THE STUDY OF MANUAL AND ELECTRONIC CATALOGUING IN TWO ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN EDO STATE
This is a study of manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries, a case of Ambrose Alli University and University of Benin Libraries both in Edo state. The specific objectives include, to find out and compare the state of manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries, determine the relevance of manual and electronic cataloguing, identify the differences between manual and electronic cataloguing, investigate the problems that militate against manual and electronic cataloguing and profer solutions to the problems facing manual and electronic cataloguing. A descriptive survey method was adopted for the study; the population comprises of 29 professionals and 115 para-professional librarians from Ambrose Alli University and University of Benin Libraries (a total of 144 librarians). Total enumeration sampling technique was adopted for the study; the sample size being 144 librarians. Data collection instrument was the questionnaire, while the data was analyzed using simple percentages and tables. Findings revealed that both libraries are involved in manual and electronic cataloguing (with a total of 83.03%); study equally showed that electronic cataloguing in both libraries will enhance increased accessibility to information materials that are processed on daily basis; furthermore, the study revealed that manual cataloguing involves rigorous activities such as bibliographic description, bibliographic checking, filing and interfiling of cards among others. Conclusion was drawn and recommendations were made which includes, provision of adequate ICT facilities and that libraries should carry out training and re-training of cataloguing staff in the aspect of ICT.
1.1 Background of the Study
Libraries are charged with the responsibilities of collecting, processing and preserving information materials, such materials must be arranged in an orderly manner, so that users can retrieve them without necessarily wasting much energy and time. Cataloguing of library materials play a very vital role towards ensuring appropriate organization, according to their subject area. A library having a million volumes that are not organized for easy retrieval will be judged as having nothing; therefore, to ensure effective and efficient retrieval, resources must be catalogue. A building filled with books is not necessary a library unless those books have been organized for easy access and made available for use (Ilo, 2008). Reitz (2004), sees cataloguing as the process of creating entries for a catalog in libraries, this usually includes bibliographic description, subject analysis, assignment of classification, notations and all the activities involved in physically preparing of the items for the shelf. Such tasks are usually performed under the supervision of trained librarian as a cataloguer.
Seriki (2011) defines cataloguing as the listing of the entire collection in a definite order for the purpose of identification when searching is conducted. A cataloguer is a librarian primarily responsible for preparing bibliographic records to represent the items acquired by a library, including bibliographic description, subject analysis and classification. The cataloguer is also referred to as the librarian who is also responsible for supervising a cataloguing department (Reitz, 2004) According to Aidenojie and Osawele (2014). Cataloguing is define as the process of listing something for inclusion in a catalog and the process involved the description of books in order to point out all the important features such as author, title, imprint collation, edition and subject of each book. Cataloguers are responsible for the processes of authority control of library materials. As a result of this bibliographic control, it can be said that cataloguers serve as the foundation of all library services, as they are the ones who organize information in such a way as to make it easily accessible. The cataloguers provide a complete and analytical bibliographic description of every item in a library collection which can be accessed through the author, title and the subject or any other access point. They therefore recommended cataloguers should actively participate in development, reform and fair application of cataloguing rules, standard and classifications as well as information storage and retrieval system.(Aidenojie and Osawele 2014), a librarian is a professionally trained person responsible for the care of a library and its contents which include the selection, processing and organization of materials as well as the delivery of information, instruction and loan service to meet the needs of its users. In an electronic environment the role of the librarian is to manage and mediate access to information that may exist in electronic format. A librarian is also refers to as a person responsible for the overall administration of a library or library system. (Reitz, 2004). Electronic resources librarian manages the databases that libraries license from third-party vendors. Technical service librarians work behind the scene ordering library materials and database subscription, computers and other equipment, supervise the cataloguing and physical processing of new materials. Collection development librarians monitor the selection of books and electronic resources. Reference or research librarians help people doing research to find the information they need through a structured conversation called a reference interview (Tiwari, 2014).
Before the advent of computerized cataloguing, the manual system has been in existence. It therefore becomes imperative to stand on the practice of manual cataloguing as a practice of manual cataloguing as a premise for building an understanding of the use of ICT in cataloguing. At inception, cataloguing was not a tedious task and this is attributed to the fact that there was no information explosion prior to the adoption of ICT for cataloguing purpose. Books were organized using length, colour, size and shape (Ilo,2008). Furthermore, Bair (2005), defined manual cataloguing as a hand written subject card where information has be created by hand in library and information science. Prior to the emergence of information and communication technology (ICT), the manual cataloguers engaged in activities ranging from bibliographic searching and description to assigning of subject class to materials in different subject areas. In a manual context, the cataloguer tries to find out if the materials to be catalogued exist in the library collection. This is done by cross-checking existing cards filed in the author, title and subject catalogue cabinet. For books already in existence, their bibliographic details are copied to the materials while those not found are catalogue originally, this method is cumbersome and slow. (Ilo,2012).
