MANAGEMENT AND USE OF SERIALS AND OTHER CONTINUING RESOURCES IN TWO UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN NORTH CENTRAL ZONE OF NIGERIA

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CONTENTS

                                                                                                                                                    Page

Title Page……………………………………………………………………………………..     i

Approval Page…………………………………………………………………………………    ii

Certification……………………………………………………………………………………   iii

Dedication……………………………………………………………………………………..    iv

Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………………    v

Contents……………………………………………………………………………………….   vi

List of Tables………………………………………………………………………………….    viii

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………     ix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

            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: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

            Conceptual Framework……………………………………………………………….   16

            Review of Empirical Studies………………………………………………………….   40

            Summary of the Literature review…………………………………………………….   44

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODS

            Research Design……………………………………………………………………… 45

            Area of the Study…………………………………………………………………….. 45

            Population of the Study……………………………………………………………… 46

            Sample and Sampling Technique……………………………………………………. 46

            Instrument for Data Collection………………………………………………………   47

            Validation of the Instrument…………………………………………………………..  48

            Method of Data Collection…………………………………………………………..   48

            Method of Data Analysis…………………………………………………………….   48

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

            Presentation and Analysis of Data…………………………………………………… 50

CHAPTER FIVE:  DSCUSSION, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION

            Discussion of Findings………………………………………………………………. 60

            Implication of the Study…………………………………………………………….. .61

            Recommendations…………………………………………………………………… 62

            Limitation of the Study……………………………………………………………… 62

            Suggestions for further Study……………………………………………………….. 63

            Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….. .63

REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………………….. 64

APPENDIX A:  INTERVIEW……………………………………………………………….73

APPENDIX B:  QUESTIONNAIRE (USERS)…………………………………………… .75

APPENDIX C:  QUESTIONNAIRE (LIBRARIAN)……………………………………….79

APPENDIX D: CHECKLIST……………………………………………………………….. 82

                                                               LIST OF TABLES            

Table 1: Distribution of instrument by institution

Table 2:  Distribution of respondents by designation

Table 3: Observation checklist on management and use of serials and other continuing resources

Table 4: Methods of acquisition of serials and other continuing resources

Table 5: Methods of organizing serials and other continuing resources

Table 6: Sources of serials and other continuing resources

Table 7: Accessibility of serials and other continuing resources

Table 8: Patrons’ use of serials and other continuing resources

 Table 9: Problems patrons’ encounter in the use of serials and other continuing resources

Table 10: Problem librarians’ encounter in the management of serials and other continuing resources

Table11: librarians’ suggestions on how serials and other continuing resources could be improved

 Table 12: patrons’ suggestions on how serials and other continuing resources could be improved

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the management and use of serials and other continuing resources in two universities in North Central zone of Nigeria. Seven research questions were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was 1600 users and 10 librarians and 50% participated in the study. The instruments for the data collection were questionnaire and interview. 600 copies were distributed to the users, out of which 552 copies were returned, representing 92% of copies distributed. Also 10 copies were distributed to the librarians and all the copies were returned representing 100% of the copies distributed, which is a response rate. To analyze the data, descriptive statistics were employed which includes percentages and mean to answer questions. The result obtained from the findings reinforced the fact that the University of Jos, Jos is more amenable to automation through electronic serials collections than Nasarawa State University, Keffi.   Serials services in both institutions under study are inadequate resulting in user’s apathy to the library. The study shows inadequate use of library by patrons as a result of inadequate infrastructure and information resources. Such that students also find it difficult to know when new materials are acquired in both libraries, possible suggestions on improvement were made: especially the provision alternative source of power. Conclusion and recommendations were made based on the findings of the study.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

            The universities are schools of education and centre of research. University library stems its objectives from its educational institution. The success of the university in accomplishing its message depends on the validity of its libraries, which are responsible for the educational and research process at the university. The mission of the library is part and parcel of the message of the university as being centred on education, research and community service. It helps the student, the researcher, and the professor carry out their job as it provides them with the varied sources of information. Besides, the library sorts out these sources and keeps them. Similarly, it is responsible for orienting library users to know how to find out sources of information and how to make advantage of them. As a source of information, university library comes first because it serves all educational and research functions of the university. It helps create new vistas of science and knowledge over generations. It connects the past and the present by means of continuity.

Apart from its research role, the university has an educational part in developing capabilities and faculties. Undoubtedly, university library is the centre of learning and scholarship, from which varied activities have radiated due to the treasures of knowledge it possesses and due to the services it provides for its users. These services such as provision of serials aid those library-goers to achieve their objectives, expectations and ambitions. Hence university community access to serials is primarily through the university library. In carrying out this onerous function university libraries should ensure that appropriate serials selected are based on the collection development policy of the institution (Anunobi, Nwakwo and Ezejiofor, 2010)

Serials and other continuing resources are one of the most important resources that faculties, postgraduate and undergraduate students rely on and which university libraries acquire for use are. Serials and other continuing resources(updating loose-leaf services, databases, and Web sites etc.) are print or non-print publications in any medium, defined in AACR2 2004 as issued over time with no predetermined conclusion, including bibliographic resources issued successively in discrete parts and integrating resources into which updates are incorporated without remaining discrete (periodicals, newspaper, monographic series).

