Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

2-2012

Citation

Library Philosophy and Practice 2012

Abstract

Basic textbooks that attempt to discuss and analyse subjects with particular reference to Nigerian circumstances and relevant judicial opinions are adjudged to be very useful for law teaching and learning in Nigeria (Jegede, 1981). In recent times, serious concern is being expressed about the acute shortage of essential law textbooks in University libraries and the adverse effects that the problem may be having on legal education and the practice of the profession. With the present gross under-funding of most universities, most law faculties do not seem capable of meeting the approved minimum standards with respect to physical and library facilities. In particular, the scourge of inadequate funding for university library acquisitions continues to pose serious challenges to collection development librarians and the various universities offering the law degree programme. Thus, law report, journals, basic textbooks and other reading materials are inadequate and outdated. Consequently, the legal profession and most especially legal education processes in Nigeria have been hard hit by inadequate funding. Most law facilities do not seem capable of meeting the approved minimum stands with respect to physical and library facilities. In particular, the present gross under-funding of universities has affected the ability of librarians to acquire relevant textbooks for students' use.

In a related development, the high cost of books has not helped matters. Panella (1990) pointed to the rising law library costs and stated that they increased at a higher rate than those of other general and special libraries due to the nature of legal research tools. It may thus be presumed that no other library would require the kind of investment on local and foreign publications as the law library. The high cost of books has affected the ability of libraries to acquire relevant textbooks for students' use. It has also contributed to the reduction in students' purchase of relevant textbooks, thereby affecting the growth of distribution points for locally published law textbooks and by implication the tertiary book market. Lawal (1989) identified other factors generally affecting acquisition from the Nigerian book market and these include; lack of bibliographic control, lack of promotional activities for published titles, insufficient distribution outlets and difficult payment terms on the part of publishers and booksellers.

Previous studies on book situations in Nigeria have explored indigenous publishers' contributions to general book provision (Apeji, 1997) and some have emphasized on issues and problems generally affecting the production and distribution of essential tertiary books (Bankole, 1985; Okekwe, 1995). Only very few studies have connected book production to library acquisition and use (Fasanya, 1978; Omadibi, 2000 and Nwagwu, 2001), although the more libraries they are, the wider and the more stable the book market. In Nigeria, the purported radical increase in law students' enrolments in recent times, and the problem of acute shortage of essential basic law textbooks have brought the book needs of students into a sharper focus by the purported. The study raised the question; can variation law book production be accounted for by library provision use? The study assessed Indigenous law Textbook Publishing (ILTP) in Nigeria during the period 1960-1999 and related library acquisition of published titles, law student's textbook utilization and Indigenous Law Textbook Publishing (ILTP) in selected Federal Universities in Nigeria. It was anticipated that study results would provide an empirical basis for determining the extent of the Nigerian book market for locally published law textbook

The specific research questions are the following:

  • What is the book output of Indigenous Law Textbook Publishing Firms?
  • What are the attributes of the indigenous law textbook collection of selected Federal University Libraries?
  • To what extent do law students utilize locally published law textbooks in their course of study?
  • To what extent is Indigenous Law Textbook Publishing (ILTP) related to library acquisitions and law students' textbook utilization?