TITLE PAGE                                                                                                             I

APPROVAL PAGE                                                                                                   II

CERTIFICATION                                                                                                     III

DEDICATION                                                                                                           IV

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                                       V        

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                           VI

LIST OF TABLES                                                                                                     VIII

ABSTRACT                                                                                                               IX

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                   

Background of the Study                                                                                           1

Statement of the Problem                                                                    9

Purpose of the Study                                                                            10

Research Questions                                                                                    10

Significance of the Study                                                                        11

Scope of the Study                                                                                                     12


Conceptual Framework                                                                      14

Concept of Medical Libraries                                                                   14                   

Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries                                                  18

Management of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries                   22

Challenges in Management of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries                 32

Strategies for Improvement of Electronic Resources Management in Medical    Libraries in South South                                                 37

Theoretical framework                                                              42

System Theory                                                                                       42

Review of Related Empirical Studies                                      43                   

Summary of the Literature Review                                                     52


Design of the Study                                                                         54

Area of the Study                                                                                                       54

Population of the study                                                                  55

Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                        55

Instrument for Data Collection                                                          55

Validation of the Instrument                                                                  57

Method of Data Collection                                                                 57

Method of Data Analysis                                                                       57

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS                                                                               59


Discussion of Findings                                                                      71

Implications of the Study                                                                           79

Recommendations of the Study                                                                  80

Limitation of the Study                                                                     81

Suggestions for Further Research                                                     81

Conclusion                                                                                        82


Appendix A: “Medical Library” Management of Electronic Resources Questionnaire                                                                    88

LIST OF TABLES                                                Page

Table 1: Mean Rating and Standard Deviation of Respondents on the critical

               elements in planning electronic resources in medical libraries in

               South-South of Nigeria.                                                  59

Table 2: Mean Rating and Standard Deviation of Respondents on ways of

               organizing electronics resources in medical library in the South-South of Nigeria.                                                                                                    61

Table 3: Mean Rating and Standard Deviation of Respondents on the control measures employed in managing electronic resources in medical libraries in the South-South Nigeria                                                     63

Table 4: Mean Rating and Standard Deviation of Respondents on the challenges faced in managing electronic resources in the South-South of Nigeria.      65

Table 5: Mean Rating and Standard Deviation of Respondents on the strategies for enhancing the management of electronic resources in medical  libraries in South-South Nigeria.                                                                  67


This work investigates the management of electronic resources in medical libraries in South South Nigeria. Accordingly, six research objectives were drawn for the study which include; to examine the critical elements in the planning process in the management of electronic resources; to identify the methods used in organizing electronic resources; to identify the electronic resource management competencies possessed by professionals in medical libraries; determined the extent of control in managing electronic resources; ascertain the challenges faced in management of electronic resources as well as proffer strategies to enhance effective management of electronic resources in medical libraries in South South Nigeria. A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study with a population of 71 medical libraries staff. Five medical libraries consisting of 71 librarians were sampled out of the 14 universities that were used for the study. The questionnaire consist of 76 items which were the instrument used to collect data and were also validated by three research expert in the department of library and information science university of Nigeria Nsukka. They were presented in tables and analyzed using the mean. Findings shows among others that each of this medical library, developed a prioritized list of goals for electronic resources, create small electronic resources committee, laying down policies and procedure for attaining objectives, developing policies to determine resources to catalogued, prepares and properly executes electronic resources budgets; anticipate future problems, adopting necessary measure and making policy change as well as matching recommendation from faculties based on the available funds. The use of MARC, OCLC and OPAC are the most adequate methods of organising electronic information resources, Electronic Resources Control System will be adopted to regulate the use of the resources to avoid abuse behaviour. The problem in the electronic resources management is inadequate financing and lack of computer literacy skills. Following these findings, recommendations were made to the effect that medical libraries should initiate training programs for library staff in collaboration with campus computer centers, adequate funding should be provided for the medical library to facilitate its services, medical librarians should design library websites to provide links to their electronic/online resources and web/internet based services.



