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Capacity Building for Effective Services Delivery of Library Staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library (FANL), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

  • Florence Amaka Nwofor
  • Hope Chinyere Ilorah Chikaodi
  • Vivian Uzoamaka Nwaede
  • 1081-1098
  • Jun 13, 2023
  • Library

Capacity Building for Effective Services Delivery of Library Staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library (FANL), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Florence Amaka Nwofor1, Hope Chinyere Ilorah Chikaodi2, Vivian Uzoamaka Nwaede3

1Senior Lecture, Department of Library and Information Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

2Senior Librarian, Festus Aghagbo Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

3Department of Library and Information Services, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47772/IJRISS.2023.70584

Received: 10 April 2023; Accepted: 27 April 2023; Published: 13 June 2023

ABSTRACT

The study surveyed capacity building for effective service delivery of library staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library (FANL), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. It adopted a case study research design. Five research questions and five purposes of study, guided the research. The population of the study was made up of 107 library staff. Total enumeration technique was used so there was no sampling. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire titled “Capacity Building for Effective Service Delivery Questionnaire (CBFESDQ)”. Out of the 107 questionnaires administered 90(84.1) were returned and found useful for analysis. Data was analysed using frequencies, percentages and mean scores. The findings of the study revealed that the methods used in capacity building in FANL were job rotation (72%), coaching (77%), seminars (87%) and workshops (91%). It also found that the contents of capacity building programs that enhance library staff services delivery were training on OPAC, SDI, manual/ online cataloguing, library management, readers’ services, ICTs in libraries, digitalization of library resources, current awareness services and institutional repository management. The study revealed that that the capacity building influenced services delivery to a high extent(3.44). It also found that the problems associated with capacity building of library staff are financial problem, insufficient administrative commitment and absence of capacity building policy or framework. Finally, the study found that the strategies for improving capacity building of library staff for effective service delivery are proper funding, improved administrative commitment and provision and implementation of capacity building policy. The study recommended that the university library management should improve on the capacity building Programme for their staff to enable them acquire new skills for effective service delivery.

Keywords: Capacity Building, Librarians, Service Delivery, Festus Aghagbo Nwako library

INTRODUCTION

Traditionally, a library is a collection of materials, books and non-book that are stored and preserved in a systematic order to serve the information needs of users and managed by a librarian. The university library by its characteristic is noted to provide a wide range of resources in all the areas of knowledge as taught in the parent university. In view of this feature, the university library is decentralized with a main library coordinating departmental and faculty libraries (Ekere, 2010).The university library is established to support the objectives of the university which is to promote teaching, learning and research and it is imperative that it serves the students, lecturers and other members of the university community by providing the needed resources and services. In line with the foregoing, Hussain and Abalkhail (2013) posits that the university library is poised to improve the learning culture of its users through the provision of materials for undergraduate and post graduate instruction, writing of term paper and projects, report writing, as well as for supplementary reading; provision of information resources(print, electronic and digital formats) and services in support of faculty , collaborative research;  extensive standard works, especially in the professional disciplines; materials for personal development;  specialized information on the region within which the university is situated; cooperation with other academic libraries with a view to developing a network of academic library resources that are at the disposal of all scholars. However, most times, the library resources and services are not optimally utilized because staff are not repositioned to offer the needed services. According to Castelyn (2014) all libraries aim to have efficient staff in order to provide efficient library services to the users. It is the quality of staff that determines the quality of services provided in the library.   A university library is a type of academic library that is attached to a university. It is an integral service unit of higher educational institutions. They are established and managed by the institutions in which they are situated. As a result, it is saddled with the critical role of providing the community of users with current and up to-date information resources and services to enable universities carry out their teaching, learning and research activities. According to Ogunniyi, Akerele and Afolabi, (2011) university libraries are well stocked with prints and non-print resources such as serials, books, e-resources which usually contain information for teaching, non-teaching staff and other accredited researchers in the educational institutions. University libraries are charged with the responsibility of selecting, acquiring, organizing, preserving and disseminating information resources to the university community (Anunobi, 2010). University libraries’ information resources reflect a vast range of interests and formats (Obi, 2004). Agboola (2011) states that university libraries continually seek to identify their roles in contributing to institution’s outcomes and objectives in the areas of knowledge and resources location. Edem (2010) explained that it is a collection of resources arranged to aid easy access and retrieval of information. Elaborating further, Ehikhamenor (2010) remarked that it provides staff trained to provide and interpret materials required to meet the informational, cultural, recreational, or educational needs of clientele; an established schedule in which services of the staff are available to clientele and the physical facilities required to support such a collection, staff, and schedule. The need to improve on the development of various services and the methods of acquiring and managing the resources has made it imperative to develop capacity building programs for library staff in university libraries.

A library staff is an employee in the library that is tasked with the responsibility of providing library services to the users. They are employed in various categories such as professional staff (who are librarians including graduates with certification in the field of library and information science (LIS)/Information Science/Archives and Records Management with degrees such as Bachelor Degree, Master’s Degree or Ph. D) and non-professional library staff (Bachelor’s Degree and OND/HND in other disciplines such as LIS, Engineering, Computer Science as well as SSCE holders). The professional staff (academic librarians) handle the key library functions such as directing and planning professional duties and general activities in the various departments. The non-professional staff are secretaries, accountants, technologists, computer scientists and engineers as well as library officers who handle other library tasks in the various departments.

