ASSESSMENT OF STAFF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR NON- PROFESSIONAL STAFF IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN NORTH EAST NIGERIA

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE                                                                                         i

DEDICATION                                                                                     ii

CERTIFICATION                                                                       iii

APPROVAL PAGE                                                                         iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                            v

TABLE OF CONTENT                                                             vi

ABSTRACT                                                                                        viii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                             1

Background of the Study                                                             1

Statement of the Problem                                                    11

Purpose of the Study                                                                12

Research Questions                                                             13

Significance of the Study                                                 14

Scope of the Study                                                           15

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW                                  16

Conceptual Framework                                                         16

Concept of University Library                                                   16

Concept of Staffing                                                                            22

Concept of Non-Professional Staff                                                       25

Concept of Staff Training and Development                               28

Concept of Assessment                                                                40

Types of Staff Training and Development programmes in University Libraries                  44

Relevance of Training Programme for Non-Professionals in University Libraries                           57

Attitude of Staff towards Training Programmes                                                                     59

Challenges of staff Training and Development                                  60

Strategies for Enhancing Staff Training and Development in University Libraries                         66

Theoretical Framework                                                                                                        68

Kirkpatrick evaluation model (Kirkpatrick, 1975)                                      68

Outcome Based Evaluation Model (Schalock, 2001)                                 70

Review of Empirical Studies                                                                    71

Summary of the Literature Review                                                       77

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD                                      80

Design of the Study                                                                      80

Area of the Study                                                                    80

Population of the Study                                                            81

Sample and Sampling Technique                                         81

Instrument for Data Collection                                                         82

Validation of the Instrument                                             84

Method of Data Collection                                                   84

Method of Data Analysis                                                                 85

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULT                                                          86

Summary of Findings   95

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION            98

Discussion of Findings                       98

Implication of the Study                                                               103

Recommendation                                                                              103

Limitation of the Study                                                                  104

Conclusion                                                                                104

REFRENCES                                                                                           106

APENDIX A: Population and Distribution of Non-Professional Staff in University

Libraries in North-East                                                     114

APPENDIX B: Sample and Sampling Techniques                        115

APPENDIX C: Interview Schedule                                                116

APPENDIX D: Assessment of Staff Training and Development Questionnaire  117

ABSTRACT

This study assessed staff training and development for non-professional staff in university libraries in North East Nigeria. The study was guided by seven (7) research questions. Descriptive survey was adopted for the study. The population for the study comprised all non-professional staff from the thirteen (13) university libraries in North East Nigeria totaling two hundred and seventy four (274) but due to security challenges in some part of the zone, the study covered only one hundred and ninety-four (194) in ten (10) university libraries. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire and interview. Data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The findings from the study revealed that majority of the staff training programmes were provided to high extent in the university libraries especially orientation programmes. The data also indicated that computer training/internet literacy is highly relevant in the university libraries. Beside, the study revealed that favouristism is the basis for selection processes of staff for training programmes. The finding pointed out that personal financial constraint and poor knowledge of ICT facilities are the main problems facing staff training and development programmes. The study brought to light that funding and adequate provision of training facilities (mostly current) should be provided by the management. The study made some recommendations among which are: The management of university libraries should induce their non-professional staff with finance to encourage them engage more in training programmes, develop training policies and guidelines for non-professional staff, selection of staff for training programmes should be based on merit, problems of poor funding and lack of computer training/internet literacy should be properly addressed by the management.

CHAPTER ONE

                                                        INTRODUCTION                                          

Background to the Study

University libraries are established in the universities to meet the information needs of the members of the community. This indicates that students, lecturers, and other users within the parent institution should be able to get the required information resources from these libraries. According to Ogunsola (2004), university libraries have long been recognized as the ‘Hearts’ of their universities. To fulfill their mission of supporting the educational objectives of their parent body, which include teaching, learning, research and cultural development, the libraries have to develop and maintain standard books, journals and audio-visual collections and services. The extent, to which the institution is able to carry out its laudable objectives, portrays how well the institution’s library has been supportive to it in the provision of all the essential information resources.

Aiyegunle and Moneme (2006) stated that university libraries are places where collection of materials are organized to provide physical, bibliographical and intellectual accesses to a target group by trained staff, who provide services and programmes related to the information needs of the users. The physical facilities necessary to support such a collection, staff and student (Tabs 2003). The staff required in university libraries need to have different competences. Edoka (2004) acknowledged this by stating that university libraries like any other establishments are designed and managed by  special groups of people whose job are to combine and utilize the organizational resources of men, money, information items and other resources to achieve organizational objectives. These individuals are regarded as ‘staff’ of the organization.

