Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Student's Perception of New Security Measures in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka: Implications for Efficient Library Services

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Student's Perception of New Security Measures in Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka: Implications for Efficient Library Services

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

On March 8, 2009, the multi- complex Nnamdi Azikiwe Library of University of Nigeria, Nsukka was officially opened by the then minster of Education, Dr Sam Egwu. The project was started in 1982, and by this singular actions, the university has put smiles on the faces of numerous members of the university community and beyond.(fig1)

The new library complex has the largest holdings in sub-Saharan Africa with links to libraries and portals across the world. Standard internet facilities are now in place with large computer centers. The library occupies a large area of land located at the center of the University and has four floors with a basement. And more space available to users and visitors than ever before. More services have been developed and crammed into the available space. The aim is to create a world class library complex of international significance that the university community will be proud of. The new library has a sitting capacity for over 2000 users. The library has unique collections that would be of interest to .researchers. For example, the library Africana Section is home to many rare books such as Biafiana and Achebeana(fig.2). The Library has a well trained staff with over 10 PhD holders amongst them. Its holding is over 350,000 book titles and about 5000 serials titles.

The basement is a home to communication giant MTN e-library. This e-library with links to thousands of journals in all the subject areas is available to students, faculty members and other researchers. However, despite the above, it seems that many students choose not to use the library. In a recent study by Nse, and Okoroafor (2011) findings showed that the success of any library is measured by the number of users that patronize it, and by how well the services meet their needs. Therefore it would be a waste to have a good and impressive library edifice, well staffed and stocked with relevant resources but still have low patronage. In similar fashion, Reyes (2006) noted that students want to be self sufficient and have unmediated, immediate access to information. The very changes in our information have change the information seeking behaviour, given the control that once belonged to librarians over to the users. Students need to have access to library if their academic efforts are to be realized. Spalding cited by Frade and Washburn (2006) stressed that today's campus library is more than just a place to get resources, it is a destination that supports new technology-driven teaching, learning from books to digital databases to social space for students to gather. Until the mid 1970s, Nigeria had strong universities and libraries, but years of neglect and difficult political situations weakened these institutions. Today, Nigerian universities, benefiting from an infusion of donor funding, have begun the long road back to developing strong learning institutions and building libraries that can support their research and teaching missions. Their efforts are hampered by variety of factors including lack of government funding, limited and expensive internet bandwidth, unstable power sources, and sufficient staff development.(Macarthur foundation,2005)The value of libraries has often been measured in terms of the size of their stock; more books means a greater reservoir, more comprehensiveness of coverage .There have been other sources of information but when looking for authoritative, cumulative and trustworthy places to find it and look after it, civilization has turned to libraries.(Pearson, 2007)

We are aware that due to global economic recession libraries in Nigeria now faced heightened levels of underfunding which has resulted to lack of library resources. Equally libraries encounter new pressures for market penetration and diversification. But do we fold our hands and allow our profession to go to the drain? No, we must try and salvage the situation.Feguson (2000) expresses this more elegantly:

Rather than struggle to maintain the status quo, librarians should invest heavily in the research and development of new tools, systems, and interagency affiliations that increases organizational agility and lead in unchartered new direction. …

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