History of Library and Information Science in Imo State University, Owerri
The history of the department maybe traced to the old Imo State University then at Etiti. Library Science was one of the foundation courses run at the old Imo State University. The programme was developed by professor B.O. Amaechi who was designated Director of Library Studies.
When in 1991 Abia State was out of Imo State in the State creation exercise, the Imo State University was ceded to Abia state because its physical location at Uturu falls within Abia State. It was the renamed Abia State University. Consequently, a new Imo State University University was established in Owerri in 1992. The programmes offered at the old Imo state university were-introduced at Owerri.
The library science programme stated in the 1993/94 academic session with the admission of (55) Undergraduate students. There were three lecturers on hand to teach (Including Dr. R. U. Ononogbo, then Ag. University Librarian), With Dr. J. N. Agumanu as the unit Head. The department was originally located in the Faculty of social sciences, College of Humanities and social sciences in line with the collegiate system operated by the university then. Since 2002 when the university adopted the faculty system, is assumed the status of full-fledged Academic department. The name has changed to department of Library and Information Science. Following the recent restructuring and re-alignment of Academic Department within the university, the department of library and information was transferred to the faculty of education in line with The National Universities Commission’s (NUC) recommendation during the last accreditation exercise in conformity with NUC prescription.
The Department began a graduate programme in the 1995/96 academic session leading to the award of a Masters of Library Science Degree (MLS). Presently, the department also run a Doctoral programme.
The Department has recorded some landmark achievements since inception. There is enviable peace and harmony among the staff, on one hand, and between staff and students, on the other. The Department student’s body (NALISS) was the best organized students body throughout the period it was in the Faculty of Education.
The Department has twice produced first class graduates – a feat yet to be achieved by other Academic Departments in the institutions. The doctoral programme was the first to come to stream during the stay in the faculty of social sciences. the first fruits of the programme, Dr Okee Okoro and Dr. (Mrs) Clara Okoro are already Professors of Library and Information Science. While Prof. Okee Okoro is steering the ship of Imo State University’s Library as University Librarian, Prof. Clara C. Okoro has been appointed. Prof. and University Librarian of Babcock University, Ileshan-Remo, Ogun State. The current HOD, Dr. (Mrs) Pearl C. Akanwa is the third product of the deparmets’s doctoral programme.
Additionally, Dr Akobundu D. Ugah, who obtained an MLS degree form the Department in 2004 was recently appointed the substantive University Librarian of University of Agriculture, Makurdi. Many other products of the Department are making waves in diverse fields all over the world.
The department enjoyed the unflinching support the deans of the Faculty of social sciences, past and present. The unalloyed assistance of these Deans of the Faculty, whose names are too numerous to be mentioned, were instrumental to the realization of the listed achievements. The present dean of Faculty of education (Prof. Ngozi Uwazurike) has followed suit since our relocation to the Faculty of Education.
It is on record that in the course of its history, evolution and transformation, the Department of Library and Information Science, has enjoyed the support and encouragement of various Vice Chancellors. The constant support of the Present Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. B.E.B. Nwoke has been quite outstanding.
Among other things, Prof. BEB Nwoke has graciously approved the recruitment of all categories of staff to smoothen the administration of all the department.
The following persons have served a HODs at various times since 1993
- Dr. J. N Agumanu 1993-1998
- Dr. R. U. Ononogbo 1998-2000
- Mr. Okee Okoro 2000-2001
- Mrs. Chidi Nwosu 2001-2006
- Dr. Okee Okoro 2006-2007
- Mrs. Chidi Nwosu 2007
- Dr(Mrs) P.C. Akanwa 2007-2018