Availability of Library Facilities, Knowledge Sharing as Determinants of Job Performance of Library Staff in Southwest Nigeria.

Author:Ajegbomogun, Olatunji F.


Academic libraries are libraries attached to the higher institution of learning such as universities to support the teaching, learning and research activities of the parent institution by providing adequate resources to fulfill the objectives of the library. Olorunsola (2008) cited by Christopher and Oseghale (2011) said that a university is nothing more than an association of scholars, of which each seeks to speak the truth according to their different disciplines, this is in accordance to support teaching, learning and the research activities of those scholars in the universities. In this regard, the librarians in academic libraries are tasked with the responsibilities of seeking and having access to a reservoir of information which should be made accessible to the users in return in order to promote the various activities of the university. Services provided by the libraries include collecting and providing access to printed and non-printed materials such as books, journals, CDs and all other forms of recorded information which should be accessible to the users.

Library facilities are those facilities required to be acquired by the library for effectiveness of library services. The availability of these facilities can have a strong impact on knowledge sharing among staff since it will add value to their service delivery. Correlation among the library facilities and knowledge sharing is even more crucial and important for the libraries know the strength and weakness of their resources. In other words, this implies that if facilities such as current printed materials, printers, internet/email, multimedia projectors, CD-ROMs, air conditioners/fans are adequately available in the library it will eventually create a conducive working environment for the staff and enhance their job performance. Libraries generally capture, preserve and disseminate information resources of scholarly interest. Majority of academic libraries are being empowered and enriched today by these facilities. These resources not only add value to library services, but serve as a motivational instrument to perform their duty effectively. A library with well-organized facilities encourages the users to locate and borrow physically available resources. This also helps users to browse and search catalogues, access databases, perform real-time interactions in the social space. Therefore, the library facilities are invaluable in meeting the best academic and research needs.

In addition, library facilities indicate the degree of proximity among users to make out the clear picture of the relationship between the variables of facilities and job performance. Consequently, the libraries can plan and proceed for further development of the institution as effective and productive as possible when machinery of service delivery is in top gear.

The availability of library facilities and accessibility of relevant information resources is to encourage users' satisfaction while staff in the library is always aspiring to provide access to high-quality resources that will enrich and empower the users' academically. Therefore, it is essential for librarians to be motivated in order to inculcate the syndrome of knowledge sharing and joyfully share it with colleagues.

Knowledge sharing is a significant aspect of Knowledge Management (KM) which is an important concept of any organization. Its aim to explain how to transform personal and organizational information into individual and collective knowledge that may include skills needed in executing the various tasks of an individual organization. For any organization to be successful in today's competitive market, such organization needs expert and experienced human resources, in line with this, it is necessary for organizations considering the importance of transfer of experience and knowledge from experts to fresher or beginners and those who need to acquire new knowledge from time to time for the progress and effectiveness of their duties. Mesmer-Magnus and DeChurch (2009) posited that knowledge sharing is positively associated with reductions in production costs, it promotes rapid completion of new product development projects, team performance, firm modernization capabilities, including firm performance, sales growth and revenue from new products and services.

The application of knowledge sharing in the library has the capacity to promote the performances, activities, and development. The librarians in academic libraries can be categorized as knowledge workers with which the library progresses. Wang and Noe (2010) found knowledge sharing among staff and within groups as a mean of providing the organization with the opportunity of discovering knowledge resources that could be invested on. This indicates that knowledge sharing should be one of the fundamental activities that should be taking place from time to time among the academic librarians to improve their services.

Knowledge sharing is likely to promote the job performance of librarians and encourage users to have easy access to information. Job performance as posted by Johari and Yahya (2009) is one of the significant indicators in managing organizational performance. Job performance refers to a clear understanding of one's job and the effectiveness of carrying out the various tasks attached. It simply means how well an employee performs positively at the individual place of work. Job performance and employee performance are sometimes used interchangeably by scholars. Borman and Motowidlo (1997) cited in Ariani (2013) that employee performance or job performance is seen as the aggregated value to an organization which is the set of behaviors that an employee contributes directly and indirectly to organization goals. The interpretation of this is that the behaviour and commitment of an employee in a particular organization determine the quick and successful realisation of the organization's goal. Bowling (2010) posted job performance to consist of task performance or in-role performance and contextual performance or extra-role performance. From the organisational perspective, researchers focused on a task or in-role performance that represents the extent to which employees perform their official job or duties effectively. Job performance is an output of a staff on the job, which is measurable in terms of quality and quantity of job performed or done by such staff.

Increasing emphasis has been laid on an employee's job performance as a source of competitive advantage that promotes responsiveness toward the enhancement of overall organisational effectiveness. In view of this, the librarians in academic libraries should be concerned with the various means of which they can have access to information resources that will satisfy different queries of the library users and promote the library within the community, such means should include knowledge sharing, which is likely to be a factor that can promote information accessibility and contribute to the enhancement of effective job performance of staff in academic libraries.

Information has an important role to play in any academic environment including the universities. In view of this crucial role, the academic libraries are also vital to the development of scientific information use and dissemination in Nigeria. Attention must be given to the availability of facilities that could improve job performance of the staff in academic libraries. However, observation and reports revealed that most of the staff in academic libraries are not interested in sharing their knowledge. This is likely caused by some factors such as enabling working environment, insufficient research training, and self-sponsor to international conferences and others. The inability of some staff to share their knowledge is likely to encourage low productivity and resulted in dwindling knowledge growth. Also, many academic libraries lack adequate infrastructural facilities; most libraries were constrained in availability and accessibility of relevant information, coupled with poor workers remuneration that could motivate them to put in their best which may adversely jeopardize meaningful breakthrough in job performance.

As a result of this factor, this study investigated the extent to which availability of library facilities; knowledge sharing could determine job performance of staff in South-west Nigeria.

Objectives of the Study

  1. To ascertain...

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