Sample Size of the population                 –           –           –           33

Sample spread –               –           –           –           –           –           36

Methods of conservation               –           –           –           –           37

Extent of conservation      –           –           –           –           –           38

Resources employed for conservation     –           –           –           39

Benefits of conservation           –           –           –           –           –           41

Constraints of conservation         –           –           –           –           42

Strategies for improving conservation               –           –           44


Title page        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           i

Approval page –                  –           –           –           –           –           ii

Certification page             –           –           –           –           –           iii

Dedication      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           iv

Acknowledgment       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           v

List of tables   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           vi

Table of contents                  –           –           –           –           –           vii

Abstract          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           xi


Background of the Study             –           –           –           –           1   

Statement of the Problem           –           –           –           –           –           6

 Purpose of the Study                   –           –           –           –           –           7   

Research Questions     –   –           –           –           –           –           8  

Significance of the Study             –           –           –           –           8    

Scope of the Study     –              –           –           –           –           10 


Conceptual Framework              –           –           –           –           11

  • Overview of conservation of library resources             –           13  
  • Methods of conservation of library resources    –           –           17
  • Benefits of conservation in library          –           –           –           21
  • Problems of effective conservation in our libraries      –           22

Review of Related Empirical Studies –       –           –           –           29

Summary of Literature Review           –           –           –           31       


Research Design               –           –           –           –           –           32

Area of the Study       –        –           –           –           –           –           32

Population of the study          –     –           –           –           –           33

Sample and Sampling Techniques              –           –           –           33

Instrument of data collection  –             –           –           –           –           33 Methods of Data Collection          –           –           –           –           –           34

Validation of the Instrument –            –           –           –           35      

The Methods of Data Analysis               –           –           –           35     


Sample spread               –           –           –           –           –           36

Methods of conservation of library resources     –           –            37

Extend of conservation          –           –           –           –            38

Resources employed in conservation of library resources           –             39

Benefits of conservation                 –           –           –           –            41

The constraints of conservation      –           –           –           –           42

The strategies to improve conservation methods    –           –           44

Summary      –           –           –           –           –           –           45


Discussion of Findings          –           –           –           –           47

Implications of the Study      –           –           –           –           –           51

Recommendations      –    –           –           –           –           –           52

Limitations      –           –   –           –           –           –           –           54

Suggestions for Further Research       –          –           –           –           55

Conclusion      –           –           –      –           –           –           –           –           55

References      –               –           –           –           –           –           56



This research looked at Conservation of Library resources in three selected special libraries in Lagos State. Titled conservation of library resources questionnaire (CLRQ) to guide the study and survey design was used.  Six research questions were drawn containing of forty–nine (49) options was constructed and administered to a population of fifty  staff of the libraries that are involved in conservation methods of the libraries.  Fifty (50) copies of the questionnaire were filled, returned correctly and used for this study.  The researcher used frequency – count and percentage to analyze the data. The result of the study showed that the conservation methods of the libraries were mainly cleaning, dusting of library materials, installation of air conditioners in the libraries and that the libraries have binding  units, regular fumigation of the library materials,  proper shelving of the books and photocopying machines.  The result also showed that the conservation method was less extent which means that enough attention is not given to conservation methods.  The study revealed that few resources were employed for conservation of the libraries resources among which are photocopying machine, good housekeeping mainly and that they lack trained conservators and equipments for digitalisation generally.  Some of the problems identified as limiting their conservation programmes include lack of conservation policies, inadequate funding, low level of awareness of importance of conservation among information professionals and others.  However, some strategies for enhancing the conservation of library resources were identified to include training of personnel, regular fumigation, adequate funding, education of library users, enacting conservation policy and others. Based on the findings   the study recommended strategies to enhance the conservation of library resources among which are the formulation and implementation of the conservation policy, education of the library users and training of the library staff to enhance their performance.



Background of the Study

The library is one of the several kinds of institution, which has the primary role of acquiring, processing, organizing, conserving as well as preserving the printed and non-printed information resources or materials for the use of their clientele.  The modern library is increasingly being redefined as a place to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. In addition to providing resources, it also provides the services of specialist, librarians, who are experts at finding and organizing information and interpreting information needs.

Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island and Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Akoka Yaba, libraries are all special libraries. According to Odumosu (1979), in Ifidon (1991), special libraries are libraries primarily designed to  serve a limited number of experts, scientists and research workers. Their holdings in general relate to some particular subject, e.g agriculture, medicine, law and international relations. These libraries may be attached to various bodies such as a parliament, or government department, a scientific or other research institution. As indicated in this definition, special libraries are meant to supply detailed information in particular subject fields.

Similarly, Agada and Ehoniyotan (2006), assert that special libraries are established to meet the highly specialized requirement of professional or business groups. They agreed with Odumosu that these libraries cover a specific and definable subject field. These libraries provide information to special users in response and anticipation of the user’s needs. They provide active services instead of waiting passively for their users to come to the library. They are service oriented. They have most restricted purpose and homogenous clientele than any other type of library and are designed to support research or business activities of the organization.

