Author:Onifade, Fehintola Nike
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

University libraries have always been described as the heartbeat of their universities and this is because they serve as hub for all academic activities in the university. Popoola and Akande (2009) opined that the library is a component part of the history of civilization and it has a responsibility to its immediate enviroonment, hence, the basic philosophy of the university library is based on the concept of service and the provision of relevant information materials for users (Asiru, 2003). These relevant materials include books, journals, documents, eresources and audio-visual materials. Libraries are often referred to as growing organism; this growth can only be seen in terms of materials, staff and users. The population of users therefore, must be taken into consideration so that the library will be guided while making decision about collection development for scholarship, provision of other learning resources and facilities such as furniture and other equipment.

Users' registration is thus, the only way to determine the users' population in real time. User registration therefore, is the process of establishing a data bank of information about library users. This information is often very useful when a user wants to make use of library materials outside the library or requesting for inter-library services. Users' registration in university libraries is restricted to the groups of people for whom the libraries were established, however, it can be extended to other external users who may want to use the library for a specific period of time.

Background Information

The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta is one of the three specialised universities of agriculture in Nigeria. The University was established in 1988 and started with six colleges. Presently, there are ten colleges in the University and these are, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), College of Engineering (COLENG) College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM) College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) and College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET). College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUCS), College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), College of Management Science (COLMAS), College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS) and College of Physical Science (COLPHYS). The last two colleges used to be known as College of Natural Science (COLNAS) until September 2014 when it was split into two. The University Library was named after the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University in person of Professor Nimbe Adedipe.

Users' Registration at Nimbe Adedipe Library, Federal University of Agricuture, Abeokuta.

The potential users of 'Nimbe Adedipe Library are required to register at the library's circulation desk before being permitted to use the library. Fresh students are to produce admission letters and evidence of payment of school fees while the returning students are to produce their identification card including receipt of payment of school fees to the circulation staff before their registration is processed. The library identity cards are later issued free of charge to registered students. Afterwards the library identity card must be presented to the library porters each time a student decides to use the library or borrow out some books or other materials.

This card is not transferable and must be presented on demand by any library staff. It is mandatory for the returning students to renew their library identity card every year until they graduate from the university. On the other hand, graduating students must submit their library identity card during their final clearance in the university. This is to make sure that there is no book or any other library material in their possession. Failure to do this may result in the student not being given his/her certificate.

Statement of the Problem

It has been observed over the years that with the increase in the number of colleges, coupled with the increasing population of students, the number of undergraduate students who registered with the library was very low compared to the number of students enrolled in the University; as reflected in the University students' enrolment list. This therefore, calls for concern and needed to be examined because a library that is not use cannot justify its existence and the prerequisite of using the library is to register with the library. It is against this background that the researchers set out to assess the library registration among the undergraduate students.

Objectives of the Study

The primary objectives of this study are to:

  1. examine why students register or not register with the library

  2. find out the problems militating against students' registration with the library

  3. determine the difference in the rate of library registration between fresh and returning students; and

  4. find out which college has the highest percentage of registered students in the library Literature Review

The place of libraries in the university community as an indispensable part of the system have been emphasised by scholars. Oyedun and Nwalo (2011) noted that undergraduate students need to use the libraries of their universities more as this would, in turn, assist the students to gain mastery of their subjects of specialization, and enable the universities to achieve their core function of promoting learning and knowledge. Onwubiko (2005), Mbashir and Adeoti (2008), Nkosi, Leach and Hoskin (2011) and Adegun et al, (2015) have all described the library as the power house of a university. It is often said that a university is as good as its library. University libraries therefore, do invest heavily in acquiring resources to meet the intellectual needs of their users and communities.

However, acquiring resources is only one aspect of the game while utilization is another thing entirely. In fact the use of library resources is one of the deepest concerns of a library because it is the users that make a library to be active. Corroborating this, Abiolu (2010) confirmed that it is the use to which the library is put that infuses...

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