THE ROLE OF LIBRARY IN NEW INFORMATION AGE (A CASE STUDY OF IMO STATE LIBRARY, IMO STATE)

Project code: LIS523723   |   Pages: 8712354   |   Words: 78,210   |   Characters: 772,162   |   Format: Word & PDF

ABSTRACT

The advancement of ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) has brought a lot of changes not only on the library and information services but also on the roles and expectations of the librarians and information professionals. As a librarian you are expected to do more and more with fewer and fewer people. There is a real danger that librarians and information professionals will be left behind if it still insists on the old role of the traditional librarians. So it is important that there is a new change in paradigm. As the saying goes, change or perish. This project will attempt to understand what a successful, relevant and dynamic librarians and information professionals must be in this Information Age. It will also focus on the issues, trends and challenges in preparing new era librarians and information professionals. Curriculum pertaining to the development of the new era librarians and information professionals will also be discussed.

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The Information Society or Information Age is a new phenomenon since 1950 which brings with it new challenges as we seek to integrate an expanding universe of print and multimedia sources into our daily lives. The two terms often are used to describe a cybernetic society in which there is a great dependence on the use of computers and data transmission linkages to generate and transmit information. By contrast, our familiar reference frame of an industrial society relied on machines to augment human physical labour to produce goods and services. Now, through a process of continual change, geographic barriers are being dissolved, businesses are more interconnected, and relationships between workers and workplace are changing more rapidly.
However, information (or data, or ideas, or knowledge) has long played, in one way or another, a significant role in human culture and society, and has shaped, over a long period of time, the way in which we behave and think. I think what is now proclaimed to be the Information Age is terminology that can be applied in to all stages of human development. We must recognize that improvements in communications during the industrial period since 1800, and I am speaking of the telegraph, telephone, postal delivery, radio, television, and modern printing presses, have been in part a response to the need to process more information. For example, just think of one historical period taught in school, the Renaissance. It is regarded as a rebirth of knowledge, the rediscovery of and transmission of ideas and texts about classical authors which transformed European culture and thinking in the fourteen and fifteenth centuries. In a historical context, Information has been with us a long time. One can illustrates themes in information by looking at literacy, censorship, the organization of knowledge, the economics of information, and roles which institutions such as the academic library and schools have played.
Let us turn now to the academic library. Where does it fit into information revolution which is taking place? As far back as 1950, a prominent scientist, Norbert Wiener, wrote a book, The Human Use of Human Beings, which applied insights gained in the computer technology of his era to the study of human communication systems using information in the new sense. Even at this early stage of the computer era, he emphasized that the proliferation of information reinforced existing relationships by placing a greater burden on society to disseminate and store information.
The needs and the complexity of modern life make greater demands on this process of information than ever before, and our press, our museums, our scientific laboratories, our universities, our libraries and textbooks, are obliged to meet the needs of this process or fail in their purpose.
The fact that he specifically mentioned libraries in the same sentence with kindred educational and research oriented institutions indicates to me that he recognized their crucial importance in the next stage of the information revolution.

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the public and private sectors of the Nigerian exchange, securities are usually very helpful to the management in accomplishment of organisational goals. With the advent of technical, knowledge there has been an increase in demand in our modern establishments for sophisticated and modern technologies in Nigeria organisation.
In the light of the above situation, this research work is aimed at identifying the IMPACT of Technological Development on librarian in academic libraries. There are various categories of librarian, which includes: the executive librarian, the company librarian, confidential librarian, parliamentary librarian and others.
Each of them in charged with well-articulated and defined functions and challenges, which are expatiated of them. This study concentrates on the role of the executive Collection Management as an enhancing toold, employment by a company who is attached to an officer who is of the executive cadre.
A Collection Management as an enhancing tool may be viewed as a person who has acquired the basic knowledge of library and Information science skill of shorthand, typewriting and sufficient knowledge and practical experience in office routine. Depending on the objectives of the organisations, a collection management meant all things to all people. However, there are some basis functions which librarian perform and these forms the basis of their identify in an organisation. These functions are:

  1. Initiating relevant correspondent on all routine, matters and drafting letters as authorized.
  2. Collecting relevant information from relevant sources for office use.
  3. Dealing with visitors and telephone callers on issues which the Collection Management as an enhancing tool is knowledgeable.
  4. Follow up the diary of her boss daily.
  5. Preparing the boss for meetings and other entertainment etc.

