Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Towards Accelerated Development of Academic Library Services in Nigeria for National Development in the 21st Century

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Towards Accelerated Development of Academic Library Services in Nigeria for National Development in the 21st Century

Article excerpt

Introduction

Academic libraries are libraries established in tertiary institutions. They include libraries in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. The roles of these libraries are similar and that is to effectively support institutions to attain the key functions of teaching, research and community service. These institutions are responsible for the production of middle and higher level manpower for national development. The extent to which they are able to effectively accomplish that task depends largely on how well their libraries are equipped with the relevant information resources.

According to the National Policy of Education (1998), the goals of tertiary education are to:

1) Contribute to national development through high level relevant manpower training;

2) Develop and inculcate proper values for the survival of the individual and society;

3) Develop the intellectual capability of individuals to understand and appreciate their local and external environments;

4) Acquire both physical, intellectual skills which will enable individuals to be self-reliant and useful members of the society;

5) Promote and encourage scholarship and community service;

6) Forge and cement national unity; and

7) Promote national and international understanding and interaction.

Arising from the goals of tertiary education, the National Policy of Education (1998), specifies that university education will make optimum contribution to national development by: Intensifying and diversifying its programmes for the development of high level manpower within the context of the needs of the nation;

1) Making professional courses contents to reflect our national requirements;

2) Making all students as part of a general programme of all-round improvement in university education to offer general study course such as history of ideas, philosophy of knowledge and nationalism.

4) University research shall be relevant to the nation's developmental goals. In this regard, universities shall be encouraged to disseminate their research results to both government and industries. In the opinion of Okebukola (2009), in a developed society characteristic of developed economics to which Nigeria aspires, higher education plays a key role. It provides high level human resources for driving the economy and ensures rapid societal transformation. The greater the opportunity given to the citizenry for higher education, the more expansive the horizon for rapid social and economic development. The universities and their libraries are at the forefront of this mandate of production of the necessary manpower for national development since they provide the higher level manpower required for national development. It is no wonder therefore that Aguolu (2002), noted that the university library is the heart of the university. This is because, the academic health, intellectual vitality and effectiveness of any university depends largely upon the state of health and excellence of its library which is its lifeblood. This assertion is a reflection of an age long conviction by the British University Grants Committee (1921) which noted that:

The character and efficiency of a university may be gauged by its treatment of its central organ, the library. We regard the fullest provision (of funds) for library maintenance as the primary and most vital need in the equipment of a university. An adequate library is not only the basis of all teaching and study; it is the essential condition of research without which additions cannot be made to the sum of human knowledge.

It is obvious from the foregoing that universities have always had the mandate to produce higher level manpower for national development. Harbison and Myers (1964) opined that national development is the transformation of all aspects of life of a society - cultural, social, political and economic. …

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