Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

User Delinquency as a Factor Affecting Effective Service Delivery in University Libraries in Ekiti and Ondo State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

User Delinquency as a Factor Affecting Effective Service Delivery in University Libraries in Ekiti and Ondo State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

The primary objective of every university library is to meet the information need(s) of members of the university community and also to help the university to achieve its objective of promoting learning and research. To achieve this, the university libraries usually deliver different services in order to meet the information needs of the university and that of the members of the university community. According to Madu (2010), "service delivery in libraries is the sum total of all library activities aimed at facilitating the use of the library and its resources" (p.4). It is the activity of a librarian in a university library within and outside available resources to provide answers to users' queries and meet their information needs. Dollah (2012) defined service delivery as giving of assistance to a user in search of information in a library. Aboyade (2013) opined that "library services is a sum total of all library activities aimed at facilitating the use of the library and its resources" (p.3). Service delivery is defined as the ability of a librarian to strive within and outside available resources to provide answers to users query and also to meet the overall information needs of the users (Olanlokun, 2013). Olanlokun further identified user education services, inter-library loan services, abstracting services, cataloguing services, reprographic services, bibliographic services, circulation services, reference services and information services as some of the services delivered in university libraries.

Also, Kumar (2012) explained that most services delivered in university libraries are information services. According to Kumar (2012:7) service (information) delivery is the "provision of information on demand which indicates that a user who makes a specific request will be provided answer to his query on demand". It is also the provision of information in anticipation which hopes to keep the users well informed and up to date in their field of specialization and in related subjects. The university library is to provide reference and information services to users (lecturers, students, researchers) who rely solely on the libraries for their desire and needed information in advancing knowledge. Therefore, the librarian is expected to possess a wide range of intellectual skills and desire to assist users, flair for organizing document, ability to search literature, to communicate fluently and have adequate knowledge of the resources.

More recently, there has been a steady decline in the delivery of different library services in university libraries. The quality of services also delivered in these libraries has also declined over time. Some library services are no longer delivered in many libraries for one reason or the other. Interactions with library users in different university libraries in Ekiti and Ondo States of Nigeria reveal that services such as interlibrary loan have since gone on extinction in many libraries as poor library cooperation has ensured that libraries no longer share resources with each other.

Furthermore, it has been observed that different factors could be the reason for the steady decline (in quality and quantity) of the services delivered in university libraries in Ekiti and Ondo State. Ebiwolate (2010) observed that due to poor infrastructure, inadequate funding, lack of human resources and high rate of unreturned borrowed books in the library, many libraries have failed to deliver services such as charging and discharging of library materials, inter library loan, book display and reprographic services. The consistent decline in the services delivered in university libraries in Ekiti and Ondo States of Nigeria have prompted many stakeholders and information practitioners to canvass for a state of emergency to be called on the nature of service delivery in university libraries in both states.

One variable that may affect effective service delivery in University libraries in the concerned states is users' delinquency. …

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