In spite of this very important functions which the library department perform, the Collection Management as an enhancing tool still needs the modern officer technology to carry out his/duties efficiently.
Prior to the technological development in offices, clerical works were done manually, the size of offices were small and little work were done manually. Then there were thing like modern equipment like document, telephone, photocopying machines, address machines etc.
Though modern technology assists, yet librarian are afraid of being displaced by them. Because of some of the manual equipments used by librarian are being supervised by automated machines and process. It is not easy for technologies to replace librarian in the offices because the place of a Collection Management as an enhancing tool is very significant. This is because any technology applied will be operated by a trained Collection Management as an enhancing tool if efficiency and effectiveness, must be maintained. There are also human attributes that the Collection Management as an enhancing tool posses that modern technology cannot offer. Adequately trained, reasonably motivated and royal librarian aid the executive in performance of duties will be needed to complement the modern technological innovations in the offices.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF IMO STATE LIBRARY BOARD
The Imo state library board, Owerri was founded in June 1986 alongside other institution that were founded that time. Formerly the institution was temporally located at Okigwe road secretariate Owerri before it was located to federal secretariat at port-Harcourt road, in September 1996, under the leadership of Mr. E.I. Nsoro, who was its pioneer archivist.
On its establishment in 1986, Imo state library board, Owerri was under the ministry of Education. Later it was attached to ministry of youths, sports and culture before it finally found itself in the ministry of information and culture later in year 2001, “Culture was remove from information and it comes known as ministry of information and National orientation.
The Imo state library board, has the following sections

  1. Administrative Section
  2. Account Section
  3. Reprography Section
  4. Library Section
  5. Technical Section

Imo state archives was established by Imo state government in 1981. However, it did not commence operation immediately as a result of delay in re lease of logistics and infrastructure formerly, the institution was under the ministry of education, information, culture youth and sports until when information and culture was carried out as a suppurate ministry, Imo state archives because of this development the become a division under culture department. It remained so until year 2001 when the department of archives was carved out from culture, department of Imo state archive then became a full-fledged department.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Because of the increasing demand for the use of automated process in our organisation in Nigeria, technology has been introduced to perform most of the jobs in the organisation, more especially the duties of a Collection Management as an enhancing tool in an office. In some organisations, the management considers it fit to employ computer operator, programme managers and technologist instead of providing adequate training and education for their librarian to handle such computers. As a result of this, librarian have been regarded as mere typist who cannot handle these machines, nor who do not have capacity of leaver and caravel new skills.
The problem of this study is that many librarian have been displaced in the office while many others have been hindered from security a good job by introduction of technological development in the case of library and Information science profession. In the light of all these, this research work aims at encouraging librarian to put aside this fears and anxieties of being replaced by technological advancement in the office or getting people that will effectively use such machines without involving the librarian. The researcher tens to tackle this problem by investigating the place of librarian in a technological advanced organisations like Imo state library, Institution such as: FPNO Nig. Plc, and IMSLB of Nig. all in Owerri, Imo state.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
To be successful I think academic libraries have to try to develop new services, to provide new resources, and to alter the academic perception that libraries are mostly old-fashioned print warehouses that pre-date the modern era. To position the library more firmly in the mainstream, I think it’s crucial for academic libraries to do five things during the next five years.

First, libraries have to employ the power of information technology by emphasizing new roles in their academic services. The communications revolution is an important feature of society. Libraries must continue to offer the latest features of telecommunications which integrate sound, text, data, and images. This effort will entail budgetary decisions, and, in a climate of restraint and cutback, lead to the reallocation of declining budgetary resources. Success in the area of technical services that people do not clearly observe will no longer suffice. As a start, computer workstations should be introduced as academic resources where word processing, e-mail functions, electronic newsgroups, CD-ROMs, and worldwide Internet access are standard services. After all, the academic library is a learning centre where many different resources should be utilized. One can easily envisage right now that older newspaper reading areas characterized by tables and racks will be replaced with state-of-the-art computer terminals that can access hundreds of daily newspapers across North America. The same is true, to a lesser extent, for magazine reading areas: a number of traditional general or specialized periodicals, like Macleans, are now available on a subscription basis in electronic forms. Using software programs, either newspaper stories or magazine articles can be downloaded to disk or printed on paper at workstations on demand, thereby shifting the library's focus to immediate service demands away from the time-honoured collection of on-site materials.
The general objectives of this study is to evaluate the place of a Collection Management as an enhancing tool in technological advanced economy. The specific objectives include:

