02 Oct 2016

Challenges Dealing With The Library At West Africa Theological Seminary, Affiliate Of University Of Nigeri



The library has become “someplace entrusted with all the purchase, business, conservation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of data in whatever format it may look like” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, ix). West Africa Theological Seminary Library are at the crossroad. The original library methods and modern-day technical advances must be created and embraced in case it is become relevant inside information age. It’s a rather high cost which must be compensated usually the library at some point come to be just like the renowned character who slept for 20 years at Gasgill Mountain in Gulliver’s moves and eventually woke to get the globe totally changed.


A brief history associated with preceding seminary might be realistically tracked to the historic visitation by two American missionaries (Rev. Dr. and Rev. Mrs. Gary Maxey) who led a team of Nigerian and expatriate Christians to Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria in April 1989. (The Maxeys had in the beginning worked creditably in spiritual training in Port Harcourt for seven many years). The organization associated with seminary in 1989 was a practical demonstration associated with need certainly to earnestly take part in working out of pastors, evangelists, missionaries and educators not only in Nigeria additionally various other components of the continent and also the western. Currently, the seminary could be the largest non-denominational evangelical holiness seminary in Nigeria that features drawn pupils from an extensive spectral range of Nigerian Christian denominations, (and) cultural groups. During a recently completed semester, WATS has actually pupils from thirty of Nigeria’s says, from over forty language groups, from (a few) various other African countries, and from well over eighty different chapel groups (western Africa Theological Seminary Prospectus 2004, 5).

The name associated with seminary was changed from Wesley Global Theological Seminary to western Africa Theological Seminary on 1 June 2001, similar 12 months it relocated to 35/37 MM International Airport path, Lagos, Nigeria. The establishment is associated to the University of Nsukka, Nigeria and currently offers a few programs of study including : Bachelor of Arts in spiritual Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Diploma in Theology, Certificate in Computer Studies, Diploma in Computer Studies, M.A. in Biblical Studies, Master of Divinity, M.A. in Christian Leadership and M.A. in Intercultural Studies. The seminary started posting the western Africa Theological Seminary Journal in 2002.

One of several instant programs associated with seminary is automate its library collection. An essential aspect is determine software that will be capable meet up with the requirements associated with seminary. In identifying software, the seminary must believe in terms of networking and bear in mind that automation programs normally need annual help fees.


It’s a truism that “the library could be the neurological center of educational institutions” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, vii) and western Africa Theological Seminary Library isn’t any exemption. This library uses the second edition associated with Anglo American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) and also the 20th edition of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC 20). The card catalog is split, “a file of writers and titles kept in a single alphabetical order and a file of subject cards in alphabetical order” (Newhall 1970, 38) and also the filing system is letter by page, a method in which “entries tend to be submitted without considering the rooms between words” (Nwosu 2000, 61). There’s a book catalog, which contains the projects (undergraduate and graduate) posted by pupils associated with seminary and some members of staff who studied various other institutions.

In 2003 the library benefited from a subscription compensated by Asbury Theological Seminary to use the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Database on CD Rom. This will be a comprehensive tool made to help spiritual training and faculty analysis. The library serves pupils, academic and administrative staff associated with seminary and exterior people (academic staff and pupils from other theological institutions).

Various other relevant information consist of:


A. During term: Mondays to Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. ? 10:30 p.m.

B. Getaway: Mondays to Fridays: 9:00 a.m. ? 9:00 p.m.


NO OF journal titles: 98



THE BOOK CATALOG: jobs (both card and guide catalog)



With the exclusion associated with presenter, WATS library is currently manned by seventeen members of staff, nine of whom tend to be pupil workers. These pupil workers mainly operate in the nights, manning the security and blood supply desks (although no exterior borrowing from the bank is performed during this time period). In addition, they wash they library.


1. Instruction and recruiting expert librarians

Nine out from the seventeen members of staff tend to be pupil workers who make use of this chance to boost an important part of their particular fees and, in some cases, some additional funds to maintain by themselves while they pursue their particular theological researches. The presenter is unacquainted with any having expressed desire for the library occupation. Providers rendered may not be classified as expert. Regrettably, only two associated with regular members of staff have actually completed some form of library training at senior promoting degree. The implication is the fact that the library is really in need of expert librarians usually it would continue steadily to operate sub-standard solutions. An irksome measurement is the fact that normally, junior members of staff that are in the bulk “are allowed to do expert duties in the lack of just the right cadre who needs to do them” (Nwosu 2000, 103).

The card catalog for-instance will be always show the consequence the paucity or not enough expert librarians is wearing the library collection.

