Automation in Academic Libraries: An Evaluative Study of Two Nigerian Libraries

Okeoma Chinelo Ezechukwu & Egbe Adewole-Odeshi

Abstract


Automation is expected to embrace all the aspects of library operations, and these services fully made accessible online to library users. A lot of academic libraries are in different phases of automating their services. Most Nigerian academic libraries have not been able to automate all their operations due to varying factors. Thus library users are still unable to experience the ease of service expected through automation. The need to identify the aspects of library services and identify the factors impeding automation prompted this study. The study is significant to LIS study, Policy, theory and literature as it adds to literature on automation in Nigerian academic libraries. The design of the study was descriptive survey research. This study evaluated automation in the University of Uyo and Covenant University libraries. The structured questionnaire was used to collect data from all Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals working in these academic libraries. Data obtained was analysed using SPSS 15.0. The findings revealed that LIS professionals have a high degree of awareness of library automation in academic libraries. It was also discovered that only cataloguing and OPAC services have been partly automated at the University of Uyo Library, and although the ILS being used is web-based, the OPAC is not yet launched online. Conversely, all aspects of library services have been automated at the Centre of Learning Resources, Covenant University. In addition, it was also observed that the factors affecting the implementation of automation in academic libraries vary from one institution to the other. It was therefore recommended that Library and Information Science professionals should be encouraged to start experimenting with all the various modules embedded in the Library Management System for other library operations. It was equally recommended that they consult with other academic libraries with the same needs and brainstorm to identify how to meet the needs for more effective automation of library services.


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