Public libraries need adequate resources to run their services, pay and hire personnel, provides current information, arrange, organize and monitor both human and material resources. Nigeria is a developing country and its society is not a reading society. Nigerians do not appreciate the importance and needs of public libraries and the services it offers hence causing problems that reflect in the level of funds allocated to it by the government.
State government subventions which constitute about 80% of public libraries fund is grossly inadequate. This inadequacy is because of political instability and bad economy of the economy.
1.1 BACKGROND OF THE STUDY
The public library is a social institution which is tied to the political and social realities of the communities where it is situated. As the name implies, this us a library that serves the public.
UNESCO (1966) sees public libraries as “Those which serve the population of the community or region free of charge or for a nominal fee”. It is a library designed to serve the generality of the people.
According to Oduagwu (2002) “Public libraries that serve the public are supported by government subvention, local rates or charges”. He went further to explain that public library is often regarded as a poor man’s university. Its client is heterogeneous devoid of race, status, rank, bias as to who would avoid if its services. It stocks every conceivable item that add knowledge, education, research, information and cultural needs of the society. In Nigeria today, each of the 36 state Win the country including Abuja has a public library board established under the public library act as United Kingdom (UK), but here in Nigeria, library board of states is established by edit or laws made by the states legislators.
Oparaku et al (2005) defined a public library as “an institution that is set up by the government through enabling law, funded and mentioned expected to meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its community”.
Public library funding refers to making money available for the day to day running of the library. Funding deals with making money or funds available to public libraries. Finance is the life wire of any establishment including labor, capitals and entrepreneur and information the capital here refer to finance which can be used to procure other factors of production thereby making it more important than others. Fund is obviously the major element in every establishment. It is equally the working capital of an establishment. Public library funding generally means the various ways public libraries derive the expected funds for capital and recurrent expenses.
According to New Lexicon Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary (1991) public libraries is “a library usually run by a municipality from which books may be borrowed freely”.
According to Encyclopedia of librarianship (1958), it is a library “concerned with all material. Values to the individual and the community and its duty not only to meet existing demands but also to encourage and facilitate wider demands from more people.
HISTORY OF IMO AND ABIA STATE LIBRARY BOARDS
The Imo State Library board came out from the eastern regional board. It was later part of eastern central library. On 3rd of February, 1976, as more states were created in Nigeria, Imo state was among the newly created state. Within that period, all activities were carried out by the former eastern central state. As a result of this creation, the east central library board broke into Anambra and Imo State library boards. However, it was only in September 1976 that the indigenous Imo state in Enugu were transferred to Owerri to establish the administrative headquarters of Imo state library board. The mobility was in part because printing, binding and reprography staff were the last to move by the end of September. Prior to the movement, the assets and liabilities of the former east central state library board were shared.
The Anambra state library board retained the buildings and other fixed assets, the whole fiscal cash and information resource were shared consequently, owerri divisional library which was under completion was hurriedly finished and used as the headquarter. The new library was opened to the public on the 12th of November, 1976 by then military governor, Commander Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu. The building was constructed to accommodate 85,000 volumes. The sum of N35,904.84 was spent on the building at that time of its opening. The building was divided into various sections, the ground floor was for children, the acquisition and cataloguing departments, the information consultancy unit, the staff reading room and the reprographic unit as well as the auditoria housing. Also was the handicap section which was opened by the military governor of Imo state commander Amadi Ibekweghi on 1st November 1989 and the exhibition which was taken over by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). The 1st floor contains one reference, circulation and adult lending section.
The library began its operation with a financial provision of sum of N564,837.66 for the financial year 1976/77. The sum was made up of N246,832.66 being financial inheritance from the east central state library board and N360,00 as financial addition, a sum of N500,000 was to covers its capital expenditures for the year 1977. Anambra and Imo States shared a considerable quality of new books which had not been allocated prior to the creation of the state. Other materials shared include catalogue cabinets and catalogue cards originally ordered for Owerri, library, some material filing cabinets and a few type writers.
The library started its operation with a total of 150 staff and a stock of 1,35o volumes. At present the total staff is 108 as at December 2006 and 112 as at June 2007.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In many public libraries, the budgetary allocation released as when due, and this in turn delays the implementation of the program of those libraries when funds has resulted in shortage relevant textbooks as currently being experienced by people and researchers who are in need of the material. There is inadequate funding of public libraries by the state government which provides about 80% of the funds required by the public libraries. Shortage of funds has resulted in shortage of materials. In adequate provision of funds has prevented the provision of current materials needs by the staff and client in public libraries. Also poor appreciation of the service of the library by those at the helm of affairs, low societal ratings of the libraries in public libraries in Nigeria pose problems to funding of public libraries.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follows:
- To establish the state of funding in public libraries in Nigeria.
- To find the major source of funding public libraries.
- To find alternative source of funding public libraries.
- To highlight problems associated with inadequate funding of public libraries.
- To make recommendations on how to overcome inadequate funding of public libraries.
- To determine the effect of commercialization.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Should library services be commercialized?
- What type of commercialization do you prefer in your organization?
- Is there any effect of commercialization on the economy?
- How is the quality of services provided by these libraries?
- What is the major factor responsible for low quality services?
- How is your library been funded?
- Is there any relationship between funding in public libraries and increased service delivery?
- How is the quality of funding in your organization?
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
The will be used to obtain the reliability of the subject matter.
HO: There is no relationship between funding in public libraries and increased service delivery.
HA: There is a relationship between funding in public libraries and increased service delivery.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will enable us to know the state of public libraries in Nigeria, the problems facing public libraries. It will also be of important to researcher or any other person who is interested in finding the state of public libraries in Nigeria, especially Imo State library board Owerri. It will also help us to appreciate the public library as an agent of political, social and religious development of a community which can compel them in passing the right judgment and taking right decision that affects their lives and existence. The study as expected will be an added literature in this branch of public librarianship.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope and literature of the study will enable users to know the funding of public libraries in Nigeria, especially in Imo and Abia States. This mostly designed to highlight the sources of funding public libraries towards economic development in Imo and Abia State Libray board.
Other areas covered include the commercialization of public libraries etc.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Every research work is expected to have certain limitations which fall short of the ideas which the researchers has established or organized.
In the process of carrying out this research work, certain inevitable problems were encountered which include time constraints, financial constraints, restricted access to information, that is, some relevant materials on net were not accessible only their abstracts also some people refused to fill the questionnaire.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Annual budgeting - An amount available to a person or organization every year and plans on how it should be spent.
Assets - Things of value owned by an individual or government.
Capital - Wealth that is owned, inverted, lent or borrowed.
Commercialization - Activities or things done in order to make money.
Finance- Money used to run a business.
Fund- Money that has been served or has been made available for a particular purpose.
Library activities - Things done in the library.
Liabilities - Debts own by a person or an organization.
Recurrent Expenses - Expenses incurred in order to generate more money.
Return on investment - The ability to perform certain duties for the benefits of others.
Subscription - Amount paid in order to continue receiving services of a company or person.