This project is on the development of public
libraries in Nigeria with reference to the Imo Central Library,
Owerri. Chapter one of this work traces the history of public Library
development in Imo State starting from the days of the eastern Nigeria Library
Board which serried as a platform for the establishment of the Imo State Central
Library Owerri. Chapter two highlights the roles which a public Library can
play in the society in it’s capacity as an agency of education, information,
culture, recreation and asthetic appreciation. Services rendered by public
Libraries were mentioned, such services includes reference services,
circulations of materials, local collections development, display and exhibition,
etc. problems militating against public Library development in the state were
also highlighted in this chapter. Three methods of data collection were used in
this project. Three methods of data collection were used in this project. These
include: oral interview, examination of the Libraries records and the
questionnaire made. Through these methods the researcher collected relevant
data for this project work. In chapter five, findings were made from
investigation carried act about the Library from these findings, the researcher
therefore made a number of recommendations which he hoped will develop in ImoState.
Table of content
1.1Background to the study
1.2Statement of problems
1.3Objective of the study
1.5Scope of the study
1.6Significance of the study
1.7Population of the study
2.2The Public Library as an agency of education
2.3The public Library as an agency for information
2.4The public Library as an agency for rural extension
2.5The public Library as an agency for manpower
2.6The public library as a culture agency.
2.7Public library: an agency for aesthetic appreciation
2.8Public library: Agency for recreation
2.9Services Rendered by the public library.
Instrument / Education
current awareness services
of public libraries
library is funded
militating against public library development.
3.3Records and Report
4.1Data Analysis and Interpretation
5.0Summary of finding and conclusion
5.1 Findings conclusion
1.1BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In this modern world of information
explosion the society is always in need of information agencies strive to meet
this information need. Numerous definitions have been given to the term library,
one of such definitions are contained in the encyclopedia Britannica (vol.22,
1988) state that “a library is a collection of written, printed or other
graphic or visual materials (including files, photographs, tapes, phonograph
records, video discs, microforms and computer programmes) organized and
maintained for reading, study and consultation. Another definition of library
is from the websters New York World Dictionary (1991) which states hat “library
is a room or building where a collection of books, periodicals etc are kept for
reading and reference” collier’s encyclopedia (vol.14,1990) defines the
“library as collection of graphic materials, books, films, magazines, maps
manuscripts, organized for use” while majority of people take a library to be a
place where books are kept. These views of people about the library is not
the definition of a library to be accepted by all should be the one given by
Agbodike 1995 in a lecture delivered, “ A library is a collection of records of
human culture in print or non-print information providing materials, or book
and non-book materials, house, preserved, organized, interpreted and managed by
professional librarians or clientele for information, knowledge, education,
research, recreation and aesthetic appreciation and cultural enjoyment. The
definition which unites the library to book alone is incomplete for there are
many other forms of recorded knowledge such as tapes, firms, microfilms,
microfishes, video tapes and projectors contained in the holdings of libraries.
Commenting on the changing roles of the library, the father of librarianship, Melvin,
Dewy (1906) stated that the library has lost it’s etymologic meaning and means
not a collection of books but the central agency for disseminating information,
innocent recreation or best of all, inspiration among the people.
the definition given above, the three components of a library are books, staff
and building. A library cannot exist without books or a qualified institution
called a library without a building, as well as adequate finance to run and
maintain it. There are different types of libraries performing different
functions aimed at satisfying their various patrons. These includes: school,
academic, special national and public libraries. School libraries are libraries
located in primary and secondary schools. They support and enrich the
educational programmes in the schools in which they are located.
libraries are libraries located in institutions of high learning while special
libraries are those established in companies, organizations, government
department and research institutions. This type of library satisfy the needs of
subject specialists and researchers. The National Library of a country is the
one responsible for collecting and conserving the whole of that county’s book
production for the benefit of further generations. It is the chief depository
of the national arts and culture.
libraries are libraries built for the general public. They are supervised,
financed and supported them by the state or local government of a country.
According to the New encyclopedia (vol. 22, 973) “public libraries are
acknowledged to be an indispensable point of community life as promoters of
libraries providers of a wide range of reading for all ages, and centres for
community information services”. Public libraries are established by state law
supported from the general public funds and administered for the benefit of the
citizens of the town, city, or region which maintains it on the basis of equal
access to all, whether they are artisans, or professionals. It does not
discriminate as it’s doors are open to all classes of people.
American library Association (1967), in one of its publications, stated the
functions of public libraries. Again, at the seminar in library management,
organized by the University of Ibadan and the British council (1970), it was
considered that the public library should provide printed and audio-visual
materials to meet the individual and group needs of its community for
information, self realization, recreation and culture growth and for assistance
in campaign out their duties are citizens and members of the community.
1.1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE IMOSTATE
CENTRAL LIBRARY OWERRI.
