Organization as a management variable: a survey of Nigerian University libraries in the South South Zone.

Author:Usoro, Ima-M.P.


University libraries are built to supplement and complement effective learning, teaching, and research. The faculty, researchers, students and other members of the university community require up-to-date information to keep abreast of current development in their areas of study, specialization, and responsibility. The Nigerian University Commission (NUC) (2004) has attempted to put quality assurance in place in the Nigerian University system by proposing the Virtual (Digital) Library Project Initiative. The initiative will provide current journals, books, and other information resources. It will enhance access to global information resources. Without adequate organization of library activities, these information resources may not be easily available and accessible for maximum use.

Library organization is essential for the day-to-day operation of the organization. For this reason, the management variable of organizing provides a framework in which people can work happily, productively, and effectively. It involves assigning tasks developed during planning to staff working in different units of the library. It is the way plans are put into action, responsibilities defined, and lines of authority laid down. Edoka (2000) outlines six steps in the process of organizing:

* Identify tasks that must be accomplished to achieve objectives.

* Identify personnel with appropriate knowledge and skills to perform the activities.

* Relate the experience of the personnel to relevant tasks.

* Group work in logically-related and balanced positions.

* Define and delegate responsibility and authority.

* Establish relationship between positions and units to facilitate harmonious teamwork.

Library activities must be classified and then divided into manageable jobs and allocated to staff. An organizational chart facilitates the division of responsibilities into units and co-ordination of the activities of each unit with clear lines of communication. Part of organizing is placing staff in the right place, ensuring that they have jobs where they can do well and be satisfied (Wambugu 2005). Howorka (2005) asserts that organizing helps explains the role each individual plays and their relationship to others in the organization. Handy (1990), Mullins (1993), and Terry (1997) all agree that the organizing function is the process of breaking down tasks into individual assignments and then putting them back together in units or departments, along with a delegation of authority to the supervisor of the unit or department. Organizing consists of people (staff) whose specialized tasks are coordinated to contribute to the organizational goals. Evans (2005) describes organizing as "arranging the activities of an organization in such a way that they systematically contribute to the achievement of the organizational goals."

This study examines the...

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