Background of the Study

Medical libraries are institutions designed to serve physicians, health professionals, students, patients, consumers and medical researchers in finding health and scientific information to improve, update, access or evaluate healthcare. Medical libraries are typically found in hospitals, medical schools, private industries and in medical associations. A typical medical library has access to Medline, select/index and organized information on the web, print and digital journals collections and print reference books. However, to gain accreditation, every college of medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, teaching hospital or public health is required by law to have a medical library appropriate to the need of the school as specified by an accrediting body such as the liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)’s standard. Some academic medical libraries are located in the same building as the general undergraduate library but most are located near or in the medical college or faculty. Ita (2012) defined medical libraries as institutions established to provide services and information resources to support and advance the mission to patient care research and bio medical education for health institution.   

The purpose of establishing medical libraries according to Scharcher (2001) is to ensure that health care providers have access to reliable, relevant and up-to-date published information that enhances the quality of care.

 Thus, the hospital libraries are established to serve physicians, pharmacists, nurses, students on training and other allied medical staff who discharge their responsibility in the clinical areas of the hospitals. While the academic medical libraries which this study is based is meant to serve both undergraduate, postgraduate students, lecturers and other allied medical health researchers within and outside the faculty where the library is located. Fawowe (1987) in Ita (2012) assert that medical libraries tend to have homogeneous information resources dealing mostly with nothing but medicine and other medical related discipline. At times, they also experiment some diversification so that medical libraries will have at their disposal non medical literature for general knowledge. In view of this, medical library managers are being asked to meet the need of patrons, communities, institutions, corporations, and the society at large; even as they face competing demand and limited resources at their disposal. However, the manual or traditional ways of management prints resources as a result of increase in activities and overwhelming information resources in various formats in the last three decades has created a shift in the cultural perceptions on electronic resources management. The materials that now need to be controlled and managed have grown beyond the traditional paper based to electronic resources management.

Similarly, Dismukes J. (2009) is of the view that medical library management can be implemented locally or on behalf of a group of institutions, other services utilize the data in World Cat to perform collection analysis, selection and other collection management activities at the network level. He further maintain that today web-based medical library management software has evolved over time from a variety of off-line activities that have often demand significant integration efforts and work around to meet libraries evolving needs future management service to be more integrated, streamline and efficiently designed to be part of a whole, rather than a sum of many parts. 

Anbu, Kataria and Ram (2003) are of the view that electronic resources have become an inseparable part of medical libraries and researchers. They are often described as resources which are published through the electronic media and accessed through electronic media. They may be broadly defined as any peer-reviewed publications that are directly created and stored in electronic format either as standalone or a database for the purpose of delivery and retrieval electronically through various communication media for either networked access (through the internet) or offline access through the CD-ROM or floppy disk etc. in various formats like HTML, PDF, text, postscript, etc, skaggs observes that electronic resources is a simple and generic term that can include anything from a PDF of government report to an aggregated database, and research on the topic is as varied as the type of electronic resources that can be discussed. With its myriads formats and types and with the successful adaptation and acceptance of these formats amongst the academic there is no doubt that the electronic resources are here to stay.  The main reason for the acceptance of electronic resources as part of the mainstream of channel of scholarly communication in medical libraries is the nature of these resources. The electronic resources provide an enviable comfort which the print counterpart failed to provide.

It is worthy to note that, electronic resources can be considered in terms of content available in database, uniform resource link (URI) as well as in terms of devices used in libraries to process, organize and manage for easy retrieval an use. Dafiaghor (2012) view electronic resources as information materials that require the use of electronic devices such as personal computer (PCs) laptops, palm tops, phones, I- pods, I phones, I-pads internet – WAN- Networks etc for their usage. Some of the most used of these resources include flash drives, memory card, DVD-VCD; CD-ROMs, DVD-VCD, CD-RAMs, DVD- VCD,CD-R; DVD-, VCD-, CD-WR; DVD-,VCD-, CD+WR, etc.  Aramide and Botharinwa (2010) Supported his view by including A-V resources, instructional audio tapes, instructional video tapes, VCD/DVD, radio television, multimedia projectors, electronic resources – electronic database, e.g., HINARI, ERIC, e-document, internet/electronic mail facility, CD-ROM, computers telephone facility (GSM/Landline) VSAT, printer and digital cameras.

