Gender Influence on Managerial Efficiency of Academic Librarians in Nigeria

By Arinola, Adeola Adesoji; Oyewusi, Fadekemi Omobola | Gender & Behaviour, June 2009 | Go to article overview

Gender Influence on Managerial Efficiency of Academic Librarians in Nigeria


Arinola, Adeola Adesoji, Oyewusi, Fadekemi Omobola, Gender & Behaviour


This study discusses the influences of gender on managerial efficiency of academic librarians in Nigeria. The rationale for the study was to investigate if gender grouping has an influence on the managerial competence of librarians in Nigeria. The total enumeration sampling technique with a questionnaire instrument was used to collect data from 105 respondents and 89 questionnaires were found usable for the data analysis. The questionnaire was analyzed using SPSS.

The study revealed that there were more male than female librarians in the libraries used for the study while there were more academically qualified female librarians. Despite this, there were more male heads of unit and those in decision-making positions than their female counterparts. The study discovered that gender was not a factor used in getting to decision-making positions in Nigerian libraries rather qualifications and paper publications were used as determinants for getting into positions.

The paper also provides the justifications for the education of females in Nigeria and that the government should educate parents and guardians on the need to allow their children and wards to take the career of their choice.

Gender link is not a determinate of getting into managerial cadre in Librarianship in Nigeria. This article is of value to those interested in studying gender inequality.

KEYWORDS: Gender, librarians, Academic Libraries, Nigeria.

Gender issues emerge in the workplace when women are marginalized in leadership, decision making, power distribution, professionalism, selection for training and position of responsibilities, stereotyping among others. Numerous studies (Eno: 2000, Omogbai: 2002, Ogunrombi and Pisagih: 2003) have presented convincing evidences that sex-role socialization is the cause of the lack of women in high administrative post or leadership positions. For instance, at the time of this study (2007) the executive body of the Nigerian Library Association revealed that there were two female librarians in the national executive that occupied the post of the president and 2nd vice president. This is the first time the association would be having a female as president since its inception, these positions have always been dominated by male librarians, librarianship is often perceived as a women's profession, women outnumbered men in library work in all Anglophone speaking countries, as well as throughout Europe and the rest of the world where female are economically active. According to them, men outnumbered women in senior librarian positions. Women status and role in librarianship is inevitably linked to the social status of women in their society.

However, when one focuses on library and information services as a distinct sector, one sees that women's productivity in this sector in Nigeria has been quite extensive, not because the earliest protagonists in library and information were women (the first Nigeria professor in librarianship was a woman) but also that the field can compare with other professions. The need for the enhancement of the productivity of women in the library and information sector in Nigeria has arisen for many reasons. Since the sector has many women professionals, their productivity is very significant and should not be neglected. The underdeveloped status of Nigeria calls for increase in productivity to achieve rapid socioeconomic development.

The image and status of librarianship is said to be devalued because of the large presence of women. Despite this assertion, it should be noted that the LIS profession is now highly rated world wide, for example opening the Yahoo! Page it was noted that LIS courses are now advertised like other professions on the Yahoo!. It has generally been observed that the higher the number of men in a field, the greater the prestige of the field. Information technology and the "science" component of librarianship are seen to be bringing in more masculine traits. …

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