Lecturers' perception of the adequacy of resources and services of University of Ado-Ekiti library.

Author:Olajide, O.
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

University libraries exist to enhance the acquisition of knowledge by their clientele through the provision of reading materials (book and non-book) for the purposes of teaching, learning and research. A university library, according to Mallaiah, Kumbar and Mudhol (2008) occupies the central and primary place in teaching and research, therefore, it has to meet the diverse and growing needs of educational programme at the undergraduate, post-graduate and research levels.

Every tertiary library, including university library, is expected to meet the objectives of the institution that established and funds it. In a similar vein, library, according to Aina (2004) is concerned with the collection, processing, storage and dissemination of recorded information for the purpose of reading, study and consultation. He further sees university library as leaning centre which provides materials that are needed for learning all the courses offered in the university, as well as potential courses that may be offered.

Oyedum (2006) asserts that one of the objectives of a university is to encourage acquisition of knowledge, that is, to encourage and promote scholarship and research in all fields of learning and human endeavour. She claims that apart from classroom teaching and practical exercises in university laboratories, one of the main departments that assists the university to achieve this objective is the library.

Library services, according to Bassey (2006) are regarded as social services which are bound to stimulate the reading habit of the society, including people in the academic environment. Library services present a picture of remarkable variety and play an important role in the educational, economic, cultural and recreational life of the entire population. There is no doubt that any library is in the business of providing services to its user's community. To be most functional, the services it provides should correspond with the needs of its users because the user is the very reason for the existence of the library and it ensures that the services so provided are exploited to the maximum.

To determine whether the objectives of the library are met, according to Bassey (2006), the views, opinions, and perception of the library users should be sought. In other words, any library that wants to improve its resources and services must solicit the help of its users to identify areas of weakness in order to improve upon them. On the adequacy of library resources and services, Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) showed that it is the size of a collection, combined with its quality that ensures its adequacy. Thus, adequacy of any collection has both qualitative and quantitative dimensions.

The extent to which library resources and services satisfy the needs of users will determine how effective and efficient a particular library is. For a library to be worth its salt, the resources and services it renders must strive to meet and satisfy the needs of its users. However, user's perception, which is a way a user forms impression of and makes inferences about library resources, services and personnel in term of how far they meet their expectation, should be used to measure library performance. This is because, according to Aina (2004) user is critical to the practice of librarianship and that all processes revolve round the users. User is a focal point of all libraries or information centres since the primary objectives of library's existence is to satisfy its users i.e. provision of excellent services to its users. This is usually the mission statement of libraries. Therefore, the project surveys lecturers and students' perception of the adequacy of resources and services in two university libraries in Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Literature Review

The services rendered by academic libraries, according to Bassey (2006) include: circulating materials to eligible patrons under equitable policies; providing reference referral services; providing indexing and abstracting services covering the professional periodicals received in library; providing current awareness services, which include library display, selective dissemination of information (SDI), and compilation of bibliographies; providing continuing instruction to patrons in the effective use of the library (user education); preparing a library handbook giving details of the rules, resources, services and staff of the library and making it available to patrons free of charge or at minimal cost; promoting inter library cooperation loans; provision of computer services and convenient hours of services; and displaying newly received books in an appropriate place and arranging book exhibitions on different themes appropriate to a given occasion in an effort to bring its resources to the notice of its patrons or users.

Mallaiah, Kumbar and Mudhol (2008) analysed the main tasks of a library to include collection, storage and distribution of the reading materials keeping in view the user requirements. Out of these three main functions, the collection occupies the most vital position. If the book collection of library is efficient, ideal and could satisfy the needs of the readers, then it would enhance the image of the library. The quantity and quality of the collection are vital in the achievement of the university library's goals and objectives. The efficiency of library is governed by the quantity and quality of its collection.

The materials stocked in the library, according to Aina (2004) are meant to be a source of knowledge, pleasure and assistance for generations to come. The collection and services of these libraries are usually consciously built up and organised for maximum utilisation by clientele they are meant for. It is therefore necessary for such libraries to periodically examine the extent to which these facilities and services are utilized, as...

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