Sources of Funds in Academic Libraries in Delta State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Academic libraries are those attached to universities, polytechnics, college of education and other similar institutions of higher learning. The importance of funding in providing quality library service cannot be overemphasized. It is the glue that holds the building, collection and staff together and allows the library to attain its goals. As such, money can be considered the soul of the library. Inadequate funds impede the effectiveness of any library (Anafulu, 1997).

It is absolutely essential for a library to posses the resources that will enable it meet its goals. Beautiful building, well trained staff and modern information storage and retrieval systems can only be appreciated if excellent services are rendered to users. These services cannot be provided without adequate finance. The American Library Association (2006) notes that libraries of all kinds need money. The amount of funding that a library receives directly influences the quality of its services. While the majority of funds for libraries comes from state and local sources, federal funding provides critical assistance, giving libraries across the country the financial support they need to serve their communities.

Like water and air, libraries have become an integral part of human existence. Often called the memory of human race, libraries are supposed to have on their shelves the records of almost everything which man has thought, dreamt of and invented. All these demand that, academic libraries should be adequately funded to be able to carryout these functions (Ifidon, 1992).

Libraries are organic. This is to say that they grow or shrink with time depending on how much life is infused into them. Fund is needed to provide the information needs of the academic library. The academic library is a social service organization that is capital intensive. Money is needed for building, physical facilities, books, journals, electronic resources, personnel, etc. (Ehigiator, 1997).

The library is invariably a part of a wider organization - an arm of government, university, school, research institute or business concern as the case may be. Its budget, therefore is negotiated with its parent organization. The parent body is therefore the proprietor that takes full responsibility for its funding. Academic libraries are financed from the budgets of their parent institutions. These funds usually cover only the current expenditure. But sometimes, libraries are supported by government ministries particularly Ministry of Education (Akporhonor, 2005).

According to Emojorho (2004), Nigerian government owned university libraries derive funds from government allocations, endowment funds, library fees, gifts and other miscellaneous sources such as the sale of duplicate materials, fines and photocopying; that the bursar integrates and collates the various estimates from the various departments. The estimates are then channeled through and defended, at the following six levels:

1 Library committee: the librarian presents and explains his budget estimate.

2 Development and Estimate committee, the librarian defends his budget estimate.

3 Finance and general purposes committee.

4 The university council.

5 The National University commission/commission of higher Education.

6 Ministry of finance and education Development- through the ministry of education.

In academic libraries, the budgetary procedure starts with the bursar who sends out a notice to the librarian asking for preliminary budgets estimates. When the librarian receives this notice, he and the various sectional heads of the library meet and draw up the budget estimate which is then sent to the bursar. Funds for library and information services are traditionally derived from the library's proprietor. The extent of such revenue varies from fixed fraction of received grant to adhoc arrangement (Edoka, 1992). …