SECURITY ISSUES AND EFFECTIVE USE OF LIBRARY RESOURCES IN NYONG ESSIEN LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE
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This study examined security issues and effective use of library resources in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted the survey research design. A total of 5,411 respondents which comprised of all 5,406 registered users of Nyong Essien library of the University of Uyo for the 2017/2018 academic session and 5 librarians from the same library constituted the population of the study. The sample size for the study was 361 and the sample size was selected using the simple random sampling technique. The instrument used for the collection of data was a researcher developed questionnaire Titled: Security Issues and Effective Use of Library Resources Questionnaire (SIULRQ). The instrument was subjected to face validation by two experts. The instrument had a reliability index of .82 determined using Cronbach alpha reliability package SPSS 20. The researcher personally administered the questionnaire to the respondents with the help of two research assistants. Data collected were analyzed using Mean and Standard Deviation. The findings revealed that the extent of theft and mutilation of library resources were high in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo. The findings also revealed that resources that were majorly affected were books as well as encyclopedia, etc. The study found out some methods adopted in securing library resources to include provision of personnel within and outside the library premises, public awareness and provision of photocopying services. The study concluded that theft and mutilation of library resources has affected the Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo in no small measure. It therefore recommended, among others, that there should be a policy formulation that will guide against every form of theft and mutilation in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents iii
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 6
1.3 Purpose of the Study 7
1.4 Significance of the Study 7
1.5 Research Questions 8
1.6 Scope of the Study 8
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 Theoretical Framework 9
2.1.1 The Systems theory (Miner, 1973) 9
2.1.2 The Collection Security Management Model 10
2.2 Conceptual Framework 17
2.2.1 Resources of the Academic Libraries 17
2.2.2 Security threats to Information Resources in Academic Libraries 21
2.2.3 Theft and Mutilation of Library Resources in Academic Libraries 23
2.2.4 Security Policy 26
2.2.5 Measures used for Security of Information Resources in
Academic Libraries 30
2.3 Empirical Framework 32
2.4 Summary of Reviewed Literature 34
3.1 Design of the Study 36
3.2 Area of the Study 36
3.3 Population of the Study 37
3.5 Instrumentation 37
3.5.1 Validation of the Instrument 38
3.5.2 Reliability of the Instrument 38
3.6 Method of Data Collection 39
3.7 Method of Data Analysis 39
3.8 Decision Rule 39
3.9 Ethical Issues 40
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Data Analysis and Results 41
4.2 Findings of the Study 44
4.3 Discussion of Findings 46
4.3.1 Types of Available Library Resources 46
4.3.2 Type of most Vulnerable Library Resources 47
4.3.3 Existence of documented Security Policy 47
4.3.4 Measures to Minimize Theft and Mutilation 48
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary 49
5.2 Conclusion 50
5.3 Implication of Findings 51
5.4 Recommendation 51
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 organizations such as libraries. A university library in particular, strives to provide information resources in both print and non-print to support the educational services of the university community and the humanity at large (Maidabino, 2012). As such the need for libraries to provide, maintain and secure its resources in order to ensure the availability, accessibility and longevity of the collections as well as to provide effective services to its community therefore becomes necessary.
Hart (2003) observed that academic libraries in particular, assume a focal point where users of diversified age groups, socio-political, economic and cultural interest have to converge to utilize all the available resources that are relevant to their individual needs. As a result of this diverse use of the resources, these libraries stand to be vulnerable to all forms of crime and security risks from not only the users, but the library staff as well. These security risks include theft and mutilation, vandalism, overdue, flood fire and dust. It is on record that not everybody that walks into the library does so for the single purpose of patronizing the immense educational and cultural resources. In other words, not every visitor to the library respects and adheres to the norms of the library, some go there as human risks to the library resources thereby inflicting serious damage on the library resources by way of theft and mutilation, vandalism, overdue and improper handling of resources. These users out of ignorance or deliberate malhandling render library resources damaged and ineffective for use.
Libraries have the main objectives of being entrusted with the selection, acquisition, organization, storage and dissemination of information to the patrons. According to Idris, Hassan and Abdul-Qadir (2003), academic libraries are multi-purpose institutions set up by the academic institution where it is situated to cater for the educational and in some cases cultural and informational needs of the students of the institution. It is the ‘heart’ of the learning community providing a place for students and faculty to do their research and advance their knowledge. Academic libraries house a variety of library resources otherwise referred to here as information resources.