The Imo State Library Board came into
existence with the creation of Imo and Anambra state. Despite the creation of
the Imo state out of the former east central state, both continued to maintain
a central library services under the east central state library board
until September, 1976, when the library staff of ImoState
origin had to be transferred to Owerri to establish the administrative
headquarters of the present ImoState library Board. At
the same time, the assets and liabilities of the former east central state were
shared. The movement of staff to Owerri created accommodation problems. Most of
the junior staff occupied the uncompleted library building as their residence
and worked very hard to see that the library was opened early for services.
1.1.2 IMOSTATE LIBRARY BOARD:
The Imo State Library Board was actually
set up by edict N0. 12 of the ImoStatelibrary Board
edict 1977. The edict state: “There is hereby established a board to be known
as the Imo state library Board. The Board shall be a body corporate with
perpetual succession and a common seal and with power to sue and be sued in its
corporate name”. The edict which set up the Imo state library board had made it an animate body can sue and
be sued in its corporate name.
services of the board are supplemented by the divisional libraries at Aba, Abriba, Umuahia (now
in Abia state), Orlu and Mbano. The Board started it’s operation with the sum
of five hundred and forty thousand, eight hundred and thirty-two naira
(540,832.00) for the financial year 1976 and 1977 with six catalogue cabinets,
catalogue cards, some metal filing cabinets and few type writers. In addition
to this, the state government provided the sum of five hundred thousand naira
to cover its capital expenditure. Anambra and Imo state share a considerable
quantity of new books which had not been allocated prior to the creation of
OF THE BOARD
Board was appointment on 10th
November, 1976. Its member were Professor A.O. Anya as chairman and
seven members namely, professor, D.I. Nwoga, Dr. Eze Ogueri, Miss. Gloria I.
Ofor, Mazi F. Nwosu Ezi, Mrs. R. Umelo, the permanent secretary, ministry of
education and information (Mr. N.C. Okonkwo), or his representative and the
director of library services. It held its first meetings on December 17th 1976 and it
was addressed by the then honourable commissioner for education and information
(Dr. M.A Nwachukwu), on 14th
January 1977. The Board held three meetings altogether during the
period under review.
The board relationship with the press
has been most cordial and added to this is the Boards’ determination to provide
adequate public library facilities for the state. It will not be satisfied until
every major centre of the community in the state particularly the headquarters
of the local government areas have been provided with effective public library
OPENING OF THE CENTAL LIBRARY OWERRI
The state central library, Owerri was
officially opened to the public on 12th November 1976 by then military governor of
Imo state (His Excellency, commander Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu). The ceremony was
witnessed by nearly five hundred guest including state commissioners, high ranking
government officials, representative of various business concerns, banking and
public affairs, and representatives from various local government areas in the
state. The building of the library was designed to accommodate eight five
thousand volumes of books, but it was opened with a book stock of about twelve
thousand. On the ground floor, the building houses the children’s library,
acquisition and cataloguing departments as well as an auditorium to sit some
hundred persons, the mobile library garage and loading bag. The first floor
contain a reference library and he adult reading library, the administration
wing of the library which is behind the ground floor, contains the general
office and accounts section while the first floor of the wing accommodates
offices for the director and other personnel staff.
CENTRAL LIBRARY IS MADE UP OF THESE SECTIONS: CHILDREN’S SECTION ADULT LENDING
SECTION TECHNICAL SERVICES SECTION
ACQUISITION SECTION NIGERIANA
CHILDREN’S SECTION: The section started with a
total of five hundred and three children, two hundred and fifty were makes and
two hundred and fifty-three were females. These number has increased by much
since then. A total number of five thousand seven hundred and fifty six books
were issued in the same period, two thousand five hundred and thirty-two books
were non-fiction. A number of writings with African and Nigeria
background have been acquired for the children. Journals were also acquired for
ADULT LENDING SECTION: This section
started with six thousand five hundred books and by 1977 the book stock had
increased to then thousand six hundred books. The section does not had adequate
fiction books in its holdings. But effort were made to improve the situation.
The non-fiction holdings are improving every body. The number of non-fiction
books borrowed was five thousand and twenty-six, out of this numbers, two
thousand were borrowed by males while two thousand five hundred books were
borrowed by females.
In 1977, there was an increase in
borrowing of books by both sexes. The library has now a collection which
reflects a wider range of fields.
TECHNICAL SERVICES SECTION:This section initially experience problem brought
about by lack of tools and equipment and the task of processing books for the
library, many unprocessed books were transferred to Owerri, form Enugu, and
this created a lot of problems by sorting out the unnecessary materials
accessioned, catalogued and shelve them and required. Before the creation of
acquisition section, about four hundred and eighty-three children’s books and
two thousand three hundred and nine-teen adult books had been accessioned and catalogued
in the section. Four thousand materials are processed for Owerri, two thousand
two hundred and twenty eight for Umuahia divisional library, one thousand six
hundred and sixty for Aba
and three hundred and seventy eight for Abriba divisional library respectively,
(of which are now in Abia state).