ICT deployment has affected the operations, the resources and services with great implications for the skills and knowledge to be possessed by the staff who serve users. These paradigm shift can only be sustained, if staff are well trained. Capacity building is critical in the ICTs driven library systems. According to Ode and Omokaro (2014) staff in the departments of a typical university library such as the technical services   –acquisition, cataloguing and bindery; readers services- reference and circulation) research and bibliographic services unit and administrative units all require capacity building to be effective in the innovative, ICT driven, ever-changing terrain of university libraries.

The concept ‘capacity building’ also referred to as ‘training and development’,  ‘manpower development’, ‘human resource development’, ‘staff development’, and ‘personnel development’ can be conceived as any conscious and deliberate effort, endeavour, facility and opportunity provided to the employees of an organization, establishment and outfit irrespective of their status to improve their skills, attitude, behaviour, experience, ideas knowledge, education and information acquisition with the view to enhance their performance and productivity for ensuring optimal success in achieving the overall objectives, goals, mission and aspirations of both the employer and the employee (Mohammed, 2013).The library’s human resources  needs it to activate, coordinate and manage all the factors of production, operations, systems and activities in order to succeed in achieving its specific and overall objectives (Diejomorah cited in Mohammed, 2013).Capacity building could be on- the- job or off- the- job.

Through capacity building programmes, the library prepares its staff for new trends in given tasks, enables them gain more skills for improved efficiency in providing library services to the users (Insaidoo, 2011). In ensuring that the overall goals of the university library are achieved,it is designed to ensure that they are in consonance with the actual needs of the individual staff without ignoring the  libraries’ need for efficient service delivery.

 According to Anyoagu (cited in Insaidoo, 2011), library services are those services delivery that support the user’s accessibility of information from both physical and virtual resources: current awareness services; selective dissemination of information; document delivery services; repackaging services; facsimile services; binding services and referral services. Hussain and Abalkhail (2013) also opined that library services delivery are services that are delivered by a library to its patrons such as user education (orientation/instruction), inter-library loan, abstracting and indexing services, bibliographical services, reference services, library services and circulation services. Others are photocopying services; online services; compilation of reading list and bibliographies; e-mail; internet connectivity; CD-ROM searching and publishing.

 In relation to the task of library staff, service delivery is seen as the rate at which the staff carry out their duties in the most effective and efficient ways in line with the mission and objectives of the parent institution.  Arthur and Rousseau (2016) remarked that service delivery also connotes the rate of efficiency that is observed in the tasks of the staff in their respective institutions. It portends speed and efficiency in library staff’s tasks performance. This enables them to take full responsibility for their skills development within the Higher Education Institutions that fit their job goals and aspirations (Applebaum, Simpson & Shapiro, 2011). Service delivery is a state of being able to provide goods or services that satisfies the needs of a client or consumer. Service delivery connotes a level of performance with an increased output that is correlated with the values and abilities of a person to be effective in providing services (Greenhaus, Callanan & Godshalk, 2010). Therefore, service delivery must correspond with the organizational requirements and aims (Cascio, 2010). According to Arthur and Rousseau (2016), service delivery can be measured through employee’s job satisfaction which connotes the level at which an employee is contented with the task or a given job; employees commitment which connotes the level at which the employee involves himself or herself towards the success of the goals of the organization; employee efficiency which connotes the extent at which an employee gets his task or job done as well as the speed at which the task is performed; employee job security which connotes the level at which an employee’s job is secured without the fear of being sacked at any slightest job error and employee participation which connotes the level at which employees are allowed to partake in decisions that affects them and the organization Akopkurerie(2016)  . All these variables ultimately serve as a motivating factor that enhance service delivery in a work place.With regards to the task of library staff, service delivery is seen as the rate at which the library staff carry out their duty in the most effective and efficient ways in line with the mission and objectives of the parent institution.

Providing library services delivery by the library staff to the users, imply that the staff should be trained (Castelyn, 2014 the clients. Capacity building can solve a variety of manpower problems, which militate against optimal productivity resulting in  increased productivity,  quality of work and raising morale of personnel, helping to develop new skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes for work, using new tools and machines which meet the standard of performance for the job,  preparing staff for advancement, improving manpower deployment and ensuring continuity of leadership and the survival and growth of the university library at all times (Olaniyan & Ojo, cited in Insaidoo, 2011).

Librarians and library staff tasks have broadened by the increased demands of the diverse information resources needs of the users compounded by competing information providers and the Internet (Nabuyanda ,2012). Problems of low funding, lack of basic infrastructure, inadequacy of new ICTs systems among others, made some university libraries not to carry out capacity building of staff to enhance service delivery. This formed the basis of the present study which set to examine capacity building and service delivery of library staff in university libraries to determine the status quo with Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka as a case study.

Statement of the Problem

Provisions made in the library are only justified when they are effectively used by the researchers. However, it is not certain whether staff of university libraries in Nigeria have the capacity needed to provide efficient service delivery to library users. In recent times, information provision for users in libraries have been threatened by the proliferation of information providers. It is against this background that this paper seeks to investigate capacity building  as a  staff development option  in university libraries with a view to determine  its impact on  service delivery  and to  sensitize university management on the need to improve staff capacity  building programmes to reposition the staff of  university libraries in Nigeria to cope with the changing trends in teaching, learning and research in the face of other cutting edge information providers challenging the monopoly long held by libraries.

Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this paper is to examine capacity building of library staff in university libraries for effective service delivery in university libraries using Festus Aghagbo Nwako library (FANL), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Ascertain the methods employed in capacity building of library staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
  2. Determine the content of Capacity building programs in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
  3. Determine the extent capacity building of library staff has influenced service delivery to the users in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
  4. Examine the problems associated with capacity building of library staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
  5. Identify the strategies for improving capacity building of library staff for effective service delivery in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Capacity is defined as the ability of individuals and organizations or organizational units to perform functions effectively, efficiently and sustainably (Kaplain, 2010). Capacity building is an evidence-driven process of strengthening the abilities of individuals, organizations, and systems to perform core functions sustainably, and to continue to improve and develop over time (Levenson & Solomon, 2015). According to Morgan (2016), capacity building is a training programme that enhances staff productivity to perform. Capacity building activities involves strengthening staff of organizations in the areas of administration, finance, human resources, and facilities (Helms, 2015).

Capacity building is a complex notion. It involves individual and organizational learning, is inevitably long term, and should be demand driven. If successful it contributes to sustainable social and economic development (Edeh & Ogbu, 2012). Capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes and resources, that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in the fast changing world (Brough, 2014). For the organization, capacity building may relate to almost every aspect of its work, such as improved corporate governance, leadership, administration (including human resources, financial management and legal matters), program development and implementation, evaluation, advocacy and policy change, marketing, positioning, planning, income generation (Linnell, 2016). He also noted that for the individual, it may relate to leadership development, skills acquisition such as: speaking abilities, technical skills, organizational skills as well as other areas of personal and professional development.Furthermore, the intensity and duration of the effort can distinguish a capacity building engagement as either aimed at implementing new systems (short term) or achieving wider organizational changes (long-term) (Okonkwo, 2015). These efforts can further be usefully classified based on the areas of organizational life they seek to affect (Thomas, 2014).

 The need to improve on the development of  various services and the methods of  acquiring and managing the resources  has made it imperative to develop capacity building programs for library staff in university libraries. Capacity building is the means through which ideas, skills or knowledge are impacted to a person in an organized manner. Different methods of capacity building are in use   University libraries. They are grouped into two broad categories. Sparks in Linnell (2016) identified them as on – the –job capacity building and off-the-job capacity building methods. On – the –job capacity building methods (OJCBMs) involve programs organized within the workers’ job location. They are the most widely used and the simplest approach to capacity building, refer to instructions given to library staff on the job by the supervisor or any other experienced librarian (Gall & Renchler, 2015).These methods, allow library staff placed on a regular job to be taught the skills required to get the job done properly. While learning, the staff contributes to increased output of the library. The greatest problem with this method is that errors or mistakes committed while learning can be very costly.  Gall and Renchler (2015) noted that OJCBMs include Job Rotation, a situation in which library staff  moves from one job position to another within the work setting over a defined period of time. As they move from one task activity to another, they gain considerable knowledge, experience and skill. The duration of the rotation is shorter at lower levels, than at management levels where trainees are taught complex functions and responsibilities (Moghaddam, 2012).Another is coaching where employees are placed under the direct guidance of a supervisor. This technique use observational learning known as pure imitation (Ibegbulam, 2010). It has the advantage of allowing the coach to give on the spot feedback to the library staff on whether they do it well or not .Mentoring is also an on -the – job training. This is a training that is provided to a younger person by an experienced and skilled person. Newly recruited library staff such as graduate assistants (GAs) and assistant librarians are expected to be mentored by older and senior librarians in the respective departments to learn skills needed for performing library tasks. (Moghaddam, 2012).Apprenticeship is usually required for a job that requires complex and diverse range of skills and knowledge (Moghaddam, 2012).Enlarge responsibility on the other hand involves a situation where the head or supervisor assigns additional duties and responsibilities to his subordinates. He allows staff the opportunity for decision making by deliberately exposing them to challenging jobs and problem solving situations (Ibegbulam, 2010) Internship also offers an excellent opportunity for the trainee to help gain insights into the relationship between theories and practice, the trainee attends classroom session to acquire the theoretical aspect of the job and later, proceeds to the work setting  to practice what  has been taught in the classroom (Moghaddam, 2012).Meanwhile, Understudy assignment offers trainee or even an experienced manager who is being groomed for higher responsibilities to assume part of his master’s job thus enabling him to learn or perform, some of his supervisor’s job. The efficacy of this method however; depends on how much responsibility he is willing to allow the subordinate to assume. Instructional guidance allows the trainees to be given step by step instruction after which they are left to perform the tasks or activities of the job. The trainer appraises the learning ability of the trainees by measuring their ability to follow instructions (Ibegbulam, 2010).

Presently online based webinars and web situated trainings are available in work places for staff capacity building .