  The history of medical services in Nigeria dates back to 1860’s when Sacred Heart Hospital was established. Though medical library history in Nigeria is traced to 1945 when Yaba central medical library was established as an agency of the Federal ministry of health. The existing medical libraries of note are attached to the medical schools of the universities. They sprang up out of the inevitable need to support teaching, learning and research in the medical school. The demand for more doctors in the post independence era necessitated the establishment of medical schools at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, University of Ibadan and University of Lagos. The number was later increased to six when the projected schools of medicine at the University of Ife, Nigeria (Nsukka) and at the Benin Institute of Technology materialized. This also gave rise to the establishment of medical schools in most federal and state universities that were established to further compliment the services of university medical schools at the local and community levels. Because of the late development and paucity of medical libraries, the art of medical librarianship never had a well established tradition. Therefore, its services were not usually based on expertise knowledge but on the ability of individuals to develop skills and experience while on the job. Thus, a trained librarian, with or without medical library experience, is distinct asset, since the basic tactics of library services in all types of libraries are the same. Ideally medical librarian should keep abreast of new developments in medicine and other health related issues in medical librarianship. The crux of any medical reference collection should include among other reference tools; Index Medicus; Chemical Abstracts; Biological Abstracts; Excerpta Medica; British Encyclopaedia of Medical Practice; relevant dictionaries, handbooks and directories. At times the medical librarian may find it rewarding to include reference tools of a general nature among his special reference collection in addition to those already existing in the main library.

 However, management has been defined by many authors using different approaches, but all geared towards the same or related meaning. Terry (2014) define management as a process “consisting of planning, organising, staffing and controlling, performed to determine and accomplished the objectives by the use of people and resources.” This definition however considers management first as a “process” i.e. a systematic way of doing things. Secondly, it state four management activities: Planning, organising, staffing and controlling. Planning is thinking of an action in advance. Organising, involves coordination of human and materials resources of an organization. Staffing is entails motivation and direction of subordinates. Controlling is an attempt to ensure that there is no deviation from norms or plan. Thirdly, it states that managers uses people and other resources. For example an information system manager who wants to improve the services, might try not to only maintain the system, but also improve the level of training on staff and users. Fourthly, management is view as the act of achieving the organization’s objectives.

According to Gullattes (2005) management is the art and science of getting things done through people. Successful managers are skills at planning, organising, motivation, supervising and coordinating people and resources. They are also skilled at planning-thinking strategically, challenging the status quo, envisioning future direction, inspiring, coaching and empowering people with the requisite knowledge needed to succeed in any organisation . Take a medical library manager or an electronic resources manager for example. In their respective roles, each has different organizational responsibilities. Yet both must plan, organise, handle resources either print or electronic, oversee the activities of others, monitor the quality of users and allocate a stable, efficient, well-run service which requires managerial experience.

Yu and Breivold (2008) noted that an electronic resources manager must be a change agent. He must demonstrate the courage needed to innovate and transform the library in a way that will ensure remote access to the information content by users. He must develop a work culture and climate that support high-performing teams and cultivate in people a willingness to change, innovate, and embrace core medical library values that support quality service that require managerial abilities. 

For the purpose of this work, one can simply define management as the process of getting things done efficiently through adequate management of electronic resources to ensure remote access to the information content. This can be achieved by addressing electronic resources from the perspective of planning, organising staffing and controlled experience of the medical libraries.