The objectives of these special libraries are to:

  • Provide comprehensive and balanced information resources relevant to the activities of their parent organizations. Produce and disseminate current awareness services base on the profiles of individual users. Special libraries have developed a wide range of services to keep their clienteles abreast of new and current development. Such services are offered to the whole organisation or tailored towards a specific group. 
  • Provides reference service. Special libraries offer reference and research services ranging from answering simple reference questions to undertaking complex research and literature searches. They also assist users who which to pursue their own research.
  • Routing of current periodicals. Routing of current periodicals is one of the most common functions of the special libraries. The libraries periodically survey their client as to circulate them to readers as the issues arrives.
  • Acquisition bulletin. Special libraries offers acquisition bulletin services to their client/users. This may be simple list of materials or may include annotation or abstracts bulletins, news summaries, and digests and other current awareness services offered by them. 

These objectives agree with the objectives of the FIIRO, NIIA and NIALS. For example, these libraries provide and maintain means  of information that are of interest to their parent institution, provide the study of the objectives of their parent institutions, get involved in preparation and publications of books, record reports or otherwise as may be desired by their parent bodies.

If the resources in these libraries are lost, the records of human civilization are lost as well.  For this reason, the challenges of conserving library resources are a crucial worldwide issue that must be addressed internationally, nationally and locally.  In recognition and acknowledgement of the importance of conservation for libraries, International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) introduced at the IFLA meeting in Nairobi (1984) the Core Programme on Conservation and Preservation (PAC) as one of the new core programmes. The primary goal of this programme was officially launched in Vienna, Austria in April 1986, to encourage and promote the development of library conservation practice in the world’s libraries.

Library resources refer to all those media for storing information such as textbooks, journals, newspapers and magazines, patents and standards, handbooks and manuals, directories, gazetteers, encyclopaedias, atlases and maps calendars, and diaries, vertical files, theses and dissertations, tapes, video, films, optical discs, cassettes, magnetic tapes and microforms (Popoola, 2003). Similarly, Dike (1993) see library resources in three broad categories. The categories are non-fiction print media, which include reference materials like dictionaries, encyclopaedias, biographical sources, almanacs and yearbooks, geographical sources, directories, handbooks and guides, manuals, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts. Other categories of non-fiction print media according to her is literature and audiovisual materials that come in the form of three dimensional aids, display boards, graphic materials, pictures, over head projector, opaque projector, slide projector, filmstrip projector and films. 

Conservation according to Popoola (2003), may be defined as policies and operations embarked upon by the managers of libraries and with the aim of increasing the life span of their information resources by preventing damage or remedying deterioration.  It may also be seen as direct physical intervention arresting or slowing down deterioration of library resources.  According to Harrison (1992), conservation is about good housekeeping, learning how to handle and store resources to do the least damage, not subjecting it to unnecessarily heavy use and ensuring that backup or safety copies exist. Conservation is a preventive but active measure, for doing something to the material; not putting it in the wrong environment, not handling or touching the surface or running material through faulty equipment which will scratch and damage it.   

The ultimate goal of any library conservation  is  to make resources accessible and at the same time, ensure its long term survival.  The open access to library resources lead to the increased demand for the use of these library resources which is paper material resources.  The search for cheaper paper to meet the increased demand led to the manufacture of paper from ground wood pulp in later part of 19th century.  According to Foot (1994), increasing demand for paper and advances in science and technology transformed paper making from a craft into an industrial manufacturing process.  Different raw materials and new processes produced paper that is chemically unstable and that will deteriorate over time.  This deterioration is accelerated by light, heat, and humidity.  The increase in atmospheric pollution has increased chemical deterioration of paper, while the growth in library use has caused greater mechanical breakdown. Even if kept in a perfect environment and left untouched, mechanical wood pulp paper will break down eventually.

Most large libraries acquire and organise hundreds of thousands of books and documents on such paper and we are therefore faced with very large conservation problems, so large that traditional conservation techniques and hand treatments can no longer keep it at bay, left alone solve it.  For decades, libraries have been looking for quicker and cheaper treatments and for ways to deal with large number of books and documents.  Today, a number of conservation practices are available, some well tested, others still in experimental stage.  Some conserve resources content through reformatting; others conserve the format as well as the content. When these practices are adopted by any library, the benefits cannot be overemphasized.  These according John (1986), provide an extremely attractive strategy by stabilizing less-used books in an acceptable environment.  Conservation practices are able to establish priorities based upon use by concentrating their efforts on the prime use collection.  An acceptable storage environment would include; a low fire/flood risk building with optimum security system, low temperature and humidity controls (60-65o and 40-50% humidity); staff access only for shelving and retrieval purposes. 

 Sule and Ademu (2005) observe also that conservation practices of library resources leads to the security of man’s recorded knowledge.  Through the process of conservation man has been able to put the record of the past, the present into safe places.  It ensures the continued and effective exploitation of resources in any given library. Effective conservation practices of library resources creates awareness and consciousness that leads to the establishment of written conservation policy and programmes, formulation of conservation commission and conservation unit within libraries.  Conservation practices leads to the development of the consciousness of resources handling and the sustenance of a good library housekeeping programmes.

More so, conservation practices ensure the continued supply of information for the writing of history of nations, for research purposes and for posterity.  When there is a good conservation practices of resources, efforts will not be waste on replacement.  Resources, which should have been expended on replacement, are channelled to the acquisition of new resources to enrich the existing collection.  The life span of collections, books, journals, monographs audio-visuals etc are safeguarded through instrument of conservation.