Motivation, Job Satisfaction and Service Delivery: Mid-Level Staff at Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Libraries have responsibility to support their parent bodies in achieving their goals. University libraries are established to promote the learning, teaching, research and community development mandates of their parent institutions. Libraries, therefore, engage in the selection, acquisition, organization and dissemination of information and/of materials in furtherance of their patrons' ideals. Libraries today are challenged to shoulder more responsibilities in their bid to provide services to their users. The adoption of modern technologies; the sky-rocketing costs of library materials; and highly sophisticated patrons with their expectations of quality and efficient services are additional challenges that must be confronted. To function effectively therefore, libraries require different categories of staff with relevant qualifications and background. Professionals, paraprofessionals, and auxiliary staff are needed to operate the library system. It is the function of library managers to make the library function effectively.

Management is not supposed to inhibit people's desire and determination to perform their duties. It should not be obstructive. Closing the 'commitment gap' which, according to Dell (1988), is the gap between an employee's actual and potential output is the business of managers. Management has the obligation to provide a very conducive and pleasant environment that will encourage all employees to develop and bring out their best skills. In fact, in principle, employees spend most part of their time daily at the workplace. There lies the enormity of management's responsibility. So, the impact of the work environment affects staff physiologically, sociologically and psychologically. In order to make staff more productive and not just stay at work doing nothing, management should continually design strategies that will gear people to work. These strategies are usually in form of motivation.

Objectives of the Study

This study focuses on the motivation and job satisfaction of mid-level staff of KDL. The study seeks to provide answers to questions on incentives, remunerations, interpersonal relationships, communications, job environment and satisfaction. "Mid-level staff" is defined, for the purpose of this study, as the senior staff working in the library. This includes academic librarians, library officers and other senior auxiliary staff. These cadres of staff are expected to have an understanding of different management styles and appreciate the essence of effective library administration. They should be able to show the perceptions of the different cadres of staff of the administration that will enable us make an assessment that will lead to the improvement of human resources management in the library.

Literature Review

Several studies had earlier been conducted on job satisfaction and motivation to work of librarians (Nzotta, 1987), library assistants (Thapisia, 1992) and junior staff (Alemna, 1992). According to Alemna (1992), library management is intended to be an activity and not a person or group of persons or something tangible. This means that management is supposed to be a set of principles or policies guiding the functioning of an organization. The complexity in the library setting now demands great expertise and professional proficiency. It is important to recognize that libraries, just like most organizations today are complex and interdependent for leadership to reside solely with those who, according to Euster (1990), are called 'designated leaders'. According to her,

  "Although the literature of management and librarianship are full
  of exhortations for more effective leadership, in today's
  interconnected and interdependent environment, it is patently
  impossible for any leader to be fully in control of the organization
  or to know what is necessary to run it. A principal point in
  discussion of non-hierarchical organization is that both leadership
  and expertise must reside at all levels of the organization. …