Conservative practices of information resources by libraries for enhanced collection usefulness in University libraries in Enugu state


The overarching goal of this study is to investigate conservative practices of information resources by libraries in order to improve collection usefulness in university libraries in Enugu State. The survey descriptive research design was used in the study, and the researcher purposefully selected 150 participants for the study using the convenience sampling method. The respondent was given a self-structure questionnaire, of which 141 were retrieved and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using simple percentages and presented in tables and frequencies. The findings revealed that the techniques and methods for preserving and conserving information materials in Rivers State University central library include the use of photocopying machines, digitization facilities, and lamination equipment. Bindery, fumigation, cleaning and dusting of library materials, reformation, microfilming of newspaper, brittle or fragile paper-based materials, copying audiotapes and video materials and electronic digitizing, floor cleaning, shelf clearing, collection condition surveys, pest inspections, environmental monitoring, and a disaster preparedness and response plan are all available. As a result, the study recommended that a good policy on short-term to long-term preservation and conservation be developed. Professionally trained conservators should also be recruited, and staff training and retraining should be encouraged. Furthermore, a budget should be set aside each year for preservation and conservation. A well-equipped bindery section with trained staff should also be established. In addition, regular training on the preservation and conservation of library materials should be provided.



  1. Background of the Study

The preservation of knowledge is the first and most fundamental responsibility of an academic library. According to Akpata (1979) and Edoka (1992), an academic library is one that caters to the needs of those enrolled in academic pursuits at higher education institutions such as universities, colleges of education, technology, and polytechnics. It has to do with a library that serves the people who work in academic and research institutions of higher learning. This group includes students, faculty, and administrative personnel from those institutions. Because such a library serves a large number of people, it becomes a focal point.

The academic library collects, organizes, and stores various types of human communication records for future use. As a result, librarians were hired. to keep those records safe by locking them and restricting access. They couldn’t care less whether people asked for and used them. Even the few materials used were only used in the library and under the strict supervision of the librarians. Librarians never considered providing free access to or lending their materials to their users. They were only concerned with gathering, storing, and preserving materials for future generations. In essence, the security of library materials was top priority for their early librarians. As a result, Wilson (1982) describes the earliest librarians’ tasks as: “to devote his time and leisure to increasing the library in his charge; if he neglects increasing the collection, let him atone.”

Take care not to deplete it by losing the books entrusted to his care or allowing them to perish in any way. He must be suspicious of and wary of those who oppose books. He is to repair damaged bindings, remind readers to treat books properly, and keep them in a fixed and secure location. Following the Renaissance, the introduction of printing and the massive quest for education resulted in a shift in librarians’ professional attitudes toward their collections. According to Nzotta (1 982), the pendulum swung to the other end and the emphasis shifted from preservation to dissemination.

Librarians began to open up their book stacks to users and encouraged their use. Then came user education. The increase in the number of researchers in Universities and project work in schools increased library use significantly, posing threats to traditional library materials. Books, manuscripts, maps, drawings, photographs, journals, newspapers, and magazines are all examples of traditional library materials. This definition excludes computers and all audio-visual materials, while paper-based materials remain the focus. Paper materials from the most extensive collection of academic libraries. As a result, Akussah (1991) observes that the information world is in danger of losing so much of its valuable writer: heritage due to the deterioration of paper records. Overuse became a major threat to books because the more they were used, the more vulnerable the volumes became. The threat from thieves and other delinquent readers has increased as access has increased. Unrestricted access increased demand for traditional library materials, such as paper materials, in academic library collections. In the late nineteenth century, the search for ever-cheaper paper to meet increased e demand led to the production of paper from ground wood pulp. The bleaching sizing agents leave sommcids in the paper. When these acid papers are exposed to light and heat, they begin to deteriorate and embitter, according to Shahani and Wilson (1987). One of the most serious issues with traditional materials in an academic library is the inherent poor quality of modern paper. Furthermore, poor environmental and storage conditions significantly contribute to the deterioration and destruction of paper-based records.

any university library. Many people are concerned about the future viability of traditional library materials in the face of all of these threats.

