PUBLIC LIBRARIES AS A RURAL EXTENSION AGENT: A CASE OF ONITSHA DIVISIONAL LIBRARY
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PUBLIC LIBRARIES AS A RURAL EXTENSION AGENT: A CASE OF ONITSHA DIVISIONAL LIBRARY
This work describes the present nature of the extension service of the public library with reference to Onitsha Divisional Library. Literature review was carried out giving an in-depth into the local information service, outreach service and means of maintenance of extension service for continued existence and method of operating book mobile/users need. Data explanation given with condensed summary of research questions places included in the study. The government needs to put more effort to see that the needs of the extension section of Onitsha Divisional resources and physical effort towards their achievement.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE - - - - - - - - -
CERTIFICATION - - - - - - - -
DEDICATION - - - - - - - - -
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - - - - - - -
ABSTRACT - - - - - - - - -
1.0 INTRODUCTION - - - - - - -
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY AND HISTORY - -
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS - - - - -
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY - - - - -
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY - - - - - -
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE TO THE STUDY - - - -
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS - - - - - -
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS - - - - - -
2.0 REVIEW OF LITERATURE - - - - - -
2.1 LOCAL INFORMATION SERVICE - - - -
2.2 OUTREACH SERVICES/EXTENSION SERVICES -
2.3 OTHER MEANS AND TECHNIQUES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF EXTENSION SERVICE FOR ITS CONTINUED EXISTENCE
2.4 METHOD OF OPERATING BOOK MOBILE - -
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY - - - - -
3.1 DESIGN OF THE STUDY - - - - - -
3.2 AREA OF THE STUDY - - - - - -
3.3 POPULATION OF THE STUDY - - - - -
3.4 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE - - -
3.5 INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION - - -
3.6 VALIDITY OF INSTRUMENT - - - - -
3.7 RELIABILITY OF INSTRUMENT - - - `- -
3.8 DISTRIBUTION AND RETRIEVAL OF INSTRUMENT -
3.9 DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES - - - - -
4.0 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.1 PRESENTATION AND DATA FINDINGS
4.2 DATA ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION/DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
5.0 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION AND SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER SRUDIES - - -
5.1 SUMMARY - - - - - - - -
5.2 CONCLUSION - - - - - - - -
5.3 RECOMMENDATION - - - - - - -
5.4 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH STUDIES
The fundamental aim of libraries is to provide timely, accurate and reliable information for users. According to Olowu (2004) librarians are devoted to improving access to information and satisfying the users paramount. Public libraries takes an integral part in national socio-economic development and improvement of general quality of life. Public library according to a professional librarian Elizabeth H. Thompson (1971) is an institution that exists to serve all residents of a community, district or region and receives its financial support as a whole or part from government fund. Public libraries in Nigeria, however, has been mostly limited to urban areas, that has resulted in illiteracy and ignorance among young people in rural areas. In Nigeria, a majority of the population lives in remote areas. Some of these areas are only accessible by boat or bicycle. The inhabitants of these rural areas are without education. The library can only play an important role in the advancement of knowledge. This role can be effectively carried out with well structured and well planned library services. Library services include the packaging and repackage of information, have been provided in Nigeria for many decades (Iwhiwhu, 2008) unfortunately, a number of problems inhibits the provision of efficient library service in rural areas of Anambra and other parts of the country. These include lack of physical infrastructure, lack of technologies(ICT) illiteracy, language barrier and poverty etc.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The creation of public library service is perhaps one of the most important social and cultural developments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The history of public library may be traced to the public reference library which began as a gift of a private library, through the transfer of monetary on cathedral library to public use. The libraries were poorly housed except a few of them which were in architecturally elegant surrounding.
The development of public library in Nigeria become noticed in the second half of the twentieth century. Prior to that date, there were reading room which were scattered in the various parts of Nigeria. Some private libraries were opened to the public or at least to individual scholars. The bulk of materials in the reading rooms were pamphlets, newspapers and antiquated books which were left behind by the expatriates.
The “read rooms” were either the unused rooms of the city halls or rented room or a discarded building within the church premises, there were no fixed hours of opening and closing. There was absence of professional librarians, it was under the care of attendant/caretaker.
