Utilization of Law Library Collections for Improving Academic Performance by Undergraduate Law Students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Author:Onwudinjo, Oliver T.U.


Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka was established in 1982 as Awka campus of the then Anambra State University of Technology, (ASUTECH) Enugu. In 1991, following the creation of new Anambra State, the University was named Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The Faculty of Law was established in 1986 with its campus at Awka. In 1992, the Federal Government of Nigeria took over the university. The law library was established alongside the faculty of law at its permanent side of the university as a separate block. In 2010, the faculty of law with its library moved to her permanent

building, with the library occupying the second floor of the building.

The primary assignment of the law library is to cater for the education, research and community needs of the faculty. This should be done through providing reference services on all law-related topics, assisting in the use of electronic legal resources, evaluating the authenticity and accuracy of legal resources, assisting law students, lecturers and non-lawyers in accessing the law and monitoring trends in specific legal fields.

To show how important law libraries are, Dada (2007), remarked that law is a profession which is literally unable to exercise its work without the use of books. He said that it is important to conclude that as an operating theatre is important to a Surgeon, a workshop to an Engineer and a laboratory to a Scientist, so is a law library central to the work of a lawyer or a legal researcher.

To achieve the objectives for which the law library was set up, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University law library ensured the acquisition of the following resources, law text books, law journals, law statutes, law reports, newspapers, magazines, research projects, non-legal books that relate to law, electronic books, etc. It is therefore sensible to claim that the quality of information resources acquired, organized, preserved and made available by any library is key to producing sound intellectuals, (Okereke, Onayeyan and Ogbuiyi, 2014). To accomplish their educational objectives, law students need to make effective use of the library resources relevant to their studies (Olorunfemi, Mostert and Ocholla, 2012).

Generally, the major objectives of this study was to determine the extent to which law students utilize the law library resources of Nnamdi Azikiwe University for improving their academic pursuit. Specifically, the objectives were to, determine the objectives, purpose and aims of establishing the law library; determine the types of law library resources used by students; determine the benefits derived in the use of the library resources; determine the frequency of use of the law library resources by students; identify the challenges encountered by students in the use of the resources; and suggest ways of improving the services to the students.

Review of Related Literature:

A law library according to Ukpanah and Afolabi (2011) is a collection of legal information organized for use of those seeking to qualify as, or who have qualified as lawyers and those enacting or administering law. The ability of the law library to meet the diverse information needs of its clientele depends on among other things, the availability of an array of documentary and non-book materials.

The collection of law library resources should involve the discovering of weak areas of the resources that need to be empowered, as well as the strong areas that need to be evaluated with a view to reaffirming their relevance in satisfying users demands. Kotso (2007), said that the need for standard collection for the law libraries in terms of quantity and quality cannot be over emphasized, saying that they must have the depth of the subject of law as well as the disciplinary diversities.

According to Tuyo (2007), a law library that intends to be relevant in any academic institution must ensure that its collections are adequate. He mentioned some of the basic reference titles that a law library is expected to have in its collection as, complete sets of the up-to-date Laws of the Federation and Laws of the States, Law Reports of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Federal High Courts and the State High Courts, law reports of at least Commonwealth countries, secondary works that are needed to support the teaching of the subjects offered especially the core subjects; precedent books of foreign countries such as Britain, America and some Asian countries, legal dictionaries and other dictionaries, Thesaurus legal bibliographies and both legal and general encyclopedias.

Quality and quantity of law library resources are necessary if the objectives of the library are to be met. The age of books in a collection used for teaching and learning is a useful parameter to assess the quality of the collection. Lumande and Ojedokun (2005), stated that the effectiveness of a collection depends on the extent to which a library collection can facilitate research activities and how much students can rely on it for project and assignment.

Building a balanced collection in any library can be very effective through the introduction of collection development policy. Olanlokun and Adekanye (2005), submitted that collection development policy is an important aspect of library service that can promote libraries. They went on...

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