TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – – – – i
Approval Page – – – – – – – ii
Certification Page – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgments – – – – – – v
Table of contents – – – – – – – vi
List of Tables – – – – – – – – viii
Abstract – – – – – – – – ix
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study – – – – 1
Statement of the Problem – – – – – 5
Purpose of the Study – – – – – 5
Research Questions – – – – – – 6
Significance of Study – – – – – – 6
Scope of the Study – – – – – 7
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Conceptual framework – – – – – 8
Information sources in public libraries – – – 22
Methods of information service delivery in public libraries – 24
Problems of information service delivery in public libraries – 29
Strategies for effective delivery of information by public libraries – 34
Review Empirical studies – – – – – 44
Summary of literature review. – – – — 47
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODS
Research Design – – – – – 50
Area of the Study – – – – – 50
Population – – – – – – – 51
Sample and Sampling Technique – – – – 51
Instrument for Data Collection – – – – 52
Validation of the Instrument – – – – — 53
Method of Data Collection – – – – 54
Method of Data Analysis – – – – – 54
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF DATA – — 55
Types of Information Resources – – – – 56
Methods of Information Service Delivery – – — 57
Appropriateness of Information Service Delivery – – 60
Problems of Information Service Delivery – – – 61
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
Discussion of Findings – – – – 64
Implications of Study – – — – — 68
Recommendations – – – – – – 70
Limitations – – – – – – — 70
Suggestions for Further Research – – – – 71
Conclusion – – – – – — 71
REFERENCES – – – – – — 73
APPENDICES – – – – – – – 77
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: library staff response on the types of information sources available in Benue state library Board (BSLB) – – – 55
Table 2: library staff responses on the types of information services offered in Benue State library board (BSLB) – – – 56
Table 3.1: Percentage responses of library staff on the methods of information service delivery in Benue state library board (BLSB)- 57
Table 3.2: Observation checklist of methods of information service delivery in Benue state library Board.- – – – – 58
Table 4.1: Mean response of Users on the Appropriateness of. Information service in Benue state library Board (BSLB). – – 59
Table 4.2: Mean responses of users on the appropriateness of information service delivery in Benue state library board. – – 60
Table 5: Mean response of the library staff on the problems encountered in providing Information Services in Benue State Library Board. – – 61
Table 6: Mean responses of the library staff on the strategies for effective service delivery in Benue state library Board (BSLB) – 72
This research work was designed to examine information service delivery in Benue State library Board with the view to determine the types of information sources available, the types of information services offered; the appropriateness of information service delivery media; the problems of providing appropriate information service delivery to users and the strategies for effective service delivery. Six research questions guided this study. A descriptive survey research design was used with stratified random sampling technique to guide the study. The population of the study was 53,636 made up of library users and library staff. Out of this, 514 were sampled. 489 consisted of library users and 25 comprised of the entire library staff under study. Of the 489 copies of questionnaire distributed to library staff 341 were filled and returned, representing 70% response rate. While the 25 questionnaires administered to staff, 17 were filled and returned representing 68% response rate. Observation checklist on information service delivery was also used for data collection. Statistical tools used for the analysis were frequency counts and mean score. The major findings revealed that there are numerous and different types of information resources available in the board, that there are few information services offered, that there are few information service deliveries, that both information services and information service delivery are not appropriate. And that lack of funds, inadequate staff, lack of facilities (eg. ICT, internet etc), lack of current textbooks/lack of information sources, lack of demand for information services by users, lack of professionals and lack of policy on information service provision are problems responsible for the few appropriate information services and delivery in Benue State library board. It was based on these findings that, it was recommended that information resources in Benue State library board should be constantly updated, that information services need assessment must be a regular feature before services are rendered, that information service delivery must be appropriate to users, that Public library must be positioned like those of special and academic libraries in the provision of adequate and experienced professionals who would provide qualitative library and information services in diverse areas of interest to users, that working conditions of staff in public libraries must be made to be similar to their colleagues in the universities or research institutes. Above all, government should change it’s funding policy towards the public libraries.
Background of the Study
A public library is an information center established by public funds whose services are open to all in the society irrespective of who they are without discrimination. Quite so, the public library as issued in 1949, revised in 1972 and declared in 1994 in the UNESCO public library manifesto in Edoka (2000) declares that the public library is the local centre of information, making all kinds of knowledge and information readily available to its users. The services of the public library are provided on the basis of equality of access for all, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, nationality, language or social status. Specific services and materials must be provided for those users who cannot, for whatever reason, use the regular services and materials for example, linguistic minorities, people with disabilities or people in hospital or prison. IFLA (2000) in Ikpaahindi (2008) highlighted that public libraries are to provide resources and services in a variety of media to meet the needs of individuals and groups for education, information and personal development including recreation and leisure.
