The collection has become “a spot entrusted aided by the purchase, business, conservation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information in whatever structure it may look like” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, ix). Western Africa Theological Seminary Library are at the crossroad. The standard collection methods and contemporary technological advances must be developed and accepted in case it is to be appropriate in this information age. It really is an extremely high price which must be paid otherwise the collection will eventually be just like the popular character just who slept for 20 years at Gasgill hill in Gulliver’s moves and eventually woke as much as discover the globe totally altered.
QUICK REPUTATION FOR WEST AFRICA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
The history of above seminary could possibly be realistically tracked towards the historic visitation by two United states missionaries (Rev. Dr. and Rev. Mrs. Gary Maxey) just who led several Nigerian and expatriate Christians to Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria in April 1989. (The Maxeys had in the beginning worked creditably in religious knowledge in Port Harcourt for seven years). The organization of seminary in 1989 was a practical demonstration of must earnestly take part in the training of pastors, evangelists, missionaries and educators not just in Nigeria additionally in other elements of the continent additionally the west. Presently, the seminary is the largest non-denominational evangelical holiness seminary in Nigeria that has drawn students from an easy spectral range of Nigerian Christian denominations, (and) cultural teams. During a recently finished semester, WATS has students from thirty of Nigeria’s says, from over forty language teams, from (a few) various other African countries, and from well over eighty various chapel teams (West Africa Theological Seminary Prospectus 2004, 5).
The name of seminary was altered from Wesley International Theological Seminary to West Africa Theological Seminary on 1 Summer 2001, exactly the same 12 months it relocated to 35/37 MM airport terminal path, Lagos, Nigeria. The institution is affiliated towards the University of Nsukka, Nigeria and currently provides a few programs of research including : Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Diploma in Theology, certification 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 publishing the West Africa Theological Seminary Journal in 2002.
One of several instant programs of seminary is always to automate its library collection. An essential aspect is always to recognize pc software that will be in a position to meet with the needs of seminary. In picking pc software, the seminary must think when it comes to networking and bear in mind that automation programmes generally need annual help costs.
WEST AFRICA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY LIBRARY
It really is a truism that “the collection is the nerve center of academic establishments” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, vii) and West Africa Theological Seminary Library is not any exception. This collection utilizes the 2nd edition of Anglo-American Cataloguing procedures (AACR2) additionally the 20th edition of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC 20). The card catalog is split, “a file of authors and brands kept in one alphabetical order and a file of subject cards in alphabetical order” (Newhall 1970, 38) additionally the filing system is letter by page, a method in which “entries tend to be filed without considering the spaces between words” (Nwosu 2000, 61). There clearly was a book catalog, containing the jobs (undergraduate and graduate) posted by students of seminary many members of staff just who studied in other establishments.
In 2003 the collection benefited from a subscription paid by Asbury Theological Seminary to use the ATLA (United states Theological Library Association) Database on CD Rom. This can be a comprehensive device built to support religious knowledge and professors research. The collection acts students, academic and administrative staff of seminary and outside people (academic staff and students off their theological establishments).
Various other appropriate information feature:
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 PUBLICATIONS: 36,500
NO OF journal brands: 98
NO. OF VIDEO AND SOUND CASSETTES: 114
PHOTOCOPYING MACHINE: 1
THE BOOK CATALOG: tasks (both card and guide catalog)
NO. OF REFERENCE PRODUCTS: 1,722
Because of the exclusion of presenter, WATS collection is currently manned by seventeen members of staff, nine of who tend to be student employees. These student employees mainly work in the nights, manning the safety and blood supply desks (although no outside borrowing is completed in those times). Also, they wash they library.
1. Education and recruiting professional librarians
Nine from the seventeen members of staff tend to be student employees just who make use of this opportunity to boost an important portion of their costs and, sometimes, some additional funds to keep up by themselves because they pursue their theological studies. The presenter is unaware of any who’s expressed interest in the collection occupation. Providers rendered can’t be classified as professional. Unfortuitously, only two of regular members of staff have finished some kind of library education within senior promoting amount. The implication is the fact that the collection is really in need of professional librarians otherwise it could consistently operate sub-standard services. An irksome measurement is that typically, junior members of staff that in the vast majority “are permitted to do professional duties in the lack of the right cadre just who should do all of them” (Nwosu 2000, 103).
