Date of this Version
Library Philosophy and Practice 2011
University libraries exist to enhance the acquisition of knowledge by their clientele through the provision of reading materials (book and non-book) for the purposes of teaching, learning and research. A university library, according to Mallaiah, Kumbar and Mudhol (2008) occupies the central and primary place in teaching and research, therefore, it has to meet the diverse and growing needs of educational programme at the undergraduate, post–graduate and research levels.
Every tertiary library, including university library, is expected to meet the objectives of the institution that established and funds it. In a similar vein, library, according to Aina (2004) is concerned with the collection, processing, storage and dissemination of recorded information for the purpose of reading, study and consultation. He further sees university library as leaning centre which provides materials that are needed for learning all the courses offered in the university, as well as potential courses that may be offered.
Oyedum (2006) asserts that one of the objectives of a university is to encourage acquisition of knowledge, that is, to encourage and promote scholarship and research in all fields of learning and human endeavour. She claims that apart from classroom teaching and practical exercises in university laboratories, one of the main departments that assists the university to achieve this objective is the library.
Library services, according to Bassey (2006) are regarded as social services which are bound to stimulate the reading habit of the society, including people in the academic environment. Library services present a picture of remarkable variety and play an important role in the educational, economic, cultural and recreational life of the entire population. There is no doubt that any library is in the business of providing services to its user’s community. To be most functional, the services it provides should correspond with the needs of its users because the user is the very reason for the existence of the library and it ensures that the services so provided are exploited to the maximum.
To determine whether the objectives of the library are met, according to Bassey (2006), the views, opinions, and perception of the library users should be sought. In other words, any library that wants to improve its resources and services must solicit the help of its users to identify areas of weakness in order to improve upon them. On the adequacy of library resources and services, Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) showed that it is the size of a collection, combined with its quality that ensures its adequacy. Thus, adequacy of any collection has both qualitative and quantitative dimensions.
The extent to which library resources and services satisfy the needs of users will determine how effective and efficient a particular library is. For a library to be worth its salt, the resources and services it renders must strive to meet and satisfy the needs of its users. However, user’s perception, which is a way a user forms impression of and makes inferences about library resources, services and personnel in term of how far they meet their expectation, should be used to measure library performance. This is because, according to Aina (2004) user is critical to the practice of librarianship and that all processes revolve round the users. User is a focal point of all libraries or information centres since the primary objectives of library’s existence is to satisfy its users i.e. provision of excellent services to its users. This is usually the mission statement of libraries. Therefore, the project surveys lecturers and students’ perception of the adequacy of resources and services in two university libraries in Ekiti State, Nigeria.