            According to Hawkins (1995), staff can mean the people employed by an organization especially those doing administrative work. Staff in an organization as the case maybe ae not only for administrative work but cuts across other technical services that an organization may provide for its client. Gill (2001) viewed staff as an important resource in the operation of a library. In order to provide the best possible service to the community that houses library, it is necessary to maintain well trained and highly motivated staff to facilitate effective use of the resources of the library and to meet the demands of the community. A library staff should have such qualities and skills like the ability to communicate positively with people, understand the needs of users, co-operate with individuals, knowledge of library materials and how best to access it, reassess to change methods of working to meet new situations, among others. Akpokurerie (2006) agreed that competent library staff in various aspects of library operations ensure that achievement of library operations and library objectives, which have to do with learning, teaching, research and services. To achieve all these, there is need for staff training programmes for all the staff working in the university libraries especially, the non-professional staff.

 The non-professional staff are the assistant library officers, senior library assistants, library assistants and library attendants. They do not possess any qualifications in library and information science. Oberg (2004) stated that non-professional or support staff constitute the largest force of library tasks and perform tasks that might not be directly related to library activities, such as clerical work but complementary to library tasks. They are also involved in library tasks such as bibliographic searching, charging and discharging of library materials, filing of cards, and shelving. Ibrahim (2001) stated that the non-professional staff  in university libraries do the routine activities and they help immensely in the running of the affairs of the library. In view of their level of education and method of recruitment, they require some training to make them perform their duties reasonably well. Internal training programmes, according to Ocheibi and Lawal (2002) help non-professional staff working in university libraries to understand library procedures and help them provide improved and quality services. Integrated with these is instruction in language development so that staff can express themselves clearly and correctly and can easily interpret instructions.

Training is a crucial element in ensuring positive users’ experiences within libraries.  According to Banjoko (2002), training is an organized procedure by which people acquire knowledge or skill for a definite purpose; it is a process of equipping the employees particularly the non-managerial employees with specific skills. Abikoye (2002) added that training is a systematic process of altering the behaviour, knowledge and/or motivation of employees in a direction to increase the trainer’s effectiveness and organizational goal achievement. Paradise (2007) also noted that training is an organized method of learning and development which expand the efficiency of individual, group and organization. According to the Economic and Social Commission (2003), training is a means to impart knowledge, and develop skills, and change attitudes and behaviour. Training involves the improvement of three basic characteristics knowledge, skills and attitudes. Azino (2014) stated that training in librarianship can be regarded as organized planning process to staff of the library to learn useful skills technically. In the context of this study, training is the process through which librarians learn new skills or techniques thereby achieving a change in behaviour and attitude.

Training and development in the most simplistic definition, is an activity that changes people’s behaviour. Increased productivity is often said to be the most important reason for training and development. Training and development are essential not only to increase productivity but to also motivate and inspire workers by letting them know how important their jobs are and giving them all the information they need to perform those jobs of which librarian and library staff are not exempted. Olaniyan and Ojo (2008) added that training and development of library staff can solve a variety of manpower problems, which militate against optimal productivity in institutions. These can be summarized as increasing productivity, increasing the quality of work and raising morale of personnel; helping to develop new skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes for work; using rightly new tools and machines, processes and methods; reducing waste, accidents, turnover, lateness, absenteeism, and other overhead costs in organizations; implementing new or changed policies or regulations, fighting obsolescence in skills and technologies; increasing performance which meets the standard of performance for the job; developing replacements schedules; preparing people for advancement, improving manpower deployment; and ensuring the survival and growth of the institutions in all times.

Staff development is a veritable tool available  to institutions to enable them make the best of their staff potentials. According to The National Staff Development Council (2001), staff development provides direction for designing a professional development experience that ensures educators acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. According to Treep (2012), staff development is a program which guides and encourages employees to acquire knowledge, increase their skills, and develop their abilities on a continuing basis, coordinated effort to help employees learn to do their job better and  continuous improvement of the organization through the growth and development of the individual to increase the effectiveness of all staff.

Effective staff development program tries to create recognizable link between the personal and professional growth of staff. According to Khan, Idress and Khan (2013), library staff development is the process directed towards the personal and professional growth of employees and other personnel. Every institution seeks to attain optimum productivity using the available human and material resources. Optimum productivity can scarcely be achieved without a well-planned and implemented staff training and development programmes geared towards improving the status and capabilities of employees.