The card catalog as an example should be familiar with demonstrate the consequence the paucity or insufficient professional librarians is wearing the library collection.
The most typical type of library catalog in West Africa is the card catalog and “there is dependence on (one) to understand the style of system to be able to put it to use successfully” (Nwosu 2000, 57). A challenge the collection is always to keep a frequent filing guideline. Although WATS collection runs the device known as the “letter-by-letter” or “all-through” strategy, you will find evidences of various other strategy, that’s the “word-by-word” or “nothing before something”. The former is the typical way of alphabetization, where B must always come before C. into the latter, the room between words is taken into consideration because the focus is for each word. With regards to extends to the turn of word in the alphabetic series, all its associates are thought along.
Marrying the two types of filing or alphabetization could cost one the information and knowledge that’s required.
Another issue is misapplication of filing guidelines. The United states Library Association Code (Rule 6) stipulates that “abbreviated words should always be filed like they were spelled call at full, with one exception, that’s, the acronym Mrs. St. is therefore filed like it had been spelled Saint, and Mc… as Mac” (Harrison and Beenham 1985, 82). The above guideline is regrettably misapplied in WATS collection. If guideline isn’t taken into account, the phrase scan should be filed before St. with regards to ought to be the various other means round. Very much the same, the Dr. (physician) is likewise filed before down and never the other means round.
A 3rd problem in filing (Rule 5) states that initials should always be filed before words. (However, acronyms tend to be treated as words, for example UNICEF, UNESCO, ECOWAS etc.) You can find cases in the WATS catalog that this guideline isn’t taken into account. A word like Aaron mistakenly comes before A.G.M and A.L.A.
It really is frightening that there’s no obvious room for ascending mobility of library staff. Into the lack of an expert plan of solution or advertising guidelines, members of staff been employed by in one place since they got their appointment letters.
2. Computerizing the collection
Some libraries in Nigeria have automated their services. Examples include the Institute of Tropical Agriculture Library at Ibadan additionally the Federal Institute of Industrial analysis Library, Oshodi, Lagos. Others, including WATS Library, are on the verge of putting their automation plan into action.
Automation will benefit the Acquisition, Cataloging and Serial divisions in the after methods :
Acquisition : Automation will help in investment control along with generation and dissemination of reports. Set of products, like the accession number can also be printed.
Acquisition is generally defined as “the entire process of obtaining publications along with other documents for a collection, paperwork center or archive” (Prytherch 1986, 61). Incontrovertibly, its “one of the very essential functions of every collection system” (Ali 1989, 66). Some ways purchase of collection materials feature buy, donation, change, Legal Deposit Legislation and membership of professional organizations. Generally in most libraries in West Africa, its seen that
acquisition rates tend to be grossly inadequate to aid both training and research even when judged by minimal criteria accepted in developed countries. Attempts to relieve the circumstance with various kinds of help though intrinsically meritorious provide little expect longterm improvement (Allen 1993, 232).
Contributed materials thoroughly stock West Africa Theological Seminary Library. Since beggars aren’t choosers, there is an important percentage of dated publications. There are numerous reading materials which are not even strongly related the general curriculum of seminary. Weeding ‘unwanted’ stock is a large issue towards the collection since there are no suitable replacements.
An often-overlooked ways purchase is membership of professional organizations. If collection will continue to distance itself through the professional sign-up of collection establishments, it will not be aware of current trends in the professional that will negatively reflect on the nature and top-notch services rendered.
4. Web connectivity
The WATS management revealed a letter on 2nd January 2005 announcing an important decrease (about 75%) of online sites supplied on university. This was caused by the reduction in the bandwidth which caused it to be impractical to support all previous work programs. A technological blow was dealt regarding the collection cyber café because it dropped prey to this choice. Pupils had been suggested to use the cyber café on the floor flooring. The seminary management must support the collection with its embryonic phase to judiciously accept the newest technology. On the other hand, the theological librarians have an extremely crucial part “to ensure that the ensuing usage of computer systems and telecommunication and any other proper technology contributes in price effective ways to the needs of grant and research since (they) have the expertise in obtaining materials in many different platforms while making all of them available for multiple functions” (Simpson 1984, 38).
