CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter presents literature review of the study. The following will be discussed in the chapter; Staff involved, awareness levels, technology used and challenges of implementation of library rules and regulations
Staffing is concerned with effective recruitment, selection, placement, appraisal and development of people to occupy positions in the organization. Library staffs are the engine that control the running of all the activities performed in the library. Hence, library staffs are the pivot around whom the users, information materials, equipment, tools and all the other facilities revolve. Arising out of this, it can be appreciated that the professional staff is perhaps the most important resource of the university library (Oriowo, 2002). A well trained body of people tends to imbue each other with confidence, they need to tackle the jobs demanded of them. It is through this that the library users and the information materials interact, as a result of the quality service given by the library staff.
Consequently, a sufficient number of qualified librarians are prerequisite to a satisfactory provision of service, supported by an equally sufficient number of non-professional staff. Their duties should, however, be distinctive enough to avoid role displacement. Therefore, shortage of staff denies professional librarians the chance to perform professional duties and research assignments which are essential for academic and professional development. As a result of this, staff may lack motivation which in turn, leads to frustration and job displacement (Oriowo, 2002).
On the other hand, a library which is sufficiently staffed should be able to satisfy the needs of its end-users because duties are distinctively allocated and delegated where possible. In this way, all various jobs in the library are handled by qualified staff that perform them in each specialized field. With this in mind therefore, staff would provide a balanced service in order to ensure useful and cost-effective work to the management (Kuhlthau, 2008). Taking from the preceding point, library staff should only be those working in professional positions, sub professionals such as holders of the undergraduate diploma in Library and Archives Studies, bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Sciences, as well as those holders of Bachelor degree in disciplines other than Library and Information Sciences, as well as high school leavers who have acceptable university entry qualifications and who have been employed on training and development basis. These are designated library staff for purposes of budgeting. All the other categories of staff working in the library such as secretaries, security, cleaners, messengers, for purposes of staff establishment and preparation of annual estimates should not be counted, as part of the Library staff, since they do not perform the actual library duties but assist in the smooth running of the library (Kingori, 2013).
With financial limits being experienced especially in public universities, most universities do not appreciate the role of professional librarians. University libraries are never given the first privilege when it comes to adequate recruitment of professional staff (Lombard, 2010). Most institutions prefer recruiting either sub-professional or library assistants during its inception, awaiting the growth of the institution before a qualified professional librarian is recruited; as a result, libraries experience poor management, due to lack of proper policy developments, negative perception of the library and librarians by library patrons and the university management, due to poor services being issued. According to the Commission of Higher Education (2007) “the composition of library staff shall be: Librarians shall constitute 35% and para-professional, technical and clerical staff shall constitute, 65% of all staff.” This standard is yet to be observed by many Universities in Kenya.
University library staff should therefore be the professional staff, library staff may therefore be categorized as: University Librarian, Deputy University Librarians, Senior Librarians, Librarians, Senior Library Assistants and Library Assistants (Oriowo, 2002).
Library is an important asset in the society and whereas academic libraries are segment of social institutes and are responsible for capturing and disseminating knowledge to the users (Julien ; Williamson, 2011). Library plays an import role in academic sector and support financially to academic libraries for building qualitative collection, to provide different services from the libraries and to acquire literature trained library staff to become qualified staff who can handle efficient tasks in any environment.
The number of staff required for managing the different activities of or identified libraries cannot be isolated quickly and to avoid the variations, different staffing patterns are developed for different types of libraries and discussed by the scholars to solve the conflict of manpower. Among the different studies available on staffing pattern Dr. Ranganathan’s staffing formula is still in use in case of traditional libraries (Egunjobi & Oyewole, 2006). But now in the digital environment and changing circumstances the staff pattern is modified. There is a need to review the staff requirement in digital environment. In this chapter researcher made efforts to study different staff formula and staff patterns suggested by scholars and librarians. This study helps researcher in identifying staff in digital environment.
