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Library & Information Science

Capacity Building Programmes in Imo State Public Library, Owerri




The purpose of this study is to investigate capacity building programmes in Imo State Public Library, Owerri.  Four research questions and objectives were used to conduct the study. Survey research design was used for the study. The population of the study was ninety two of the staff of the public library studied.  Rating scale was used as instrument for data collection.  Descriptive mean statistics were used to answer the research questions. Findings showed that there are capacity building programmes in the library studied and there are reasons why the library studied engages capacity building programmes in library which include; to enhance library services to users, career development training of their staff, improved good working condition of their staff without depending on external help as well as provide job security of their staff. Based on the result of the study, recommendations were made that the library studied should device ways of solving the problems confronting capacity building programmes in library studied and also the management should design effective and efficient capacity building programmes that will accommodate every staff of the library studied. 



The chapter is discussed under the following sub-headings: background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and research questions.

Background of the study

Public library is a type of library set-up for public use. It does not discrimination in providing services to its numerous users. Public library is very important for the intellectual development of the masses. One of the benefits of public library is that it supports informal education. Therefore, information resources of public library need careful gathering, processing, storage, retrieval and utilization.  For this to be achieved, public library personnel must be well trained as well as motivated. The public library offers fast and required efficiency in her services to numerous users, hence there must be improved working conditions, environmental comfort and service delivery consciousness among the workers. The situation only comes in the public library when such library enjoys a sustained level of capacity building. This concept has been explained by many authors probably in other fields of human endeavours. However, in the field of librarianship the concept may have different definitions and meaning. Public library according to Okoro (1999) is tax – supported library serving the generality of the public without bias to sex, age, race or religion, free of charge that provides wide range of information resources of various subject areas that cater for all level of demands.

Capacity building is the provision of quality services to public library users. Capacity building aims in providing services that satisfy the interest of public library users. Capacity building is defined by Ifidon and Ifidon (2007) to mean the enhancement of the factors that make for user satisfaction, the realization of the library’s parent organizations, functions and the achievement of the libraries objectives. These factors include generous financial support from all possible sources, skilled, knowledge and competent staff; bibliographic and electronic information resources; physical facilities such as space, requirement, furniture and equipment; and technical expertise. As all these involve huge capital, government must provide needed finance in support of public library development for its capacity programme to be achieved. Based on the above assertion, each public library such as Imo State Library Owerri should embrace capacity building via generous financial support, which can come from both government subvention and other classified votes through public and private financial support to the library. More so, staff of the public library must be qualified, motivated and also exposed to skill and functional effective training from time to time. It can also be noted that capacity building in public library must include availability of useable space for reading and users recreational activities. There should equally be well organized and stock of books and other technological information sources coupled with furniture and equipment should not be lacking. Public library must have and a dependable technical expertise.

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Capacity building programme in (Imo State Library, Owerri) should involve activities which aim at strengthening the knowledge of its personnel, ability to provide information needs of its information seekers. The public library should equally embrace improved institutional structures and establish trusted skills and approaches on the side of the workers, so as to give users their expected level of satisfaction. In support of the above state view point, Ifidon and Ifidon (2007) strongly believe that capacity building in library will create service efficiency delivery. Thus, using well trusted working public library personnel that can enable the library effectively and efficiently meet its mission and goals in a sustainable way,   now every effort of the public library is geared towards rendering efficient library services to its numerous users. A well capacity building programmes is therefore, necessary in this era of new technology in library operation. Thus, capacity building is more than just training of library professional and support staff; rather it includes human resources development in general that will ensure for prompt public library services delivery.

The above definitions make it assuring that capacity building as defined above can still be applied anywhere, and in any organization. Hence, capacity building in public libraries can revolutionalize the order, lubricate and energize the public library to be effective and efficient in service delivery to clients. Towards this line, Ifidon and Ifidon (2007) explained that library capacity building involves activities which strengthen the knowledge, abilities and behavior of individuals (library staff and users) and improve institutional structures and processes such that the library can effectively and efficiently meet its missions and goals in sustainable way.

