A SWOT Analysis of the University Library of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Library, Umudike, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Universities are important agents for national development, producing human resources needed for social, economic, and political progress. Universities render essential community service and serve as centers for moral, social and intellectual rejuvenation (Oyediran, 1993). Universities produce knowledge for problem-solving, economic activity, guidance and direction, and the ability to escape ignorance and superstition and protect and advance the common good. University libraries have an important role in the teaching, research, and service that universities undertake. A university library is both a collegiate library that supports teaching, and a research library (Rogers and Weber, 1971). This paper examines the infrastructure, administration, staff, collections, and technical and reader's services of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Library in terms of their support for the university's teaching and research missions, highlighting strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities (SWOT).

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture

The University, which began with six Colleges and a School of General Studies in the 1993/94 academic year (Annual Report) is located at Umudike, Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria. It is located near institutions as Government College Umudike, Abia State University, Umudike Campus, and the National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike. On May 27, 1994, one year from the date of appointment of key officers and the Governing Council, the University opened its doors to its first set of students. Its first matriculation took place in August 1994. In addition to many undergraduate programmes, the university set up a postgraduate school in January 1997.

In addition to the traditional tripartite mission of universities--teaching, research, and community service, the University of Agriculture Umudike has adopted "training" as a fourth mission, to ensure that its products can go from "Lab to Land." The University commits it self to the production of educated farmers, the conduct of multidisciplinary and relevant organized research, and the systematic propagation of new and improved agricultural protocols.

University Library

The University Librarian is in charge of library administration and reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor. There is also a library committee. There are four major divisions in the library: Collection Development, Technical Services, Documents and Serials, and Readers Services.

The library has about 20,000 volumes covering all aspects of agricultural science and allied fields; 5,000 volumes of reference materials, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, and research reports of student research projects, including theses and dissertations. The university has the 2005 version of the Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL). TEEAL is a collection of 130 major agricultural journals, contained in 426 CD-ROMs. The library is connected to the Internet, and subscribes to more than 500 print journal titles, local and foreign, as well as national newspapers and magazines. The library has a seating capacity for only 148 readers. There are six computers in the library. Other equipment includes overhead projectors, display screen, and public address system.

Staff

The library currently has 41 staff members. Positions and other details are shown in the accompanying tables

Library attendants constitute the bulk of the staff with 8 (19.51%), followed by library assistants with 6 (14.63%). In the senior category, Librarians II formed the majority with 5 (12.20%), followed by Senior Library officers.

Professional Status of Staff

Librarians belong to the university's professional cadre and are also academic staff, and have the same privileges as teaching staff. The librarians are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). …