The Management of Staff Records at Delta State University Library, Abraka, Nigeria

By Akporhonor, Blessing Amina; Iwhiwhu, Enemute Basil | Library Philosophy and Practice, January 2007 | Go to article overview

The Management of Staff Records at Delta State University Library, Abraka, Nigeria


Akporhonor, Blessing Amina, Iwhiwhu, Enemute Basil, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

Information recorded in paper and electronic files help managers, particularly chief executives, to direct, control communicate, plan, formulate policies, and make decisions (Uwaifo, 2004). The availability of records is crucial in attaining organizational goals. Perhaps more important is the proper management of these records. To be of maximum value, records must be organized and properly managed.

Records management practice in Nigeria has a number of problems. They include insufficient skilled and experienced records management personnel, low priority of records management in the scheme of things, and insufficient funds (Afolabi, 1991). There is the need for records management in Delta State University Library; it will help in planning, decision making and implementation.

Objectives

The objectives of this study specifically include:

* To determine the components of the records management operation

* To get information about the filing system used in records management

* To find out how records are stored and made secure

* To investigate whether the library has a retention/disposition schedule

* To understand the calibre and qualifications of the records management personnel

* To suggest improvement in storage and retrieval of records

Literature Review

As an organizational resource, records serve many functions in the operation of an establishment such as a university library. Records represent all documentary materials such as correspondence, forms, reports, drawings, maps, photographs, and appear in various physical forms, e.g., paper, cards, microfilm, tape, CD-ROM, etc., which can be preserved for short or long periods.

According to Popoola (2000), what actually keeps the civil service going in any modern system of government is recorded information called "records," which are used for planning, decision making, and controlling. The need for a records management programme in all organizations cannot be overstressed in the digital age.

The purpose and essence of any record system is the right information in the right place in the right order, at the right time for the right person at the lowest cost. For this feat to be achieved, an integrated records management programme is needed (Baje, 1998). Enwere (1992) argues that the unintegrated records management programme in Nigerian public service has led to inefficiency in administration and to the loss or unavailability of vital information needed for decision-making.

As records management developed, it has also incorporated principles integral to information science as "the means of processing information for optimum accessibility and usability, concerned with the origination, collection, organization, storage, retrieval, interpretation, transmissions, transformation and utilization of information" (Vakkari and Cronin, 1992). Such principles are adopted by records managers in seeking to enhance the access and use of records.

Stressing the use of technology in records management, McDonald (1995) opines that "in developing record keeping solutions, it is necessary to understand the evolution that is taking place in the use of technology." The application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the management of records therefore, will go a long way in making such records accessible and usable.

Employee records may be defined as "record that contain initial application forms, results of physical examination, interviewers' notations, test scores, periodical appraisals, transfer and promotions, disciplinary actions, releases and retiring wages, salaries, taxes paid, contributions and similar items" (Soveign, 1984). Some or all the following information may be also included in an employee file: full name, address telephone number, age and sex, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, membership in trade union etc. …

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