Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Importance of Library to Lawmaker: Case Study of Edo State House of Assembly

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Importance of Library to Lawmaker: Case Study of Edo State House of Assembly

Article excerpt


Background of the Study

The study is aimed at finding out the importance of libraries to lawmakers. The lawmakers can be described as the treasury of power in any society because they are the people in the legislative arm of the government empowered to make laws. The legislature is an integral component of government, which is the system through which a country or state is ruled. Such a system usually develop out of people's historical experience, culture, custom or common practice.

Since ancient times, the communist system and pre-industrial society, government had always been organized along these lines: the executives; legislature and judiciary, their fusion or separation varies from one system to another or from one society to another. One thing is clear, whether the organs are fused or separated every government or political system performs three vital functions namely:-

(i) Legislative: law making

(ii) Executive: implementation of law

(iii) Judiciary: interpretation of law

The organ of government that is concerned in this study is the legislature. It is the most important arm of government, it lay down basic principles through the lawmaking, which the executive has to use or apply in the implementation of laws. And which the judiciary has to use as it frame or reference in adjudicating cases related to these laws; (Benney, 1968)

The unique position of the legislator as representatives of their constituents expose them readily to the need of the populace. Hence, some writers refer to them as the society errand boy or post office where the burning desires of the people are deposited for government('s) attention. (Epiphany, 2013). The importance of the legislature cannot be over emphasized, without the legislator; (,)it is not possible to have a functional democracy for they are the eyes, the ear and the voice of the people in representative democracy (okoye, 2006). Writers often see th functions of legislature as solemnly that of lawmaking, but in reality their functions extend beyond that. Other functions of the legislature include:-

(i) Effective representation of their constituencies

(ii) Amendment of laws and the constitution in order to respond to the changes and adjust to new political ideas.

(iii) Political education for political awareness

(iv) Control of public funds and checking of the executive in order to forestall frivolous spending by the executive. This is done by scrutinizing the annual budget. Apart from the monetary issue there are other ways in which the legislature can act as watch dog of the executive, they make use of question time, a period during which ministers receive query from private members.

(v) Ratification of appointment made by the executive and they also ratify agreements and treaties that the executive wish to enter into.(Akamere,2013).

The functions of the legislature enumerated above by Akamere appears detailed but Okoye (2006) in his article listed the above function of the legislature and added that the legislature has the constitutional power to impeach the president or state government on grounds of abuse of office, unconstitutional acts, misconduct and incompetence. When there is legislature that performs its functions effectively, the executive arm of government is on its toes; the latter cannot afford to derail because the legislative arm is constantly watching and taking appropriate action to ensure that why the executive arm does the interest of the people, it should be in conformity with the constitution. This could be why Okoye (2006) refers to the legislature as the hub of functional democracy.

Library and information service

Despite the clearly documented role of the legislator, in practice he finds himself performing other roles not easily defined or documented. The legislator will discover that they are ward representative(s) as lawmakers and party workers,(.) whatever their role is legislators need information, if their role is to oppose or sustain the government of the day effectively, whether it is to scrutinize the activities of the government(. …

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