THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT OF REFERENCE SERVICES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES
This project is aimed at examining the problems and prospects of reference services in academic librarians, using the Anambra State University Uli campus library as a case study and how to evaluate the strength and weakness of the reference services in an academic librarian. It will also help to know the problems caused by the library clientele and profile solution toward the problems. This project work is design to know the functions of reference librarian and services to make prospect in the reference section of a library. Chapter one of this project works treats Background to the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of some terms as it concerns to this work. Chapter two treats literature review which covers areas like Reference materials, staffing of the reference section, management of reference section, problem facing reference section. Chapter three treat methodology which comprises of research design, population of the study, sample and sampling technologies, research instrument, and method of data analysis. Chapter four treats data analysis, presentation of result and discussion of findings. While Chapter five treats summary of the work conclusion and recommendation for further study.
Background to the study
Reference service is one of the essential services of the library. Meaning reference service is the activities, roles, functions and services rendered by the reference librarian constitute reference service. According to Prytherch, (2002) He states that: “reference service deal with the provision of reference work by library staff”.
According to Ohio Library Council, (2005) Reference services is “A way for libraries to meet the needs of their user (clientele) communities”. Reference service involves instructing clients to operate independently and at own pace to uses electronic and print resources of the library, it also involved personal assistance given to the users to enable them meet their needs.
James (2005) states that reference work started in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to respond to several forces and trends. In the next several decades from the 1930s through the 1950s, a new technology that provides, access to the library to a lager member and much wider variety of people was introduce. That technology is obviously, the telephone and the reference literature of the day speaks of its advantages but also its challenges. For example, having distinguished between “important questions coming in via the telephone those business men and involving important topics from less important” ones from club woman planning programs, context questions like should this service be centralized or dispersed? Should it be staffed differently from the desk? What information resources should be dedicated to it? And many more.