However, off-the-job capacity building methods involve programs organized outside the workers job location. They are usually organized in a development centre or an educational institution. The objective of this method is to broaden the trainee’s job knowledge and experiences beyond what can be learnt within the job environment. It provides the trainees the opportunity of interacting with trainers who are different in outlook, experience and knowledge from those whom they are used in workplace. The various types of off-the-job capacity building methods according to Varlejs (2014) include: Seminars which bring together a group of people to pool and discuss ideas. Seminar is meant to stimulate intellectual input. Papers presented are criticized and corrections are suggested. Workshop is another option where a group of people meet and work together in order to share and develop ideas about a particular subject or activity. Also, capacity building that is done through workshop, observation; visitation and discussion tend to improve on the implementation of new rules that guides library services (Sparks 2010; Gall & Renchler, 2015). Lecture or classroom method involves the transmission of knowledge, ideas and factual information from the instructor to a larger group of trainees simultaneously with the advantage of being a relatively low-cost. The major drawback of this method is individual differences in the abilities of a trainee to assimilate fast or get lost in the classroom and discussions are not taken into consideration/account. Vestibule approach involves trainees learning in a non-work environment in which conditions and equipment are virtually identical to what will be encountered on the job (Stone, 2012). The only major problem with this method is that it is relatively costly than other methods because it requires that the trainees should be trained on the same identical machines and equipment used in the actual job environment. Briefing groups involves the trainer presenting a short paper and asking for the reactions of the trainees. It is assumed that the trainees are not completely ignorant of the issues in the paper. The objective is to teach knowledge and facts and to assess the opinions of the trainees (Onah, 2013).These on the job and off-the-job capacity building methods are usually applied in library situations to equip the library staff with requisite skills and reposition them to provide effective service delivery to the ever changing demands of the users in an ever changing library setting.

Libraries are becoming more involved in seeking and taking advantage of opportunities to improve their staff’s professional skills in order to increase their service effectiveness. Joyce and Showers (2012) identified four levels of contents for capacity building programs, in terms of the response of the participants. They averred that the first level of its contents should be on awareness; where participants are made to realize the importance of new information and begin to focus on it. At the second level should be concepts and organized knowledge where the concepts are understood and organized. Moreover, the third level should cover the principles and skills; at which stage participants understand principles and can think effectively about them; they also have the skills needed to act to apply them. Finally, at the fourth level of the contents should be the ability for application and problem solving where participants transfer new information in a problem-solving fashion in real-life professional situations. At this level of application of these contents, Joyce and Showers posit that the participants in capacity building programs should have internalized and utilized the new content.

Gall and Renchler (2015) advanced four reasons for developing effective contents for capacity building in an organization. These include; personal professional development – a self-directed approach based on individual needs and choice; credentialing- successful completion of a programme as a requirement for licensing or certification; induction – supplementing skills and knowledge for the newly hired; school improvement – capacity building to improve student performance by improving staff skills and knowledge.

Lanier and Little (2012) note that the contents for capacity building programs should serve library staff as individual members of a profession, adding knowledge, skills and intellectual vigor to professional life, satisfy bureaucratic and career advancement purposes and, involve the library staff as responsible members of an institution.In a review carried out on the characteristics of effective content for capacity building programs in the library, Butler (2011) found out that programs are planned in response to assessed needs of the participants while Gall and Renchler (2015) argued that the content should match the current developmental level of participants and focus on library service improvement rather than personal professional development.  The content of capacity building programs should be concrete and aimed at developing and maintaining specific skills rather than introducing new concepts.

On the other hand, Spark (2010) further reports that professional development focuses on job or programme – related tasks faced by library staff which are clear and have specific goals and objectives related to implementation. The content of capacity building is research based and is tied to library users’ satisfaction which improves the staff applicability of skills that improves user’s needs (Sparks 2010). Overall, the content of effective capacity building programmes of library staff reflect clear programme goals and operational objectives defining what participants will learn and how they will be able to use the new learning. Content builds on their prior library experience, clearly relates to their job situations and prepares them to apply what they have learned to satisfy the users (Moghaddam, 2009).

Analysing the content of capacity building, Schuler, Beutell and Youngblood (2012) outlined three phases of capacity building programmes for library staff. According to them, for any capacity building programme to be effective, the library organization must first assess her needs and identify areas where capacity building could improve the present situation. The second stage of implementation involves the actual training or development process and finally the organization evaluates the trainees to determine the effectiveness of the training/development programme. Contents of the capacity building programmes for library staff are expected to be effective when they are made with consideration of the work policies. Schuler, Beutell and Youngblood (2012) further maintain that the contents of the capacity building programmes for library staff are much more likely to be effective when they incorporate the following critical learning principles: – library staff motivation, recognition of staff differences, practice opportunities, reinforcement, knowledge of results (feedback), goals, transfers of learning and, follow up. They further contend that if employees are motivated to change and acquire different behaviour certainly, training is easier and more successful. Schuler, et al also suggest that, training will not be effective if employees have high motivation and no ability. Since ability is a crucial component in determining training effectiveness, the ability level of each individual must be considered.

 Some of the components of the capacity building programmes for library staff include training in OPACs and ICTs. This has improved staff ability to access catalogue details of books in the library, digitize and create digital content, manage electronic resources, use social media in serving users and providing innovative services. SDI training has increased staff ability to help disseminate selected and strategic information to users, training on reference services has enabled staff to serve users in effectively using reference sources, mobile book services training has enable staff to reach out to users in different location within the university community, cataloguing, references acquisition, research and publication.

Influence of capacity building on library staff’s service delivery  

Library’s capacity building consists of the training programmes set out for staff in the library, which has the mandate to improve on the library environment/appearance and librarian’s skills/ attitude. It requires commitment on the part of the staff and the organization to train and develop staff skills which entails identification of opportunities and strengths of each components. Reporting on the impact of training of staff on service delivery Obijiofor (2008) noted that it  provides a short term process of utilizing a systematic and organized procedure by which non–managerial personnel learn technical knowledge and skills for a definite process. Capacity building for both the managerial and non–managerial staff influences their services to the library users. Onah (2013) confirmed that the role it can play in human resource development especially in libraries and information systems is inestimable and unquantifiable. It is a truism, that capacity building of staff enhances productivity. The library system in Nigeria cannot afford to allow its staff to degenerate in the acquisition of knowledge and the knowledge already acquired cannot be allowed to diminish because society cannot afford to jettison the roles of libraries and librarians in the socio–cultural and educational development of a nation.

