Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Collection Development Policy and User Satisfaction in University Libraries in Rivers State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Collection Development Policy and User Satisfaction in University Libraries in Rivers State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

One of the fundamental functions of any library is to ensure the quality of its collection development. Satisfying users' needs in the academic libraries has been the primary objective of libraries and librarians (Ijiekhuamhen, Aghojare & Omosekejimi, 2015). In order to achieve this, there are standard policies to guide the effective selection of library collection to enhance quality service delivery to users. The American Library Association (ALA) in Adomi 2006 describes collection development policy as the document which defines the scope of a library's existing collections, plans for the continuing development of the resources, identifies collection strengths, and outlines the relationship between selection philosophy and the institution's goals, general selection criteria, and intellectual freedom.

Collection Development Policy (CDP) aims at consolidating library acquisition practices to result into users' interest to use the library. The library as a service rendering organization is established with various sections or units to ensure the attainment of library objective of getting knowledge to solve information needs. The acquisition section of the library takes charge of purchasing the relevant information resources in the library. It is important that this section in libraries adhere to the policies because it is the blueprint to guide against poor library collections which may result in user's dissatisfaction. Johnson (1994) in Adomi (2006) further stated that "libraries without collection development policies are like business without plan". Ikem (1995), Sambo, Abu-udenyi, Enite and Musa (2014) opines that collection development policy is the vehicle through which the library achieves the goals of its readers' services. Unfortunately, many libraries do not follow this policy in building their collections, perhaps, due to lack of standard and uniformity in the application of this policy among the staff concerned which seems to be the issue. This in turn affects the satisfaction of the information need of the user. The unit is thus, governed by CDP formulated and implemented by experts in the field of librarianship. The implementation of the library CDP for the realization of users' satisfaction cannot be overemphasized.

Implementation of Collection Development Policy (CDP) is therefore the wheel of progress required for successful execution of library services as well as providing reading materials to enhance educational objectives of the library. Collection development Policy implementation can strategically be used to attain desired results. This according to Okereke (2003) and Uhegbu (2007) can lead to improved system of doing things and consequently enhancing satisfaction particularly in libraries. Applegate in Sivathaasan (2013) defines user satisfaction as "a personal, emotional reaction to a library service or product".

Morris (2004) hints that as a result of policy implementation, libraries improve the intellectual content of school's academic programmes. In the same vein, CDP improves the library's stock of information resources. Libraries as agent of information dissemination must thus be subjected to sound CDP formulation and effective implementation to enhance users' satisfaction with its use. Udofia (1997) notes that library helps in encouraging the development of skills in reading, prompting readers to literary appreciation, providing a source of subject information and intellectual development as stimulating factor in education. This the library does by adopting a develop collection policy to be fully implemented.

The CDP statement of a library as a matter of importance is very strong against lack of standards. There must be a set standard for libraries and their services. These standards must include building, staffing, collections, funding, services and also how to manage them. The necessary professional, technical and other auxiliary staff should be planned for and employed to take care of media and other audio visual equipment to be in the library. …

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