In 2004, the International Federation of Library Associations [IFLA] renamed their serial section, serials and other continuing resources to reflect and respond to, ‘trends in our profession, the materials that serials librarians work with, and the digital information environment’. With the new name came a revised mission for the serial and other continuing resources section, which is to contribute to library service and librarianship through development of theory and practice concerning serials and continuing resources in all formats (databases, and websites).

Five key features distinguish serials and other continuing resources; first, by nature they are unlimited; they may be suspended but do not conclude. Serials and other continuing resources are also periodic; each publication is dated and numbered. The method of dating tells the intervals of publication. They have many authors, while books, except for collections and composite works, have single or joint authors. Serials and other continuing resources also differ in format from books. The format is simple because it must be produced at short intervals. It is the serialization that distinguishes serials from books and monographs, and it is the period that dictates format and price. And, for the most part serials and other continuing resources serve limited fields; the extent of their audience is varied.

Serials and other continuing resources have grown in importance because they contain a very large portion of the first appearance of important literature of imagination and criticism and practically the whole of the original work done in science and technology. For the latest and up-to-date opinions and development within the various subject disciplines, one would do well to look in the appropriate journals. As averred by Elaturoti, Fagbeja, Kolade and Oniyide (1990), it has been widely reported that researchers are relying more upon serials and continuing resources than books; in fact, serials constitute an important part of the library collection because the information contained in them is more current than those in published books. Fayose (1995, p.7) affirmed that, “periodicals are useful because they are the most up-to-date resources in the library and that the articles in periodicals are often written by experts in the field, therefore, they are reliable and the articles are precise and not as cumbersome to read as textbooks”. Where recency of information is of prime consideration, the serials have a distinct advantage over the book (Adubika, 2007). According to Anunobi et al. (2010), majority of texts/monographs produced for knowledge have their contents derived from serials articles. Also the importance of serials lies in its use for diverse purposes. They are used for leisure reading, scholarly research, teaching, professional reasons, and hobbies, to name only their most obvious purposes (Nisonger, 1998).

Also, continuing resources (databases, updating loose-leaf, websites etc) provide access to a greater number of titles than was previously possible with print subscriptions. Remote access saves researchers time in that they can trace resources and read appropriate articles from their desk tops. Continuing resources provide far greater search power in locating information (Brown, Lund & Walton, 2007). Wilkinson & Lewis (2003) reported that in the mid-twentieth century; researchers and computer scientists began to use computer technology to organize and retrieve information. University libraries that formerly only purchased and received physical items now pay to acquire continuing resources. ‘‘Undoubtedly, university libraries today expend the greatest proportion of their management effort and resources in providing access to the new electronic forms of information resources, and …electronic serials ’’ (Gregory 2000, p. 47). Futuristically, in A Perspective on the politics of Change from United States, Webster (1990) unveils a revolutionary outlook:

In the future, we envision electronic databases which will list available articles via a standard article number. Faculty and students will then, with a single key stroke, be able to order an electronic article to be delivered quickly to their workstations to be printed, stored, and accessed at will. Publishers could be compensated for use of their databases. This process would eliminate the cost of printing, storage,

[binding]

, and delivery. Libraries will no longer need to store unused journals, and readers will have access to a world of knowledge instead of just the materials held in their local library (p. 132).

Aina (2004) pointed out that management is concerned mainly with the human and material resources, activities and tasks of an organization devoted to the overall objective of users’ satisfaction. Serials management is an umbrella term that encompasses all the systems within an establishment for the creation and use of serials and other continuing resources (More, 2005). According to Wiggins, (2000) serials and other continuing resources management is ‘‘concerned with the acquisition, circulation, cataloguing and classifying of print and electronic serials and other continuing resources publications’’ (p.20). On the other hand Godson (2008) viewed serials management as ‘‘referring to issues involved in managing serials and other continuing resources in the library; these basic issues are the selection, the  planning of acquisitions, library organization of acquired serials and other continuing resources and their preservation’’(p. 15).Considering the unique characteristics and challenges posed by serials to librarians, in this study serials and other continuing resources management is defined as activities concerned with the availability, accessibility, acquisition, and organization  of serials in the library. All these variables have a relationship with the use of serials and other continuing resources in the library.

Availability of serials and other continuing resources are of upmost importance to librarians. Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) argued that availability of serials and other information sources means ensuring their presence in the library for immediate use. Aguolu and Aguolu further averred that availability of serials and other continuing resources, and other information sources should be viewed from both the national and instructional dimensions. They attribute the lack of availability of serials and other information sources to the steady proliferation of tertiary institutions- federal, state, private (universities, polytechnics, colleges of education), along with increases in students and faculty, and the diversification of courses  and academic and research programmes, without adequate information sources to meet the actual information need. They identified these as obstacles to availability of information sources in the library. Also Dike (1992) conducted research on the scarcity of information sources including serials in Nigeria and the threat to academic excellence. She was able to establish that non-availability of information sources has led faculty and students not to use library services. Buckland (1975) aptly analyzed and captured the frustrations and disappointment felt by users who fail to find the information sources they want in the library. He went ahead and outlined four basic relationships that should exist between user and the availability of information sources which are: the greater the popularity, the lower  the immediate availability; the longer the loan period, the lower the immediate availability, the shorter the loan period, the higher the immediate availability; also  the greater the popularity, the shorter the loan period has to be and the less the popularity, the longer the loan period can be, and of note, increasing the number of copies available, like shortening the loan periods, increases the availability of information source. However, availability of information sources such as serials and other continuing resources must be distinguished from accessibility.

