This study examined administrative functions of para-professionals and job output in the university of Uyo main library. The study used four objectives, four research questions and four hypotheses. The study was guided by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and the expectancy theory of motivation. It employed survey design. Questionnaire was used to gather data. The population of the study was 64 para-professional. This study used the 64 library staff as sample size but 60 was used for the analysis data. The data obtained were analyzed using mean and standard deviation for the research questions and Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) to test the hypotheses. The study revealed significant relationships of planning, organizing, staffing and directingandjob output in the university of Uyo main library. The concluded of the need for libraries to significantly employ administrative functions of para-professionals to enhance job output
1.1 Background to the Study
Library staff can be categorized as professional, para-professional and support staff. The professional which are known as librarians, serve in leadership positions. They have at least two years degree in library science or library and information science. Para-professional Librarian is a trained aide who assists a professional librarian but is not ascertain to be professional librarians.Delaney and Bates (2015) posit that para-professionals have liberated professional librarians in the library from the need to perform any level function. James, Koch, and Shamchuk (2015) argued that though para-professionals in the library are seen as support staff, the library is now willing to give up many aspects of library practices to be performed by them. Delaney and Bates (2015) aver that the dramatic redistribution of the library work load has resulted in a wide zone of overlap in the tasks performed by both the professionals and para-professionals in the library. While Peacock and Wurm (2013) posit that there is no organizational and administrative gulf between the professionals and para-professionals librarian in carrying out the library functions.
Planning is the deliberate and preferred manner of preparing for library services in the future (Zhu, 2012). Planningaccording to Litwin(2009) leads to the fulfillment of the common goal of in any library and all the individual ideas should be subordinate to the achievement of the main aim. Haris (2011) posits that planning is an important function of a manager in library administration. Hammond (2009) avers that the importance of planning in any library is not only to enforce the library’s policies but also to operate and develop the library and its resources within the constraints of the budget.The plan will take into account the resources available t the library as well as community needs.
Organising means establishing a formal structure of authority. Once planning process has been completed, then it is followed by the process of organizing (Zhu, 2012). According to Litwin (2009) posited thatthe objectives are achieved by the combined efforts of different para-professionalsand professional librarians belonging to the library. Moreover, pattern of library organisation varies from library to library depending upon library’s objectives, users, type of staff, kinds of documents, finances, building, attitude of higher authorities and philosophy of the chief librarian. In the choice of a pattern of organisationcentralised administration and decentralised services should be the basic consideration. Since an organisation is a man based structure, therefore, it should not be considered as a permanent or fixed one. In case, goals and objectives are changed, then the library structure should also be altered to meet the changing requirements (Johnson, 2016).
Staffing is the whole personnel function covering a employment and training of employees and maintenance of favourable environment for carrying out work (Gremmels, 2013). The main aim of a staffing programme is to employ efficient employees in adequate number, who are capable of fulfilling the objectives of the library (De Long &Sivak, 2010). According to Cox & Myers (2010) a necessary environment should be builtup so that they feel motivated to put in their best. In addition, philosophy, policies and procedures behind a staffing programme must be understood and carried out rather faithfully at all levels of management.
Directing is established once planning organising and staffing have beenachieved, then action is required. But action cannot, take place without decisions to initiate action.This involves direction. Direction is defined as the continuous task of taking decisions aim incorporating them in specific and general orders and serving these orders (Zhu, 2012). Library administrators are constantly expected to issue orders with lay down library policies (Zhu, 2012). Directing is a complex process of getting thing done through people. The important of directing is decision making which consisted of intelligence activity signifying finding occasions for making a decision, design activity for finding possible courses of action and choice activity for choosing among courses (Peacock &Wurm, 2013).
Every institutionhas created an organizational structure that supports it organizational planning. Irrespective of the plan, the expected result is increased output and staff satisfaction as facilitators. Based on this, institutions that desire profitable output must have good administrative functions. The essence of staff satisfaction is to allow for the creation of individual and teams that are at their convenience perform the expected functions for an expected output. It is in the light of the above that this study sought to examine administrative functions of para-professionals and job output in the university of Uyo main library.
1.2 Statement of Problem
In the past, several forces have contributed to a broad redistribution of tasks within the library workplace. This redistribution of the library work load had created a new and unique class of library worker, the para-professionals. However, numerous challenges and opportunities had faced job output of para-professionals in the academic libraries as a result of broad redistribution of tasks within the library.
Today, para-professionals accomplish the administrative functions of the library and are routinely assigned tasks that a generation ago characterized the work of librarians.It has also resulted in a significant overlap in the tasks performed by both professionals and para-professionals, for the professional librarians have been curiously reluctant to give up many traditional aspects of their work that today can be performed satisfactorily by paraprofessionals.
In the nearest future, task overlap may cause the role blurring that, in turn, creates resentment in the library workplace and confuses the clientele who may not distinguish clearly between the para-professional and professional librarians. A close observation reveal that para-professionals are involved in the administrative functions perform in the library while the university of Uyo main library management claims that the functions are performed by professional librarians. It is based on these arguments that this study attempts to examine administrative functions of para-professionals and job output in the University of Uyo main library.