Student librarian work study programmes in academic libraries: an appraisal.

Author:Adewale, Tinuade O.


Since the founding of the University of Ibadan in 1948 by the colonial government as the premier Nigerian university, there has been an increasing demand for university education, but the investment of the government has not matched this demand. This is confirmed by Oyewole (2008) who observes that higher education in Nigeria is under strain, and many young Nigerians who ought to benefit from higher education do not have access to it. Higher education institutions have yet to find solutions to the severe financial crisis that has affected the higher education system.

Obafemi Awolowo University was among the six second generation universities in 1962 but was later taken over by the federal government. There were third and fourth generation universities established in 1977 and 1983 respectively, before the coming of private universities. Today, there are 27 federal, 33 state, and 34 private universities in Nigeria. (Okebukola 2008).

The student librarian work study programme began in the late 90s when the economy of the nation started dwindling. There was an acute shortage of staff to work in academic library, and students could no longer cope with their studies because of financial problems, while university enrolment kept increasing. The idea of engaging students in the Work Study Programme in the university library was devised, and today has gained more ground because other units of the university has also embraced the programme. The whole programme is now administrated by the Division of Students Affairs. Many students who might have withdrawn from the university, have maintained themselves through this programme and completed their studies.

The programme is opened to all students in all 13 faculties of the university, both male and female. In order not to defeat the purpose of students coming to the university exceptions were made: only parts 2-3 in social sciences and Humanities are allowed to participate, in Sciences, Technology, Law, Agriculture, Pharmacy and Health Sciences faculties, Parts 2-4 are allowed. Part (year) one students are not allowed because they are still new in the system and they have not completed the Library Instruction Programme where students are taught how to use the library effectively, and final year students are not allowed because they are busy with various projects.

Introduction of the Work Study Programme

Academic staff recruitment and retention is an emerging problem in tertiary education in Nigeria and many parts of Africa (Mihyo, 2008). Brain drain and aging faculty are affecting the staff situation in tertiary institutions, and Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library is not left out. Various universities are developing programmes to convert brain-drain to brain gain. The birth of this programme is part of that effort. Reasons for the programme include:

* Student enrolment in the University is...

To continue reading