Educationally, support for formal education has been a basic function of public libraries since their earliest days. Information wise, they provide avenues to meet the informational needs of people. The acquisition of reliable and relevant information is now recognized to be vitally important and of great value (Ikpaahindi, 2008). With regards to personal development, public libraries have played a very important role in providing opportunity for personal development. They provide a range of ideas, opinions and create experience not available anywhere else. Many people both farmers and otherwise have testified how their lives have been changed by the use of public libraries. This apparent responsibility has put considerable strain on the traditional services of public libraries. The conventional library services can no longer cope with the emerging demand for speedy information by users. These users, as diverse as they are, sometimes require specialized and indepth information as well as general ones in their usually narrow areas of interest.
Information has been a strategic resource that is very critical to all levels, sectors and endeavors of the society including every type of development since immemorable time. It has played a leading role in the development and modernization of human society. It is usually communicated with the aim of eliciting a response. Where this is not so, communication is hardly said to have taken place. Information abounds in various sources and needed by people in various fields of human endeavor. For maximum exploitation, information has to be managed from individual level right through group, organization and institutions, the country, the region and finally internationally and at global levels. At whatever level information is needed, it is to address specific issues which include- problem solving, decision-making, self improvement, enlightenment, national development, international relationship and so on.
Information therefore can be any relevant fact, data or idea or assemblage of data of useful purpose communicated with the aim of addressing, influencing or eliciting response that is capable of development (Edoka ,2000; Echezona ,2005). For a developing nation such as Nigeria, that is characterized by problems or poor state of affairs like mass poverty, poor condition of living, poor infrastructure facilities, poor health care, economic under development, primitive practice, customs and slow laborious technologies, tension, suspicion and so on, the need for information is apt and cannot be over emphasized. This is because, it is needed in order to improve the environments in terms of, social, economic, cultural and political wellbeing Eze(1999) of the people.
Bopp and Smith (1995) asserts that whenever information and referral services are introduced in public libraries, it proves to be extremely helpful and is invariably used extensively. Information service is the provision of definite documents, answers or information to users questions or information needs regardless of its complexity. The delivery of such answers or information or documents through bibliographies, indexes, abstracts or any other channel, media or form appropriate to the user is known as information service delivery.
Information service delivery in public libraries, therefore means their diversity because of the heterogeneous nature of the users and their information needs and demands. The role of public libraries in this communication link is to provide a place or avenue through which a universe of these communication links appropriate in supplying information to the different categories and levels of users in the society can be met efficiently and effectively. Thus the effectiveness of an information system in the provision of information that is current, relevant and timely for development is the function of the information service delivery modes it uses.
Given the developmental role public libraries play in the society, it has become clear why it establishment was early in Benue area. It is on record that the public libraries in Benue state dates back to the colonial era in 1952 when the Benue area was under the northern regional government. They were known as reading rooms. Benue enjoyed the services of three of such reading rooms located at Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo. Overtime with independence and series of state creation, what is known today and referred to as Benue State Library Board came into existence. This was particularly with the creation of Benue State in 1976 from the former Benue Plateau. With the creation of Benue State and the important role libraries had been perceived to play in the development of an area, a board was therefore established in 1982 by an edict. The board known as Benue state library Board took off in April 1985 (Agena , 1987 as cited in Mkena,1995).
To achieve the purpose for which the Board was established, the Board operates through Department s and units/sections Viz.
- Readers’ services department
- Technical services Department.
- Children and extension services department.
- Administration Department.
Furthermore, the Board operates a central library at the state Headquarters in Makurdi, with (11) branch libraries scattered all over the three senatorial zones in the state. They are zones tagged as A, B, and C. Libraries in zone A include: Katsina-ala, Vandeikya, Kwande, Konshisha. Those in zone B are Gboko, Gwer, Makurdi; And zone C are Otukpo, Ado, Oju, Ogbadibo, and Okpokwu. They are all strategically located at the state capital, Makurdi and the local government area headquarters.Presently, the Board has 99,800 stock made up of mainly textbooks.
The main objective of the Board on establishment was to establish and maintain branches in the state local government areas Mkena (1985) as well as provide ample journals and other research materials to help students and researchers of higher institutions of learning and enlightenment of the people. The major category of users in Benue state library Board are primary school students, secondary school students, university students and other tertiary students in the state including civil servants (Mkena, 1995).
Statement of the Problem