Innovation and change are the two main factors which help human being to adjust with the changing environment. Darwin’s principle of survival of the fittest is useful in all the areas of knowledge. Many changes are reported in the library profession due to use of technologies changing education system, increasing user exceptions form libraries and increase in digital environment (Arubayi, 2009; Egunjobi, 2002). The functions of libraries have constantly changed due to different factors from time to time, manuscript to digital libraries etc. Though the functions of libraries remain same but the nature of performing jobs are shifted.
Every time efforts are made to identify the change / challenges and educate the library manpower to sustained in the profession. Based on the activities carried out in libraries the requirement of staff also changes. Dr S R Ranganathan proposed in his staff formula when only print media and limited branches of knowledge available (Adegbesan, 2010). Due to application of technologies the change in environment witnessed to develop digital resources wherein the nature of functions of different units changed and the maintenance of traditional library was reduced considerably. Due to this a situation is felt where the function either remains same but activities shifted using digital media. For every change there is a need to review the requirements of staff in relation to Job and its description.
2.2 Awareness levels
Both the current and future needs of library users should always be kept in mind in order to assist them to achieve excellence in their academic pursuits. In this light, library plays a pivotal role as a gateway to information resources, a center for creation and recreation of academic activities, the fulcrum of academic life, and the engine of learning that fuels the academic institution. There is not only the need to gear up the old ones but also to initiate the new services with the assistance of the latest information technology so that the total library operations and services can be enhanced.
It is important to keep up with the ever-changing information world. Libraries are serving patrons from diverse groups with different needs. Librarians need to help patrons find the services that best meet their needs. Although CA services have come a long way in just a few years, information overload is still a major concern. “Alerting services are very appealing but can easily end up inundating users with far too much information” (Barr, 2006).
Siriwardena (2005) investigated the present status of CA services in special libraries and university libraries in Sri Lanka. The findings show that informal and traditional methods were used to provide CA services to their users. Singh (1999) conducted a comparative study of reader services provided by IIT libraries of India and found that CA service existed in all the IIT libraries. Umbur (2008) stated that CA service was the most used information service to support the research activities. Okafor and Ukwoma (2007) found that academics in science and engineering in Southern Nigeria do not frequently use CA services, consult with librarians or visit exhibitions to gain information in the library.
McKimmie (1994) concluded from his findings that “the users were satisfied with the service; the majority of citations received were considered relevant; 35% of the users needed revision of their profiles; and few faculty members took advantage of the document delivery service”. Sharma et al. (2008) listed the reasons of “growing dissatisfaction of the users arising from non-availability of needed documents and lack of provision of services could be boiled down to some extent, by rendering at least CAS or current contents or information about latest addition to users”.
Diaron (2003) showed that bulletin boards play an important role in extending the level of CA services and that “Methods of current awareness services are not widely read nor scanned by library users”. Shafique (2009) found that the new library services that can enhance the access to library resources were: SDI in relevant research areas, CA service, document delivery, blog development, and e-mail alerts. Adebayo (2009) opined that more dynamic, challenging, and practical user-friendly services such as CA services and SDI should be given priority
Awareness of information is one of the aspects mentioned by Wilkinson (2001) in her model reflecting the information behaviour of lawyers. An important advantage of using CAS via the Web is that this enables a person to receive customized information that is easy to digest. It also provides immediate access to the end-user work station and the information is highly available. Fourie (1999) adds that it is easy to keep track of new developments, of new information resources, of new trends in a specific field, of new research projects, of daily events, of activities in competing markets and of new documents in databases.
CAS can help keep track of forthcoming events and supports research and publications (Fourie, 2001), thus benefiting the individual researcher and the research community and leading to research of a high quality (Kemp 1979). CAS is also speedy and can appear very frequently; in addition; it is very convenient (Fourie, 2003). It can be expected that these benefits will also apply to the legal profession. However, empirical studies will be necessary to gain more specific insights. Although those in the legal profession often rely on conferences to keep up to date, they are not always in a position to attend these (Haruna ; Mabawonku, 2001). The CAS discussed in this article may therefore offer a solution.
