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Abstract

 

This study was carried out to assess the Mac Arthur Journal Donation Project in Selected University Libraries in Nigeria. Four research questions were posed in order to assess the Mac Arthur Journal Donation Project before, during and after the Donation. The research adopted survey method using questionnaire as instrument for data collection. Data collected were subjected to a descriptive analysis using frequency tables with graphical illustrations. The study discovered that the serial resources in these university libraries were inadequate before the intervention of Mac Arthur but improved substantially during and after the intervention. Also consultation of serial resources was low before the intervention as majority of readers were dissatisfied with the serial resources. The intervention brought an upward reversal in the resources and level of consultation. The study concluded that the intervention positively impacted on these university libraries through increased acquisition of current resources and their use. It recommended improved funding, training of staff, formation of consortia groups, library donations etc as measures to keep these university libraries alive.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1        Background to the Study

 

 

Universities globally promote the conduct of scientific research to engender social, political, economic and technological development in societies.(Odekunle, 2001). Therefore, the principal role of Nigerian universities as defined in the National Policy on Education (2004) includes provision of high-level manpower for national development which can be achieved through teaching, research and community services. Ojedele and Ilusanya (2006), asserted that university education should be pursued within the context of national requirement for maximum benefit. In contemporary society, the quest for personal and societal development has made the demand for university education imperative and making establishment of universities pervasive. Consequently, Nigerian universities have increased from one at independence to 138 with many more on the awaiting list of National Universities Commission’s approval (Wakili, 2015). Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) observed however that these universities cannot attain their goals without a vibrant university library.

 

The university library is an important component in any academic community. Emokiniovo and Ogunrombi (2012) observed that university libraries are established primarily to support the teaching, learning and research activities of their parent institution. As a result, both academic staff and students rely heavily on their resources to satisfy their quest for information. Among all these library resources, the primacy of serials is never in

doubt. Anunobi et al (2010) asserted that the unflinching capacity of institutions of higher learning to teach, research and publish is founded in the publication called serials.

 

A serial according to AACR 11 (2002) is a continuing resource, issued in a succession of discrete parts, usually bearing numbering that has no predetermined conclusion. Serials include newspapers, annuals, bulletins, periodicals, journals, monographic series, etc. Serials are very important library resources that constitute veritable tools for teaching and research. Serials contain the current and factual information in all fields of knowledge. Adubika (2007) emphasized that serials have certain advantages over the book in terms of being recent as the latter takes longer time to publish while the former is published at short intervals. Okiy (2008) opines that serials constitute important part of library resources which contain the latest information and current affairs. She further stressed its necessity to be as complete as possible in order to support teaching and learning.

 

In Fayose’s (1995) view, periodicals are not only the most current library resource, their contents are often written by authorities in the field which make them reliable, precise and easy to read than textbooks. Anunobi et al (2010) pointed to the fact that most textbooks and monographs derive their contents from previous journal articles. Nwalo (2003) extolled journals as the backbone of research activities in universities and some of these publications may never be published in any other form again which explains why libraries attach great importance to their acquisitions.

1.2     Statement of Problem

 

Students and lecturers in Nigerian Universities require information from current serial resources in order to profitably engage in teaching, learning and research activities . However it appears that most university libraries find it difficult to make adequate, current and relevant serial resources available to their customers. It is widely recognized that the major issue in serials acquisition emanated from decades of chronic under-funding of universities, aggravated by growth in students‘ enrolment and the ever increasing cost of journal publications.

 

Exacerbated by the global economic meltdown, most Nigerian Universities beginning from mid-1980s could no longer provide the basic essentials for learning including library resources; most readers only use the library mainly to read their notebooks. Students of Computer Studies were using texts printed before 1980s (twenty years after) while medical texts were largely obsolete. Many view the library as weak and unable to support the teaching and research missions of the university (Mac Arthur Report, 2005). Confronted with dwindling library budgets and inflationary trends in the economy, the best most university libraries could do was to embark on constant title cancellation exercises in tune with available library budget which has become unrealistic for acquisition purpose.

 

Ogundipe (2005)described library resources in this era as ‗libraries of diminishing resources‘, while Emilian (2004) concluded that Nigerian University libraries could no longer provide adequate resources for their customers. The dilapidated state of serial resources in most university libraries necessitated the intervention of Mac Arthur Journal Donation which assists in making current serials available at highly discounted costs.

  1. To determine the adequacy of serial resources in Nigerian university libraries before, during and after the Mac Arthur Journal Donation Project;

 

  1. To ascertain the currency of serial resources in Nigerian University libraries

 

before, during and after Mac Arthur Journal Donation .

 

  1. To determine the relevance of serial resources in Nigerian University Libraries before, during and after Mac Arthur Donation Project.

 

  1. To determine the impediments to the use of serial resources in these university libraries before, during and after Mac Arthur Journal Donation Project.

 

1.5      Significance of the Study

 

 

The Mission of Mac Arthur Journal Donation Project is to assist university libraries in provision of current serial resources so that learning, teaching and research will substantially improve. The Study may help University Management allocate more resources to support library resources and services and also seek alternative sources of library funding.

 

The study will be of importance to all stakeholders and those in positions that can bring positive changes to the library system by making them to know that despite its importance in learning, journal resources are still deficient in quantity, relevance and currency in most Nigerian university libraries.

 

The study will also allow the selected university libraries privilege to be chosen for

the project to show-case how far this donor assistance has empowered them to support their university programmes with current serial resources.

1.6      Scope of the study

 

 

The study covers the four Federal Universities selected by the Mac Arthur Journal Donation Project – first recipients of the donor in Africa. The study focused on assessment of serial resources and impediments to their use in the four selected university libraries in Nigeria which are : Ahmadu Bello University, (A.B.U.) Bayero University

 

Library, (B.U.K.) University of Ibadan, (U.I) and University of Port Harcourt) (Uniport).The period covered by the study are before, during and after the Mac Arthur intervention. The period before is to portray the state of serial resources in these university libraries prior to the intervention. The period during the intervention is expected to reveal immediate changes or improvements the intervention has brought while the period after is

expected to show the extent of the impacts of the intervention on these university libraries and their coping strategies.

 

1.7         Limitation of the study

 

The limitation encountered in the field is the uncooperative attitude of some of the subjects to volunteer needed information by filling the study questionnaire. Staff turn-over also affected the response in a way as some respondents were not the staff on seat during the project in some of the University Libraries therefore not very conversant with the project.

 

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

 

The following terms were operationally defined thus :

 

Journal resources: These are academic and professional publications containing current information and contributions in an area of study.

 

Serial Management: Activities involved in selection, acquisition, processing, preservation etc. of serial resources in libraries.

 

Library Development Fund: This is a specified percentage of university budget to improve university library resources.

 

 

 

Journal Donation Project: This is an intervention project by Mac Arthur Foundation to assist selected university libraries in Nigeria in acquisition of current journals for research.

 

Mac Arthur Grantee University Libraries: These are the four university libraries selected by the Mac Arthur Foundation for assistance in Nigeria (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Ibadan, Bayero University Kano and University of Port Harcourt).

 

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