The selection process is designed to find people who have the skills and abilities necessary to carry out required job duties. But to become an asset to an organization, new employees generally need some additional training. They need to learn about their work environment and about their specific job responsibilities. Also, they need to become familiar with the organization’s policies and procedures, and learn how they themselves fit into the work group.

Corroborating the above point, Azino (2014) asserted that training and development is an important means of changing the lifestyle of humans. When one refuses to be updated, one becomes outdated. For this reason, the following have been summarized as the reward of training and development:  Increased knowledge, skills, and the development of positive behaviour and attitude to work, increased organizational productivity and quantity products, improved workers moral, reduced turnover rate among workers, brings about sense of belonging among employee and reduces the rate of absenteeism, brings about better coordination of both human and non-human resources within the organization as it helps to save supervisor’s time and enhances employee’s chance for promotion.

It can be seen that there are various needs for training programmes especially for non-professional staff. Through the training scheme, it is possible to maintain a library that is of high standard, to keep the library alive, living and very effective despite the changing time. For staff to perform their task effectively, libraries usually assist their staff to equip themselves with skills they think they might require to enable them perform their tasks better. This could be in the form of training course, workshops, conferences and professional attachments. Some libraries provide staff development in which staff members are assisted to obtain higher qualifications in library and information work.

The importance of staff training and development have since been realized by most Nigerian libraries, particularly, university libraries. This led most of the libraries to establish in-house training and development programmes to train and ensure the development of their staff particularly the non-professionals. While the professionals and para-professionals obtain their degrees and diplomas respectively before joining the library and are made to attend seminars, conferences and workshops outside the library as continuing education, the non-professionals are left with no option. Therefore, the in-house training programme is essentially created to cater for this category of staff. The professional and para-professional staff have little time for training staff in the variety of skills needed in a particular area and then reluctant to rotate their staff to give them wider experience. Change persists as one of the major concerns and motivators to professional development in librarianship. With the increasing variety of formats in which information is available, the expanding dependence on automated systems, the shifting nature of library clientele and the demand for librarians with the skills to cope with the growing size and complexities of libraries, the profession has begun to assume a greater responsibility for the provision of adequate programmes of training and development for its staff members. Staff training and development have gained prominence because employees need to learn how to work with new equipment and processes, especially non-professional staff. This limits the usefulness and the awareness of the non-professional staff. They feel there is no interest in their future so they often move to other jobs.

The only standards available for promotion are formal education and the supervisor’s assessment. Studying privately for the General Certificate of Education may just not be possible for some junior staff but an internal training programme gives another means of evaluation for promotion and encourages staff to learn about the total operation of the library.

Assessment is part of a planning process focusing on identifying and solving performance problems. These performance problems may be related to knowledge, skills, and attitudes. According to Miller and Osinski, (2002), there are three levels of needs assessment: organizational analysis, task analysis and individual analysis. Assessment according to Umenwa (2010), is a judgment about something based on an understanding of the situation. Assessment is an essential aspect of the library operation. With that, it seeks to know how effective the library is serving the needs of its users. The library needs to evaluate services’ delivery and incorporate new knowledge, skills and approaches into future service delivery. To make improvement of future services, assessment in the library provides insight into the perceptions and needs of the information users and reveals trends in the service delivery and instruction. No library will operate well without the support of non-professional or supportive staff but yet, the users kept complaining on the services of libraries. This raises the question that led to the need for assessment of non-professional staff. Therefore, it becomes necessary to assess the level of non-professional staff of the university libraries in North East Nigeria.

Globally, different institutions provide training and development programmes to their employees for the improvement of their skills and abilities. These programmes were developed for employees in order to line up their skills with changing jobs and to also ensure that these programmes were adding value for the growth of their institutions. According to McClelland (2002), the significance and value of training and development have long been recognized. The exponential growth in technology with its effect on the economy and society at large, the need for training and development are more pronounced than ever especially in social institutions like the university libraries. Peretomode and Paretomode (2001) emphasized that training and development are geared towards improving upon works performance with the ultimate aim of achieving set organizational goals. Connor (2009) observed that library staff training and development are crucial elements in ensuring positive users’ experiences within libraries and new employees greatly need additional training about work environment and specific job responsibilities to become familiar with the organization policies and procedures, and to also learn how to fit into the work group. Staff training and development programmes are veritable tools, which an organization employs to keep its staff abreast of a new change in job roles. Azino (2014) categorized types of training and development programmes into three forms namely: on-the-job training method (OJM1), off-the-job training method (OJM2) and simulation techniques (SM). Zakari and Obi (2005) pointed out multitude of training and programmes that are available to all cadres of employee (on-the-job and off-the-job) such as in-service training, in-house routine orientation, job rotation, personalized training, continuing education, refresher course, seminars and symposia, vestibule training and apprenticeship applicable to non-professional staff and also necessary for staff development.