The disadvantages associated with awareness are notably less than the advantages. CAS can, however, be very time-consuming to set up, especially if the Internet is very slow. In addition, users can still be overloaded with information, with the result that they will need to organize the information if they are to benefit fully from it. Customization also does not allow for browsing and the serendipitous discovery of information (Martin ; Metcalfe, 2001). Another disadvantage is that some services (usually those of high quality) are very expensive. In addition, no CAS can cover all the information on a subject and the user might therefore need to subscribe to different services, leading to overlapping and information overload (Fourie, 2001). Kulthau and Tama (2001) also point out that a possible disadvantage of personalized services (including CAS) is that, although useful for routine tasks, they could be less effective in supporting complex tasks involving creativity and the construction of new meaning.
Information is the key factor of any kind of research and development. Information is a fundamental resource which is essential for survival in today’s competitive and wired world. The information itself and way it is accessed have undergone changes owing to the developments in information and communication technology. It is a vital ingredient for socioeconomic and cultural development of any nation or individual (Alonso, Casati, Kuno & Machiraju, 2010).
According to Kemp (1979), Information is considered as the fifth need of man ranking after air, water, food and shelter”. The value of information in every human endeavor cannot be overstressed. Quick and easy access to every required information is a supreme importance especially for libraries. Information technology application and the techniques are being used by the libraries for information processing, storage, communication, dissemination of information, automation etc. Further, origin of internet and the development of World Wide Web revolutionized the information communication technology. Recognizing the advantages application of information technology, the libraries are essential to provide the facilities to their user community.
Library discovery technologies are changing the way users can search academic resources by offering a one-stop shop (Alonso, Casati, Kuno & Machiraju, 2010). The ubiquity of Google-like search engines has drastically changed the way users of academic resources look for information – and this is maybe particularly noticeable in undergraduate learning, where students do not necessarily require fine-grained information but rather a good overview of a topic (breadth over depth). This change in the way users of academic resources search for information has brought about new forms of discovery layers for academic resources, initially with the introduction of federated search tools, and now with the unified discovery layer
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become ubiquitous with current and future social and organizational development. The role of these technologies in national development is undeniably significant. As the positive effects of ICT have continually been noted more obviously in developed countries, it has become critically important for developing countries to embrace these technologies. The appearance of ICT on the global scene has caused a revolution in libraries and all service providing industries. ICT has changed the ways and patterns in which information and other services are dispensed. Nwachukwu (2005) supports this by observing that with all the changes in information and the processes of access, storage, transmission and reproduction, librarians and libraries must adapt to new roles and skills to cope with change.
The only way of satisfying user demand is to use ICT in information service delivery. Librarians and libraries must do this to remain relevant in the face of challenges and changes. Owoyemi (2001) contends that to ensure our relevance to a new generation of users, “we need to be where our users are, even if they are not inside our libraries.” With the emergency of computers and computer related information materials, the traditionally custodial role of the librarian is changing. The use of computers for cataloguing, information retrieval and certain housekeeping procedures is commonplace, and the emphasis is increasingly on exploitation, not only of books and journals in the library but of information available elsewhere and in non-print form. With these changes librarians ought to keep and embrace the new changes least they start having nightmares that the technological age will make them redundant (Rosenberg, 2006).
The university environment is changing; there is renewed recognition of the role that university libraries play as drivers of national development. Their transformation has included much investment in terms of electronic infrastructure and connectivity, as well as attention to e-learning and related approaches as key tools to enhance the quality of higher education and make it more accessible. University libraries are an important part of this transformation, with the potential to become leaders and standard-bearers of what can be done with the new ICT (Nwalo, 2009). It therefore poses a great challenge to library and Librarians, in this technological era libraries are faced with two major challenges, of automating their services and providing e-resources to their users. Most library users tend to prefer the internet sources for their studies and research work and shun away from the traditional libraries.