The world war gave rise to the development of many reading rooms in the important towns in Nigeria. Lagos territory alone had more than three; reading rooms were located at Calabar, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Jos, Enugu and Kano. The stock were newspapers, war reports pamphlets and few books which were intended to disseminate news about the war especially the performance of the allied forces. The reading rooms were established by the Public Relations Department but were managed by the Native Authority (NA).
At the end of the World War II, few reading rooms survived. And for those that survived, there was great progress because British council introduced new scheme “Book Box” Traveling Scheme” by this scheme, Reading rooms/libraries or schools paid a subscription fee of Ten Naira annually for three book with 60 different books.
The desire of the public library heightened after the War. In 1953, the UNESCO organized “the seminar on the development of public libraries in Africa, the seminar was held at the university of Ibadan and it resolved to assist any country in Africa who showed interest to set up a public library.
The government of Eastern Region of Nigeria, under the premiership of Rt. Hon Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, was the first in Nigeria and indeed in Africa to grab the opportunity. UNESCO was invited to Enugu the regional capital to help start a public library. In 1955, the first library legislation was passed by the Eastern Nigeria house of Assembly. It created the library board which was authorized to provide public library service to people.
1.1.1 A BRIEF HISTORY OF ANAMBRA STATE LIBRARY
Anambra state is one of the thirty six states in Nigeria. It was carved out from the former east central state. On the 25th of august, 1991 the old Anambra state was divided into two states known as Enugu and Anambra State. Although the old Anambra state and Imo state were legally carved out from the former east central state on the 1st of April 1976. Both of them continued to maintain a central library service under the East Central Library Board until on 31st August, 1976, assets of former east central state library were shared and the library staff who were of Imo State left for Owerri with their own share of the library materials.
Majority of the library staff were of Imo State origin, so Anambra was left with only six qualified library staff to man the state central library and two Mobile Library Van which the state inherited.
On the 10th of September, 1976, the state library board was constituted and inaugurated on the 14th of November, 1976. The first business meeting of the board was held on 27th November 1976 two mobile libraries were launched for Enugu and Onitsha on the 4th February, 1977. Then Anambra State library system comprises the state central library at Enugu and four divisional libraries which were established at Onitsha, Anambra, Nsukka and Abakaliki. There were also three smaller branch libraries at Ajalli, Nkpologwu and Ihembosi.
On the 27th August, 1991, new states were created bringing the states of the federation to thirty, the old Anambra state was split into Enugu and Anambra State respectively following the development, the development, the assets of the former Anambra state library system were shared and Enugu state inherited the state’s central library at Enugu. Members of the library staff who were of Anambra state origin left for Awka (the state capital). Here a temporary site was found for the library stock. However, plans are being made for the establishment of new Anambra state central library.
1.1.2 THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ONITSHA DIVISIONAL LIBRARY
The Divisional Library Onitsha were situated along Enugu Road near Central Police Station or opposite Sport Club in Onitsha Anambra State. The library building was designed in 1965 by a firm, James Cubit and partners F/A. A.R.I.B.A. It was completed and open on the 26th November 1996 under his Excellency Lt Col, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu M.A.J.S.S.C, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria when public library development in the eastern Nigeria set the peace in the country and maintain a high standard of excellence. This library was the fourth and last public/divisional library embarked upon by the then eastern regional government before the outbreak of Civil War in July, 1967. At the end of the 30 months of fratricidal Civil War, there were lots of looting in the library. Many valuable materials including chairs, tables were either stolen or burnt. Only the main structure remains with its windows, doors and other fittings damaged. At a time, when most other building were no longer standing the structure was temporarily used during the second held of 1971 as the Onitsha high court.
Before the actual reactivation started May 1972 anxious students and readers were already using their own improvised table and chairs for the purpose of study. Credit for the reconstruction of this building goes to the ministry of works and housing Onitsha, particularly Mr. R.A. Obioha who was the task leader for Onitsha, for helping immensely towards its construction.
The building was officially opened on 8th June 1973 by the honourable commissioner for information and home affairs, Chief C.A. Abangwu in the presence of the members of the Board and crowd of distinguished quests.
In this building the public department comprises adult lending and children section and reference section are located on the ground floor, located on the ground floor are auditorium for library extension activities such as firm show, lecture and symposia. A mobile garage and loading and staff room and librarian room are also located upstairs.