Planning starts with medical libraries developing a prioritized list of goals for electronic resources to guide their work. Bothmann and Holmberg (2010) noted that creating a small electronic resources committee of key players in a library’s electronic resources management work is the first step. The key players should come from various units or divisions of the library. The committee would then identify all the staff involved in the electronic resource workflow from administrative support personnel to administrators.

Ngalla (2007) in Echezona (2009), described planning role in the library that it entails laying the platform on which all other roles are played. This involves defining the objectives, developing strategies, determining the staffing and library services, laying down policies and procedure for attaining the objectives and preparing budgets. The development and use of policies is critical in electronic resources management and for communicating a library’s goals. White (2005) state that aside from collection development policies, libraries needs policies that address issues such as types of resources to support licensing issues, access how and which resources should be catalogued, placed in a content management system or subject guide or added to electronic resources management system. When the planning stage of management is set right, there is the need for the organization role to be effective.

In relation to planning and policy development, organization of electronic resources is a significant aspect of electronic resources management. Librarians organize part or significant aspect of electronic resources management activities in order to determined what is not getting done or if things are done rightly.

Hsieh-Yees’s (2007) is of the view that organising electronic resources involves showing catalogers how to use MARC and AACR2 to create accurate and complete bibliographic descriptions of electronic resources to help students, catalogers, educators and any one new to these resources gain competency in describing and providing access to them. Staffing entails the personnel component of the medical libraries, recruiting competent professionals with the requisites skills to plan, organized and controls the electronic resources in other to ensure remote access. Lamarca and Robert (1997) supported this view when they said medical library staff facilitates access to medical literatures as well as answering students and lecturers most pressing research questions such as coaching through the search process to locate the best medical evidence from the medical literature. While control of electronic resources is all about regular inspection of the activities of library staff, and as well establishing measures to prevent the abuse of electronic resources effectively.

Yu and Breivold (2008) believe that developing an “Electronic Resources Access Control System’. To control all subscribed electronic resources within the medical library IP range. It will suspend the user’s access privilege if any abuse behaviour is monitored; the system provides a real time control to the access of electronic resources according to the download and frequency. If any abuse behaviour happens, a warning page will pop up on the user’s screen notifying the violation and the control measures that will be taken by the system. This will enable the user to slow down his download speed. If the user ignores the warning and continues his or her abuse behaviour, the system will take the following actions regarding the violation degree;

  • Suspend the user’s access to the database
    • Suspend the user’s access to the network out of the library
    • Suspend the user’s network account.

The management of electronic resources in libraries (medical libraries) has become increasingly important because of their growing size and complexity. Mathews (2014) opine that electronic resources management software such as Electro Optical System Web medical, EOS. Web. digital, EOS. enterprise, EOS Web express were specifically designed to empower knowledge manager to effectively manage all electronic resources and web subscription, such as; electronic journals, databases and electronic books.

Management of electronic resources makes it possible to completely streamline the entire electronic resources management process, from a review cycle for the resources record, to purchasing, and renewing resources all with one easy to use solution. Similarly, the task of managing, which involves planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and improving electronic information resources have never been more challenging than today. When one considers the extraordinary challenges of delivering information in multiple settings and that of ensuring that users have access to vast array of electronic information resources, it is no surprise that the management role demands tremendously more expertise skill, and commitment than ever before. Electronic resources managers are being asked to meet the need of patrons, communities, institutions, corporations, and the society at large; even as they face competing demand and limited resources. This can only be accomplished through adequate management of electronic resources at their disposal. However, the studies will focus on universities in South South which has a total number of fourteen (14) university comprises of federal, state and private universities, with (10) universities having medical libraries. The study focused on University of Calabar, University of Uyo, University of Port Harcourt, Delta State University and University of Benin medical libraries respectively. The medical libraries are all located in the colleges of medical sciences to serve staff, students and other researchers within the colleges. Under these circumstances, it has become germane to examine the management of Electronic resources in Medical Libraries especially in the South South zone of Nigeria.

Statement of the Problem