 With effective and inclusive capacity building, library staff are getting active and involved, helping to identify key issues, and taking action that will improve on their service delivery. Results from the performance of library staff has shown that their service delivery is becoming effective, more obvious and with an increasing ability to serve the users. The rate of effectiveness in the library staff service delivery are observable when the library is progressing(Akopkurerie,2016).Capacity building in the library is basically focused on  building the skills of staff as it offers the means to update themselves with current trends in ICTs aimed at effective service delivery in the library.

Okoye (2018) corroborates that capacity building of library personnel enhances productivity. According to him, “education and training for library staff are generally indicated as the most important direct means of upgrading the human intellect and skills for productive employment.” Service delivery, which is enhanced by increased productivity of library staff is not only beneficial to the users but to librarians; other library officers and the university management. Meggision (2016) attests that another impact of capacity building for library staff is that it improves job performance and therefore; promotes management’s efficiency and service delivery. Writing from a vendor’s perspective, Mabawonku (2011) opines that without capacity building for library staff, library users may not be able to access the needed information they want. Therefore, the users may not derive maximum benefits from the library services offered to them. Ajibero (2010) agree that capacity building programmes should be directed towards improving efficiency and job performance of library staff. There is no doubt that staff trained in ICTs will be more efficient in the applying its facilities in workplace’s operations and services more than those who never had such training experiences. Other observable influences of capacity building for library staff’s service delivery include reduction in cost, reduction in staff turnover, human resources reserve, faster decision making potentials, continuity of effort, improvement in employee morale, eligibility for future personnel needs of the organization, reduced supervision, personal growth and organizational stability (Akpokurerie, 2006).The influences on service delivery as it affects users are :it promotes users access to library materials,  enhances the use of library resources and  gives room for users’ satisfaction .Okoye (2016), explains that libraries that spend money, time and effort to develop and sponsor trainings are rewarded with quality personnel who are capable of greater achievements and are eligible for greater responsibilities.

Over the years, capacity building programmes have not received the much needed impetus in university libraries. Varlejs (2014) regrets the neglect of capacity building in academic libraries and queries; “given the persistent recognition of the need for greater attention to capacity building, why has there been so little institutionalization of this function in academic libraries?” According to her, the problems encountered in capacity building in libraries include: insufficient administrative commitment; financial, policy and organizational constraints; conflict in perception between institutional and individual benefits; inadequate training of trainees; unrealistic expectations in relation to quality and quantity of capacity building efforts; and lack of opportunities to apply new learning on the job. It is evident that the barriers to effective planning, coordination and implementation of capacity building programmes is an age-long issue and cuts across the globe mostly in university libraries.

Moreover, Stone (2012) observed that the chief barriers in capacity building in academic libraries included inadequate funding, inadequate leadership to carry on courses – especially in information science and the new technologies;  lack of coordination in the array of offerings mounted, sometimes without concern for the  needs of practitioners at the local level;  absence of national policy on continuing education; concern by national and  international library and information associations; inadequate facilities and equipment for capacity building. Other problems identified included disruptive political conditions; lack of publicity for the programmes developed; ‘uncommitted’ attitude of administrators; poor support of library schools; too heavy reliance on foreign published texts and technology, the problems inherent in training abroad and the subsequent difficulty in adjusting to local conditions.

In an explorative analysis Stone (2012) reported that in UK, the two chief barriers in capacity building in university libraries were attributed to the notion that library and information science were not firmly established in the nation as a profession and the permanent employment system gives no incentive for continuing education and lifelong learning. She also noted that in Korea the three major barriers included: a low priority for continuing education in the profession due to the permanent employment system and promotion policies which give no recognition for continuing education; lack of strong leadership in the library association required for the development of continuing education programmes; irregularities in capacity building and lack of provision for progression in level opportunities. In addition, he remarked that in Singapore, inadequate teachers for capacity building were the chief barrier to capacity building. On the other hand, in Great Britain, she identified lack of funding as the chief barrier to the development of capacity building programmes while in the Netherlands, a good definition of the continuing education needs; adequate financial means for the development of quality courses and the need for improved learning/teaching methods constituted major obstacles to the development of continuing education programmes. In Poland, the chief barriers included lack of financial support and the perception that employers have an attitude of showing little interest in capacity building. Moreover, in Sweden, the chief barriers were identified as lack of funds, personnel with leadership qualities innovative ideas and the fact that there existed only one single library school while no one was formally in charge of continuing education. Relatedly, in Latin America, social stratification, imbalance between urban and rural areas, lack of money, irrelevant curricular and teaching performance all constituted obstacles to the development of capacity building.

It is worthy of note that one major problem impinging on the development of capacity building programmes that cut across different countries is the lack of funds. Varlejs (2014) posits, that lack of funding continues to be cited in literature for the failure of libraries to implement capacity building programmes. This is complicated by the fact, there is no evidence to support or refute the argument that steady investment in library capacity building is ultimately worth the cost.

