Academic libraries in the words of Nnadozie (2007); are those established in institutions of higher learning such as universities, polytechnics, monotechnics and other higher institutions that offer education at tertiary level. Opara (2007) opines that academic libraries are established to support their parent institutions in achieving three (3) cardinal objectives which are:
- To conserve existing knowledge
- To transmit knowledge through teaching
- To create new knowledge through research.
Fawowe (n.d) states that the library occupies an important position in the university. Collaborating this, the Association of University Teachers of Great Britain (AUTGB) - (nd) summed up the importance of libraries within the university system as the provision of an absolutely fundamental services which function as a center for teaching and research.
Oduagwu (2002) reveals that academic libraries have homogenous clients. They are
- Students- undergraduates and post graduates
- Faculty members- lecturers
- Non- teaching staff in institutions of higher learning
- Other researchers- within and outside the community.
Libraries (academic) stock a good array of information resources which are used to meet the information needs of the client (Nnadozie, 2007).
This array of information resources are for exploitation by the clienteles. This confirms the statement by Ranganathan (n.d) which states that “books are for use”. It also dovetails with Gorman (N.D) cited by Nnadozie (2010) that “Libraries serve humanity”. The above testifies to the fact that libraries must labor and ensure that their resources for information are utilized effectively; otherwise, the purpose of establishing them would be defeated.
Academic libraries therefore, give attention to patrons, engage in activities and discharge a good number of duties that are tailored to benefiting the patrons and meeting their needs. In recognition to this, Queen (2009) views these duties rendered to patrons as library services. There are a number of library services I an academic library to be accessed by patrons. Queen (2009) maintains that the value of these library services to students, lecturers, researchers and non-teaching staff cannot be overemphasized, as the increase the intellectual levels of the students, eliminate the duplication of researchers, increase access to information, among others.
Management of academic libraries as labor to ensure that these library services are communicated to all its clientele i.e. heavy users, sparing users and non- users.
Though libraries are non- profit oriented institutions these library services need to be sold to the clienteles not for profit making but to increase awareness towards these services which would culminate into winning a large number of patrons and transcend into exploitation. Lending credence to this, Queen (2009) opines that the success of any library does not depend on availability of fund for its operation, but also getting patrons to use the library product and services. She asserts that marketing is one of the many ways to achieve the objectives of informing patrons to use library product and services. She asserts that marketing is one of the many ways to achieve the objectives of informing patrons, organizations, individuals, etc. about the usefulness of library.
In view of the need to communicate the services of academic libraries to their patrons, a burden is felt too among other things. Conduct a research that would reveal the concept of marketing as applied too academic libraries. The services of academic libraries and kinds, what marketing of library services are the benefits and factors to be considered when planning marketing programmes. The tools for academic library services, marketing, problems and solution.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Imo state University was founded in 1981 by Law no 40 of the state House of Assembly on 23rd February of the same year. It was among the second generation universities established, financed and maintained to meet the young needs of Imo citizens who were denied admissions into the few existing Federal Universities because of the Quota system.
Academic activities started on the 23rd of October 1982 with student population of 400 at the temporary site at Ekiti and Aba campuses. The state government later enacted the edict that moved the institution to the site at Uturu in Okigwe LGA.
With the creation of Abia state and her separation from Imo state, Uturu was ceded to Abia state by the Resolution of Imo-Abia state resources/assets sharing committee.
Due to this, the government enacted the Law No2 of 199 relocating the institution from the Uturu site to the Alvan Ikoku site.
When the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) fled and relocated to its permanent site, Imo state university moved into the vacant Structure. The Owerri campus started in 1992/1993 session with a student population of 1500.
FACULTIES- Agric and Veterinary Medicine
Engineering and Environment
Humanities and Social Sciences.
Soon, the student population rose to 19,783
LIBRARY- It was established alongside the parent institute.
STOCK- 42,352 Vol. of books.
20,000 serials, ephemerals and A/V
FACULTY LIBRARY- It has faculty libraries attached to Architecture, Business Administration and PED
FUNCTIONS- Reference, circulation, Administrative, cataloguing, classification, serials and Audio-visuals.
FUNDING- Government support, gifts, donations and library fees.
USE- It is used Weekly and Daily from 9am to 6pm
LOAN DURATION- 2 weeks for students and 1 month for staff.
OVER DUE FINE- ?10 per day.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Academic libraries have a lot of services which can benefit the students, lecturers, non- teaching staff, research, researchers etc. it has been discovered that these services are not known to the patrons due to their poor exploitation. It can be said that academic libraries lack virile Marketing strategies.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The research is tailored to investigating the marketing of library services in academic libraries. However, the specific objectives are:
- To find out what marketing of library services is.
- To find out the kind of services in academic libraries.
- To find out the factors considered in marketing library services.
- To find out the benefits of marketing library services
- To find out the tools for effective marketing of library services
- To find out the problems of marketing library services
- To proffer solutions to these problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research aims at finding answers to the following questions:
- What are the strategies of marketing library services?
- What are the kinds of library services in academic libraries?
- What are the benefits of marketing library services?
- What are the factors considered in marketing library services?
- What are the tools for effective marketing of library services?
- What are the problems of marketing library services?
- What are the solutions to the problems of marketing library services?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research report would benefit the library patrons as it would reveal to them the different kinds of library services available for exploitation.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is on the strategies for the Marketing of library services with the Imo state University library as the case study. It would concentrate only on the main library.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The terms below are defined for effective understanding of the study.
Academic Library- It is a library attached to an institution of higher learning.
Library: An organized collection for knowledge, information, education, research, etc.
Marketing: The process of analyzing the competition, positioning, pricing, promotion, advertising sales of library product and service.
Library Services: They are duties rendered to the patrons of the library.