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The Project File Details
This chapter is organized under the following subheadings; background to the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study, research questions and hypotheses.
Background to the Study
The school library is an important organ of the educational system, and without it no profitable or rewarding educational programme can go on in the school environment because all the academic activities depend on the school library and its facilities. It is a place where the collections of information materials that are acquired, organized, and stored are kept for use by students and teachers.
Umar (2013), defines the school library as that part of the school where a collection of books, periodicals, magazines, records of all types, computers etc. are housed for use by teachers and students for learning, recreational activities, personal interests and interpersonal relationships of children. Akanwa and Mbagwu (2016) also emphasize that the school library is a laboratory where many activities and experiments are carried out, and all these activities and experiments are geared towards the development of the child and the nation. The school library can be seen as an important appendage to any school programme, and without it, no profitable or rewarding educational activity can go on in the school environment.
Morris (2004) defines the school library as an instructional media centre that supply not only the basic necessary information materials but also provides the incentives, guidance and conducive environment for learning. Ahanene (1990) summarizes that the school library is an information service centre located in primary, post-primary or teacher training colleges whose objective is to provide information services in support of learning in the school.
The mission of the school library is to encourage intellectual, emotional and social growth of the students. It equally complements classroom instruction by exposing the students to a wide selection of books and other resources and providing users of the library with information on current issues through the use of displayed materials. Anyanwu (2016) stated that the school library inculcates library literacy and information finding skills in all the students and teachers. It helps in the selection and acquisition of learning resources, widening student’s intellectual horizons, giving students broader insights and enhancing students’ qualitative senses. The school library acts as an agent that helps students to discover and develop their special gifts and talents. It also helps students to develop their personal attributes of responsibility through the sharing of public property. More so, it contributes in teaching each student the necessary skills in the use of books and libraries so that they will be well equipped to use reference and research materials (Aguolu & Aguolu, 2002).
On the other hand, school library services are services offered in the school library by teacher – librarians to the students to assist them improve on their academic performance. These services help the users to participate in individual and collaborative learning through scaffolding skills, sharing of information and creation of new ideologies. These services are from exhibition and display of information resources, user education and orientation, lending services, reference services, reservation services, current awareness services etc. (Umar, 2013). From the forgoing it could be deduced that the main objective of the school library is to provide learning resources and library services to its clientele that will satisfy their information needs. The school library therefore is a vital organ for the achievement of the school goal and also an indispensable element in the life of any school.
For the school library to serve its clientele effectively and efficiently, management functions of planning, organizing, staffing, supervising and controlling must be adequately applied to the management of school libraries. Management is the art of planning, controlling and coordinating human and material resources in other to achieve a desired goal. Sayeda, Rajendran and Lokachari (2014) defined management as the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling activities of an enterprise to achieve its set objectives. According to Li, Anderson, and Harrison (2015), a manager in the school library is expected to plan, organize, command, coordinate and control all the activities in the school library. Most managers are handicapped because they do not have any laid down policy or rules to guide them in solving some of their managerial problems. Most of them operate strictly on trial and error basis. Good management therefore, implies good leadership which can achieve it set goals. Thus, the satisfaction of students through the availability of library services by management of the school library should emphasize among others, creative problem solving skills, good communication, conflict management ability, good negotiation and self-awareness. If school libraries must function effectively to satisfy the information needs of their clientele, the administration of these libraries must apply management functions.
According to Hilbert and Alan (2011), planning is a managerial function which every administrator must perform on daily basis. For effective planning of school libraries, the management must realistically anticipate future problems and opportunities, analyze them and predict the probable effects on various alternatives and decide on the course of action which should lead to the most desirable result (Akanwa, 2010). Planning is a systematic attempt to organize future performance as it affects people, money, materials and services in the light of specified constraints and time frame (Yapa,2012).
For any library and information centre to be effective, they must be properly planned, and this involves a number of fundamental considerations such as goal setting, training of personnel, funding, and provision of accommodation, among others. Planning for the provision of library and information services must be done strategically. Again, for effective satisfaction in the management of school libraries in secondary schools, there must be complete implementation of all plans.
There must be an organization as a structure of a coordinated system, relationships and task responsibilities. This will clearly state who does what and who reports to who in school libraries. This function can therefore be described in terms of dividing tasks into jobs, departmentalizing jobs and delegating authority. Duze (2012) defines staffing as a process of filling jobs with qualitative personnel to achieve high level productivity, thereby making staffing an important management function. In this regard, the effectiveness of any library service depends on the competence of the human beings responsible to provide the services. Students’ satisfaction with library services must carry along the aspect of management that decides specific things which each member of the organization should do to bring about effective leadership. Omar (1990) observes that the more staff an organization has, the more its output, and according to him, the qualifications of the staff employed directly affect the output of an organization.