  1. To examine the kind of modern technology that exist in the organisation.
  2. To find out if modern technology pose any threat to the collection managements practice.
  3. To find out if librarian will adequately fit in the modern technological office environment, when they are sufficiently trained.
  4. To examine if technological advancement can generate job opportunities or unemployment for librarian.
  5. To study how technological advancement in office can facilities or mar the job of librarian.
  6. To appraise the changes which technological advancement can cause in the duties of librarian.
  7. To recommend measures for blending the job of the Collection Management as an enhancing tool and sophisticated modern equipment in achieving high productivity in offices.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
When this study has been concluded, an elaborate examination of the role of a Collection Management as an enhancing tool in an organisation must have been done. Some organizations are not aware of these modern office technologies. This types of organisations will benefit from this research, because after getting through this work, they will be well exposed about the various equipments, that they could use to carry their duties effectively. There are other organisations who knows or aware of the existence of this modern office equipment, but are not informed about their applications, there organisations will equally benefit.
What about organisations that are privileged to access to those equipments? They will be at an advantage in that, they will be better placed to know the different challenges which librarian can play and their ability to operate complex and automated machine. This research will also be useful in institutions of higher learning that offers library and Information science studies. Hence after reading this research work, they will be able to redraw their circular and syllabus to accommodate subjects that are computer oriented.
Fourth, libraries have to dramatically broaden the range of electronic services. It is just not a matter of collecting electronic files. The day is over when library staff can feel comfortable offering an array of print or electronic resources housed in a central library or community branches. The traditional meaning of circulation as it pertains to libraries is changing and this concept has to be rethought. The twentieth-first century electronic library we have heard about should provide access to a va strange of resources and service providers anywhere in the world. It is not necessary to have news from newspapers which are incorporating more analytical and journalistic pieces to retain readership. If you want news from Australia, you can go on the W orld Wide Web and connect with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A few people can do this from home now: in fact, according to Statistics Canada, Ontario has a growing number of people owning home computers with modems in Canada. Granted that thi s percentage is just under fifteen percent and there is a fundamental restriction--they have the know the information resource exists.
Another future service possibility is to have people login to a local library by computer from their homes or offices and "chat" with staff as they do on Internet Relay Chat channels around the world or fill in an electronic form, post it in an ele ctronic mailbox and receive a response from the library about some specific query, say the status of a previous request or the whereabouts of a circulating item. This organizational response is not as easy as it seems but it is a key area where libraries can play a vital role in providing an environment where research, study, and learning can flourish.

1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The primary aim of this study is to examine negative implication of technology oriented business environment on the modern librarian. However, because of some constraining factor such as lack of co-operation from information administrators, sources finance and poor transportation system, the research decided to limit the scope only to institution in Imo state, such as IMSLB which represents a sample of the population of Nigeria enterprises.

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Some research questions has been designed to guide the research work in achieving its focal points. They includes:

  1. What kind of modern technology exists in organisations in Nigeria?
  2. Is modern technology a threat to security Collection Management as an enhancing tool?
  3. Will adequately trained librarian be employed to improve unemployment prospects for librarian?
  4. Can technological advancement generate employment or unemployment prospect for library department?
  5. Why is it that libraries have to employ the power of information technology by emphasizing new roles in their academic services.
  6. It is true that partnerships with other organizations have to be developed in the rapidly expanding information universe.
  7. Must libraries strive to promote the concept of end user empowerment, that is to link people with information without an intermediary
  8. Does it mean that libraries have to dramatically broaden the range of electronic services. It is just not a matter of collecting electronic files.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Collection Management as an enhancing tool: A skill practitioner of the basic office who is employed as an administrative assistance to a superior officer.
Technological Advancement: This is a complex modern labour and cost cutting equipment that are now increasingly utilized in organisations.
Word Processor: It refers to the process by which an idea is translated into written communication. It also record typed works, diagrams etc and displays them on screen, where they can be corrected or changed and then automatically printed.
Data: It means fact or information.
Document: This is a keyed writing machine
Computer: It is an electronic device used for storing, analysing information failed into it, it is also used for calculating.
Record Management: It is a cycle which involves the creation, utilization, storage, retrieval and disposition of collection.