Branch libraries in six Nigerian universities : a study of university-wide library systems
Branch libraries are a feature of library and information services in six of the Nigerian universities located at Ibadan, Nsukka, Zaria, Ile-Ife, Lagos and Benin City. The study was undertaken in order to point up the resources and services of branch libraries in the context of the overall library and information services in the six universities. To gather the data for the major part of the work, two separate questionnaires were formed and used. One required essentially factual information. The other was a Likert-type questionnaire designed to discern the attitudes of heads of academic units and librarians towards branch libraries. Usable responses were received from 46(71.9%) of the branch libraries, 146(71.2,%) heads of academic units and 90(71.4%) librarians from the six universities. Considerable reliance was also placed on documentary materials, particularly for background information about the library situation in the universities. A majority of the branch libraries were founded in isolation in response to the special information needs of the academic units to which they belong. Most of the branch libraries were in separate rooms in the same building as their parent academic units. The funds for the branch libraries were provided by the universities as part of the budget of the main library or the academic unit that administered the particular branch library. The accommodation, reader places, information resources and services of the branch libraries were widely distributed: in aggregate terms these, if effectively harmonized, can ameliorate the existing constraints of the main libraries in many of these matters. It was also shown that access to a majority of the branch collections was hampered by restrictive regulations, limited openillg hours, inadequate linkages and staffing constraints. The work explores and offers ways and means of evolving university-wide library systems out of the existing arrangements and fture possibilities.