The most typical as a type of library catalog in western Africa could be the card catalog and “there was dependence on (one) to learn the look associated with system to be able to put it to use effectively” (Nwosu 2000, 57). Challenging the library is maintain a frequent filing rule. Although WATS library runs the device known as the “letter-by-letter” or “all-through” technique, you can find evidences associated with various other technique, this is the “word-by-word” or “nothing before something”. The previous could be the common approach to alphabetization, in which B must always come before C. In the latter, the space between words is taken into consideration since the focus is on each word. When it extends to the change associated with word in the alphabetic sequence, all its associates are considered along.

Marrying the 2 methods of filing or alphabetization could cost one the info that is required.
Another issue is misapplication associated with filing rules. The American Library Association Code (Rule 6) stipulates that “abbreviated words is submitted as though these people were spelled call at complete, with one exemption, that is, the abbreviation Mrs. St. is for that reason submitted as though it had been spelled Saint, and Mc… as Mac” (Harrison and Beenham 1985, 82). The above rule is regrettably misapplied in WATS library. If rule is not taken into account, the phrase scan will be submitted before St. with regards to should be the various other way round. Very much the same, the Dr. (medical practitioner) will also be submitted before down and not one other way round.

A 3rd problem in filing (Rule 5) states that initials is submitted before words. (However, acronyms tend to be treated as words, like UNICEF, UNESCO, ECOWAS etc.) There are circumstances in the WATS catalog that rule is not taken into account. A word like Aaron erroneously comes before A.G.M and A.L.A.

It’s frightening there is no obvious room for upward mobility of library staff. In lack of a professional system of service or marketing recommendations, members of staff have worked within one place simply because they got their particular session letters.

2. Computerizing the library

Some libraries in Nigeria have actually automated their particular solutions. Examples include the Institute of Tropical Agriculture Library at Ibadan and also the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Library, Oshodi, Lagos. Other people, including WATS Library, take the brink of putting their particular automation program into activity.
Automation will benefit the purchase, Cataloging and Serial divisions in the following ways :
purchase : Automation can really help in fund control along with generation and dissemination of reports. Listing of things, such as the accession record can also be printed.

3. Purchase

Purchase is usually defined as “the process of getting publications along with other documents for a collection, documentation center or archive” (Prytherch 1986, 61). Incontrovertibly, it’s “one of the most important features of every library system” (Ali 1989, 66). Some method of purchase of library products consist of purchase, donation, exchange, Legal Deposit Legislation and membership of expert companies. In most libraries in western Africa, it’s observed that
acquisition rates tend to be grossly inadequate to guide both teaching and analysis regardless of if judged by minimal criteria acknowledged in created countries. Tries to relieve the scenario with different types of aid though intrinsically meritorious offer little expect lasting improvement (Allen 1993, 232).

Donated products extensively stock western Africa Theological Seminary Library. Since beggars are not choosers, there was an important proportion of dated magazines. There are lots of reading products that aren’t also strongly related the typical curriculum associated with seminary. Weeding ‘unwanted’ stock is a large issue to the library since there aren’t any ideal replacements.
An often-overlooked method of purchase is membership of expert associations. If library continues to distance itself through the expert sign-up of library institutions, it won’t be conscious of present trends in the expert which will adversely think about the nature and quality of solutions rendered.

4. Web connectivity

The WATS administration circulated a letter on 2nd January 2005 announcing an important reduction (about 75percent) associated with online sites offered on campus. It was related to the lowering of the data transfer which made it impossible to help all previous work programs. A technological blow was dealt regarding library cyber café as it dropped prey to the decision. Students had been recommended to use the cyber café on the ground flooring. The seminary administration must support the library in its embryonic phase to judiciously embrace the newest technology. However, the theological librarians have actually a rather vital part “to ensure the ensuing utilization of computers and telecommunication and just about every other appropriate technology contributes in expense effective methods to the requirements of grant and analysis since (they) possess expertise in obtaining products in a variety of platforms making them obtainable for many different functions” (Simpson 1984, 38).

5. Online resources

An online resource that was utilized at western Africa Theological Seminary (and which will be imperative for other theological libraries in Africa) could be the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Index, useful for opening articles, reviews, essays, dissertations and monographs. The application of databases, which overlap subject fields, that is, interdisciplinary database searching, is an often over-looked facet of online searching.Users of western Africa Theological Seminary Library don’t have usage of an unbelievable number of online learning resources since it is maybe not subscribing to use these products. A good example of an essential online resource could be the on the web Computer Library Centre (OCLC). This center, a bibliographic utility based in Dublin, Ohio is a global electronic information co-operative serving about 39,517 libraries in seventy-six countries. It operates an internet Union Catalog. There are approximately 28 million cataloguing records and also the database (using MARC tapes along with other online input data for people) provides reference solutions and interlibrary loan, qualifying it most likely since the planet’s many extensive database of bibliographic information that produces the initial Search program by which a library can subscribe countless academic and expert titles from about seventy publishers available electronically.

