This research work is aimed at finding out the role of library committee in the development of an academic library: a case study of Imo state university. The benefits problems and reasons for the development of the committee are discussed. Questionnaires are sent to Imsu library and were collected back which the major instrument for data collection.
Opinions of people were gotten from questionnaire which was used in the frequency table.
Recommendations are made by the researcher on the ways and means of solving some of the problem hindering the development of the library committee in academic library.
BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The researcher would want to explain this topic by defining the term library committee. Library committee is defined as a group of people appointed by a larger group to deal with a particular matter in the institution. In other words they are fully involved in the planning and improvement of academic libraries in the institution.
According to Izebekher (1992) library committee is a crucial internal government unit of the library, a partner in progress and a force to drive home the demands and needs of the library in the academic board.
In this, the establishment of the library committee has become an accepted practice in academic libraries in Nigeria. Therefore in every well organized library, especially in the academic context, emphasis has been made on the existence of a result oriented library committee. In some academic libraries, they are as old as the library itself. According to Oduagwu (2006): library committee is the management of a library, the government of a library, the library board, library trustee board, library advisory committee etc. the library committee plays an important role, it is the committee that is responsible to provide an atmosphere where student and faculty alike will feel free to seek help of libraries and staff in obtaining information either from our own collection or from other sources. They also take part in the college programs as it strives to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff in their academic and research programs as well as providing materials for their leisure and reading needs. Library committee could be seen as a group of people appointed by the institution and government to control the entire library system. The library committee is the body of the library that makes policy. They are appointed by the institution and the government as well. Their appointment does not base because of their profession and trust but because of their ability for leadership, and are devoted to the conviction that information seeking, reading are very essential to the institution. However it should be noted that the future of the library will depend on the effectiveness with which trustees members are handling polices, and serve the interest of the library. They also advance library objectives, refrain from interfering with management and avoid politics. The absence of library committee in the institution means that when issues affecting the library are brought before the management and the academic board meeting will only be treated by the librarian and some times, he loses out in the final analysis. The researcher as a student of an institution notes that the absence of a library committee in the universities contributed to the low standard in the management of the academic library. The committee guide and promotes the library development by recommending and securing necessary funds from appropriate sources. They also guide the library and its property by making rules and regulations for the proper use of its resources and service. The committee is an advisory body and is responsible for the provision of the library services. The committee meets with the vice chancellor (VC) on the advice of the university librarian.
COMPOSITION OF A LIBRARY COMMITTEE: the library committee is comprised of faculty members representing all academic department and programs. The committee meets twice each semester and it is chaired by the library director. The main functions are:
a. To assist the university librarian to select materials and in recruitment of staff.
b. To serve their department and programs as a knowledgeable resource for library information.
c. The committee maintains a good relationship with the government and secures the interest of the library in the over all government organization and financial structure in planning and improvement.
d. They enlarge public and official understanding of the library, its purpose, problems and progress so that its public relationship may be fruitful.
e. They also communicate to the library director, the needs of their department and programs.
f. They report to the department and programs they represent and recommend appropriate faculty action.
g. The committee works and make sure that salaries of the workers are being paid and promotions are duly received.
A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF IMO STATE UNIVERSITY (IMSU) LIBRARY.
The Imo state university (IMSU) library is as old as the institution which was established in 1981, following the law passed on the 13th of April 1981 by the house of assembly during late Sam Mbakwe’s administration. The school was officially opened at two campuses Ekiti and Aba in 16th Oct, 1982. The school later changed site to Okigwe during major General Ike Nwachukwu’s regime and was re-located to Owerri from Okigwe in 1992 as contained in the law establishing the institution. Imo state university was opened in 1993, and Dr. Ononogbo was the first acting librarian of the university. Since then, the library stock been noted that the library has received gifts and donation, of materials from European union, individual, British consulted, and all its activities of the library geared towards the realization of the goals of its parents institution. The library consists of two relatively large building joined, it contains about 49,000 volumes of books and can accommodate between 250-300 readers. Membership of the library is by payment of fee after which a library card is issued, and the library is open to all students. The activities of all the libraries are co-coordinated from the main library. This is to enable the library to provide effective services to it clients in various department and colleges of the institution.
1.2 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study is basically on the role of the library committee in the Imo state university Owerri. The areas to be covered in this study include:
1. The need to redress the situation by ways of seeking to, or the development of the committee in order to help the librarian and his staff to achieve the educational objectives of the institution for which the library was established.
2. The problems/impediments which the library had witnessed as a result of the absence of this library committee. These problems shall be viewed as they affect the library, the librarians, the student, as well as other users of the library.
3. Further more, this project covers the roles of library committee in the development of an academic library, an appraisal of its role in Imo state university Owerri (its creation till date).
1.3 AIMS AND PURPOSE
1. To act as a channel of information between the library and the academic development and programs.
2. To find out the important of operation of the library committee to the development of the academic library.
3. To represent teaching and research interests relevant to the library.
4. To find out the function of the library committee in academic library
5. Advice the library on collection, facility, and service policies and on new initiatives.
6. To promote the libraries role and enhance its effectiveness in the educational process.
7. To determine the statistic of problems that the researcher may experience thus:
i. If the library committee is really functioning in Imsu library.
ii. Whether the committee faces problem in the course of carrying out their duties and types of problem they are facing.
8. Provide advice to help the library to achieve its mission and realize its strategic plans.
The researcher will then want to let you know where the above information was gotten from. Also want to know the ability of the students, whether they know what a library committee is, their function and their problems of being absent in the institution. In an effort of getting information about this, questions are distributed to the student. The questions were collected back later in order to know their individual opinion.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
In this research work: the following research questions were posed to effectively address the users involved in this project.
1. Is there any problem encountered by not having a library committee in an institution.
2. Is there any impediment that is hampering the growth of library committee?
3. Who and who are involved in the committee?
4. what are their function
5. Is this committee important in the institution?
6. Are the students deriving any benefit from the committee?
1.6 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It has been noted that the academic library practices in many universities in the country is nothing to write home about. It is true that it is not only one factor that is responsible for the imperfection in the universities libraries; such the library committee can be having influence in matters affecting the libraries. However the committee becomes unavoidable in every academic library distribution because of its decisive roles. The absence of library committee in any university has been a concern to most people whose interest lie on the library and documentation services. The researcher duel into this area of study, the reasons behind the continued absence of the library committee in the universities.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
It is hoped that this research will go beyond finding the problems being envisaged to provide recorded knowledge of an ideal academic library situation. By elaborately discussing the topic, a good reference material will be achieved at the end.
By usefulness of this work to students of library and information science discipline in term of reference material, clarity of expressions herein, etc will be great. Nevertheless, after reading this piece of work, the decision for one to join the campaign in advocating a library committee in each of the Imo state university will be seen by both the researcher and the institution as underscoring all other aims.
IFIDION, S.E (1998) “essential of management fro African universities libraries” Lagos: library service ltd. P.156.
ODUAGWU, E.A (2006): library and information management, Owerri: tiny Ben p.41.
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AJE, BENKO .O (1996); contemporary development in librarianship; London lib association.
Yak.a. Izerbekhai (1996); the standard of practices fro university libraries, in Nigeria.