The emergence of electronic cataloguing has brought a turn-around to cataloguing as a core library process for example, in electronic cataloguing there is no delay because bibliographic details are not copied manually, which is usually tedious and time-consuming. Even Library Oriented Software Packages (LOSP) such as the Strategic Library Automated Management (SLAM) packages, has provision for bibliographic searching and entries of books, the library staff make the entries directly into the computer system thereby saving the time and energy that would have been used for coping on the worksheets, erasing, re-coping and typing on the catalogue cards (Omekwu,2007). The 21st century has witnessed a tremendous growth in technology. It is therefore normal to expect it to affect manual cataloguing processes. The work of the cataloguers has shifted from manual bibliographic description to electronic cataloguing using the internet where necessary which is faster. Ilo(2012).With the above perception, this study will examine the state of manual and electronic cataloguing in two academic libraries in Edo state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The responsibility of the library as a growing organism is to select, acquire, process, preserve, organize, manage and disseminate information materials to meet the needs of the library users. Based on this information, materials must be effectively catalogued using either manual or electronic method in organizing these materials for easy retrieval. Manual cataloguing is a difficult task in organizing information materials in academic library as it involves using hand to write out the bibliographic details of the material on the 3 by 5 cards, which makes it slower than using electronic method in cataloguing information materials. Many libraries in the world, especially in developed countries have adopted the use of ICT in carrying out library functions and processes and this has gone a long way to satisfy the users as they are able to access and use library materials with ease. But as regards the use of ICT in carrying out library functions in developing countries, the situation is different even as many university libraries in Edo state are yet to fully adopt the use of ICT in cataloguing operations. It is against this background that this study is set out to investigate the state of manual and electronic cataloguing in Ambrose Alli University library Ekpoma and University of Benin library, Benin City.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objectives of this research is to carry out a study on manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries, the specific objectives are:
- Find out the state of manual and electronic cataloguing in both academic libraries.
- Determine the relevance of manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries.
- Identify the differences between manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries
- Investigate the problems that militate against manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries.
- Solutions to the problems facing manual and electronic cataloguing in academic libraries.
1.4 Research Questions
The following Research questions will be used to guide the study.
- What is the state of manual and electronic cataloguing in academic Libraries?
- What is the relevance manual and electronic cataloguing in academic Libraries?
- What are the differences between manual and electronic cataloguing?
- What are the problems that militate against manual and electronic cataloguing?
- What are the solutions to the problems facing manual and electronic cataloguing?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on manual and electronic cataloguing in Ambrose Alli University Library Ekpoma and John Harris Library, University of Benin, Benin City. The study is interested in finding out the nature of manual and electronic cataloguing which has become the major focus in libraries, identifying the relevance of manual and electronic cataloguing, determine the differences between manual and electronic cataloguing, investigate problems that militate against manual and electronic cataloguing and solutions to the problems facing manual and electronic cataloguing. The study is restricted to librarians in Ambrose Alli University and University of Benin.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will be useful to all Librarians particularly those librarians in Ambrose Alli University and University of Benin, since it will reveal the state of manual and electronic cataloguing.
Secondly, this will also be useful to University Management as it will create awareness of the importance of Manual and Electronic Cataloguing in libraries. Thirdly, researcher and students will find it useful as it will enrich the library and provide them with research materials to supplement their studies. Lastly the study will add to the existing body of literature on the of study of manual and Electronic Cataloguing in Ambrose Alli University and University of Benin libraries, thereby serving as a reference point to researchers who are interested in investigating related problems.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
During the conduct of this research work, the researcher encountered problems which affected the quantity and quality of data collected such as respondent misplacement of questionnaires and given them new one to fill, ideally I would have love to study all University in Edo State, but because of time and financial constraints I only study Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and University of Benin, Libraries in Edo State.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Some technical term used in the course of the research need clarification through definition for the purpose of good understanding of this work. These definitions are only limited to the context of this study
Cataloguer: A cataloguer is a trained librarian whose primarily responsibility is to prepare bibliographic records of items acquired by the library, including bibliographic description, subject analysis and classification. Cataloguer no longer catalogue books only but also electronic materials like CD ROM. They also access online Catalogues, transform the available bibliographic records to machine readable formats, engage in resources sharing and networking.
Cataloguing: This is the process of creating entries for a catalog in libraries; this usually includes bibliographic description, subject analysis and assignment of Classification, notation and all activities involved in physically preparing the item for the shelf.
Manual Cataloguing: This is refered to as a hand written subject cards where information has been created by hand in library and information science.
Electronic Cataloguing: This refer to as the process of using bibliographic information to catalog materials through the use of the computer system and it usually consists of a collection of bibliographic records in a machine readable format maintained in a Computer database accessible to other attached Computer such as open access catalog(OPAC)
Librarian: A librarian is a professionally trained person who is responsible for the care and management of library and all its content which include the selection, processing and organization of materials and the delivery of information, instruction and loan service to meet the needs of its users
Library: This is refer to as an institution which is charged with the responsibility of collecting, processing and preserving information materials and such materials must be arranged in an orderly manner, so that users can retrieve them without necessarily wasting much energy and time.
Information and communication technologies (ICTS) are the application of computer and other technologies towards the acquisition, organization, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information resources in an organization, such as the library.