5. Online language resources
An internet resource that was made use of at West Africa Theological Seminary (and which can be recommended for other theological libraries in Africa) is the United states Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Index, useful for accessing articles, reviews, essays, dissertations and monographs. The usage of databases, which overlap subject industries, that’s, interdisciplinary database researching, is an often over-looked element of on the web searching.Users of West Africa Theological Seminary Library don’t have use of an amazing level of online resources since it is maybe not subscribing to use these materials. A good example of a critical online resource is the on line Computer Library Centre (OCLC). This center, a bibliographic energy located in Dublin, Ohio is a global digital information co-operative providing about 39,517 libraries in seventy-six countries. It works an Online Union Catalog. You can find approximately 28 million cataloguing records additionally the database (using MARC tapes along with other on the web feedback information for people) provides reference services and interlibrary loan, qualifying it probably given that planet’s most extensive database of bibliographic information that produces 1st Search System by which a library can subscribe to numerous of academic and professional brands from about seventy editors available electronically.
6. Functional photocopier
Although the collection has a photocopier, the equipment is often out of order. This used machine needs to be replaced allow the collection to realistically reap the benefits of its services. The seminary management even took a decision recently handy over photocopying services to a student that is currently running a far better company.
7. Audio-visual collection
Audio visuals tend to be non-paper based information providers. They are introduced into the collection through advances in technology. They truly are called audio-visuals simply because they need auditory and artistic understanding. Certainly one of their primary advantages is storing a large amount of information in a tiny space. Audio visuals feature sound tapes, microforms, filmstrips, charts, slides, video clip tapes, television an such like. A few of these appeal only to the feeling of hearing (audios), some only to the sight (visuals) and others to both the auditory and artistic senses (sound visuals). Although WATS collection has gotten many audio visual materials, there is must purchase the essential supporting tools to make the audio visual collection a real possibility.
The seminary happens to be obtaining a few research tools in the form of CD ROMS for a large period. The collection is yet to help make these offered to people by setting up all of them in a practical computer system.
It is true that “once anything is selected the collection, the collection promises to protect it” (Goodrum and Dalrymple 1985, 65). The lack of a bindery collection in the collection is negatively influencing the physical condition of publications. It should be borne at heart that since an important portion of library materials tend to be donated, the majority are gotten really poor physical condition.
The bindery could also be extremely instrumental in binding back dilemmas of periodicals and journals to facilitate a comparatively easier storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.
9. User training
A major weakness of collection rehearse is the failure to instruct people in the use of the collection towards the best benefit. From knowledge, “surveys have shown that public usage of these types of tools as catalogues tend to be minimal, largely simply because they have not demonstrated an ability the way they operate” (Jackaman 1989, 3). Numerous students in WATS feel the seminary without an acceptable understanding of standard collection principles. This means the only hour orientation conducted at the beginning of every semester is insufficient.
10. Serial collection
Different journals subscribed to by the collection tend to be selected, ordered and gotten, processed and shelved by this collection. It really is continuously examined to ascertain if you will find any missing dilemmas currently because of but have not been gotten in order to make these types of claims. This section in addition stocks newspaper. The relevance of such an excellent collection in the collection can’t be overemphasized. It really is unfortunate that WATS collection isn’t subscribing to journals and also this explains just why there are many distinct gaps in periodical literary works. The collection are at the mercy of donors just who generally deliver journals randomly.
Papers tend to be right bought by the WATS management that tend to be afterwards provided for the collection typically not on the day of buy. This beats the objective of periodicals since they come later towards the collection. Offering present information ought to be the primary issue the collection or information employee. Consequently, “money should therefore be a requirement and never a choice” (Wilson 1993, 636).
11. Heat in the collection
The current temperature in the collection is detrimental towards the publications since moisture is a danger for their survival. If not dispersed occasionally, fungi easily develop in the pages and harm the writing. Numerous scientists can’t stay for a large period mainly because of the vexation caused by an extremely hot environment.
