Awareness and use of lobbying and advocacy as strategic approach for improving library and information services in Imo state, Nigeria.

Author:Ossai-Onah, Oyemike Victor
 
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Introduction

In contemporary Nigeria Society in which library and information service is not at the forefront of government activities, the subject matter of lobbying and advocacy could be seen to be very pertinent to the information world. It is assumed that education is the key to economic development of any society, if education is the bedrock of any society suffice it to state that librarianship is hub upon which every educational activities rotates on. However it is disheartening to note that in most developed countries, in an attempt to enhance the educational system, more often than not, the libraries in our educational institution is neglected in the scheme of things. Libraries are inadequately funded, most heads of institution has a poor perception of library especially for the fact that it is not income generating avenue (IGA) for the Institutions. This above reasons among orders underpinned the necessity of the subject matter of lobbying and advocacy in library and information services.

However, depending on the context under which the term lobbing and advocacy is used, they may mean different things to different people from different background. Lobbying and advocacy is a process of influencing what others people feel, think and believe so that changes can happen the way the influencer want them to happen lobbying and advocacy can

be seen as communications process.

Lobbying as noted by Berg (2007) is an accepted and legal process that allows the voice of citizen groups, association, labor union, corporations and others to be heard in the political arena. Lobbying is the practice of convincing a person or group of people to make decisions that you want them to make (Myenzi, 2008) in librarianship, lobbying can be considered to be all those activities of convincing or attempting to influencing legislative through oral \ written communication or direct interventions with key policy, decision makers. Lobbying in librarianships can be seen as legal and acceptable activity that is often essential to creating good public policy and strong, more demo crating organization. Berg (2009) citing Edgett (2002) defines lobbying as 'the act of publicly representing an individual organization, or idea with the object of persuading targeted audiences to look favorably on--or accept the point of view of the individual, the organization, or the idea.

Lobbying is the art of influencing and informing an elected officer, or the government on behalf of your special interest. It is worthy to assert here that lobbying as a process is targeted at decision makers as it is seen as a systematic informal effort to influence decision makers (BBO report of the Cosecam training, 2003).

Advocacy on the other hand embraces a much broader framework and purpose the lobbying (Gitachu, 2008). Advocacy can be seen as pleading for supporting, or recommending. Advocacy is the active support of an idea or caused expressed through strategies and methods' that influence the opinions and decision of people and organization (Buckley, 2009). Lobbying and advocacy is a process of influencing what other people feel, think and believe so that changes can happen the way the influencers want them to happen.

Objectives of the study

The study was guided by the following objectives:

i. To determine if librarians in Imo state are aware of lobbying and advocacy as integral approach for improving library and information services.

ii. To know if lobbying and advocacy is been applied in their institution.

iii. To establish the personnel involved in lobbying and advocacy.

iv. To identify reasons for using lobbying and advocacy in libraries and information centres

v. To determine the techniques used in carrying out lobbying and advocacy in libraries and information centre.

vi. To identify the factors affecting effective use of lobbying and advocacy in; libraries and information centres

Research questions

The following research questions were formulated in line with the objectives of the research questions

i. Do the librarians in Imo state have knowledge of lobbying and advocacy as a strategic approach for improving library and information services?

ii. Is lobbying and advocacy applied in libraries and information centres in Imo state?

iii. Who are those involved in lobbying and advocacy?

iv. What are the reasons for using...

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