Effects of Library Infrastructure on Turnover Intentions of Librarians: A Study of University Libraries in South-South and South-East of Nigeria.

Author:Omeluzor, Saturday U.


The activities and functions of the university library hinges on the development, availability and functional infrastructure. Library infrastructure are essential facilities and tools that enhance the library's ability in delivering quality services to its patrons. Libraries of all type need infrastructure spanning from power generating set, computer, Internet facilities, photocopier, scanner, purpose-built library building, furniture and fittings, vehicle among others to keep pace with developments in the information profession and advancements in technology in the delivery of information services. In a university library where there is a high demand for information services, development of information technology (IT) and other library infrastructure cannot be overemphasized. This is because the library is the last recourse for information access and dissemination (Okoro, Omeluzor & Bamidele, 2014). According to Rathje, McGrory, Pollitt and Voutilainen (2005), libraries are community's portal to information, knowledge and leisure. Rathje, et al further stated that beyond the shelves, libraries are community's gateway to information from many sources nationally and internationally; providing information literacy programme, information access and dissemination (Ebiwolate, 2010; Omeluzor, Oyovwe-Tinuoye & Emeka-Ukwu, 2017). It is practically impossible for the library to provide some of the services needed by its patrons without functional infrastructure. Inadequate library infrastructure can render the library useless in the provision of relevant information services to the users and can increase turnover intentions of librarians (Omeluzor, 2017). The developments in information and communication technology (ICT) has increased the demand for information services hence the need for the development of library infrastructure in order to meet with the needs of the library patrons.

Employees' turnover according to Agnes (1999) is the ratio of the number of workers that had to be replaced within a given time period to the average number of workers. It is the activities and processes that are involved from the time an employee leaves a job to the time he/she is replaced, while turnover intention is the voluntary quitting from a job at will (Mbah & Ikemefuna, 2012). Turnover intentions is the desire of an employee to leave a job for another job elsewhere. Turnover intentions of librarians has negative implications and devastating effects on the library profession and Nigeria's development (Omeluzor, 2017). Development of library infrastructure is a major factor in retaining librarians in the university libraries and cushion the effects of turnover in Nigeria (Omeluzor, 2017). Some studies, for example: Sanjeevkumar (2012), Olusegun (2013) and Okoro, et al (2014), among others have expatiated on the importance of library infrastructure and its effect on turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries. Literature has shown that inadequate library infrastructure and turnover intentions of librarians have the tendency of demeaning the purpose of establishing the university libraries in Nigeria (Omeluzor, 2017). In contemporary research, some factors such as satisfaction with pay and lack of recognition (Mbah & Ikemefuna, 2012; Olusegun, 2013); low satisfaction with jobs, low satisfaction with employer, limited promotion and growth opportunities, a better opportunity elsewhere, or disapproval of organizational changes or restructuring (Bandhanpreet, Mohindru & Pankaj, 2013); lack of communication among workers and managers (Rai, 2014) are found as causatives of turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries. Even demographic issues such as gender, appointment type, qualification, tenure and age have significant correlation with turnover intentions of employees (Ngobeni & Bezuldenhout, 2011). Among those studies, not a handful if any has focused on the effects of infrastructure on turnover intentions of librarians in Nigeria. This study therefore is set out to investigate that, while focusing on academic librarians in university libraries in the South-South and South-East of Nigeria.

Literature review

According to Ogbuagu, Ubi and Effiom (2014) library infrastructure is comprised of generating set, electrical installations, ICT facilities, furniture, fittings, information materials and library building. The function of library infrastructure in the management and discharging of essential library services to the patrons has been acknowledged in contemporary literature (Saleem, Shabana-Tabuum & Sadik-Batcha, 2013). The application of ICTs in university libraries across the world assist in the areas of automation, networking, digitization, technical services and increased productivity among others (Haliso, 2011). Library infrastructure is essential for the effective management of the university library and its human resources. For example, the application of integrated library systems (ILS) in library services enables 'on-the-spot' management and control of the entire library sections. Furthermore, the implementation of online public access catalogue (OPAC) helps the library in the provision of easy access to information in the library and external databases. It helps in the charging and discharging of library materials to the patrons. OPAC also helps in areas such as identifying information materials that are available, their location, materials owned by the library, materials loaned out and due date for return among other functions. An ILS is capable of handling myriad of tasks that would reduce stress associated with traditional tools thereby reducing the turnover intentions of librarians in university libraries. The use of ICT infrastructure in library services to a great extent affect the customization of ILS to portray a library's distinct name, logo and symbols which is a unique way of marketing the institution that a library represents. Again, using radio frequency identification (RFID) with ILS also provides a library with the advantage of securing its resources from being stolen or mutilated.

Inadequate library infrastructure has negative effect on the university library. Some of the known effects include loss of personnel (Okoro, et al, 2014) and distortion of services to the library users. The existence of the academic libraries in this era depends greatly on the provision and maintenance of infrastructure and its human capital (Okoro, et al, 2014). Inadequate or decay of library infrastructure contributes to poor service delivery to library patrons while adequate infrastructure and human capital development are requisite towards achieving the goals of university libraries in the 21st century (Omeluzor, 2017). Infrastructural development in university library is significant in achieving a lower level of turnover intentions of librarians (Omeluzor, Pelemo, Agbawe, Onasote & Abayomi, 2017). A report by Usman in 1982 showed that 75% of senior...

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