Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Awareness and Skills among LIS Students in Universities in South East Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

In a developing economy like Nigeria, the state of unemployment has given rise to increased rural urban migration for job opportunities. Most developing countries have similar economic conditions whereby government is heavily relied upon as the sole provider of the means of production and livelihood. Moreover, youth restiveness, coupled with high incidences of criminality alongside high poverty levels have resulted in declining standards of living.

Given the above indices, government alone is handicapped as the sole provider of the means of production and Labour. However, economic self-reliance appears to be the only recourse in addressing these associated problems. Hence the increased interests in entrepreneurial careers and education in colleges and universities all over the world. The study of entrepreneurship has relevance today not only because it helps entrepreneurs better fulfill their personal need but because of economic contributions of the new venture. The term "entrepreneurship" has been viewed from different conceptual perspectives although all revolves around innovation/creativity, competency, risk taking, self-reliance and rewards. In the context of this work, entrepreneurship may be considered as the process through which entrepreneurs create, nurture and grow enterprises using a reasonable degree of initiative, skills and competencies necessary to transform change into opportunities thereby deriving personal satisfaction, monetary rewards and independence. Today the global emphasis on the development of small and medium scale enterprises can only succeed if it is bed rocked on strong entrepreneurial skills.

Librarianship today has arrived at the information age where the role of information is increasingly emphasized as an economic resource, a marketable commodity and a social wealth. That is why Stiglitz, an American economist, won the Nobel Prize for recognizing and including information as the fifth factor of production. Information now plays the role of creating power and wealth and technological innovations have given rise to new ideas relating to collection, processing and dissemination of information. Thus the rapid technological development has affected every facet of library operations and services such as acquisition of documents, management of serials, circulation systems, inter library loan, and data processing.

The continuous high generation of information in all sectors of human activity through search and innovation has also brought about drastic changes in the present society. Moreover Parson (1990) maintains that information and communications technology (ICT) has dramatically altered the structure of markets in many industries and corporate organizations. Hence the race for competitive advantage is shifting from a natural resource and industrial production base to a knowledge and information base. These have led to an expansion in the roles of information professionals in diverse ways with a shift from a document management perspective to an information management perspective which locates users, technology and information professionals within a socially constructed complex context. As a result, there is also a corresponding expansion in the employment market for library and information professionals. For the success of library and information centers as effective communication systems, the development of manpower to operate in diverse information settings has become vital. One of the aspects of manpower development in this regard is an improved education system in which LIS students will be equipped with the skills, attitudes and values that are necessary for improved library services and coping with increasing entrepreneurship opportunities created by ICT.

But Igbeka (2008) stated that Nigeria is gradually awakening to the importance of entrepreneurship development in the tertiary institutions. The curricula of many institutions are still traditional with no practical programs on entrepreneurship and technological innovations. …