Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Assessment of Electronic Collection Development in Nigerian University Libraries

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Assessment of Electronic Collection Development in Nigerian University Libraries

Article excerpt

Introduction

Library collection development is one of the basic library services aimed at meeting the information needs of the people (a service population) in a timely and economical manner using information resources locally held, as well as from other organizations (Evans, 2000). Librarians develop collections by buying or otherwise acquiring materials over a period, based on assessment of the information needs of the library's users.

Professionals (librarians) who work in the modern day libraries need continuous grooming or training in other to acquire core competencies and new skills that will make them not to be obsolete in this fast changing environment (Singh and Pinki, 2004). As a result of this, they (librarians) need to shift their attention from traditional library activities of collecting, processing, storing and accessing information, to offer or deliver customercentred automated information services; generated by using online/offline databases, eresources, e-journals, networks, consortia, etc.

Electronic Collection Development (ECD) vis-à-vis electronic library refers to collection of electronically formatted information resources from a variety of sources such as the Internet and the Web (Kovacs and Elkordy, 2006). In electronic or digital library collection development, librarians tend to make digitization recommendations rather than purchasing recommendations. They (librarians) do not evaluate what has been published, but rather evaluate what is within their collection that is most valuable and unique to users. To achieve this goal, librarians must be aware of the digital resources provided by other libraries or organizations. The emerging technological development of the past years, such as the electronic databases, online services, CD-ROMs and the introduction of Internet has radically transformed collection development and access to information in university libraries.

In any university library, a written collection development policy is an important tool for guiding all activities related to planning, building, selecting and acquiring library materials (Magrill and Hickey, 1984). It is one of the first pieces of evidence in determining whether a library is engaged in true collection development. University libraries are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of having a strong and constantly updated written collection development policy (Bostic, 1988). Collection development policies provide guidelines in the selection of materials and the allocation of funds. A written policy provides the rationale for the selection of individual items and ensures consistency and balance in the growth of collections.

At present, no known studies have been done on the state of Electronic Collection Development in Nigerian university libraries. This paper aims to fill this gap through a thorough assessment of the state of electronic collection development in three Nigerian university libraries in order to promote an effective electronic collection development in university libraries.

Research Questions

Four research questions were formulated to guide this study.

1. What is the state of electronic collection development in university libraries in Nigeria?

2. What are the appropriate methods for facilitating electronic collection development in university libraries in Nigeria?

3. What are the major impediments that are associated with electronic collection development in the university libraries in Nigeria?

4. What are the strategies for enhancing ECD in Nigeria University Libraries?

Methodology

The study employed a descriptive survey design. This type of research design seemed to be appropriate for this study because of the large body of data, with many variables which the target population of library respondents (Professionals and Paraprofessionals) were expected to tick as they applied to them.

The study was carried out in three university libraries, made up of two federal and one state -owned universities in Nigeria. …

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