6. Practical photocopier

Even though the library has actually a photocopier, the machine is generally out-of-order. This used device should be changed to allow the library to realistically reap the benefits of its solutions. The seminary administration also took a decision recently to hand over photocopying solutions to students who is currently working a significantly better business.

7. Audio visual collection

Audio visuals tend to be non-paper based information companies. They are introduced into the library through advances in technology. They have been known as audio-visuals simply because they need auditory and visual admiration. One of their particular main benefits is saving a great deal of information in a little area. Audio visuals consist of sound tapes, microforms, filmstrips, maps, slides, movie tapes, tv etc. Many of these appeal simply to the feeling of hearing (audios), some simply to the sight (visuals) among others to both the auditory and visual sensory faculties (sound visuals). Although WATS library has received many audio-visual products, there was need certainly to purchase the necessary supporting machines to really make the audio-visual collection possible.

The seminary was obtaining a few analysis resources in the shape of CD ROMS for a large duration. The library is however in order to make these accessible to people by setting up them in an operating computer.

8. Bindery

It is true that “once any item is chosen the collection, the library guarantees to protect it” (Goodrum and Dalrymple 1985, 65). The lack of a bindery collection inside the library is negatively impacting the physical condition of publications. It should be borne at heart that since an important part of library products tend to be contributed, most are gotten really poor physical condition.

The bindery could also be very instrumental in binding back issues of papers and journals to facilitate a somewhat simpler storage, retrieval and dissemination of data.

9. User training

An important weakness of library rehearse could be the failure to instruct people in the utilization of the library to the best benefit. From knowledge, “surveys demonstrate that public utilization of these types of resources as catalogues tend to be minimal, mostly simply because they have not demonstrated an ability how they run” (Jackaman 1989, 3). Many pupils in WATS feel the seminary without a fair grasp of standard library concepts. Which means the only time direction performed at the start of every semester is inadequate.

10. Serial collection

Different journals subscribed to by the library tend to be chosen, purchased and gotten, processed and shelved by this collection. It’s continuously examined to find out if you can find any missing issues currently because of but haven’t been gotten to make these types of claims. This section also stocks paper. The relevance of these an invaluable collection in the library may not be overemphasized. It’s unfortunate that WATS library is not subscribing to journals and this explains just why there are numerous distinct gaps in periodical literature. The library are at the mercy of donors who normally deliver journals at random.

Periodicals tend to be directly bought by the WATS administration that tend to be afterwards sent to the library normally instead of the day of purchase. This defeats the objective of papers simply because they come late to the library. Providing present information must be the main issue the library or information worker. Consequently, “money should for that reason be a necessity and not an alternative” (Wilson 1993, 636).

11. Temperature in the library

Today’s heat in the library is detrimental to the publications since humidity is a hazard to their success. If not dispersed periodically, fungi quickly develop inside the pages and damage the writing. Many researchers cannot remain for a large duration due to the disquiet caused by a rather hot environment.

12. Web looking around

If the library cyber café was operating, individual statistics of people indicated that ninety % of the who used online did therefore to deliver emails and talk to pals. The residual 10 percent put it to use to perform analysis and do various other features. The insignificant portion that uses it for analysis needs greatly count on Google. A student and a library staff opined they follow the ‘google only’ method because they’re uninformed of every various other cite.
It’s observed that “most people locate (information) through subscription-free the search engines eg Google” (Harding 2004). This over-reliance is a serious restriction. The potency of Google is evaluated hence:

A recently available explore Google of ‘Ancient Near East’ triggered over 150,000 outcomes. Although of the are most likely exceptional internet sites, additional are most likely maybe not. The ETANA web site, interestingly, doesn’t can be found in the first a hundred directories. Therefore, the researcher who would reap the benefits of usage of ETANA but who does maybe not understand of the presence will likely not stumble across it making use of Google (Limpitlaw 2003, p.5).