Onitsha divisional library was designed to accommodate forty thousand volumes of books. Although after the war more and more books borrowed by the readers before the war were returned and sent to the cataloging section at Enugu for reallocation to divisional libraries as at the end of this period the following are the details of their books.
Adult lending Non Friction 5019
Children section Non friction 1152
Staff library and librarian office 104
Total = 10, 011
As a result of increase in number of primary and tertiary school in the state, soon after the civil war, a lot of effort are geared towards meeting up with the information needs of the users.
SERVICES HOURS OF THE LIBRARY
The service hours of the library can be represented as follows:
Mon – Friday
8am – 6pm
2. Adult lending and reference service
Mon – Saturday
8am – 6pm
3. Children’s section
Mon – Friday
9.00am – 7.00pm
4. Children’s section
9am – 7pm
THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE LIBRARY
Among the extension activities of the library are the children’s library film shows, and the mobile service. On Saturday children gather from 9am to 1pm for their study hour and film show. Other service in this unit include songs, quiz competitions and debate, there is also drama presentation, games drawing and painting modeling, which is always organize in the long vacation. To achieve this the librarian will visit nearby schools both primary and secondary and write a letter to their respective parents so that they will be able to release their children to the program at the end of every program gift were shared among the children. The library unit also organizes lecture, seminal, symposia and film show for adults. When they launched the van, used in operating mobile library, the mobile library served school and government department in the neighbouring local government areas.
The route the divisional library cover are as follows:
Route 1 zone 1
Ifite Ukpo, Onitsha Enugu-ukwu, Awkuzu Ogidi, Nawfia, Nteje, Umulere, Ogbunike, Aguleri, Umudioka, Ugwuoba, Otuocha, Umunachi, Abagana, Oba, Odaekpe, Agu-ukwu, Ojoto, Atani, Oraifite, Ichi, Akiri-ozizo, Okija, Nnewi, Obosi, Ihiala, Ozobulu and Uli.
Although after the division of the old Anambra State into Enugu and Anambra State respectively in August 1991, the state of the former state library were shared which posed some problem to the activities of new Anambra State Library system. The mobile library unit was highly affected. However, it believes that this section will resume duties as soon as funds are made available.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The various problems that militate against the extension service are numerous, among which are:
i. Lack of qualified trained librarian to man the library and the mobile library units.
ii. The problem of artificial barriers like bad roads which make the library material in accessible for mobile library van to some services point.
iii. Inadequacy of security which always result in book mutilation or stealing the book by the library users.
iv. Lack of fund to stock and maintain the mobile library units.
v. Incessant transfer of teachers and student which at times makes it difficult to recover borrowed materials.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follows:
i. To examine the development, organization, care and housing of the collection in the extension services of the divisional library.
ii. To evaluate the services rendered in the outreach section of the Onitsha Divisional Library.
iii. To discover the problems that may be impending effective outreach service of the Onitsha Divisional Library.
iv. To know the method of acquisition of the Onitsha Divisional Library.
v. To know if the material adequate for the people that desire them or the people served.
vi. To recommend effective way of solving the problem discovered.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study will be restricted to the extension or outreach service of Onitsha Divisional Library. References can be made to other section of the library but greater attention will be paid to the section under investigation.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE TO THE STUDY
The important of this study is centered on
i. To provide the necessary information about practice of rural extension service to the community by the outreach section of public library.
ii. To ex-ray the assistance provided by this section on adult education programmes.
iii. To help student or researchers understand the importance of public library as rural extension agents.
iv. To educate users and the public on the use of the public library material especially, the extension section.
v. To get readers informed of the prospects and problems of public libraries on rural extension service.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION
In every research work, the researcher has something in mind to be achieved, therefore questions has been raised to enable the researcher achieve her purpose of carrying out the research work.
i. How does the Divisional Library developed, organize and care for the housing of collection in extension service.
ii. What type of services are rendered in the outreach section of the Divisional Library.
iii. What are the problems impending effective service of the library.
iv. How are the library materials acquired.
v. Is the material adequate for the people that need them.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
This is a place professionally selected and acquired books and non-books material are processed and orderly arranged to make for easy location and use.
