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Challenges Of Acquisition Of Library Resources And Services To Users In Special Libraries In Imo State, Nigeria: A Case Study Of Federal University Of Teaching Hospital Owerri

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Abstract

This study examined “Challenges Of Acquisition Of Library Resources And Services To Users In Special Libraries In, Imo State, Nigeria: A Case Study of  Federal University of Teaching Hospital Owerri”. The study was guided by four (4) Purpose of the study and four research questions. The research design for this study was descriptive survey. The area of study is Federal University of Teaching Hospital Owerri. The population of the study comprises of twelve librarians working at the Federal Centre Library, Owerri(12).  The adoption of census enumeration technique was used. Self-structured rating scale was used as instrument for data collection for the study.  Descriptive statistics of mean scores were used to analyze data. The findings of the study are; that Main Challenges Faced by Special Libraries in acquiring Library Resources are high cost of foreign materials, lack of acquisition policy, Vendor relations and negotiations, evolving user expectation, copyright and licensing issues; Seek alternative funding sources and prioritize resource allocation, Develop vendor management expertise and negotiate favorable terms, Digitization and online access and Marketing and outreach are the strategies that can be implemented to address the challenges faced by special library The study recommended that; The parent institution of special libraries board should improve on the ways of  acquiring  library resource materials in the special library; This strategies if implemented can promote and address the challenges faced by the special libraries.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

This chapter is the overview of this study. It is presented under the following subheading: background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and research question.

Background of the Study

The acquisition of information resources, also known as collection development, is a fundamental activity carried out by libraries worldwide. Within special libraries, the acquisition section plays a crucial role and serves as a vital link to other library sections (Ajayi and Akinniye, 2014). It is considered the heartbeat of any library, whether it be a traditional library or an e-library. Despite the introduction of innovative information technologies, such as e-libraries, traditional methods of acquisition have not been replaced entirely. Libraries continue to acquire and manage extensive book collections alongside other information formats (Adesanya and Agyen, 2015).

Contrary to predictions of the demise of print collections and the dominance of digital formats, printed resources, including books, still hold a central position in library acquisitions (Carr, 2011). The term “acquisition” encompasses various processes involved in acquiring library materials. These processes are carried out within specific conditions that may differ from one library to another.

Prytherch (2021), Emphasized that  the planning of a stock acquisition program goes beyond immediate needs. It aims to build a coherent and reliable collection over time that aligns with the library’s objectives and services. Acquisition plays a critical role in librarianship as the strength of a library’s collection heavily relies on the quality and relevance of the acquired information resources. Acquisition librarians, therefore, have a significant responsibility in maintaining a high-quality collection and fulfilling organizational goals through the acquisition of pertinent information resources. When a library acquires valuable and relevant materials, both the library and its users benefit greatly. The library gains credibility and authority, while users consistently find answers to their questions within such a library. The primary source of acquisition is through purchases, although information resources can also be acquired through gifts, exchanges, and legal deposits.

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Special libraries serve specific user groups, such as corporate organizations, government agencies, research institutions, or specialized professional fields. These libraries play a crucial role in providing information resources and services tailored to the unique needs of their users. However, special libraries face specific challenges in the acquisition of library resources and the delivery of services to their users. This introduction will discuss the challenges faced by special libraries in acquiring and providing access to resources, as well as the impact of these challenges on users.

Acquisition of library resources in special libraries involves the process of identifying, selecting, and obtaining materials that meet the specific information needs of the user community. However, special libraries encounter various challenges in this process. Limited availability of specialized resources in the market is one such challenge (Spiteri, 2016). Specialized materials are often published in limited quantities, making it difficult for libraries to acquire comprehensive collections. Additionally, the high cost of specialized resources can strain the budget of special libraries, which may have limited financial resources allocated for acquisitions (Walters, 2015).

Challenge faced by special libraries is the rapid advancement of technology and the increasing availability of digital resources. While digital resources offer the advantage of instant access and convenience, special libraries must navigate issues such as licensing, digital rights management, and ensuring secure and reliable access to these resources (Landry, 2017). The integration of digital resources into the library’s collection requires technical expertise and infrastructure support, which may pose challenges for libraries with limited IT resources.

In addition to acquisition challenges, special libraries also face obstacles in providing services to their users. Limited staffing and budget constraints can hinder the provision of adequate services, such as reference assistance, interlibrary loan options, or document delivery services (Gorman, 2013). Special libraries often have specialized staff who possess subject expertise and knowledge of the unique needs of their user community. However, maintaining a skilled and knowledgeable workforce can be challenging due to budget constraints, limited opportunities for professional development, and the need for continuous training to keep up with emerging trends and technologies (Nix, 2016).

