Impact of Electronic Security Systems in the Security of Information Resources in Federal University Libraries in Southern Nigeria

By Chioma, Ezeabasili Augusta; Nwosu, Revd Prof Obiora | Library Philosophy and Practice, December 2018 | Go to article overview

Impact of Electronic Security Systems in the Security of Information Resources in Federal University Libraries in Southern Nigeria


Chioma, Ezeabasili Augusta, Nwosu, Revd Prof Obiora, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

Libraries in Nigeria have suffered severely in the hands of threats to information resources such as theft of library books and equipments, book mutilation, vandalism, arson, delinquent borrowers, displacing arrangement of materials, disaster such as flood, insect/rodents infestation and fire outbreak. So many manual measures have been adopted to tackle this, but all proved abortive. The only reliable security measure sensitive to this problem is the installation and regular use of electronic security systems.

In this period of technological advancement, the regular use of electronic security devices will undoubtedly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of collection protection in academic libraries (Maidabino, 2012). Electronic security systems are devices that are used with the aid of electrical apparatus to secure library materials, they also help libraries to control, minimize or avoid library materials theft and unethical losses (Rajendran & Rathinasabapathy, 2007). Some major electronic security systems that can be of immense usefulness to academic libraries include electronic surveillance cameras (Closed circuit television- CCTV), 3M library security systems (electronic gates), Radio frequency identification (RFID) system, Perimeter alarm system, movement detectors, fire alarm system (Osayande, 2011). The electronic security systems have been tested and trusted. There is no need spending money all the time on replacement of library materials that are lost due to threats to information resources when the electronic security systems are there to help us curb these threats.

Literature Review

According to Tomaiuolo in Cuddy and Marchok (2003), electronic security systems which began to be used in the early 1970's are the most effective means of controlling theft, and many other library crimes. Bahr (1984) asserts that most libraries installing electronic security systems report loss reduction of 60% to 95%; this shows they are highly effective. Electronic security systems serve three main purposes. First, the mere presence of a system can act as a deterrent to crime. Second, if an intrusion occurs, it will be detected. Finally, the system will notify appropriate personnel, making apprehension of the intruder possible. Adewuyi and Adekanye (2011) attests that the electronic detector machine at the University of Lagos Main library has significantly assisted in detecting theft cases in their library. Osayande (2011) unveiled that academic libraries have suffered adversely from security threats and other anti-social menace, that the installation of electronic security systems in selected University libraries in South west Nigeria has drastically improved the situation. Osayande(2009) articulated that the installation of electronic security systems at the University of Kentucky reduced book theft, mutilation and so many other library crimes.

According to Rathnabahu (2012), the electronic security systems at the University and special libraries of Sri Lanka, monitors for criminal activities, monitors hard to see areas, review recorded video to resolve disputes, archive speakers or special events, protects employees and students. Many libraries attest to the effectiveness of electronic security systems on library crimes. Speaking to the times of India on the 16th of October, 2012, S.B. Patil, Chief Librarian, Karnataka University Library, India, said "After installing the CCTV's we are now relaxed as we need not worry about what is happening inside the library. We can monitor all activities of students in all the floors from the counter and cases of book theft have come down considerably." Vikas Nidagundi, a final year student of Karnataka University also said "I was finding it difficult to concentrate on my studies when some mischievous students used to play music on their mobile phone and talk loud in the library, but after the cameras have been placed, there is silence in the library as wrong doers fear action. …

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