Library is an indispensable facility of any educational institution. A well equipped school library is therefore very crucial to the education and general information needs of teachers, students and its community. This is why the thought of stocking library with adequate information resources readily comes to mind when an institution is to be established (Akporhonor, 2005). A library is one of the social institutions that have the primary role of acquiring, processing, organizing, preserving as well as conserving the print and non-print information resources for users. School library is one of the types of libraries that play all the primary role of acquisition, organization, processing (cataloguing and classification), storing, preservation and dissemination of information resources to students, staff and its community users.
A library is a collection of books and other forms of recorded information purposefully selected and systematically organized and preserved by qualified library personnel for use by either the public or a target group (Oluwaniyi, 2010). Library and education are two vital institutions of socialization and perpetuation of the human race. The two cannot be separated in an all-around development of human race. The provision of library services is therefore crucial and indispensable to both the primary and post primary educational system. Every school needs a library; teachers and students need to use library information materials in the teaching and learning process. The achievement of a qualitative school's education program depends, to a great extent, on quick access to library information resources (Adeniji, 2006).
A school library is a place where teachers and students have access to a variety of information resources. It is a library established and attached to both primary and secondary schools for teaching and learning processes. Kolade (2001) stated that "the school library is the heart of the school with a wide variety of education media. These media include books, magazines, newspapers, recordings, maps, films, photographs and paintings, computer systems and audio and visual information materials such as television, video tape, camera, slide, transparency, microforms (microfilms, microfiches, microcards) and tape recorders for school projects".
Elaturoti (2006) defined the school library as "the heart of the school around which all school programmes revolve ". As an integral part of the educational system, the school library has the following objectives:
i. Through its information resources, school library functions to achieve greater growth and development of every child/students
ii. It provides a wide range of information resources for individual differences taking each students where he is and helping him to grow;
iii. Through its resources, print non-print, it provides experiences for the children so that they might appreciate the past, comprehend the world today and intelligently prepare for tomorrow;
iv. The school library by teaching the use of information resources provides the opportunity for students to help themselves;
v. Uses of up-to-date information resources available to supplement and enrich the teaching and learning situation among others.
According to Kolade (2001) school library is seen as a tool of excellence for life-long learning for all citizens. Libraries are established to advance the course of education. He further stated that "familiarity with libraries and consuming interest in private studies will enable students have smooth pursuit studies at the higher institution". The school library contributes to the total development of its users by broadening their intellectual horizons and inculcating in students a lasting desire to read and learn.
However, all these could be possible if the necessary information resources are present in the school library. School library collections are those materials which enable libraries to carry out their functions effectively. School library information resources are made up of print, non-print and a wide variety of their information bearing materials. Therefore, school library information resources can be divided into three (3) broad categories which are:
--Non-print resources and
Print Resources:--These are materials which have gone through the technical process of printing. They are sub divided into reference and non-reference information resources. Examples of reference books being found in school libraries are dictionaries, encyclopedia, colorful atlases, almanac, dictionaries etc. while example of non-reference books are fiction books, periodicals, newspapers and magazines etc.
Non-print Resources:--They are resources which depend on the senses of sight or/and hearing to convey meaning. They are also divided into audio visual software and hardware. The audio resource presents information through the sense of hearing e.g. audio recordings, tapes. The visual resources present information through the sense of sight as in visual materials like posters, charts, photographs, etc In case of audio-visual resources, it presents information using a combination of both senses (senses of sight and hearing)e.g. films, home video, television. All these are audio-visual software. The audio-visual hardware are the machineries or gadgets for using the software,. They include record player, projectors and video recorders.
Electronic Resources:--These are computer based information resources in the school libraries .e.g. Microcomputer with a Compact Disk -Read Only Memory (CD-ROM), computer with internet connectivity. Computer literacy is very important for school children and students in both primary and secondary schools especially in the 21st century. Library information resources are very essential because they are librarian's stock in trade; there is no way a library can offer any meaningful services without these library resources.
Aina (2003) posited that preservation is the maintenance of library information materials so that they can be closed to the original condition as much as possible. He further explained many preservation methods such as eliminating or reducing the factors that accelerate deterioration information resources especially paper- based materials such as high temperature, relative humidity and long exposure of sunlight rays. Singh and Kaur (2009) opined that preservation and access to knowledge and information resources are the main mandate of school libraries alongside supporting the mission of its establishment which is teaching and learning. Preservation as a collection management strategy has been relegated if not totally neglected by librarians and documentalists for a very long time in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Therefore, knowledge of the causes of deterioration of library information resources is very essential for librarians and others who are concerned about the preservation of information stored in books and non-book formats (Varlamoff, 2005).
Statement of the Problem
Library is a repository of information resources for the educational development of human-beings at all levels with its significant contributions to the academic achievement of teachers and students in schools. It has been observed that preservation of information resources in the school libraries has been neglected by the school management, state and local government.
Information resources in school libraries are mostly print materials that can deteriorate due to several factors and this can hinder the long term access to them when they are needed by users. Acid paper-based information resources, poor storage environment, stealing, mutilation of information resources in school libraries has affected information resources and leaning in many primary and post primary schools. These problems have been aged-long problem that seem to be without solution. Therefore, it becomes a researchable point of interest. This study therefore intends to find out the preservation practices and essential ingredients of preservation put in place in selected secondary schools in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria.
Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this paper will:
examine the available information resources in the school library
ascertain the existence of preservation policies in school libraries in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State;
identify the level of support given to preservation by the school management;
find out the level of training for library staff in preservation of school library resources and
ascertain the barriers to effective preservation of information resources in the school libraries.
The following research questions are formulated in line with the main objectives:
What are the available information resources in the school library?
What policies exist on preservation of information resources in the school libraries?
What is the level of support given by the school management for the preservation of information resources in the school libraries?
What is the level of training for library staff in preservation of information resources in the school libraries?
What are the barriers to effective preservation of information resources in school libraries?
Significance of the Study
School libraries are expected to provide adequate information resources including print, non-print and electronic materials to teachers, students and its community. Therefore, the outcome of this study will assist and sensitize the school management on the need to have functional school library that will cater for the academic needs of both teachers and students.
The findings of this study will be very valuable in charting the way forward for the improved preservation of information resources in school libraries. Likewise the study will raise awareness on the preservation of information resources in school...