SECURITY CHALLENGES AND COPING STRATEGIES OF UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY
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This study was carried out on security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu state using University of Nsukka as a case study. To achieve this, seven significant research objectives were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises of library staff in University of Nsukka, Enugu State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 41 respondents while 38 were received and 35 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. The result of the findings reveals that the security challenges hindering effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu include; book theft, book mutilation, keeping overdue books, using fake i.d card to borrow books, and mis-shelving of books. The findings also revealed that the types of security apparatus adopted by university libraries in Enugu for supporting service delivery comprises of close circuit television (CCTV), AV security, surveillance Cameras, radio frequency identification (RFID) system, panic alarms, perimeter alarm system, door intrusion alarms, and EM security Tags.. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that competent security personnel should be made available to man the entrances/exit of the library. This is to help protect the valuable library heritage from being stolen and vandalized by delinquent library users and staff.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Security of library resources is very paramount in the provision of efficient library service delivery. Where there is insecurity of library collections, the resources are exposed to dangers such as theft, mutilation, and vandalism among others. These can have adverse negative effect on library service delivery. Ani (2010) looks at “security” as the condition of being protected physically, emotionally, psychologically as well as from other harms, attacks, terror which could be considered as non-desirable. Edem (2010) defines security as assurance of the future wellbeing and freedom from threat. Security therefore refers to a process designed to protect something or somebody against danger. It is an act of preventing crime. In the case of library resources, it prevents un-authorized removal or loss of materials, usually as a result of intruders’ or thieves’ interference (Ajegbomogun, 2004). In reality, research, teaching and learning cannot take place in a university where library collections and resources are not only inadequate, but the limited ones are pilfered, stolen, destroyed, or mishandled by students, staff and other users.
There are research findings that show that libraries are being exposed to environmental disasters, careless handling of collections, absence of security programmes and policies for library management and administration, loss of library resources to theft and other criminal behaviours. Ajegbomogun, (2004) and Akinfolarin (1992) equally report that in Egypt a certain library collection had to be kept under lock and key to prevent theft. Similarly, Terfarra (1996) cited cases of Middle-Eastern and European countries that chain-locked their collected works to prevent theft and vandalism. Yet, most school authorities in Nigeria seem not to recognize the threat of security problems to the life of library collections. Although, this is no longer obtainable in some Nigerian libraries as several security measures such as detective barcode machines; close circuit television (CCTV), 3M electronic security systems, and a workable security policy for the university libraries are put in place to check theft and vandalism. This is more so that chaining or putting the materials under lock and key may likely prevent user’s easy access to these resources. Security is an important and complex challenge in contemporary societies. Not only do individuals require security and safety of their lives and properties, but also university libraries in particular, strive to provide information resources in both print and non-print materials to support the educational services of the university community and humanity at large. From documented evidences, every day there are reports of loss, theft, fraud and vandalism of library resources by users, hence the need for university libraries to provide, maintain and secure its collection in order to ensure the availability, accessibility of its collections, as well as to provide effective services to its users. This study, therefore, investigate security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu, State.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
The importance of information resources cannot be overemphasized as users depend on library resources for knowledge and new ideas to enhance intellectual development (Ajegbomogun, 2004). As a result, university libraries face varying degrees of delinquency in the use of their resources. The extent of this security problem varies from one university library to another. Mishandling, vandalism of the facilities such as CD ROM, DVD, and magnetic tape can easily crack when it’s not handled with care or falls on the ground. The CD ROM, DVD, may damage and information on it can loss. Accessibility of the information services cannot be possible as a result of data loss by mishandling of CD ROM, DVD, magnetic tape among others. Theft of books, journals, CD ROM, microfilm, computers and other library collections, diminish materials in the library. These crimes, which are committed by some users, have deprived many users from fully achieving their information needs as it has led to loss of many valuable materials in university libraries (Ani, 2010). Hence the need for measures to be taken to protect and preserve them to avoid complete loss of materials in university libraries. This study therefore is aimed at investigating security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu.
1.3 Objective Of the Study
The study aims at investigating security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu. Specifically, the study seeks to:
1. Identify the security challenges hindering effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu.
2. Determine the types of security apparatus adopted by university libraries in Enugu for supporting service delivery.
3. Find out the challenges associated with the implementation of library security for effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu.
4. Identify the strategies to enhance the implementation of library security for effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu.
1.4 Research Question
The study will be guided by the following questions;
1. What are the security challenges hindering effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu?
2. What are the types of security apparatus adopted by university libraries in Enugu for supporting service delivery?
3. What are the challenges associated with the implementation of library security for effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu?
4. What are the strategies to enhance the implementation of library security for effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu?
1.5 Significance of Study
The significance of this study is based on the need to improve the security management for prevention of book theft of the library, especially as it relates to the research as well as to re-examine the roles of the university library so as to achieve the stated objectives. Hence, the study becomes valuable as its findings if used will help to rendering solutions to the problems of security and crime management for prevention of incessant book thefts, University libraries are not always safe and secure places and they are facing a wide variety of security concerns which includes the theft and mutilation of library materials. The results of a number of library studies reported that most libraries in Enugu State are having problem with security management for prevention of library information resources.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
The study aims at investigating security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu. The study will further identify the security challenges hindering effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu, determine the types of security apparatus adopted by Federal University, Enugu Library for supporting service delivery, find out the challenges associated with the implementation of library security for effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu, and identify the strategies to enhance the implementation of library security for effective service delivery in university libraries in Enugu. The respondents for this study will be obtained from librarians in University of Nsukka, Enugu State.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Comparative: Observation of the similarities or dissimilarities between two or more branches of science or subjects of study.
Security: protection of a person, building, organization, or country against threats such as crime or attacks by foreign countries.
Crime: A crime is an act committed to omitted, in violation of a public law, either forbidding or commanding it, a breach or violation of some public right or duty due to a whole community, considered as a community.
Prevention: The act of stopping something from happening or of stopping someone from doing something.
Challenges: (The situation of being faced with) something that needs great metal or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability.
Academic library: An academic library is a library that is attached to a higher education institution which serves two complementary purposes to support the school’s curriculum, and to support the research of the university faculty and students.
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