Audio-visual information materials are also considered relevant in university libraries unlike the books, they are often viewed as supplementary to the print resources. The rapidly changing technologies are however challenging the passive role of the sleeping giants (Libraries). Other than the traditional non-book materials, the audio-visual unit is finding in its custody data CDs and DVDs video CDs, diskettes and other electronic medium; this comes with new roles and challenges. The modern audiovisual librarian is not just a custodian but also an active participant in creation, repackaging and dissemination of knowledge through the media. E-books have also started to revolutionize library systems as electronic publishing matures, research and academic libraries are beginning to supplement their print holdings with electronic publications (Schek & Weikum, 2005). This transition began with scientific journals and is now advancing into academic and scholarly books, as well. In the past few years, corporate and government libraries have also begun acquiring e-Books along with print holdings
Library automation has also become a necessity in this information age, one of the major challenges faced in automating and establishing digitalized library projects in African Libraries, has been the readiness of the university libraries in terms of skills and knowledge to implement the digital and electronic library services. Rosenberg (2006) notes that skills in e-resources management, eservices development, full text digitization and teaching skills are lacking in African University Libraries. There are also many other challenges regarding funding, IT infrastructure, Internet connectivity, lack of commitment from staff and or/ management and the availability of African generated content to put into the digital collections and information resources. There is increased demand for librarians with skills to initiate, manage and participate in digital library projects (Jacso, 2002).
Technology is moving librarians into new roles some welcome, some uncomfortable, but nearly all of benefit to library patrons. In most cases, these new roles are an addition to, not a replacement for traditional duties. New services will continue to develop but many traditional library services will continue in some form for the foreseeable future.
Information professionals should be well informed on new inventions in ICT (Commission of Higher Education, 2007). The profession parades an array of people from diverse backgrounds such as engineering, communication, computer, electronics and other fields. Librarians can team up with other professionals to develop new technologies. More than ever before, librarians must make themselves more relevant in this digital age (Haslhofer & Klas, 2010).
2.4 Challenges of implementation of library rules
New tools of information technology have absolutely changed the role & responsibilities of librarians. A number of studies have been conducted to explore the problems faced by librarians. Given section reviews the studies conducted at International level in general and particularly in developing countries to investigate the problems confronted by the librarians.
Ademodi & Adepoju (2009) investigated the computer skill among librarians in academic libraries on Ondo and Ekiti State in Nigeria. It was found the shortage of computers and computer skills among professionals. The study recommended that more attention and funds should be provided for training and procurement of ICT infrastructure in Nigerian University libraries. For computerization purpose, library administration should solicit funds and assistant from foreign agencies and foundations who are interested for the cause.
Adomi & Anie (2006) in their research on computer literacy skills of professionals in Nigerian University libraries concluded that most of the professionals do not possess high level of computer skill and their use of computer and technology is still maturing. They recommended that library management and leaders should organize and offer inhouse computer training programmes for librarians and enough computers should be provided in this regard.
Trushina (2004) discussed the issues related to the internet as well as the correlation of professional codes and their implementation in library practice. He stated that libraries depend on ethical principles more than any other institution because library services are essentially human-oriented. He stressed that librarians must follow the intellectual freedom principle and they have a moral responsibility to the patrons.
Hashim & Mokhtar (2009) studied the trends and issues in preparing new era librarians and information professionals. They reported that the following trends are essential for new era librarians’ i. e. a vision towards information and knowledge rich society, globalization of information, integrated and widespread ICT applications, growth of electronic/internet resources, role of digital/electronic/virtual library, access role replace custodial role, strategic alliances, partnership and collaborations, librarians need new management knowledge and skills, specialized knowledge ; skills in library and information management, trend to develop digital contents to facilitate access. It was concluded that new era librarian will become a guardian of digital information and digital librarians with newly acquired skills can play a meaningful and leading role in the networked information society of the millennium
Sreenivasulu (2000), studied the role of a digital librarian in the management of digital information systems. He stressed that the multimedia nature of the next generation of digital libraries requires the digital librarians (DL) to be essentially a type of specialist librarian who has to manage and organize the digital library, handle the specialized tasks of massive digitization, storage, access, digital knowledge mining, digital reference services, electronic information services, search co-ordination, and manage the archive and its access. He should be well-versed in markup languages, cataloguing, metadata, multimedia indexing and database technology, user interface design, programming, and Web technology.