For example, William (1982) observes: Everything in the library collections is deteriorating today, was deteriorating yesterday, and will continue to deteriorate tomorrow… Library enthusiasts have alerted the world to this threat and the importance of preservation. Various actions required to slow the deterioration process and ensure preservation have also been identified. More efforts are being made on a national and international level to find more solutions. According to Akussah (1991), it was recommended at the International Conference on the Preservation of Library Materials held in Vimna, Austria, in April 1986, that member associations should urge national policy-making bodies to establish a library preservation fund. guiding principles for the formulation and implementation of national programmes for the preservation of library materials. The foregoing is evidence of concerted efforts to root out deterioration. Research organizations such as the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) have created their own library preservation and conservation (PAC) programs. African university libraries have extensive conservation knowledge. This is accomplished through the publications, training facilities, and seminars provided by some research institutes, councils, and associations, such as the IFLR. Nonetheless, no comparable progress has been made in the field of practical preservation and conservation. This is confirmed by lgbinoba (1993), who also claims that no African university library has appointed a conservation librarian to his knowledge. Academic libraries in Africa, including Nigeria, are compensated.

More emphasis is placed on the acquisition of library resources than on preservation. As a result, embrittled, variegated, and mould-infested books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and other print materials have found their way into our academic libraries (Oliobi, 1987). As a result, Wilson (1981) observed: Libraries today are hospitals for sick books, with few exceptions not doing nearly enough to treat the patients… Books do not last as long as they should. Academic libraries acquire, process, and make available information contents to the academic community and the general public for use in teaching and research.

Academic libraries in Nigeria are under pressure to perform the aforementioned functions due to overuse and other abuses by users. With the enormous sums spent on our One can only hope that adequate planning is put in place to protect the records in academic libraries from deterioration and destruction. Due to budgetary constraints, the decline in the growth of valuable and up-to-date collections in our academic libraries, as well as the effects of global inflationary trends, call for serious preservation measures in our academic libraries.

  1. Statement of the Problem

Academic libraries face an uncertain future as their traditional resources deteriorate due to various environmental factors and poor quality papers. According to Ogunilade (1996), of all the numerous issues confronting university libraries in Nigeria today, none is as virulent, persistent, or agonizing as the preservation and repair of library resources. As a result, unless there is a positive attitude toward preservation, academic libraries may no longer be able to fulfill their traditional roles of supporting teaching, learning, and research in their institutions. According to Oliobi (1987), most information materials in Nigerian academic libraries are in paper format and have been declared endangered due to their poor condition. According to Akinfolarin (1992) and Aleabeleye (1996), the grossly Reduced funding for academic institutions exacerbates the problem by making it difficult for their libraries to purchase new learning resources or even replace those that have deteriorated. The only option left is to try to save the existing ones by implementing various preservation measures that will allow the libraries to continue to serve their academic communities. As a result, the task before this study is to investigate conservative practices of information resources by libraries for improved collection usefulness in Enugu state university libraries.

  1. Objective of the Study

The overarching goal of this study is to investigate conservative practices of information resources by libraries in order to improve collection usefulness in university libraries in Enugu State. The study specifically seeks to:

To determine whether there is a need for information preservation and conservation.

Identifying techniques and methods for preserving and conserving information resources.

To determine whether adequate preservation of library resources improves the collection’s usefulness to the university community.

To investigate the personnel requirements for preserving and conserving information materials.

  1. Research Question

Is there a need for information material preservation and conservation?

What techniques and methods are there for preserving and conserving information resources?

Does proper library resource preservation increase the collection’s usefulness to the university community?

What personnel are required for the preservation and conservation of information materials?

  1. Significance of the Study

The study’s findings will be important to academic libraries in Enugu State because they provide critical support services to their institutions’ academic missions. It will also be of paramount importance to all stakeholders in higher education to ensure that these libraries’ traditional resources are preserved for as long as possible in order to keep them viable for academic purposes. The study will also educate library management in institutions about true conservation and preservation practices to instill in others in order to improve them so that their libraries are saved from destruction while still providing services to their users. The study will theoretically add to the body of knowledge and serve as a reference. Material for scholars and students interested in furthering their studies in a related field.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is limited to conservative practices of information resources by libraries for improved collection usefulness in Enugu State university libraries. The study goes on to discuss the personnel requirements for preserving and conserving library materials. As a result, the study is limited to librarians, library users, and library and information students at the University of Nigeria Nsukka in Enugu State.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

A few factors contributed to the study’s limitations. These are the financial and time constraints.

Financial constraint- Inadequate funding tends to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection process (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will conduct this study alongside other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.



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