A library is also a building containing collections of books, periodicals and sometimes film and recorded music for use or borrowing by the public or the member of institution.
ii. EXTENSION SERVICE
This is the provision of the library materials and service outside the library’s regulation service center or outlet.
This is an educational opportunity provided by colleges and universities to people who are not enrolled as regular students.
iii. RURAL AREA
This simply means a geographic area that is located outside cities and towns.
iv. PUBLIC LIBRARY
This is a nonprofit library established for the use of the general public and maintained chiefly by the public fund.
2.1 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The extension service of the public library is a special service provided by the public libraries for the people living far from the branch library and it requires special attention.
The investigator ventured into the field of literature in the field under review and some of the works received are mainly information materials in monographs, journals, newspaper and magazine.
The objectives were to examine some of these materials in relation to the research work topic.
Literature therefore presents a record of the achievement of human race. The literature of a subject is its foundation. Some literature has been written on the extension service of the library in general, but not much has been written on the extension service of the public library in particular.
Therefore, in making review of the extension service of the public library, I consider the following subjects.
i. Local or rural information service of the librarians.
ii. Outreach service of the public library.
iii. Means of the maintenance of the extension service for its continued existence.
iv. Method of operating book mobile/users needs.
2.2 LOCAL INFORMATION SERVICE
According to Aboyade (2001), the public library is established to provide material, which communicate experience and ideas from one person to another and make them easily and freely available to all people. The public library is a local centre of information that makes all kinds of knowledge and information readily available to its users.
It is established, supported and funded by the community, either, through local, regional or national government or through some other form of community organization. It provides access to knowledge, information and works of imagination through a range of resources and service; it is equally available to all members of the community regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, religion, language, disability, employment status and educational attainment.
Peter Mann (2000) did remark in the local information and local studies, the public librarian provide materials about the history of their country or locality. There is a huge range of material available including country and parish histories, maps, photographs, drawing and records and newspapers. In some cases the main local history collection will be in the country library so you should check this at your local branch. Library services are also using technology to these services, making it easier for users to locate interesting information for local and national collection.
2.3 OUTREACH SERVICE/EXTENSION SERVICE
The public libraries brings the library to those who cannot come to the library via service like homebound delivery of materials, mini branch libraries and programs in retirement homes, schools community and civic, groups can also utilize the library’s outreach service for programs and speaker community meeting.
The outreach service department strives to create and implement library programs that are inclusive and culturally responsive to traditionally marginalized populations. The services offered are usually outside the library district building and are provided in both English and local language.
They work with the local organization to reach communities that are geographically isolated from library services, individuals economically stressed and communities that are culturally isolated.
The New York library helps non-English speaking and other immigrants understand and interact with the culture, government and educational system of the United State. Classes are for people who want to learn and improve their English.
The extension service or outreach service include:
- Service to the underserved: The library service are organized for schools and visit to children libraries in arrangement with teacher librarian.
During weekend, extension services are organized with lessons on the use of library inform of film shows, stories reading and language study for children, library services are brought to the door step and these are to achieved by mobile library that carries books to service points such as school, hostels, hospitals, local government headquarters and prisons as well as retaliation centres. Quick unlike in the days before now, information is now taken to the door step of all, those it may be useful to, it also benefit the blind, this is because in a situation where the public library could not provide reading material or other alternative to the blind because of cost. It should obtain suppliers from the national library or from the talking book service for the blind. Public libraries provides service to the patients in hospitals, hospitals staff, books, newspaper and periodicals one served to the patients, medical and nursing staff. In order to excel in these other activities, the library service did well by establishing a specialist certificate in hospitals librarianship and public manuals of guardians for hospitals and prison librarians.
Public librarians can carry out such service through its mobile service and individual visit by its staff. Small loan collections, charged from time and operated by prison staff officer can so, and it has been found that the books were well used and well of great value to prisoners Gufta, Sushima (2004:5).
The library has ceased to mean a store where books are kept, checked, secured and locked, rather a modern library may contain some other items like films, audio-visual cassettes, records, pictures and micro films and the materials are always at the users convenience. She went further to say the libraries are not trying to serve their clientele at their door steps with the use of mobile library and that special type of library which is set up at the rural area is called community implementation centres, community library or rural information center.