Johnson (2007), viewed library and information science education in developing countries. He concluded that LIS programs in developing countries continue to suffer from lack of financial support by governments. Wallis (2005), found that information literacy is vital skill set for citizens of information societies. They suggested that the librarian must support learning at all levels. They are needed to pass skill set of technological and media literacies to citizens at all levels of society for economic, social and personal empowerment.
Rahman, Khatun ; Islam (2008) reviewed the library education in Bangladesh. The study found that majority of institutions in Bangladesh do not have well-equipped computer labs or sufficient numbers of computers for students. A sufficient number of classification and cataloguing tools (DDC, LC, Sears list of subject headings for practical were not present. Many institutions either have no library or inadequate collection of textbooks. Professional’s status was also found very low, low pay scale and limited opportunities for promotion.
In Sri Lanka, Wijayaratne (2008) probed the challenges encountered by the librarians of developing world in providing library services to support open and distance learning. It was concluded that the attitude of the government towards libraries in Sri Lanka has been changed during the last few years and the government has made several approaches to develop the libraries particularly University libraries. Government also identified the capacity of distance education to accommodate the huge number of A/L completers who cannot gain admission to learn. It was found very important for the OUSL to boost the process of achieving its development goals to upgrade the quality and maintain the standards of distance in Sri Lanka.
In Nepal, Siwakoti (2008) found that there was no government agency to control, monitor and evaluate the school libraries activities. There was lack of awareness programs, budgetary constraints, inadequate space, inadequate library materials, lack of trained and skilled manpower and lack of appropriate government policy and lack of information literacy.
In Malaysia Lee, Brown, Mekis & Singh (2003) investigated that there was lack of full-time teacher librarians and selected teachers are asked to take charge of the school resource center as one of their administrative duties. There was no uniform current syllabus for the training of teacher librarians. The biggest problem which was found is that in Malaysian teacher librarians are facing professional isolation.
In Iran Gavgani, Shokraneh & Shiramin (2011) concluded that librarians do not have traditional skills and sufficient background knowledge to meet the changing needs of their customers. They need to be empowered by new skills and information before going to empower their patrons. So there must not be a gap between librarian’s professional/technological knowledge and their societies informational need that to be answered by librarians. Need for changing the syllabus of medical library and information science education in Iran was also felt
In India Jestin ; Parameswari (2002) explored the challenges for library professionals in the new millennium. It found that library professionals in India were subjected to various challenges. The introduction of computers and new technology was a challenge to all librarians. It was conclude that librarians should be ready to participate in the process of generating and distributing information and knowledge for quality of life and education for all. Librarians must unite to withstand the revolutions that will occur in the information and communication fields.
Similarly, Dasgupta (2009) searched out that in India there is non-existent of norms and standards for the education of librarians. Problems for Indian librarians discovered in his study were emergence of new LIS schools, insufficient faculty strength, and lack of accreditation bodies, lack of proper library facilities, inadequate physical facilities, little attention for selection criteria, and lack of apprenticeship programs. Study suggested that the Government of India should play a leading role in promoting LIS education in India, by creating more job opportunities for LIS professionals and removing disparity in pay scales among LIS professionals.
Ali ; Bakshi (2009) explored that LIS profession is facing many challenges such as lack of finance, inadequate infrastructure, lack of knowledge and training, lack of high quality teaching staff, lack of permanent faculty for distant programs, lack of admission policy and evaluation, absence of accreditation body and supporting policy at national level, lack of global perspective and lack of library visits. It was suggested that admission test should be conducted before admission in LIS and practical hours should be increased. Attendance should be made compulsory and syllabus should be up-dated. Availability of high caliber staff should be ensured. Mobile based learning programs should be adopted for distance learning. For the purpose of imparting practical training, there should be complete infrastructure. It was concluded that to support learning and teaching ICT should be used because e-learning would be the future of education