Managing Workforce Diversity in Nigerian Libraries

Inazu, Ifaka Queen Itsekor, Orighomisan Victoria, Omonori, Abayomi Adebayo Olalere, Julie Owansuan, Sulaiman, Abiola Moyosore


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for workforce diversity in Nigerian libraries considering the events in the current global work place.

Design/methodology/approach: The need for diversity is not just to fulfil legal or moral imperatives but also for growth. A core value and a client-driven professional choice is to develop and promote a diverse staff that reflects the communities libraries serve. This is because of the need to maximise the opportunities that diverse ideas and experiences of heterogeneous workforce brings in to organizations, libraries inclusive. Libraries have always advocated for diversity in their resources and users rather than workforce, but with globalization, immigration and demographic changes, the need for workforce diversity has become expedient. This is in the dimensions of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, and education backgrounds for tolerance, equality and cohesiveness to enhance service delivery to diverse users.

Findings: The consequences for not managing library diversity workforce properly could lead to conflict, poor performance, staff turnover and ineffective service delivery. In order to promote an atmosphere of inclusiveness in Nigeria, different suggestions are given as a way forward, which will enable the library manager to create awareness, educate, build teamwork, and develop policies and standards. Nevertheless, managers face challenges dealing with the peculiarity of human behaviour, discrimination, prejudices, and even their personal beliefs and value systems.

Originality/Value: This paper is novel in the Nigerian context and will contribute to implement policies that will help engage diverse library workforce.

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