Also according to Platt (1999:24) in his libraries is colleges of education “opened at the underserved as well as the handicapped should be provided with adequate information so as to keep them abreast of the current situation of things with the society and to make them have a sense of belonging.
Maidment W.R. (1996:111) stress that, every year some enterprising librarians introduces a new extension of his service, sometimes simple and expensive schemes are provided, like grave send collection of dig sand puzzle for mentally handicapped children.
Current awareness service can be another type of extension service of public libraries. This is done by production of pamphlet containing information on library holding in one or more subject areas.
The best exhibition public library can boast of his having the display of its important publication available at any point in time. And to make the library a very attractive reading system. It can also be called the current awareness services of the public library. The library can only achieve this display near railway station lobbies of government building and hospitals Onwurah (2014:35).
Before the idea of display were introduced clienteles, including the underserved find it difficult to know the holding of a library. As soon as this idea was originated, people from the rural communities began to have more idea of what the library material is all about. This display contain new publication on specific subject at the level of the reader.
Data, S.A. (1977:15) opines library display as a small exhibition of books usually one or more related subject and sometime around the library.
The aim of such display is to make the library perform kind of current awareness service (CAS) the important place where those display are done are windows of shops and lobbies of hotels.
LOCAL COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT
Some communities are situated in a remote area that they can only know the current information through local collection development.
Local collection by definition is being out and tracking down any publication relevant to the field of the readers.
The public library is for the benefit of the community that establish it therefore, top on its collection should be;
i. Local history materials like play, folktales, drama, depicting the culture of the community being served.
ii. Music scores emphases on the art of people
iii. Mounted illustration, frame, production of paintings and important festivals, ceremonies and other occasions of the locality. All these are methods of information knowledge education recreation, aesthetic appreciation and cultural enjoyment.
2.4 OTHER MEANS AND TECHNIQUES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF EXTENSION SERVICE FOR ITS CONTINUED EXISTENCE
The other techniques of information dissemination outside the use of books and non-book materials include the use of public address system employment of the service of the villages, town criers, the use of posters and media houses.
The techniques were not known before because the rural communities have not expressed their feelings for all the services. When it was realized by the outreach section or units it became good tools for more extensions information dissemination. The public address system are sometimes placed on cars, while they move about. But the most traditional address systems are sometimes good tools for more extension.
Traditional method of information dissemination in most Nigeria communities include the employment of the service of town parliament, places of worship, cultural festivals, meetings, market places and chance mating on the way to form rivers spring and farms.
Important notice are usually given in a well decorated poster and pasted on conspicuous places. The poster attracts the attention of anyone who passes by the place and provides a lot of information. Information is also disseminated through the media such as television and radio station and newspaper houses. Sometimes relevant information is composed as sings and poems and recited at intervals through the media houses, public gathering and meeting. This is known as slogan, slogan is very effective means of disseminating information. In conclusion, one does not need to be in school before he could be provided with relevant information for overall human visit the library.
2.5 METHODS OF OPERATING BOOK MOBILE
To operate a book mobile will involve a lot of arrangement. The arrangement will focus on the route, the availability of material and resources, first is the fraud, before a book mobile can be put into effective use, fund must be available for the purchase of books and preparing of mobile van, No mobile library van operate without the necessary fund required to carry out its function.
Normally, before practicing this mobile library service the route with the book mobile will visit, will first be mapped out by the branch librarian, the librarian or his deputy will visit the route area and schedule the running time with them, i.e. duration of stop time and delivery.
The practice the person have to register and provide his or her profile with correct address. During operation pamphlets, serial publication like journals together with audio-visual material are carried along. In the remote areas of the community, these materials are displayed and people, especially farmers, schools, Hospital staff are taught the importance of these materials. At times farmers who need information on their career assemble together at the service point to be educated more by the mobile staff.
In the village where large percentage of the entire population are not aware of current information about deadly diseases like AIDS, Tuberculosis etc. the mobile library carries some important pamphlets and books were there is current information on these diseases. The rural people are explained the importance of these books and need to buy them, like on Onitsha Divisional Library, the mobile library has book depot at Dennis Memorial Grammar School, where people use to purchase those materials. All these are some method of operating book mobile.
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