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These challenges of acquisition and service delivery in special libraries directly impact users. Limited access to specialized resources restricts users’ ability to conduct in-depth research, make informed decisions, or stay updated with the latest developments in their respective fields (Orr, 2015). Insufficient services, such as inadequate reference assistance or limited access to interlibrary loan options, can hinder users’ ability to access the information they require in a timely manner.

To address these challenges, special libraries need to develop strategies that involve collaboration with other libraries, sharing resources through consortia, exploring digital platforms for resource sharing, and advocating for increased funding and support for specialized collections and services (Coleman, 2016). These measures can help special libraries overcome the challenges they face in acquiring and providing access to library resources and services, ensuring that they continue to meet the unique information needs of their user communities.

Statement of the Problem:

Special libraries are one of the library/ types that have been neglected, even parent body lacks interest in providing for special libraries their resources and services. It was observed that special libraries in Imo State are faced with so many challenges in the acquisition of library resources and provision of services to the users.

These challenges may include limited budgets, inadequate staffing, technological constraints, lack of specialized materials, and difficulties in meeting the diverse information needs of their user communities. Understanding these challenges is crucial for addressing the specific issues faced by special libraries in Imo State and improving their overall effectiveness and efficiency in resource acquisition and service delivery.

More so, investigations showed that the parent institutions of these special libraries are not meeting up in providing  better facilities and qualified staff that will uphold the services and resources when provided. In order to unveil all these, the researcher is to embark on this study using medical library at  Federal University Teaching Hospital (F.U.T.H) at Orlu road.

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of the study is to access the challenges of acquisition of library resources and the provision of services to their users in special libraries in Imo state. The specific objectives include to :

  1. determine the main challenges faced by special libraries in Imo State in acquiring library resources.
  2. determine the main challenges faced by special libraries in Imo state in providing services to their users
  3. to examine the method of acquiring special library collection.
  4. determine the strategies that can be implemented to address the challenges faced by special library.

Scope of the Study:

This study focuses on the challenges of acquisition of library resources and services to users in special libraries in Federal University of Teaching Hospital Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. It examines the issues and obstacles encountered by these libraries in acquiring and managing resources, as well as delivering services to their users. The study will consider various types of special libraries in Imo State, including corporate libraries, government agency libraries, research institution libraries, and other specialized libraries serving specific professional fields.

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Significance of the Study:

Special Libraries: The primary beneficiaries of this study are the special libraries in Imo State. By identifying and understanding the challenges they face in acquiring library resources and services, special libraries can gain valuable insights into areas that need improvement.

Library Administrators and Staff: Library administrators and staff in special libraries will benefit from this study by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the challenges affecting resource acquisition. The findings can help them make informed decisions regarding budget allocation, resource selection, and the adoption of new technologies or practices.

Library Users: The study’s findings can directly benefit library users in special libraries. By addressing the identified challenges, libraries can enhance their collections, expand access to relevant resources, and improve the quality and variety of services offered to users.

 

Research Community: Researchers and scholars interested in library science, information management, or related fields can benefit from this study. The research findings can serve as a valuable reference for future studies, allowing researchers to build upon the knowledge gained and explore new dimensions of the challenges in acquiring library resources and services.

Policy Makers and Funding Agencies: Policy makers and funding agencies involved in the development and support of library services can benefit from this study’s insights. The findings can provide evidence-based information on the challenges faced by special libraries, highlighting the importance of adequate funding, technological infrastructure, and professional development opportunities.

Students: Students can benefit from the study on the challenges of acquiring library resources and services in special libraries by having access to Relevant and Up-to-Date Resources: By addressing the identified challenges and implementing the study’s recommendations, special libraries can improve their collections and expand access to relevant and up-to-date resources. This means that students will have access to a wider range of books, journals, databases, and other materials that are essential for their studies.

Research Questions:

  1. What are the main challenges faced by special libraries in Federal University of Teaching Hospital Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, Imo State in acquiring library resources.
  2. What are the main challenges faced by special libraries in Federal University of Teaching Hospital Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, Imo state in providing services to their users
  3. What are the method of acquiring special library collection.
  4. What are the strategies that can be implemented to address the challenges faced by special library.

    Pages:  86

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF               

    Chapters: 1-5                                          

    Source: Imsuinfo

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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