Management of theses and projects in selected University Libraries in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Author:Ilo, Promise


University Libraries are charged with the responsibility of acquiring, processing, preserving and making acquired materials accessible to their clientele. Apart from the conventional method of library resources selection and acquisition, one major means by which the resource base of university libraries are enriched is through students projects and theses. They are grey literature and therefore, do not pass through any means of conventional publishing. They carry first hand information. As a result, theses and projects need to be properly preservation for future generations.. Okoro (2003) posits that though unpublished, these information sources carry intelligent information and thus deserve adequate management and preservation. Prytherch (2000) maintained that the fundamental principles necessary for controlling recorded information after creation includes the maintenance, storage and disposition among others.

Universities in different countries of the world have specific names given to the final research outputs of their graduating students. Amadasu (2010) noticed that a common practice in Nigerian institutions of higher learning is that in which research works produced for the award of first degrees are called projects while those written in partial fulfillment for the award of postgraduate degrees are known as theses. Sharing the same view, Ifidon (2006) maintained that theses are research works in fulfillment for the awards of masters and doctorate degrees.

Graduating students at all levels are mandated to carry out researches in their areas of study in partial fulfillment for the award of various degrees. Anunobi (2002) observed that universities usually award undergraduates and post graduate degrees when students have fulfilled this important requirement. Apart from this being a practice being a practice in universities, the same obligation obtains in non- university tertiary institutions. Bound copies of the outcome of the researches are submitted to students' departments. Practically, a copy of each submitted theses is deposited in the institutions university library, being the centre for learning and research in every academic institution.

Although theses and projects contain very vital information, Vijayakumar and Vijayakumar (2007) observed that usage of theses in libraries is hindered because of the absence of easily accessible bibliographic sources like abstract, index, classification which are required to provide comprehensive coverage of these materials. It is important for libraries to ensure that information bearing materials are well processed, preserved and made accessible to various classes of users, irrespective of their formats. Amadasu (2010) quoting Nnadozie (2006) averred that the storage of information materials stems for the fact that they are needed for decision making, provision of date required for past information and data needed for legal matters.

Libraries therefore need to ensure that these materials are adequately processed for accessibility and well managed to ensure their safety from various kinds of deterioration.

Swain (2010) noticed that postgraduate theses and dissertations are the window to high-level research carried out in the university as they are likely to contain information of reasonable quality. However, in spite of the potential usefulness of theses and dissertations for research, they lack adequate care in terms of management. Sinha (2006) lamented that they often languish in obscurity in university libraries and archives. They are not optimally used in universities due to their low visibility and the difficulty of accessing them. Isaac and Stephen (1992) observed that their access have traditionally been quite limited as to when, where, how and to whom they are available for use. They further posited that these limitations are established and maintained in part, through policies set by committees, departments, graduate schools and libraries, which reflect the regulatory bodies' limited conceptualization of what these sources should be. Amadasu (2010) concurs with the above author and insists that the management of these research outcomes lies on the libraries. It therefore behooves librarians to ensure that these important information resources are not exposed to deterioration. Measures should rather be put in place to ensure proper preservation as well as ease of accessibility.

The objectives of the study


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