ASSESSMENT OF PRESERVATION OF ELECTRONIC RESOURCES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES (A Case Study of Federal Polytechnic, Bida)
The primary aim of this research is to examine the assessment of the preservation of electronic resources in Academic libraries, Federal polytechnic Bida. The research design adopted was the survey method using the questionnaire as the instrument for data collection. The population of the study comprised of the staff of the library totaling 100. The questionnaires were distributed, analysis of responses received. The questionnaires that were administered were returned 80%. In the study, it was seen that audio-visual materials were the major electronic resources used. It was also revealed from the study that strict compliance to preservation policy, proper inspection of the library materials as at when due and provision of more funds are the major preservation techniques used in the library. The study also identified some of the problems facing the preservation of electronic resources such as lack of funds, lack of good maintenance culture, lack of standard preservation policy, rough handling, etc. Also, it was contained in the study that solutions to these problems are provision of enough funds, good maintenance culture and a standardized preservation policy. Recommendations were also given so as to improve on preservation of electronic resources.
1.1 Background of the Study
The purpose of preservation is to ensure the protection of information resources in other to ensure easy accessibility and usage by present and future users of libraries and information centres. Libraries, archives and information centres have serve as the central institutional focus for acquisition and preservation of their stocks (i.e. library materials) and these types of institutions include acquisition, processing, conservation and preservation as one of their primary core function. In recent decades, many may or libraries and archives have established different formal programs for the preservation of all library resources (i.e. both printed and non-printed). These preservation measures include regular allocations of resources for preservation and prevention measures to arrest deterioration of materials, remedial measures to restore the usability of selected materials and the incorporation of preservation needs and requirements into overall program planning.
More importantly, the preservation with in libraries, information centres and archival communities have been faced with a lot of problems when it comes to media or electronics (i.e. digital) preservation. However, recording media for digital materials are vulnerable to deterioration and catastrophic loss. The problem of easy retrieval and playback technologies is as a result of media deterioration. Also, records which are in media formats and those converted from paper to media formats are equally vulnerable to technological obsolescence.
Preservation is an important and complex challenge in contemporary societies. Not only do individuals require security and safety of life and properties, but also organizations such as libraries. Libraries and information centres particularly strive to provide information resources in both prints and non-prints to support the educational services of the community and humanity at large. From documented evidences, everyday there are reports of loss, theft, fraud, embezzlement and vandalism of different types of library materials. These problems seriously affect the survival and growth of libraries and information centers.
Academic libraries constitute and contain all they entail for security issues like theft, and mutilation to emerge the major target being the collections. As such, the need for libraries to provide, maintain and secure its collections as well as to provide effective service to the community therefore becomes necessary (Bello, 2003).
According to Aguolu (1999) the advent of Information and Communication Technology has accelerated availability and usage of electronic resources in the modern time. This global development has posed challenges to libraries and information institutions in their attempt to meet information needs of users in the digital era. Libraries are now investing heavily on electronic resources especially academic libraries where users are exposed to various electronic resources outlets via internet. This development is noticeable in the developed nations of the world as African countries and other developing nations are still struggling to bridge the gap of digital that is preventing them from the full benefits of electronic era.
The electronic resources are direct consequences of recent development in our libraries and information centres. The Encyclopedia of library and information science (2006) sees electronic resource as “an element of individual or self tool of education with less or no any stress. Some of these resources include video-cassette, audio, cassette, computer, CD ROM, Diskettes; phone disc, projectors to mention a few”. It is now seen that the use of these resources are very necessary and imperatives as it is the fastest means of disseminating information.
Furthermore, academic libraries faced a lot of countless number of challenges as regards to security and preservations of library resources. The need for secure and well preserved materials is very vital in any library and information setting. (Ajayi, 2004). This is because electronic resources constitute the bedrock for services provided to the community and serve as important assets to the library. As such, securing and protecting the collections can help academic libraries provide an effective service in response to the information needs of the community/ patrons/users of libraries.
Preservation according to Abifarin (2006) implies “the need for libraries to provide, maintain and secure it collections to ensure longevity, accessibility and effective provision of services to users.” To achieve these noble objectives however libraries need an effective strategy to access the degree of collection, security, breaches they are facing and establishing an acceptable level of resources management and security implementation. Also, academic library managers must identify the preservation of issues as they relate to their libraries. In addition, there is also the need to design strategic measures for the protection of the collections (Ajegbomogun, 2004).
