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Human Resources Development In Academic Libraries: A Study Of Imo State University, Owerri Library, Imo State




This study focused on the survey of human resources development in academic libraries using Imo State University Owerri Imo State Library. The researcher adopted a survey research design. Four purpose and four research questions were posed for the study. Questionnaire was used to collect data. Data collection was analyzed using simple percentage and tables. The study discovered that the human resources development programmes offered to staff in Imo State University, Owerri Library include apprenticeship, short courses, seminars, conferences, on the job training, simple orientation programmes, lecturers, formal professional and library education, organized visit and job rotation. The study discovered that the reason for offering the development programmes in the library includes greater responsibility, guidelines for high staff morales, increase in quality of service, overcoming impediments and reduction of wastes. The study discovered that the categories of staff benefit from these development programmes are the professional staff, para-professional staff and the library management administrators. The study discovered that the problem militating against human resources development in the academic library understudy, finance, staff shortage, staff relationship with management, managerial problems and lack of development policies. Based on the findings the research made some recommendations.





This chapter is presented under the following subheadings: background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and research questions.

Background to the Study

Human resources is all about “people”, in every organization, they are factors without which the organization is reduced to nothing. It is all about the human and people who carry out the organization’s activities. Armstrong (2006), in his work identifies human resources as the organization’s most valued asset; the people working for the achievement of the organizational objectives. Human resources vary from organization to organization. The types of human resources needed in the library vary from the type needed in a hospital organization or banking organization and many other establishments, be it private or public have their goods Adegbie (2009) states that human resources efforts are directed towards putting the needed materials resources and equipment in use in order to achieve desired goals. Thus, the efforts of all these human resources in any organizational are geared towards achieving one purpose which is the organizational goal.

The library as an organization is made up of human, material and financial resources. These are basic component of a given organization and are necessary for efficiency. However human resources supersede all other resources of the library. They help to co-ordinate and organize all other resources. Human resources in the library are the greatest assets for progress and posterity. They are employed to carry out the routine activities of the library. They include the professional staff, para-professional staff and the support staff in the library which are the category of staff who went through professional training and qualification in librarianship. The staff that fall under this category are with the minimum qualification of first degree from a professional staff are with same but incomplete professional training and qualifications. The minimum requirement for para professionals is a diploma in librarianship. Those in this cadre include among others, the chief library officers, assistant chief library officers. They support staff are those without both the training and qualification requisite for library practice. The minimum qualification here is five (5) credits in West African School Certificate (WAEC). Those in this cadre include clerical staff, messengers, porters, cleaners etc. They all need to grow in the places of their primary assignment, hence there is need for their development.

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Development is the process of exposing an individual to the method or orders of improving in their activities. Uchenna (2014), defines development as activities undertaken to expose an employee to perform additional duties and assume positions of importance in an organization. Also, Casio (2009) states that it is a function/activity aimed at preserving and enhancing employees competence in their job through improving their knowledge, skill, abilities and other characteristics. The principles, behind development is that by giving individual time to study the techniques of being good managers and by counseling them about their achievement, they will realize their full potential this development seeks to enhance and individual knowledge about existing things, broadens their effort to perform their job and promote the organization’s purpose of establishment.

In developing these human resources, the organization has to place the right individual at the right place and also expose them to the activities of their field to enable them perform their activities well for the promotion of the organization. Development exist in all levels and areas of life, hence the many forms of development; family development, institutional development, organizational development, and even library development exist. While in families parental and child development are considered, there is human development in institutions and organizations.

Development exist in all levels and areas of life, hence the many forms of development; family development, institutional development, organizational development, even in the library development exist. While in families parental and child development are considered, there is human development in institutions and organizations. Library as an institution also need development, especially as it relates to its human resources. Prior to 19th century when libraries were managed by people who do not require any special training. There was no staff development programme used in libraries then, thus were inadequate and could not yield the desired output. Given the nature and scope of services expected from libraries, its staff which constitute the nucleus upon which services depend becomes indispensable. These staff needs to be adequately developed so that they will cope with the demands of their job.