Supervision is another aspect of management function which decides specific things that each member of an organization should do. This is achieved by establishing orders and instructions for each member of the organization as well as offering leadership in the whole workplace. This focuses on the manager’s effort to stimulate high performance among employees. For supervision to be successful, management should always take human elements into consideration (Aina, 2004). This activity involves directing, motivating, and communicating with employers, both as individuals and in groups especially in management of secondary school libraries. Students’ satisfaction with library services has a bearing with good supervision as an aspect of management that decides specific thing that workers in school libraries should do by establishing order and instructions as well as establishing leadership in the entire workplace.
Controlling is that aspect of management that emphasizes that organizational activities are performed according to plan, by matching actual performance with pre-determined standards or objectives and taking action to correct any deviation from the original plan. This should be the watch word for effective management of school libraries. All these rely on the fact that students’ satisfaction with library services centers on management functions of planning, organizing, supervision, controlling, and implementation of all the necessary standards by the managers of secondary school libraries.
Statement of the Problem
The secondary school library is seen as the centre of every educational programme in the school and as such it needs to be well managed to achieve its objectives. Pre-research observation of these school libraries by the researcher revealed that these schools libraries are faced with problems of inadequate information resources, inadequate professional librarians, insufficient library infrastructures, poor statement of objectives, absence of staff development programmes and absence of standard for school library services. The existence of these inadequacies in school library practice portrays ineffective school library services.
It was also observed that the school library is usually regarded as the most underdeveloped of all the library types in Nigeria. Some prominent authors in school library management like: Aguolu and Aguolu (2002), Ahanene (1990), Elatuorati (2001) and Umar (2013), suggested in their works that school libraries in Nigeria, either provide skeletal services to their environments or in most cases are not functional. The reason for this situation may be traced to the management of these libraries, which could be as result of poor planning, insufficient organization of library services, inadequate staffing, poor supervision and lack of control measures. It is therefore the view of the researcher that these management functions (planning, organizing, staffing, supervising and controlling) may not have been applied to the management of the school library services.
The problem posed as a question is: what could be the relationship between management functions and students’ satisfaction with library services in public secondary schools in Imo State? The answer to this question is the focus of this study.
Scope of the Study
The study focused on management functions of planning, organizing, supervising, staffing and controlling and students’ satisfaction with library services. These independent variables (planning, organizing, supervising, staffing and controlling) were correlated with students’ level of satisfaction with library services. The justification for the above content scope was based on the fact that they are perceived to be linked and can improve library services and management of secondary school libraries
This study covered all the teacher librarians and senior secondary school students of 275 state public secondary schools in Imo State. This is made up of Owerri Education Zones 1 & 2, Okigwe Education Zones I & 2 and Orlu Education Zones I & 2.
Purpose of the Study
Generally, the study examined the performance of management functions and students’ satisfaction with library services in state public secondary schools in Imo State. The specific purposes included:
Significance of the Study
It is expected that the findings of this study will be beneficial to the followings groups; principals and teacher –librarians, Ministry of Education, Parent Teachers Association and philanthropists (NGOs), students of library and information science, librarians, and Department of Library Science. This study will also serve as a guide to good planning, organizing, supervising, staffing, and controlling of secondary school library services in Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
The findings will be useful to the principals and teacher librarians of secondary schools who are library managers, because it will empower them with effective management strategies geared towards optimum performance and provision of library services in the school system.
This study will sensitize as well as inform the Ministry of Education and the general public as well as library councilors on how to improve on the management of secondary school libraries. The findings will reveal some of the challenges that need to be addressed for proper management of school libraries.
To the Parent Teachers Association and philanthropists, the study will help them to improve on their assistance in the area of book donations and provision of library services for students’ satisfaction. Furthermore, the findings of this study will be a useful contribution to knowledge especially to students and librarians and an addition to the existing literature on secondary school library management.
Finally, the findings and recommendations of the study will also be useful to researchers who may like to carry out further studies in the subject area. It will also serve as blue print for them and can be reviewed in their empirical studies. The study will also add to the existing literature in library and information science.
The following research questions were posed to guide the study:
The following hypotheses stated in the null form were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between planning of school library services and students’ satisfaction in secondary schools libraries in Imo State.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between organizing of school library services and students’ satisfaction.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between staffing of school libraries and students’ satisfaction with library services in secondary schools in Imo State.
Ho4: There is no significant relationship between supervision of school library services and students’ satisfaction.
Ho5: There is no significant relationship between controlling of school library services and students’ satisfaction.
Ho6: There is no significant multiple relationship among planning, organizing, staffing, supervision, controlling of school library services and students’ satisfaction.