It is extremely unfortunate that also lecturers tend to be extremely proliferating reliance upon one site (Google). The issue is that “if faculty researchers by themselves tend to be relying virtually solely upon Google, however, what number of of these will probably encourage pupils to enhance their particular searches beyond Google, to at the very least explore the resources and products their particular libraries maintain?” (Norlin 2004, 56). The library staff must be very instrumental in directing people to many various other relevant internet sites and free online libraries, for-instance Africa Digital Library in South Africa. Continuing training the library staff must be encouraged to enable them to be abreast of technical modifications. It’s opined that “a successful training program is also dependent on the dedication that top administration programs the training procedure” (Martey 2002, 14). An incontrovertible the reality is that “librarians have to know simple tips to access and filter understanding regarding web” (Rosenberg 1997, 15). Among a few suggestions to shake the obvious frost from the African chapel in its theological goal, Tienou (1990) proffers the improvement of theological libraries, and (by implication), the theological librarians who intersperse between the information and also the individual. It of library staff and information professionals is quite vital in coping with the astronomically fast development that is obvious in the information age. It is extremely unfortunate the theological librarians have not usually accompanied the development of online sites at western Africa Theological Seminary Library with a thorough training on its use.

Indubitably, unless … librarians obtain this staff training, there was a risk the potential with this technology for sourcing and repackaging for information transfer will stay insufficiently exploited and therefore it does not come to be incorporated with more standard print-based library solutions” (Asamoah 2003, 17).

13. Financing

It’s incontrovertible that “every great collection is a manifestation of adequate and sound financial backing, no collection development can perform this objective in case it is economically handicapped” (Alemna 1994, 47). Inside their discourse regarding challenge in neuro-scientific librarianship, it’s observed that “library capital is going to be the problem which consumes the energy of library managers to the end with this century (and also the next)” (Moore and Shander 1993, 19). WATS library must be realistically budgeted for in case it is to keep to be the academic neurological center associated with seminary.


Like Ato Yawson in Ama Ata Aidoo’s The issue of a Ghost, the question is, shall WATS library check-out Cape Coast (representing the standard) or Elmina (representing the modern’)? In neuro-scientific librarianship, a realistic reaction lies “in preserving standard solutions and embracing the technical advances” (Harding 2002, 9).

Listed here are proffered for consideration to assist WATS library to handle the inevitable challenges:

1. Skillfully trained staff

The library profession is in crises. It’s observed that “the requirement to find and retain quality management for libraries is a core problem for future years” (Hisle 2002, 211). Library staff at WATS must be skillfully trained. Purchase of relevant library qualifications may not be overemphasized. Relevant training must consist of utilization of software applications. The current theological librarian is sitting on a crossroad and must maintain a rather of use stability between standard and modern-day analysis ways to be relevant inside information age. Substandard solutions will still be offered if staff are used simply because they’ve been Christians with little focus on expert training. Theological librarians need the sort of training performed by ACTEA (Accrediting Council for Theological knowledge in Africa) East Africa Library team Training Institute in Daystar University in Kenya in July 2004. Untrained librarians need programs in cataloguing and category, management of the library and answering reference concerns. Furthermore, they have to obtain training in looking around the internet, making use of Boolean operators to seek advice from full-text journals, opening reference products on CD Roms, making use of MARC, and compiling lists of important web sites and reference CDs.

Seminary, library, training, recruiting, librarians,

2. Scheme of service

To be able never to make a continued mockery associated with library occupation, it is strongly recommended the expert recommendations the session and marketing of library staff whatsoever levels be drafted and implemented. The seminary administration could compare the system of service of a few institutions in Nigeria and also the sub-region as helpful tips to fairly retain the standard.

Jobs which should be taken under consideration inside the different categories consist of:

a. Junior staff

i. Messenger/cleaner

ii. Library attendant III

iii. Library attendant II

iv. Library attendant I

v. Library assistant I

vi. Library assistant II

vii. Library assistant III

b. Senior promoting staff

i. Trainee Librarian/Senior Library Assistant II / Admin. Assistant II

ii. Senior Library Assistant We / Admin.

c. Senior staff

i. Library Officer

ii. Librarian II

iii. Librarian I

iv. Senior Librarian

v. Deputy Librarian

vi. Mind Librarian

The criteria for scoring senior library staff is taken into account. Many of these areas consist of :

Academic and expert qualifications

Professional/working knowledge

Expert tasks

Analysis and magazines

Administrative knowledge

3. Revamping of net solutions in the library

The library cyber café must be resurrected in the event that library is to be relevant inside technical age. The library staff should obtain training that’ll allow them to creditably handle databases inside their library.