Human resources development is an organized procedure by which people learn knowledge or skill for a definite purpose. It is the process of equipping  the employees. Human resources development in the library is a way of empowering staff to attain self improvement and contribute to efficiency and productivity in the library. Sahai (2003) state that development of human resources is a long term organizational strategy in the library for assisting employees in optimizing their skills and advancing their education in the library organization. It incorporates all cadre in the library system. Tayeh (2010) affirms that libraries are determined to deal with human resources as an intellectual capital that forms the most important of its body. So there is an increasing relationship between the quality of investment in the human resources and their job performance. Suffice to say that the human resources development is an integral part of any library since the aim of the library is to propagate and achieve their objective their objectives and the programmes vary from one institution to another.

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According to Azino (2014) some of the development programmes are; job rotation, apprenticeship, organized visit, short course, formal professional library education, simple orientation programmes and seminar. Job rotation involves making all staff of the library go round every unit, trying to known what is obtainable so that they can do various jobs whenever they are called upon by their superior or the head librarian. Apprenticeship is that which gives a newly employed staff the opportunity of working alongside with a master i.e a library officer or librarian, to learn the skills and procedures of a job. This period is mostly useful for job that require complex and diverse range of skills and knowledge.

Organized Visit: This kind of development takes place within other library. It is a visit to other library system. The value of this development tools is to offer members opportunities to observe operation in other libraries to exchange ideas and to realize that library problems can be solved in different other ways.

Simple Uncertain Programmes: These introduces this practice of a library to a new employee, with the aim of helping the person discover his talent, area of interest and appreciate the library’s policies and practices. In order to make the exercise attractive it is supplemented by short talks, work manual and flow of work charts.

Seminars: These as means of human resources development could be organized locally, by the senior staff presenting papers within the framework of a general theme. The paper presented should not be mere academic exercise but should form a basis for discussion and exchange of ideas on peculiar library problems.

These and more are the programme set-out for the development for these human resources of if achieved the library will, stand a better ground in  achieving their goals.

Statement of the Problem

No one would easily deny the importance of well trained librarian both for his efficiency and ensuring proper assistance on the use of library resources. The library is a service organization a non fee based institution that renders service to its users community. To enable the services to be rendered librarians make efforts to employ staff of different cadre. These staff are expected to render different kinds of services to the users. However, despite the efforts of the library to employ different cadre of library staff, it is still noticed that these staff fail to render services effectively leading to users inability to patronize the library. Then the question is, what could be the problem and reason, is it as the result of their educational background or the type of development programme given to them while working in the library?. These are the problems of the study.

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Scope of the Study

This study is limited to human resources development of both  professional and non professional staff in academic libraries with particular reference to Imo State University, Owerri library. It is also confined within the programmes set out for the development in these library resources or staff in the library organization.

Objective of the Study

This study is on human resources development in academic libraries. Specifically it intends to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To find out the development programmes offered in these libraries.
  2. To identify the categories of the human resources that benefit fom the development programme.
  3. To identify reasons for the development programme.
  4. To discover problems militating against the human resources development programmes



Significance of the Study

This study will be beneficial to the following; the students, researchers, the library staff and the library itself.

For the students, when these human resources are developed, it will motivate them to use the library because they will be better equipped with better and easy ways to provide the information needs of the users unlike when their staff are not develop. Also when their information needs are been attended to, it will encourage them to make more use of the library to solve their information needs.

To the researchers: It will be seen as their research room, because their research needs are been achieved there. This improvement will encourage them to always come around the library to carryout their research at anytime they are in need of such.

To the library staff: If the motivation is geared towards training sponsorship, it will help to broaden their knowledge and enhance their performance in their job.

It will also help in bringing harmony and organization in the library because there is nothing more cherished and important than a staff that know what to do in an organization at anytime.

The library stands the chance to encourage their user community to use the library as information centre. Because this development will improve their service to their community users and when this is done, the library without doubt have or will achieve their main purpose of establishment.

Research Questions

  1. What are the development programmes offered in these libraries.
  2. What are the categories of the human resources that benefit fom the development programme.
  3. What are the reasons for the development programme.
  4. What are the problems militating against the human resources development programmes

Pages:  58

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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