Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Survey of Staff and Organization of Private Secondary School Libraries in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Survey of Staff and Organization of Private Secondary School Libraries in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State

Article excerpt

Introduction

Effective and quality service delivery in the library depends on the quality of staff. The ease with which users access and retrieve materials is organically linked to the quality of staff. In school libraries, teacher-librarians are saddled with the responsibilities of providing quality service and systematic organization of school library resources. The importance of the teacher-librarian in the school library cannot be over-emphasized.

Even in most Nigerian public secondary school libraries, professionally-qualified library staff or para-professionals are scarce. Alabi (2007) surveyed seven school libraries in Lagos and found that they are still being staffed by unqualified personnel.

The objectives of this study are to:

* Identify the number of staff in the library,

* Identify the qualifications of the library staff,

* Determine the extent of library resources organization,

* Identify the challenges confronting library services,

* Offer suggestions to identified problems.

Literature Review

Library resources without professionally qualified staff to organize them will not be of any use. In support of this, Onatola (2004), affirms that "there is need to have in every school a Teacher-Librarian, who shall be ready to effect and facilitate interactions between the teachers, learners, and the books". Onatola further states that "the Teacher -Librarian shall be directly responsible to the principal of the school for the day-to-day running of the library."

There are always staff specifications and qualifications for effective service delivery in any organization, private or public. The National Policy on Education (2004) recognizes the need for training librarians and library assistants. The policy is still on paper and yet to be implemented. On the number of staff to be employed in the school library, Fayose (1995) outlines the requirement as follows:

1. School Librarians should be doubly qualified in teaching and librarianship.

2. A technician should have the knowledge of the management, production, and use of audiovisual materials

3. All schools with an enrolment of five hundred pupils/students should have a librarian, technician, and a library assistant.

4. Schools with lower enrolment can have a librarian and a library assistant.

5. Typists, cleaners, security men, and others who are needed besides those who are directly involved in library work.

6. Some schools use volunteer members (students) as library assistants.

Metzger (1992) supported the dual professional qualification for teacher-librarians. Through the systematic organization of resources in the library by the teacher-librarian, the following services are offered to users of the library:

1. Loans

2. Book-box service

3. Bibliographic services

4. Inter-Library loans

5. Repackaging information.

6. Reprographic services

7. Reference services

8. Exhibition and displays

9. Hobbies and societies

10. Teaching Library use skills

11. Teaching study skills (Fayose, 2002).

The services listed by Fayose are crucial to Nigeria educational development. Despite the services offered by the school library, there are still problems. According to Fayose (2003), government has always paid lip service to school library development, but many policies remain on paper and are never implemented. Dike (1993) posits that, "funds that could be used to develop school library services were more than expended on crash programmes." A second reason is perhaps that there was insufficient demand for school libraries.

Moreover, most teacher-librarians had no exposure to librarianship before appointment and no training, even years after appointment (Ogunleye, 1988).

A survey was adopted for this research. …

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