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Library & Information Science

Income Generation In Academic Libraries: A Comparative Analysis




The major aim of this study is to carry out a comparative study on the ways of generating income in academic libraries. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. Dependency theory formed the theoretical background for this study. The study adopted survey research design. The total population of the study is 58. Total enumeration sampling technique is used for the study. Rating scale was used to elicit data for the study. Mean score was used to analyse data for the study. The study founded out that the academic library needed income the most to maintain financial sustainability and to expand its services and programs. They also need income for technology upgrade, collection development, professional development and community engagement, the academic library generates its funds mostly through grants and endowments and fee-based service. It also generates funds through lobbying and advocacy, consultation services and via friends of the library and the most challenging factor militating against the generation of income for the academic library is decreased funding and limited commercial activities. Other factors are rising cost, open access movement, changing information landscape, competing priorities, donor dependence and user expectations. Base on the findings, the researcher recommended that the Nigerian academic libraries should look for other means of generating fund to help the libraries meet up to its goals and laws should be enacted by the university or the parent body, to help the academic libraries generate revenue.



The 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 to the Study

The library is a strong research base of any institution where age long information is preserved for diverse purposes. It is a curated collection of resources, both physical and digital, that provides access to knowledge, information, and cultural materials for educational, research, and recreational purposes. Mashayabo (2017) defines the library as a collection of books and other materials organized and maintained for use. They commonly include reference works, such as encyclopedias that provide factual information and indexes that help users find information in other sources; creative works including poetry, novels, short stories, music scores, and photographs; non-fiction, such as biographies, histories and other factual reports; and periodical publications, including magazines, scholarly journals, and books published as part of a series. It serves as a central hub for learning, exploration, and intellectual growth (IFLA, 2019). Nigeria as a country with has different types of institutions and each of them has need  for a library (Lawal, 2017). This is because the presence of library makes it easy for any researcher to gather information necessary in the course of the research. Among the libraries include school, national, public, special as well as academic library. For the purpose of this study, emphasis will be on academic library, due to how important the library is, the National Universities Commission (NUC) as a regulatory body mandated that every academic institution must have a functional library before it is issued a license of operation. To further strengthen its order, the body (NUC) embarks on a routine check to ensure that academic libraries are well equipped for both the students and lecturers use. The achievement of this responsibility cannot be feasible in the absence of adequate income.

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However, funding for libraries in Nigeria has been of much concern to researchers. The limited resources cannot meet the human needs on the ground; and that is why when the Federal government allocates fund to the universities before such funds will be shared with the various divisions of the university, the library will be left out. As a result of this, most institutions still have outdated books/materials in their libraries, lecturers are not sponsored to embark on meaningful researches and even to attend seminars (Okiy, 2017). Due to the fact that funding is a major issue in maintaining the library, it now beholds on the librarians to source for other means to maintain the library as the government is not performing well to achieve this; and the truth still remains that funding drives the effectiveness of a library.

It would be stating the obvious to say that adequate funding should be considered a basic necessity for the effective development of library and information services. But when such a fundamental consideration is often ignored or is not sufficiently appreciated by the parent organizations, then it becomes necessary to reiterate even what is obvious as a means of driving the wedge in a little further (Boadi, 2016).Libraries have for long played a central role in the lives of Universities, in supporting learning, teaching and research. Since Universities themselves vary considerably in the nature, range and scale of their activities, it is not surprising that their libraries too come in many different shapes and sizes (RIN, 2019).

The  university,  polytechnic  and  college  of  education  libraries  are  commonly  referred  to  as academic libraries. These libraries are attached to institution of higher learning to support the teaching and learning research activities of their parent body. Akporhonor (2015) posited  that  academic  libraries  are  libraries  attached  to  tertiary  institutions  such  as  universities, polytechnic institutions, colleges of education, colleges of agriculture, colleges of technology and also research institutes.  Academic  libraries are  at the  forefront of  providing information  services to  their respective communities which comprises students, lecturers, and researchers in order to support their teaching,  learning and  research  needs.  Scholars  have  emphasized  on the  crucial  roles  academic libraries play  in providing  adequate sources  and resources  that meets the  needs  of their  users. This makes academic libraries to be referred to as the heart or nerve centres of institutions of higher learning where all academic activities revolved.  So, there is need for adequate resources and services of the higher institution libraries to enhance their effective services provision.

Income refers to the money or financial resources received by an individual, household, or organization as a result of their economic activities, investments, or other sources. It is the inflow of funds that contributes to one’s financial well-being and can be used for consumption, savings, or investment purposes. Uche (2023) defined income as the money or financial resources that an individual or entity receives from various sources, such as employment, investments, business activities, or government benefits. It is on record that, academic library income comes from the government hence any delay turns to affect the existence of the library (Boadi, 2016). As a matter of urgency therefore, academic libraries need to think of how to generate more income so as to augment the meager support  from government, institutional funding.