There are many approaches that prove useful if adopted in solving the problems of capacity building. In a survey on the ways of solving the problems of capacity building for service delivery in the academic libraries, Abba and Dawha (2012) indicated that, adequate funding was the leading factor representing 100%, preceded by provision of professional development policies which was also represented by 62.5%; followed by availability of skilled training personnel which also represented 50% and lastly adequacy of training tools which was represented by 37.5%. In another discourse, Osei (2012), observed professional staff development in academic library and argued that there are many solutions to the problems which militate against professional staff development irrespective of its dignified objectives. These include: good financing, identifying staff needs and the ability of capacity building opportunities to fulfill rising expectations.

Moreover, capacity building is quite often thought of as an optional- extra which should be considered only when there are buoyant finances.  Osei (2012) stress that adequate finance is at the core of the solution to problems of capacity building in academic libraries.  However, contrary to this opinion even in the face of economic stringency, resources for professional staff development should still be adequately provided. In the university library there should be adequate staffing and regular evaluation of the staff to know their training needs and the organization of seminars or workshops. In the survey by Ukwoma and Akanwa (2016) on human resource development in Nigerian academic libraries, adequate funding is the highest proffered solution to meeting the capacity building needs of staff for effective service delivery, followed by good attitude and support from the management as well as availability of written capacity building policies among others.

In addition, library staff should be given the opportunity to upgrade their skills through professional development which should be considered during staff’s promotion. There should be assurances for provision of training facilities and establishment of good written staff development policy Consequently, Ajibero (2010) recommended a comprehensive and viable staff development policy. This will promote effective service delivery and merit in workplace especially during staff selection for development. He further outlined other strategies to include: constant review of staff development that will reflect in all aspects of the profession; increased funding for library staff development programmes; provision of adequate training facilities  and  well written staff development policy that will serve as a working tool for equal selection and participation of all staff in university libraries. Onah (2013) suggested that, library directors should have realized that it is their responsibility to organize and train their staff and encourage general professional development and it does not only entail the elaborate  off-the-job trainings but can be systematically organized as on-the-job training such as the apprenticeship system, under-study methods, observation hours and excursion. These methods do not involve much money perhaps the library directors are afraid that the training programmes will engulf so much money.

METHODOLOGY

The case study research design was adopted for the study because it is use to study a definite population with the intent of gathering data about a target population from the sample and generalizing the findings obtained from the sample population (Onyeizugbe, 2013).The area of study is Awka which hosts the only Federal University in Anambra State. The population of the study comprise of the staff of Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library (FANL), Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The population of the staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library is 107.This number is manageable and accessible to the researcher hence, there was no need for sampling. Therefore, the entire population was studied. Questionnaire titled “Capacity Building for Effective Service Delivery Questionnaire” (CBFESDQ) was used as instrument for collecting data for the study. The researcher with the aid of two research assistants distributed the questionnaires to the respondents at the library location and collected same after 2 days of issuance.107 questionnaires were distributed and 90 were returned which represents 84.1% return rate. Data collected   were analyzed using frequencies and percentages for research questions 1 and 2 and mean for research questions 3, 4 and 5

RESULTS

Research question 1: What are the methods employed in capacity building of library staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?

Table 1: Responses on Methods used in capacity building of library staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

S/N Methods employed in capacity building of library staff Frequency Percentage Decision
1 Job rotation 65 72 Used
2 Coaching 69 77 Used
3 Apprenticeship 12 13 Not Used
4 Internship 21 23 Not Used
5 Instructional guidance 16 18 Not Used
6 Seminars 78 87 Used
7 Workshop 82 91 Used

The Table above showed that the methods used in capacity building of library staff in FANL, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka are job rotation (72%), coaching (77%), seminars (87%), and workshops (91%). However, apprenticeship, internship, and instructional guidance are not employed as methods for capacity building of the library staff

Research Question 2: What are the contents of Capacity building programmes to enhance library staff’s service delivery in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?

Table 2: Responses on the Contents of Capacity building programmes in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

S/N Contents of Capacity building programmes to enhance library staff’s service delivery Frequency Percentage Decision
1 Training in OPAC 67 74 Contained
2 Training in SDI 60 67 Contained
3  Training in Reference Services 71 71 Contained
4 Mobile book service training 20 79 Not contained
5 Manual/Online cataloging 83 92 Contained
6 Information resources acquisition 59 66 Contained
7 Library management (including human resources, funding and services management) 66 73 Contained
8 Reader services 74 82 Contained
9 ICTs in library operations including digitalization and social media 70 78 Contained
10 Training on digitalization of library resources 89 99 Contained
11 Training on Current Awareness Services 68 76 Contained
12 Circulation services training 71 79 Contained
13 Training on institutional repository management 63 70 Contained

The Table above  showed that the observed contents of capacity building programmes in FANL are training on OPAC, training on SDI, training in reference services, manual/online cataloging , training in information resources acquisition, library management including(human resources, funding and services), reader service , ICTs in libraries including digitalization and social media ,training on digital and electronic resources management, training on current awareness services, circulation services training, and training on institutional repository management. However, the capacity building programmes did not have mobile library services content.

Research Question 3: What is the extent to which capacity building of library staff has influenced service delivery to library users in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?

Table 3: Responses on extent of influence of capacity building on service delivery in FANL.