However, with all these problems the researcher have been forced by all means to look and suggest possible recommendations to the entire management of Federal polytechnic bida , Niger State through consultation of many current materials which will provide current information about innovation and inventions in the computer hardware, storage devices and software’s at a rapid pace which facilitate greater storage and preservation activities at a very low cost.
Historical Background of Federal Polytechnic, Bida Niger State
The federal polytechnic, Bida was established by law in 1979. It was founded in response to the recognition by the Federal Government that Nigeria is in dire need of technical and technological resources and the empowerment of the citizens to meet the technological needs of the country. The institution believes in and is firmly committed to a functioning philosophy of education.
In consonance with the national policy on education, the polytechnic has clearly stipulated objectives, the development and training of manpower is the first. There is research for development and adopting of appropriate techniques to problem solving and thirdly service to the immediate as well as larger society. The edict formally establishing the federal polytechnic, Bida is Decree No. 33 of 1979, the federal polytechnic of Act of 1990, including Decree No 47 of 1989, No.5 of 1993 and other legal documents.
Originally, the institution was known as the Federal College of Technology Kano. It was instituted on March 1st, 1977; following the Federal Government decision to transfer the college. The college was finally moved to Bida on July 27, 1977. The college before 1979 was known as the Bida College of Technology. It was temporarily accommodated at the Government technical school, Eyagi and later moved to temporary facilities along Mokwa road, Bida. The polytechnic’s first set of students admitted early in 1977 for the 1977/1978 session graduated at HND level in August 1981. About 154 out of 180 admitted made the higher diploma grade.
However, there has been a remarkable growth since the pioneer students granted. Critical shortage of staff at the early stage of her life forced the polytechnic to discontinue further enrolment of students into certain courses such as quantity Surveying and Architectural Technology, due to the inability of the institution to meet the accreditation requirement of NBTE in the 1985/1986 accreditation. But as at today, all programmes have been accredited and the polytechnic is structured into four (4) colleges headed by each Director.
Nevertheless, the academic board has statutory responsibility for the management and direction of the academic work of the polytechnic.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Preservation is one of the major core function of a library that contribute greatly to the sustenance and growth of libraries and documentation centres. Library and information resources formed the backbone of any library. Hence, the need for proper preservation. So also, preservation cannot hold in the absence of acquisition. Therefore, preservation is necessary in library setting and they both complement each other.
However, this research is aimed at investigating the problems of preservation of electronic resources in federal polytechnic Bida, library Niger state
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions are put forward:
- What are the types of electronic resources available in Federal Polytechnic Bida library?
- What are the preservative methods used by the Federal Polytechnic Bida library for electronic resources?
- To what extent are the preservative methods used by Federal Polytechnic Bida library are effective?
- What are the problems militating against preservation of electronic resources in Bida polytechnic library?
- What are the strategies adopted in Improving Preservation of electronic Resources in Bida polytechnic library?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To identify the various types of electronic resources available in Federal Polytechnic Bida library?
- To examine the preservative methods used by Federal polytechnic Bida library for electronic resources
- To determine the effectiveness of the preservative methods used by Federal Polytechnic Bida.
- To determine some of the problems militating against preservation of electronic resources in the library
- To recommend strategic measures to be adopted in solving the problems.
1.5 Significance of the Study
When effective preservation of Electronic resources is carried out, librarians will be able to perform their role of information dissemination effectively to its users.
E-resources which are delicate and easily destroyed if well preserved, it will effectively provide required information for its patrons.
The users will equally benefit when effective preservation of E-resources of the library are carried out. Materials in every format, not just electronic resources will be made available for research and recreation at any time required.
Availability of Electronic resources will encourage users to patronize the library, knowing fully that they will not be disappointed.
The findings of this study will enable management save cost of constant replacement of electronic resources. If the e-resources are well preserved there will be no need for management to constantly replace electronic resources; instead such funds will be put into more viable use to make the library an effective information centre.
1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study will look into the preservation problem of Electronic resources in Federal Polytechnic Bida and will be limited to the preservation of Electronic resources of the library.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Preservation: the act of keeping something in its original form or in a good condition
Computer: an electronic device capable of accepting data as an input, process it and provide information as an output.
Resources: are paperless library resources which their information content can only be accessed with a special medium.
Community patron: the library users or clientele.
Security: security is safety from attack, harm or damage. It can also be seen as prevention from harm or attack.
Librarian: it is a qualified person with higher educational profile who is employed to work in the library.
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