According to Boma (2007), information resources are the materials consulted for aid or for knowledge about a topic, a theme, an event, a date, a number, a place or even a word. They can appear in print and non-print format and they are vital and delicate. Information resources constitute a range of materials and equipment gathered by the library in order to meet the information needs of both intended and anticipated users. Aliyu (2006) corroborate this view when he asserted that information resources are made up of a variety of materials which information could be stored, retrieved and disseminated for use. Specifically, information resources include such things as books, journals, theses, dissertations, technical report, newspapers, magazines, and all related materials in print and non-print formats which store or provide information worldwide without any serious geographical barrier capable of satisfying the diverse information needs of researchers.
According to American Library Association (ALA) (2010), the quality of an academic library’s resources is judged by its usability, comprehensiveness, diversity and size; stipulating that the library should provide varied, authoritative and up-to-date resources that support its mission and meet the needs of users. This view was supported by Diogu (2011) that the reputation of academic libraries highly depend on the facilities offered to library users in terms of its resources which is a reflection of the quality of its teaching, learning and research output. The above gives credence to the assertion by Osinulu and Amusa (2010) that quality education is impossible without quality library resources. Library services can only be achieved through the availability and effective use of library collections which are often hampered by security issues such as theft and mutilation.
Theft, according to Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (2010), is an act of stealing something from a person or a place. Specifically, it is the felonious taking and removing of a person’s property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the ownership thereof, while mutilation in the library, is any act that makes library materials unfit for reading either partially or completely. Hart (2003) asserts that mutilation of information materials would include such acts as cutting pages, highlighting, underlining, marking notices in margins and adding materials, such as stickers or letters that are not meant to be part of the materials. Isebe (2014) stated that mutilation of information materials are caused by library users, insects and other animals and also by climate conditions including hazards. Recent studies have indicated that the greatest agent that deface information resources are human beings which are library users/patrons.
Book theft and mutilation have of late become a cankerworm, which has eaten deep into the academic library system without distinction. These problems have remained unabated even though a lot of efforts and resources have been expended by librarians and library managers to stop these unwholesome acts. These unpopular and deviant behaviour of library clients are seen as a setback to effective use of library resources especially now that the importance of library and its resources are being recognised and utilised as major partners in the educational development of any higher institution.
The issue of theft and mutilation of library resources has been one of the major problems facing libraries all over the world. The problem is global and in no small measure affects the activities of the library in providing information to its users. Security in libraries all over the world is beefed up to protect library resources from mutilation and theft (Ajegbomogun, 2007). Libraries are ‘systems’ – structures of how an organization is set up – and security is a vital part of maintaining balance in the system. Security in the library is typically best understood as a system that reflects the strategies of librarians and other library staff to prevent or ameliorate the negative consequences of a realised threat in the libraries to enhance effective use of its resources.
It is as a result of this therefore, that appropriate measures towards a lasting preservation must be adopted by every library administration to enhance availability and effective use of the library resources. This scenario gives imperatives for this study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nyong Essien library as an academic library, like every other academic library, was established primarily to meet the information needs of its parent institution through the collection and preservation of information resources and dissemination of knowledge. For information resources to serve the purpose for which they are collected, they need to be preserved and secured in such a way that their life spans are prolonged so as to sustain their effective utilization by the academic communities.
Preliminary observation of Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo by the researcher revealed that some of their resources had either been stolen or were mutilated, and were subjected to treatments that could reduce their life span. The ugly situation in the library suggested that there might have been some lapses in the security activities. From the foregoing, it is obvious that there existed some information gaps in respect of the status of security of information resources in the library. One wonders what could be the predominant security issues in the library that have never been surveyed, or even the general prevailing methods/systems adopted in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo for securing their library resources? The answer to these questions constitute gap in knowledge which this research attempts to fill, in order to improve on the methods/systems of securing library resources for effective utilization in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study is to assess security issues and effective use of library resources in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo. The specific objectives are:
- To identify the type of information resources available in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo.
- To ascertain the type of information resources that are more vulnerable to theft and mutilation in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo.
- To determine the existence of a documented security policy in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo.
- To find out the measures the library used to address and minimize the issue of theft and mutilation in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study would be beneficial to students, librarians, library and university management, and prospective researchers. The findings would provide to the students the knowledge on the different types of information resources that are available in the library
To the librarians, it would create in them security consciousness that will make them more professional and efficient in their field of work.
The framework would provide library and university management with a working instrument to assess and implement a more holistic approach to collection security management.
Finally, the findings of the study would serve as a reference material to prospective researchers.
1.5 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions.
- What type of information resources are available in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo?
- What type of resources are more vulnerable to theft and mutilation in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo?
- Does the library have a documented security policy that defines what a security issue is and how to handle it?
- What are the measures used by the library to address and minimise the issue of theft and mutilation in Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo?
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study was delimited to Nyong Essien Library of the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. It was further delimited to all registered library users in the library under study. The study focused on print resources in the library and theft and mutilation as security issues to the library resources (2017/2018 session).
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