Accessibility of information resources is a recurring theme in literature of library and information science because of its importance. Learning resources including serials might be available, that is, the library has acquired them, but inaccessible to those who need them for whatever reason (un-catalogued, miscatalogued, misshelved,etc) (Akobundu,2008).  Accordingly Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) posited that resources may be available in the library and even identified bibliographically as relevant to one’s subject of interest, but the use may not be able to lay hands on them. One may identify citations in indexes, but may not have access to the sources containing the relevant articles. The more accessible information sources are, the more likely they are to be used. Readers tend to use information sources that require the least effort to access. For information sources such as serials and other continuing to be available and accessible they must be acquired. 

Acquisition of serials and other continuing resources does not follow the same pattern as book acquisition. Acquisition is the process of locating and acquiring all types of materials for collection (Wilkinson & Lewis, 2003; Evans, 2003). Serials and other continuing resources may be acquired in the acquisitions department, separate department, or in a department that combines ordering and cataloguing operations. Regardless of which department or unit acquires serials, Chiou-sen (1995, p. 65) averred ‘‘a serials acquisitions operation that uses sound methods is the basis for effective serials collection development and user services’’. Acquisition of serials and other continuing resources is much more difficult than books. Most serials and continuing resources title are not published in trade publications. This is opposite of books where every new title appears in trade publications. Serials are therefore more elusive than books.  Librarians find it difficult to know when serials and continuing resources come into circulation or to acquire serials and other continuing resources before they become out-of-stock. So to be aware of serials, one has to watch several channels. While books are stocked by publishers and dealers, publishers of serials very often do not hold stocks. Consequently, serials are elusive, university libraries often come to acquire serials publications after volume 1or 2 has appeared. It is only then that a decision can be taken on whether to subscribe for the serial or not, and before this decision is made, the back issues may be out of stock.

Serials and other continuing resources must also be organized for use. White, (1983) emphasizes the importance of serials cataloguing as a step in organizing. Edoka & Anunobi (2008) posited the desire of users of serials and other continuing resources in university libraries to quick access to the current information contained in serials volumes and issues. Library serials and other continuing resources acquisitions are organized with that information need in mind. Tuttle (1983) averred that whether serials processing is centralized, decentralized, or integrated with other operations, serials requires organizing. Adhikari (2000) observed that serials organization begins with the technical section, which includes cataloguing and classifying or simple display of acquired serials according to title or subject coverage.By far the most popular method of organization is to have each individual serial and other continuing resource title stand on its own, whether in its own collection or taking up an entire community or sub-community.  Szilvassy (1996) lists the steps in bibliographic control for serials to include cataloguing and classification, filing and catalogue maintenance.

Academics and students find the use of serials and continuing resources indispensable in research and course work. University information seekers meet their information needs through the use of serials publications. Due to the use of serials in pure and applied scientific research, a large part of university holdings are serials, mainly journals and other continuing resources. Meeting user needs in the library environment requires the maintenance of serials holding. Aside from public service such as reference work, the major part of daily work comprises of great effort dealing with serials (Marklien, 1997, p. 26).

 But these valuable resources pose challenges of management in university libraries in North Central Zone of Nigeria, consisting of seven states: Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Abuja, Kogi, Kwara, and Niger States. One factor that is generally considered powerful predictor of the ability of university libraries to function and meet users demand for serials and other continuing resources is funding. Okogie (2000) noted that ownership and the generation of university in Nigeria often determine access and the amount of funds available to universities and their libraries. Consequent on Okogie’s assertion University of Jos library is better positioned to acquire resources especially in continuing form than Nasarawa State University library. Serials and continuing resources acquisition is hinged on continual financial commitment. Once a subscription is opened for a title, the library continues subscription thereby investing heavily on the titles (Mullis, 1992, De Marcas, 2000; Aina 2003). The huge financial commitment is also derived from changes in exchange rate, page increase, volume explosion, increase in postage and handling cost, cost of backbone, network problem, system breakdown as well as inflation (Brown & Smith 1980; EBSCO, 2001; Elliot, 2003). As a result, librarians find it difficult to maintain subscription to all journals that their users want to have access to. Mason (2007) pointed out that solution could be sought through commitment, perseverance, creativity, and library cooperation specially targeted at contributing to acquire licence to database.

MANAGEMENT AND USE OF SERIALS AND OTHER CONTINUING RESOURCES IN TWO UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN NORTH CENTRAL ZONE OF NIGERIA