4. User training

The library is much more proactive in individual training strategies. More present understanding or discerning dissemination of data should be done to entice pupils and staff. A training course regarding utilization of the library might be introduced as a compulsory subject for many categories of pupils. It’s obvious even yet in western Africa Theological Seminary that “librarians can’t believe similar degree of desire for and help the library from a faculty that progressively trust their search strategies and capabilities in an electronic globe they may be able access from their particular offices” (Norlin 2004, 56). Theological librarians have to be carefully attuned to the concerns associated with pupils and faculty. If librarians at WATS release professionalism in distinguishing the situation associated with researcher, searching for certain pieces of information effortlessly and expeditiously and transmits the consequence of the search by any convenient way to both faculty and pupil people (telephone, e-mail, personal call, brief page to mention a couple of), the interest in the library as information intermediary would gradually be revamped.

The library of western Africa Theological Seminary should invest weeks supplying “faculty only” and “pupils only” training sessions regarding utilization of American Theological Library Association database (right after paying the present registration). An incontrovertible truth is that “unless theological librarians consciously see the faculty (and pupils) since the main target for (their particular) tasks, (they) would come to be irrelevant to…students, faculty, directors and institutions” (Norlin 2004, 55).

5. The part associated with seminary administration

Management at WATS must observe that the library is not an optional additional and therefore the impending doctoral programme in the seminary is only going to come to be possible whenever library attains a certain expert standard. Seminary authorities must support its development by developing existing selections (for-instance, subscribing to scholarly journals the serials collection) and also by assisting in the establishing of a vibrant Digital Library Collection which should be manned by a professional librarian. Providing server improvements and disk storage area must be really considered. There ought to be regular in-service training to assist library staff gain relevant abilities in it.

The problem of capital may not be overemphasized. The WATS Library can only just be relevant inside information age in the event that seminary administration would recognize “the centrality of the academic neurological centre (the library) and ensure the sustainability associated with library programs and solutions” (Harding 2002, 9). Introduction of individual charges, more fund-raising tasks in the library (eg guide sales), upsurge in the help from donor companies could produce a rise in earnings had a need to buy and maintain necessary equipment.

If the library is properly financed, it will likely be capable of subscribe relevant record titles, buy standard theological texts, build a vibrant audio-visual collection, provide air-con services to control the warmth, replace the photocopier and provide various other necessary solutions when necessary.

Skillfully trained staff, system of service, revamping of net solutions in the Computerize, cataloging, purchase, net, individual training, audio-visual, serial, bindery, funding, system of service,

6. Account of expert companies

WATS library should enroll as an institutional person in expert library associations eg Nigeria Theological Library Association, Christian Librarians’ Association for Africa, American Theological Library Association and Christian Librarians’ Fellowship. (The presenter is a member of all of the but the previous). It absolutely was through American Theological Library Association the writer was informed the twenty-second edition associated with Dewey Decimal Library (DDC) category was posted. (WATS is utilizing the 20th edition). The DDC figures consist of all headings recently mapped to the 200 Religion Plan, and other people regarded as being of interest to theological libraries.

Below is an example:

Subject heading Call quantity

All Souls’ time in art 704.9493943

Islamic modernism 297.09

Nymphs (Greek deities) in art 704.9489221

Open-air preaching 206.1, 251

Personal money (Sociology) ? Spiritual aspects 201.7

Venus (Roman deity ) in art 704.9489221

(Osmanski 2003, 2-1)

7. Computerization


It’s indubitable the part associated with library as information intermediary would not transform. But the way to meet this priceless part keeps switching and also the library must adjust to manage its relevance. WATS library is a unit of a self-supporting establishment with a few challenges. Traditional library methods must be fully created and also the best of modern technology must be embraced. This high cost must be compensated since the library journeys to ‘Cape Coast’. The seminary librarians have actually a major challenge to move from becoming simple keepers associated with guide to guides through a universe of knowledge, thus playing an invaluable part as information intermediary (Kargbo 2002). Because the goal associated with library to facilitate the no-cost movement of data endures even yet in the midst of technical modifications, the librarians throughout kinds of libraries, including WATS, “must find a rather of use stability between the conventional/traditional library features and also the methods of the newest challenges being maintain their particular management part in (the) information age” (Harding 2002, 10). Librarians in western Africa Theological Seminary could simply be relevant inside age if they gear to contain the necessary abilities to allow people to creditably use products for reading, study and assessment in whatever format they might appear. This may not be realized without the priceless help associated with seminary administration. Using this realization, “the pupils will be taught the skill of electric information retrieval, which they may use to publish their particular task work and thesis” (Asamoah 2003, 17).


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