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Academic libraries need alternative source of funding to keep them surviving in the world of financial difficulties nowadays as argued by (Foo, Chin, Tan & Puah, 2020). Also this stems from the fact that, both public and academic cannot totally fund their activities without a vibrant alternative income generation venture as commented in (Paut & Poulter, 2014). Again, due to the high financial crisis in all sectors of the economy, it is prudent for the academic library to find avenues of alternative income generation to support their services as suggested by Chaputula (2021). Peachey (2013) commented that libraries need to adopt strategies to assist them in implementing alternative income generation activities, and not depending solely on government support or parent organization.

The need to employ consultancy services and brokerages services for their day to day survival. Generally, fee base services at this present situation of the country are very critical in the life of academic libraries’ growth. (Osei & Ahenkroah, 2013). However, Nigerian academic libraries are seriously struggling to meet up with these current needs of the users as high exchange rate current economic situation and their main source of income is posing great challenge. The problem is severe bearing in mind that Federal institutions are funded by parent institutions through National universities commission (NUC) and by the Federal government. In the 80s, about 5% was allocated by the Federal government for libraries, but this allocation was increased in the mid 90s to about 10%, of which it was given directly to the Library Development Fund (LDF); though the bad news is that the Library Development Fund (LDF) has been scrapped out from the budget (Olanlokun & Adekanye, 2015) each university now decides on what to give to its library. When an assessment was carried out to ascertain if the said 10% is allocated to university libraries, it was discovered that many federal universities have not received the allocated fund, in the state university it is about who knows who in government to help fight in order to get the said allocation similar situation also exists in the private university, where the founders that determine what goes into the funding of the library.

It is, therefore, pertinent for academic libraries in Nigeria to engage in diverse means of generating income for the upkeep of the libraries, rather than depending on the government. An introspective look into internal means of income generating for the maintenance of the library will go a long way in achieving the purpose for which it was set up, and this study is meant to discover those ways.

Statement of the problem

When the life wire of any establishment is not pumped into any system, the progress of that system is forfeited. The library is meant to be a strong and updated knowledge base for learning; but the inadequate funding keep posing a challenge The government allocation of unseen funds for the maintenance of the libraries; frequent diversion of funds/embezzlement and overdependence on government for funding by the academic libraries has been the order of the day.

In this bid, the libraries have been left in poor state of empty shelves, outdated books, and lack of maintenance of some equipment that would have assisted the librarians in the course of discharging their duties and probably serve as a means of revenue. The exacerbatory situation is the researchers concern and reason for generating income in Nigeria academic libraries rather than relying on the government.

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Scope of the Study

The study is exclusively a comparative analysis of Income generation in academic libraries. It will cover issues boarding on libraries, academic libraries, income and income generation in Imo State University and Federal polytechnic Nekede, Owerri are the institutions to be compared. The study will be limited to 2 academic institutions in Imo State namely; Imo State University and Federal polytechnic Nekede.

Purpose of the Study

The major aim of this study is to carry out a comparative study on the ways of generating income in academic libraries. Specifically it intends to:

  1. ascertain the various income needed in the academic libraries studied.
  2. determine the ways of generating income in the academic libraries studied.
  3. identify the challenges of generating income in the academic libraries studied


Significance of the Study

The study if published will be relevant to library administration, library users, library staff, policy and decision makers and future researchers.

The study provides libraries and their administrators with insights into effective income generation strategies. By understanding the comparative analysis of different libraries, they can identify successful approaches and implement them to generate revenue. This knowledge can help libraries enhance their financial sustainability, expand services, and improve user experiences.

The study indirectly will be of benefit to library users by improving the quality and variety of services offered. With increased income generation, libraries can enhance their collections, provide access to updated resources, introduce new programs and initiatives, and improve facilities and technology infrastructure. This leads to a more enriching and satisfying experience for library users.

The study contributes to the professional development of library staff and professionals by offering insights into income generation strategies. It equips them with knowledge and skills related to financial management, marketing, entrepreneurship, and strategic planning. This empowers them to effectively contribute to the sustainability and growth of libraries, enhancing their professional expertise and career prospects.

The study’s findings and recommendations can inform policymakers and decision-makers involved in the development and funding of libraries. By understanding the significance of income generation, they can design policies and allocate resources that support libraries in diversifying their funding sources and achieving financial sustainability. This can lead to more effective and targeted investments in the library sector.

The study adds to the existing body of knowledge on income generation in libraries, specifically in the Nigerian context. Researchers and scholars interested in library management, finance, and entrepreneurship can benefit from the study’s comparative analysis, methodologies, and findings. It may inspire further research and contribute to a deeper understanding of income generation strategies for libraries.

Libraries play a vital role in local communities by providing educational resources, promoting literacy, and offering community engagement programs. The study’s focus on income generation can result in better-funded libraries, allowing them to serve their communities more effectively. This, in turn, benefits individuals seeking knowledge, educational opportunities, and community support.

Research questions

The following questions are posed to guide the study:

  1. What are the various income needed in the academic libraries studied?
  2. What are the ways of generating income in the academic libraries studied?
  3. What are the challenges of generating income in the academic libraries studied?

    Pages:  75

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF               

    Chapters: 1-5                                          

    Source: Imsuinfo

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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