S/N Extent of service delivery on the students X Decision
1 Training on OPAC has improved staff’s ability to help users access information resources in the library catalogue 3.93 Very high extent
2 SDI training has increased staff’s ability  to help disseminate selected information to users and increased access to resources 3.84 Very high extent
3 Training in Reference Services has enabled staff serve users better in  accessing current resources for their academic work 3.39 High extent
4 Mobile Book Services training has enable staff to be reach out to users in different locations within the university community 2.40 Low extent
5 Training in manual /online services  has enable staff to  catalogue print and electronic resources to optimize their location ,retrieval and use 3.43 High extent
6 Information resources acquisition training  has repositioned  staff for enhanced selection and acquisition of the diverse array of information resources to meet users’ needs 3.40 High extent
7 Training in library management has enabled staff  to improve managerial skills leading to improved staff performance and productivity in work out put 3.51  Very high extent
8 Training in  readers Services has enabled staff to provide  relevant information that assist users in their search strategy based on their  information needs 3.66 Very high extent
9 Training in ICTs in library operations including digitalization and social media has enabled staff to provide digital and online services to users 3.39 High extent
10 Training on  electronic/digital resources services has provided staff with new tactics on how to manage non print resources for their users 3.52 Very high extent
11 Training in current awareness services has improved staff dissemination of information on availability of current materials in the library 3.39 High extent
12 Training in circulation services has provided staff with automated methods of lending information resources to library users 3.40 High extent
13 Training in institutional repository has improved staff efficiency in managing resources from the institution and other databases 3.43 High extent
Cluster means 3.44 High extent

(VHE-Very High Extent, HE-High Extent, LE-Low Extent, VLE-Very Low Extent)

The Table above showed the extent to which capacity building of library staff has influenced service delivery to library users in FANL. The cluster means is 3.44 which shows that the extent to which capacity building has influenced service delivery in FANL is high. However, the response on mobile Book Services training indicate that it has influenced library services to the communities in the university to a low extent since it was not part of the content of the capacity building programmes for staff.

Research Question 4: What are the problems associated with capacity building of library staff in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?

Table 4: Responses to problems associated with capacity building in FANL

S/N Problems associated with capacity building of library staff X Decision
1 Insufficient administrative commitment 3.43 Agree
2  Inadequate financial provision 3.31 Agree
4 Unrealistic expectations of both staff and administrators 3.00 Agree
5 Conflict on the goal of capacity building 3.13 Agree
6 Poor planning of capacity building programme 3.72 Strongly agree
7 Lack of policy framework for capacity building programme 3.63 Strongly agree

Table above showed that the problems associated with capacity building of library staff in FANL are insufficient administrative commitment, financial problem, lack of trainers, unrealistic expectations of both staff and administrators, conflict on the goal of capacity building, poor quality of capacity building programmes, and lack of policy framework for implementation of capacity building programmes.

Research Question 5: What are the strategies for improving capacity building of library staff for effective service delivery in Festus Aghagbo Nwako library of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka?

Table 5: Responses to strategies for improving capacity building in university libraries

S/N Strategies for improving capacity building of library staff for effective service delivery X Decision
1 Improved Administrative commitment 3.43 Agree
2 Proper funding of capacity building programmes 3.97 Strongly agree
3 Sufficient training personnel to provide monitoring on the trained staff 3.64 Strongly agree
4 Realistic expectations should be projected for 3.45 Agree
5 Identification of staff need so as to develop well-articulated goal of capacity building 3.84 Strongly agree
6 Proper planning of capacity building program 3.79 Strongly agree
7 Develop written capacity building policy or framework 3.72 Strongly agree

Table above showed that the strategies for improving capacity building of library staff for effective service delivery in FANL, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka include improved administrative commitment, proper funding of capacity building programmes,  provision of sufficient training personnel to assist and supervise on the training of staff, projected  expectations should be realistic, staff need  should be well  identified to form basis of articulating the  goal of capacity building, proper planning of capacity building program, and development of  written capacity building policy or framework.

DISCUSSION

This study revealed that the capacity building methods in use for library staff in FANL are job rotation, coaching, seminars, and workshops. However, apprenticeship, internship, and instructional guidance are not employed as methods for capacity building of library staff. This is in line with the study of Moghaddam (2012) who stated that the various capacity building methods include job rotation, and coaching. It also relates to the work of Varlejs (2014) who revealed that capacity building through workshop for staff makes them able to cope with new innovations in their work place. The findings of this study could be a reflection of the preference of staff and management to these age long practices of off- the- job methods workshop (91%) and seminars (87%) as opposed to the present situation where organizations are adopting in-house practices that are cost effective and within workplaces in the face of economic crises facing organizations.  This could be attributed to the nonuse of apprenticeship, internship and instructional guidance which are applicable and productive for skills transfer and development in library settings. These on- the- job options are also amenable to the various staff profiles existing in libraries which include technical staff, professional staff and paraprofessional staff.

The study discovered that the contents of capacity building programmes  are training on OPAC, training on SDI, training in reference services, manual/online cataloging , training in information resources acquisition,  library management including(human resources, funding and services), reader service , ICTs in libraries including digitalization and social media ,training on digital and electronic resources management, training on current awareness services, circulation services training, and training on institutional repository management. However, the capacity building programmes did not have aspect of mobile library services in its content. This result tallied with the study of Schuler, Beutell and Youngblood (2012) who opined that capacity building programme of library staff to be effective, the various sections and units in the library must be cover. Hence, training on OPAC, SDI, reference services, cataloging, book selection, are features of the content of training for the staff to enable them become more effective in their service delivery. The emphasis on services driven content of the programme as portrayed in this findings is corroborated by Gall and Rencher (2015) and who noted that the focus of capacity building should be on library services improvement aimed at developing and maintaining specific skills and program related tasks faced by the library. Library services are diverse with ICTs impacting the library environment in which library staff work and the operations of most university libraries are gradually changing and this could be responsible for increased emphasis on ICTS content in the training. Absence of mobile library services content in the capacity building programs in university libraries may be due to non-existence of mobile library services in academic libraries. This service is peculiar to public libraries. However, it was also discovered that aspects of library services for other members of the university in terms of departmental and faculty libraries which is a trending development were lacking in the content of capacity building programs of the library under study. The content also emphasized staff needs of mostly academic librarians and paraprofessional with little or no provision for technical staff.