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Therefore, capacity building in libraries is more than just training of library professionals and support staff, it includes human resources development in general, the process of equipping individuals with understanding skills and access to information, knowledge, and training, that enable them to perform effectively, provision of information materials that equip librarians to render the required services, library development and the elaboration of management structures so as to be in good position to apply effectively the details of capacity building in  libraries. There are various types of capacity building programmes such as in-service training, workshops, conference of local and international, in-house training, job on the training. There are various reasons why capacity building programme is introduced in libraries. This include improving the knowledge of the library personnel, impact modern trend of librarianship to the staff and also helping them in providing efficient and effective library services to various categories of library users.

Capacity building in libraries according to Peizer (2006) can be obtained via assistance of the following bodies and agencies to mention but a few library proprietors, library users, Private Sector Organizations, National and International Library Associations, Book Aid International and other International donor agencies. The emphasis here is that through capacity building library’s finances can improve, staff development realized, collection development and organization of new technologies which enhances library operation and service delivery gained. Capacity building programmes embrace improvement of information resources of the public library, improvement on finances, personnel (staff), infrastructure, technical expertise and effective and efficient service delivery. There are various capacity building programmes in public library such as training of staff in computer appreciation, fundamentals of librarianship, seminars and workshops, conferences, in-Service-training.

Statement of the Problem

Capacity building programme has been observed to be a very important device in personnel management in public library as well as other libraries. In spite of the fact that no organization can grow in its services without continuous training of their staff, it has been observed that most workers of public libraries as well as other libraries around them may not have been adequately exposed to capacity building programmes. Could this be as a result of inadequate funding on the part of the government or as a result of not knowing the importance of capacity building programme on the part of the public library management? From previous researches carried, it has been discovered that State government has not been adequately supporting Public Libraries, financially towards its capacity building programme.

Therefore, this study is embark upon to investigate why is capacity building programme not taking serious in State Public Libraries, in South East using Imo State Public Library as a case study.

Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is treated in two dimensions – content and geographical scope. This study focused on capacity building programmes in Imo State Public Library, Owerri, such as workshops, seminars, conferences, in-service-trainings, etc. The major aspects of the study’s focus were workers’ performance towards giving users’ deserved services. The workers include, – Professionals, Para-professionals and Support Staff. Its geographical scope is Imo State where the public is located.

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Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate capacity building programmes in Imo State public library, Owerri for enhanced services: Library. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. identify various capacity building programmes in the library studied.
  2. determine the reasons for capacity building programmes in the library studied.
  3. ascertain the extent capacity building programmes has improved the services in the library studied.
  4. find out the challenges of capacity building programmes in Imo State Public Library, Owerri.

Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be beneficial to lots of people, public library administrators, libraries, librarians, library schools, students and public users.

The study will be significant to public library administrators in managing their public libraries as well as shed lighter to the importance of prudent management in the means of scarce resources particularly in a public library set-up where funding is a major constraint.

It will draw attention of other types of libraries on the best ways of improving their various libraries by adopting the same programmes of capacity building.

Further more, the study will aid librarians and other practitioners in librarianship to understand the funding, staff motivation as part of capacity building programme for enchancing service delivery to the users.

Consequently, the study will equally educate practitioners in the profession on how capacity building can enhance the public library financial base and help the library adopt new technology prevalent in this age.

Again, the study can serve as reference materials to researchers, students who are doing research on the related subject area as well as           sensitizing the general public who uses public library resources in their studies on the usefulness of public library development based on their capacity building programmes.

Finally, the study will also make far reaching studies that can help handle some inherent problems associated with public libraries.

Research Questions

The following research questions are posed to guide this study:

  1. What are the various capacity building programmes in Imo State Public Library, Owerri?
  2. What are the reasons for capacity building programmes available in the library studied?
  3. What are the extent capacity building programmes has improved the services in the library studied?
  4. What are the challenges of capacity building programmes in Imo State Public Library, Owerri?

Pages:  51

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References

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