 Third world university libraries are not ‘islands’ in the information world. There is the need for them to move with the rest of the world, in the provision of quality information. As stated by an Australian born voluntary librarian, “we have to come into the world of technology sometime, otherwise we shall be left behind by the big countries” (Partridge, 1998:12).

According to Nabuyanda (2006), nowadays librarians and library staff task have broadened with added responsibilities placed on them by the demands of the diverse research needs of the clients. They are challenged to be open minded and approachable to queries while knowing how to satisfy the information needs of the clients. A lot of current issues including information on HIV/AIDs, terrorism, environmental matters, politics and sports will be brought to their attention. Much as each individual library surveyed has their own unique features of information provided to the users depending on the type of courses provided, there are a lot of similarities in the challenges being faced. From the assertions above, it is obvious that training and development, no matter the level of the staff, in an institution or organization are important tools to enhance the performance level and increase productivity as well as coping with new challenges of which staff of university libraries are key stakeholders. The absence of training and development activities usually tend to affect the quality of service, professional career development and seemingly affecting productivity in the libraries including the university libraries.

In order to provide users with excellent services, the university libraries in Nigeria need staff well versed in all facets of their work. This is because librarians perform unique role in the society which no one else can exactly do. This is why Kenerson (1997) stated that all categories of library personnel in all types of library have needs to learn; often for a number of reasons. The daily task and major issues that confront individuals require them to apply their knowledge and skill appropriately to each situation. He further stated that universities are experiencing a profound change as a result of automation of its holdings as well as its networking capabilities to the world of information resources. Indeed, technology is the primary driving force behind this rapid rate of transformation. The catch phrase of  Zhang (2004) which is ‘do more with less’ has forced university libraries to place a high priority on the continual growth and development of their staff. Notwithstanding the importance of collections and services, the staff members remain the library’s most important and expensive resource. In support of this, Meggison (2001) stated that the success or failure of library’s activities depends largely on human resources at its disposal. University libraries have been significantly influenced by these transformations.  Abifarin (1997) opined that staff training programme is an important factor in motivation. If we are able to engage people through training, its impact on them and the library is immeasurable.

The National Universities Commission NUC (1996) in its draft manual on university libraries stressed that:

The Librarian should ensure regular training and development of all his staff, He should encourage illiterate staff, if any, to go for adult literacy classes to ensure their retention and progress in a ‘book’ institution such as the university library. The librarian should encourage all staff, when appropriate, to go for higher education. Library assistant for diploma in library science, graduates for master’s and doctorate degrees, short courses for administrative and secretarial staff. Sponsorship for any training should be based on hard work. The librarian should encourage staff to participate in continuing education programmes. The staff should be sponsored to conferences, seminars and workshops; they should be encouraged to participate actively by presenting papers. The library staff seminar papers usually help the staff in these external seminar/workshop and conferences. (p. 51-52)

The manual also notes that:

There is so much professional expertise available locally and internationally that the librarian should tap these sources for training his staff. Through staff exchange between his staff and those of other institution, his staff should be able to gain additional experience and knowledge form experienced hands in other library situation. (p. 52)

Whether it is university, public or special library, the need for proper training and development cannot be over-emphasized. There is no doubt that training and development in its entirety are beneficial to both the employee and the organization. The organization can better meet its goals by providing employees with new knowledge necessary for performing the job satisfactorily when an employee also performs poorly, the reason may not be that he or she does not want to do the job well. What he/she needs is training

 The establishment and development of university libraries in North East Nigeria is very necessary for the development of their parent institution – universities.  According to the National University Commission (2013), that there are 13 approved universities in North East; among them , 6 are federal, 5 are states and 2 are private universities, namely: Modibo Adama University of Technology, Yola (MAUTECH); American University of Nigeria, Yola (AUN); Adamawa State University, Mubi (ASU); Abubukar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi (ATBU); Bauchi State University, Gadau (BSU); Federal University, Kashera (FUK); Gombe State University, Gombe (GSU); University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Taraba State University, Jalingo (TSU); Federal University, Wukari (FUW); Kwararafa University, Wukari (KUW); Federal University, Gashua (FUG) and Yobe State University, Damaturu (YSU). By this, it means that there are not less than 13 university libraries. It must be realized that university library being an integral academic part of the university generally, emerged naturally with its parent institution.

ASSESSMENT OF STAFF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR NON- PROFESSIONAL STAFF IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN NORTH EAST NIGERIA