Further finding from the study revealed that the extent to which capacity building of library staff has influenced service delivery to library users in FANL is to a high extent indicated by cluster mean of 3.44.This provides evidence that many of the critical  services delivery aspects of the library has improved tremendously as reflected in results of ICTs related services such as OPAC (3.84) and electronic/digital resources management(3.52) as well as  in other areas such as library management (3.51) and readers services(3.66). This finding is in line with the work of Okoye (2016) who stated that libraries which spend money on time and efforts to develop and sponsor trainings are rewarded with quality personel who are capable of greater achievements and are eligible for greater responsibilities. This finding corroborates that of Mabawonku (2011) who opined that without capacity building for library staff, library users may not be able to access the needed information they want. Therefore, the users may not derive maximum benefits from the library services offered to them. Furthermore, the finding is in line with   that of Ajibero (2010) who found that capacity building directed towards improving efficiency and job performance of library staff gives room for users’ satisfaction.  

               The study also showed that there are many problems associated with capacity building of library staff in FANL which include institutional related issues such as insufficient administrative commitments, inadequate financial provision, lack of trainers, unrealistic expectations for both staff and management, conflict in the goal of capacity building, poor planning of capacity building programmes, and lack of policy framework for capacity building programmes. This is in line with the study by  Varlejs (2014) who  identified the neglect of institutionalization of capacity building function in academic libraries, insufficient administrative commitment; financial, policy and organizational constraints; conflict in perception between institutional and individual benefits; inadequate training of trainees; unrealistic expectations in relation to quality and quantity of capacity building efforts;  lack of opportunities to apply new learning on the job, lack of  effective planning, coordination and implementation of capacity building programmes as age-long barriers to effective service delivery in libraries. This finding tallies with Stone (2012) who explicatively revealed barriers in the  UK, as employment system giving no incentive for continuing education and lifelong learning, in Korea barrier includes a low priority for continuing education; lack of strong leadership in the library association ; irregularities in capacity building and lack of provision for progression in level opportunities; in Singapore, inadequate teachers for capacity building; in Great Britain, lack of funding while in the Netherlands, lack of  a good definition of the continuing education needs; adequate financial means for the development of quality courses and the need for improved learning/teaching methods; in Poland,  lack of financial support and  employers apathy to capacity building; in Sweden,  lack of funds, personnel with leadership qualities and innovative ideas  with only one existing library school; in Latin America, social stratification, imbalance between urban and rural areas, lack of money, irrelevant curricular and teaching performance all constituted obstacles to the development of capacity building. It is observed that one major problem impinging on the development of capacity building programs that cut across different countries is the lack of funds. This is in line with Varlejs (2014) who posits, that lack of funding continues to be cited in literature for the failure of libraries to implement capacity building programs. These multitude of problems may be attributed to absence of capacity building policy framework as revealed in the study with mean rating of 3.63.

 Another finding reveal that the strategies for improving capacity building of library staff for effective service delivery in FALN are varied including: improved administration’s commitment, proper funding of capacity building programs, sufficient trainers to provide monitoring on the trained staff, projection of  realistic expectations, proper identification of staff needs, development of  well-articulated goals of capacity building, proper planning of capacity building programs, and developing written capacity building policy or framework. This finding corroborates observations of Osei (2012) that problems of professional staff development in academic libraries have many solutions to the problems including: good financing, identifying staff needs and the ability of capacity building opportunities to fulfill rising expectations. Relatedly the finding highlighted funding the highest barrier to capacity building (3.97).This finding agrees with Abba and Darwha  (2012) and Ukwuoma and Akanwa (2016) who showed that adequate finance is at the core of the solution to problems of capacity building in academic libraries. The finding on capacity building policy (3.72) is in line with the work of Ajibero (2010) who recommended a comprehensive and viable staff development policy to promote effective service delivery and merit in workplace especially during staff selection for development.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The study has shown that capacity building for library staff in FANL is vibrant and has positively influenced the services delivery in many ways. Staff work capacity has been enhanced by the trainings provided through effective capacity building programs. Consequently, this has improved the teaching and learning aims of the university. This is not surprising as library staff are transforming in their operations and services delivery. Leveraging on the skills improvement to make library users satisfied in the face of stringent competition from other information providers within the university system. However, existence of  capacity building programs do not guarantee  total efficiency and effectiveness of the capacity building programs as well as services delivery as the study revealed.  The capacity building programs were affected by militating factors including significantly inadequate funding, insufficient administrative commitment, failure to provide good trainers and effective planning; all emanating from the strong absence of capacity building program policy or framework. It is worthy to note here that personnel quality determines quality of performance of organizations and professional development influences staff performance and service delivery which was established in this study. Based on the  results the study recommends that adequate funding  should be essentially  provided  for staff not minding the financial predicament of library, staff training should be well planned ,management should show increased commitment to  institutionalized capacity building of staff, a well-articulated capacity development policy should be developed and implemented for all cadre of  staff development  to  make room for effective service delivery  in FANL.

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