UTILIZATION OF SCHOOL LIBRARY RESOURCES BY SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA
A library, according to Jonathan Crowther (2000), is a storehouse of knowledge. It is the repository of information and information source. A library collects,
organizes, stores and disseminates information. Thus, it is a resource centre for students, teachers, researchers and others. The library provides answers to specific and general information queries and problems.
The major, purpose of the library is to provide information, thus it is a repository of human experience not subject to the barriers of space and time.
According to Lawal and Udofia (1994) the library meets the information needs of the users in four categories namely:
i. Education to develop society, adults, children and to fill gap in memory.
ii. Information to develop executive activities such as economics, social and commercial development.
iii. Aesthetic appreciation for culture, art, truth and judgement.
iv. Recreation to provide amusement, hobbies.
The function of the library therefore is to implement, to enrich, to vitalize and humanize the educational programmes, as it strives to attain excellence in
content, process and product. Being a carrier of knowledge, the library is a vital partner in knowledge, management and shares with all other instructional
agents their responsibility for systematically designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of learning and teaching (Davies, 1994).
There are different types of libraries, which represents different
categories of people professions and shades of opinion. We have the public library, academic library, National library, school library and special library.
A school library is an indispensable unit in any school, regardless of its educational philosophy. Thus an organized collection of book (reference books and for
home reading) placed in a school under the care of a teacher-librarian for teachers and students.
In the words of Iroha (2001) a school library is a collection of a wide variety of library materials and resources housed in each school centrally organized by sta,
professionally prepared to oer
services to students and teachers that will enrich and support the educational enterprises. This is to say, a school library assists and supports the educational programme of the school by storing instructional materials for use in teaching and learning.
Harold (2000) is of the view that a school library is an organized collection of books placed in a school for use by both the teachers and students. School
libraries can also be said to be a miniaturized intellectual powerhouse or information centre found in primary schools, secondary schools and teacher
training colleges. That is, it is a stepping stone towards a child’s intellectual development.
Perhaps, Onwubiko and Uzoigwe (2004) define a school library as the learning laboratory of the school equipped with books, magazines, newspaper, audio visual materials, aimed at enhancing effective teaching and learning on the part of teachers and students. In order to create an environment full of literature and cultivate the habit of using information materials for necessary teaching tools lead to the establishment of school libraries. The then Eastern Nigeria Ministry of Education recognized school library “as an education institution”. The provision of school libraries to improve standard in education delivery has
been well articulated in the National policy of Education (1999). Emphasizing the need for school libraries, the policy states among others.