The modern school library and resource centre is not just a collection of books and related resources nor is it a place where books are housed. It is a system designed to collect, process, preserve and facilitate the use of recorded knowledge. It is an educational and social instrument which forms a link in the communication system that is essential for quality education in any nation or culture. Any nation that does not take the education of its children seriously is jeopardizing its own future because the children are the future of the nation. The British Library Association insists that the essence of the school library is to support and enrich the formal school curriculum and to act as a broadening influence on children and their teachers (Fayose, 2003). School library media centres are expected to acquire both physical and digital resources being systematically organised by the school librarian. According to International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (2015), the school librarian is the professionally qualified member responsible for planning and managing the school library. According to Ogunniyi and Jato (2010) effective and quality service delivery in the library depends on the quality of staff. The ease with which users access and retrieve materials is organically linked to the quality of staff. In school library media centres, teacher-librarians are saddled with the responsibilities of providing quality service and systematic organization of school library resources. The absence of qualified school librarians in school library media centres will make systematic selection, acquisition, organisation and usage of information resources by students and staff a difficult task to be achieved in secondary school libraries. Even where relevant resources are provided in the school library media centres, easy access and use of the materials will not be maximally achieved since systematic organization of the information resources could only be done by professionals. IFLA (2015) listed and discussed the roles of professional school librarian as instruction, management, leadership and collaboration, and community engagement. There is therefore need for school librarians to be employed to achieve these laudable roles that are achievable in a purposefully built and funded school library media centres.
Availability of school librarians without the provision of physical resources in the school library media centres will amount to a man living without a shelter. Physical resources in the school library includes the school library building, librarian's office, tables and chairs for librarian with other staff and readers, shelves, space for information resources, space for production of resources etc. Adebamowo (2011) stressed the need for provision of building/room for school libraries when he defined a library. Selection and organization of information resources by librarians are to be done in an office with ergonomically sensitive tables and chairs. When information resources are organised systematically, they are kept in a conducive place for easy accessibility of users. Shelves are needed for safe keep of systematically organised information resources. Adequate provision of reading tables and chairs are needed for the use of students and staff in reading and consultations of information resources respectively.
Physical resources adequacy with the employment of school librarians without the provision of relevant information resources in school library media centres will not attract students and staff into the centres for learning and research respectively. Consultation and use of information resources are the main reasons of using the school library media centres by teachers and students. Information resources include physical (books, journals, magazines, reference materials, audio, visuals, and audio visuals etc) and virtual resources (internet, free and subscribed databases) are needed and must be provided for teaching and learning in school library media centres. These information resources are determinants of academic achievement of students. Afolabi and Elaturoti (2016) found that there was correlation between secondary school students' media resources availability and achievement in Social Studies in Ondo State. It may therefore be inferred that availability and use of relevant information resources will predict academic achievement of students in secondary schools in Nigeria. On the other hand, non-availability and use of information resources in secondary schools may result into low academic achievement of the secondary schools in Nigeria.
Availability of school librarians, provision of physical resources and information resources in school library media centres will go a long way in assisting the students in achieving high academic performance in their various subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria. Therefore, the study assessed the provision of school librarians, physical and information resources in selected secondary schools in Ondo, Ondo State.
Background of Sampled Secondary Schools in Ondo
Ondo Boys High School, Ondo is located along General Hospital Road, Ondo. The school was established in 1919. The population of the school from junior to senior secondary school is over one thousand students. It is purely a male school. Mr. Akintujoye is the principal of the school. St. Louis Catholic Girls' Secondary School, Oke-Igbala, Ondo was established in 1954. The school was established by catholic missionaries. It has a population of over 1000 female students. Mrs. V.F. Adetutu is the Principal of the school. St. Monica's Anglican Girls Grammar School was established in 1955. The school is located beside Anglican Bishop's court, Ife Road, Ondo. There are over one thousand female students in the school. St. Monica's is being headed by Mrs. Grace Adepoju. St Joseph's College was established by the Catholic missionaries in 1956. The college is located along Ife Road, Ondo. St Joseph's College is a boy school with a population of over one thousand students. The principal of the school is Mr. Fadoju. Ondo Anglican Grammar School, Ife Road, Ondo was established in 1959. The school is a boy school with a population of over eight hundred students. The school is headed by Mr. Oluwatobi.
Statement of the Problem
Federal Government of Nigeria (2013) in the National Policy on Education-NPE section 8 (127 i) stated that the school library is at the heart of the education enterprise and one of the most important educational services. The document further stated that functional school...