ACQUISIITON SECTION: The
acquisition department was not established as a separate section as soon as the
library came down from Enugu.
It was rather separated from the cataloguing division in February 1977. The
acquisition policy of the Imo state library board states that: All books
selected either by individuals, libraries or by a group should be passed to the
acquisition department for pre-order searching. No blanket orders should be
given to any vendor except in respect of annuals, in case of reference books
only two copies of a title should be allocated to each library but not more than
With the creation of the section,
acquisition duties have been streamlined and co-ordinated and co-ordinated with
other sections of the services. The staffing of this section began with a
librarian and typist. It was later joined by two library assistants. The
secretaries performances ahs been satisfactions. The sections has been
satisfactory. Its accessioned materials have virtually field up the shelves.
According to records, some thirteen thousand seven hundred and four books were
accessioned in the section while nine thousand six hundred and thirty-eight
items on order were outstanding. Out of the thirteen thousand seven hundred and
four accessioned book, seven thousand nine hundred and ninety seven were adult
books while five thousand seven hundred and seven were juvenile.
NIGERIANA SECTION: This section consist mainly
of Nigerian publications. The stock covers a total of one thousand three
hundred and eight volume comprising serials, magazine and newspapers. Because
of economic problems, not all books are purchased. The works of staff of this
section include keeping the vertical files and writing of captions, it operates
However, there are some accommodation problems being experienced in this
SERVICES: The role played by the Nigerian
section of the Imo Central library is separates from the purpose for which it
was set up. The offer direct services which include personnel assistance given
to readers in pursuit of information, the department and the character of such
services very with the type of user it is designed to serve. They supply
information based in bibliographic search.
It also provides indirect services,
this makes it possible for user to have access to information. In this kind of
services bibliographic are preferred which help the user in searching and
retracing of the document which they use.
EXTENSION ACTIVITIES: The opening
of he state central library, Owerri attracted lots of favourable comments from
all and surrounding several visitors and student’s excursion groups visited the
library and outstanding among them being:
groups of class five students from federal GirlsSecondary School,
Owerri, were introduced to the public service department (adult circulation and
reference section of the library).
(b) The press Club of the Community Secondary
School Umuaka-Orlu were conducted round the library with a brief talk on the
librarian, the Imo and AnambraState join seminar in
school libraries held in Owerri from 22 to 27th March, 1977.
1.1.5 BRANCH LIBRARIES OF THE IMOSTATE
libraries were established to carryout library development in the rural areas
of the state. These libraries include: Mbano Branch commissioned by Dr. Raymond
Ofoegbu, the then Imo State Commissioner for information, youths, sports and
culture. The library is located at Mbano Local Government Headquarters. There
is also the Aboh Mbaise and Orlu libraries. The divisional library was
established on 14th
OF IMOSTATE LIBRARY BOARD:
a To establish, equip and maintain the
state central library and its branches in any part of the state.
b. To provide assistance to other persons in
the organization of libraries.
c. To make
recommendations and give advice on library development or organization to any
department of local government area in the state.
d To make
the facilities of the state library system available to members of the public
and undertake bibliographic services in the state.
establish and maintain the library’s mobile services
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
libraries in Nigerian are confronted with a lot of problems. For instances they
do not have enough information sources for the different categories of users.
b The do
not have enough space for accommodating the users.
many users complain of their inability to satisfy various information needs.
public libraries in Nigeria
operate without essential facilities like photocopying machines and toilet
e There is
also the problem of trained staff.
f To find
out the basis reason of establishing the ImoState
OF THE STUDY:
a The objective of the study is to trace
history of public library development in ImoState.
tracing the history, the study also aims at identifying factors and situation
that have either contributed to public library development in Imo state or retorted
their rate of development.
study also aims at ceiling the attention of policy makers to the need for a
speedy development of public libraries in the state.
1.4 Researcher asked a number of questions with
which he hopes to find answers to problems posed by the study: these include:
a Is the
library adequately stocked with source of information
there facilities provided by the library headquarters?
c Is the
library staffed with well drained personnel?
d As a
public library, what roles does it play in the society?
e What are
the problems imitating against its proper development?
OF THE STUDY:
a This project ahs a historical overviews
and would therefore cover issues of public library development starting from
the Eastern region library days to the present Imo state.
b Lack of
time and finance would not allow for an exhaustive survey of this study thereby
limiting it to the establishment and development t of the Imo state central
library, Owerri only, among other public libraries in the state
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY:
project will be of great benefit to students especially those in the library
and information science department.
study will also be of great value to researchers who are entered in the area of
public library development in Imo state.
authority who are desirous of establishing public in their states will also
find this work beneficial.
The researcher sampled about
fifty users and the staff of the Imo state central library Owerri, for data
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