Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Public Relations Practices for Enhanced Services Delivery and Librarians' Image in School Libraries in Abia State, South East Nigeria

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Public Relations Practices for Enhanced Services Delivery and Librarians' Image in School Libraries in Abia State, South East Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Good public relations are essential for the survival and continuous relevance of the library in today's world of competitive economy. Public relations is both poly - sectorial and multi- disciplinary. This means that it manifest in every activity of life. This is because individuals, associations, institutions and cultures always aim at building positive image and strong relationships with members of the society within which it operates. Nnadozie (2016) posited that public relations is the promotion of good rapport and beneficial collaboration between the library and the public that populate its operational community. This is achieved through deliberate policies and services, distribution of interpretative and promotional materials, development of neighbourly interaction and the assessment of public opinion cum reaction. It is the art by which organisations achieve social harmony and mutual understanding with the people which it interfaces .Irrespective of the methods, practice, or strategies used by the public relations officer, it is always , aimed at building a positive image and strong relationship with the organisation's publics. This facts corresponds with the preposition of Nnadozie and Okeke (2015) that despite noticeable variations in the methods, strategies and tools, the aim of public relations has always been anchored on the need to maintain good social standing, communicate activities effectively and facilitate mutual understanding amongst members of the community. Every organisation no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. In today's competitive market, reputation can be a company's biggest asset. Public relations activities and practices always aim at protecting the reputation of an organisation. Public relations is therefore, defined as a planned, deliberate and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics. (Epstein, 2003 and Aghadinuno, 2013). This definition was amplified by Nnadozie (2016) who highlighted some of the salient issues on which public relations is based. The first of these points is that public relations is not a haphazard undertaking as it is organised and implemented on a continuous or cyclic base with the intention of projecting a positive public image. Public relations aims at maintaining mutual understanding between the organisation and the various publics from which it draws support, goodwill and patronage. The third issue is that public relations is a veritable change agent through which poor perception and other negative attitudes can be converted into mutual understanding and cooperation.

School libraries are conceived as libraries found in pre-tertiary institutions such as nursery, primary and secondary schools. Aliyu (2007) defined school library as a collection of relevant learning, teaching ,viewing, reference books housed in each school reasonably and suitably organised by trained staff to supply materials for teachers and pupils at relevant level to enrich the subject and the teaching methods and resources. A school library is useful in literacy work from the earliest stage because it encourages good reading habits to be formed when children are young. Nothing is as important as to the quality of library services provided to library patrons whether academic public, special, or school library as the quality and range of resources selected, acquired, and retained by a library. A school library may be seen by some to be small and inconsequential, but the fact that it is part of the overall school system is critically looked at, it becomes obvious that as much as the collection of a university library is to its community, so also is the collection of a school library to its pupils and staff. (Badawi, 2004)

The objectives of school libraries is to acquire, process, and make available to its users, a wide range of books and audio visual materials to supplement and enrich the teaching and learning situation in schools. …

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