Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Demographic Variables and Self-Efficacy as Factors Influencing Career Commitment of Librarians in Federal University Libraries in Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Demographic Variables and Self-Efficacy as Factors Influencing Career Commitment of Librarians in Federal University Libraries in Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

The university is established to impart knowledge, conduct research, and provide services to the community. Smith and Porter (1970) affirm this by stating that the university is pre-eminently a knowledge institution, which produces knowledge in the form of skills, research, and credentials.

The need for university education prompted the development of the library as a support system to provide services that will galvanise the human intellectual capacity. To support the university, librarians satisfy the information needs of staff and students. In doing this, lack of motivation and proper funding have affected the performance of librarians, greatly affecting their attitude and commitment to work.

Career commitment of staff, especially librarians in developing countries like Nigeria, affects the quality of service, and consequently affects their satisfaction on the job. McCormick and Tiffin (1994) observe that if workers perceive that their values are realised in the job, they exhibit a positive attitude and have greater career commitment. Martins (1991) affirms that most significant problems of developing countries are economic problems, low wages, non-definition of the status of the librarian, occasional selective promotion, and lack of social security.

All these affect career commitment and self-efficacy. It is difficult to talk about career commitment where there is no motivation. In a survey conducted in Ankara, Kaya (1995) found that librarians were dissatisfied with physical working conditions, job recognition, job security, promotion, social status, wages, social services, authority, and responsibility. All these may affect their career or professional commitment. Kaya concludes that the status of the librarians should be defined, that promotion should depend on objective criteria, and that technological development must be used to inject new ideas. In addition, responsibility must be backed up with authority, participation in the decision-making process, job security, and provision of a proper working conditions. Wages should be improved to make librarians in developing countries like Nigeria committed to their career and satisfied with their jobs. Popoola, Tella, and Ayeni (2007) submit that librarians in research and academic libraries in Oyo state of Nigeria perceive that motivation influences their level of self-efficacy and career/organisational commitments.

Self-efficacy, according to Tella and Ayeni (2006), may be defined as the individual's perceived ability to attain designated types of performance and achieve a specific result. In the study of self-efficacy of librarians, Tella and Ayeni (2006) found out that self-efficacy propels librarians to keep trying to accomplish their goals, and make good decisions that translate into meaningful achievements. They choose to perform more challenging tasks and are more creative. Schwarzer and Smith (2005) studied the success of women in nontraditional business and confirm that self-efficacy has a predictive power in assessing performance.

Demographic or biographical variables also had a significant correlation with career commitment in the case of employees in the Osun State civil service (Popoola and Oluwole, 2007). They submit that gender, age, marital status, job tenure, and educational level should be considered germane to career commitment. While job satisfaction and corporate commitment of workers have been the topics of many studies in the fields of organisational behaviour and information management, the present study presents self-efficacy and career commitment as a way of understanding the behaviour of librarians in the Nigerian federal universities. The foregoing background brings into focus the need for empirical research that will investigate demographic variables and self-efficacy factors influencing career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are to:

* determine the level of career commitment traits of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria;

* determine the level of self-efficacy characteristics of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria;

* find the correlation among demographic variables (such as age, gender, marital status, educational background, job status), self-efficacy, and career commitment of librarians in federal university libraries in Nigeria. …

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