STRATEGIES FOR COMBATING BOOK THEFT AND VANDALISM IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES
For the purpose of the study, it is assumed that library users exists in the academic libraries studies. These users cause damage to library materials.
The study covers the various means and devices to safeguard library materials from being vandalized by obnoxious and antisocial library users. In order to portray the relevance or importance of the research questions, the researcher made use of questionnaire method, oral interview and observation to get needed information. It was realized that mutilation of books and book theft are the most serious problems in the libraries while physical or personnel security is used in the two libraries rather than electronic security systems because the former is more economical.
The study finds that the two libraries under study have the same vandal problems and use almost the same measure or strategy to combat it but that not withstanding; there are some loopholes in the libraries.
Some suggestions and recommendations are therefore made to improve the security arrangements in these academic libraries.
The current world economic recession dealt as a serious blow on developed and developing countries. These countries are apart from this economic gloom neck deep in other crisis.
Academic libraries in Nigeria are even facing greater problems. A typical examples is that of the Nigerian premier university, university of Ibadan library whose collection development has been adversely affected by foreign exchange restrictions (though it does not have total dependence on foreign sources of supply of library materials). Lean library vote which progressively and systematically decrease yearly; lateress or orders to arrive; affect of the government policies on library acquisition such as the pre-shipment inspection of import Act of 1978 (up dated import Act has changed this and books can now enter with ease into the country), astronomical rise in the cost of publications and the increasing number of library users without a concomitant increase in the library materials.
Despite the economic recession these academic institutes spend large sums of money stacking their libraries with expensive library materials for organized learning and research.
However, due to the country’s poor economy and the difficulties involved in obtaining foreign exchange, academic libraries in Imo state have difficulties in attaining the required standard of adequacy in their collections. It is recommended by the American library Association that an institutes recurrent budget of al least 5 percent should be spent on the library and more if the library collection is deficient or if there is rapid increase in students population or programme offered. The present government policy in Nigeria is not in accord with the American policy in terms of the percentage to be spent. There is still argument on the amount to be spent though there is a standard in the Nigerian academic libraries.