12. Web looking
Whenever collection cyber café was working, user statistics of people indicated that ninety percent of the just who used cyberspace did so to deliver emails and speak to friends. The residual 10 % put it to use to perform research and perform various other functions. The insignificant portion that utilizes it for research purposes greatly depend on Google. A student and a library staff opined that they follow the ‘google only’ method because they’re uninformed of every various other cite.
It really is seen that “most people locate (information) through subscription-free search-engines such as Google” (Harding 2004). This over-reliance is a significant limitation. The potency of Google is examined thus:
A recent search on Google of ‘Ancient Near East’ resulted in over 150,000 results. While many of the are likely exemplary websites, more are likely maybe not. The ETANA web site, interestingly, doesn’t come in 1st one hundred directories. Thus, the researcher that would reap the benefits of use of ETANA but would you maybe not understand of their presence will likely not stumble across it utilizing Google (Limpitlaw 2003, p.5).
It is extremely unfortunate that even lecturers tend to be extremely proliferating reliance upon one site (Google). The problem is that “if professors scientists by themselves tend to be depending nearly exclusively upon Google, but what number of of those will probably motivate students to grow their queries beyond Google, to at the least explore the sources and materials their libraries keep?” (Norlin 2004, 56). The collection staff must be extremely instrumental in directing people to numerous various other appropriate websites and free online libraries, as an example Africa Digital Library in South Africa. Continuing knowledge the collection staff must be promoted for them to be up-to-date with technological changes. It really is opined that “an effective training curriculum is also influenced by the dedication that top management shows the education procedure” (Martey 2002, 14). An incontrovertible reality is that “librarians need to find out how to access and filter what exactly is regarding the web” (Rosenberg 1997, 15). Among a few suggestions to shake the evident frost off the African chapel with its theological objective, Tienou (1990) proffers the improvement of theological libraries, and (by implication), the theological librarians just who intersperse between your information additionally the user. The training of collection staff and information experts is extremely crucial in dealing with the astronomically fast development that’s evident in the information age. It is extremely unfortunate that theological librarians haven’t typically accompanied the development of websites at West Africa Theological Seminary Library with an intensive education on its use.
Indubitably, unless … librarians obtain this staff education, there is a risk that potential for this technology for sourcing and repackaging for information transfer will continue to be insufficiently exploited and therefore it will not be incorporated with an increase of conventional print-based collection services” (Asamoah 2003, 17).
It really is incontrovertible that “every great collection is an expression of adequate and sound monetary backing, and no collection development can perform this objective in case it is economically handicapped” (Alemna 1994, 47). In their commentary regarding the challenge in the area of librarianship, its seen that “library capital is going to be the matter which consumes the power of collection managers towards the end for this century (additionally the next)” (Moore and Shander 1993, 19). WATS collection must be realistically budgeted for in case it is to keep becoming the academic nerve center of seminary.
THE WAY IN WHICH FORWARD
Like Ato Yawson in Ama Ata Aidoois the problem of a Ghost, the question is, shall WATS collection check-out Cape Coast (representing the traditional) or Elmina (representing the modern’)? In neuro-scientific librarianship, an authentic reaction lies “in protecting conventional services and adopting the technological advances” (Harding 2002, 9).
The following are proffered for consideration to assist WATS collection to manage the inescapable challenges:
1. Professionally trained staff
The collection occupation is in crises. It really is seen that “the need to discover and keep quality leadership for libraries is a core problem for future years” (Hisle 2002, 211). Library staff at WATS must be expertly trained. Acquisition of appropriate collection skills can’t be overemphasized. Appropriate education must consist of usage of computer programs. The current theological librarian is sitting on a crossroad and must keep an extremely of use stability between conventional and contemporary research processes to be appropriate in this information age. Substandard services will still be supplied if staff are employed because these are typically Christians with little to no emphasis on professional education. Theological librarians need the form of education conducted by ACTEA (Accrediting Council for Theological knowledge in Africa) East Africa Library Staff Training Institute in Daystar University in Kenya in July 2004. Untrained librarians require programs in cataloguing and category, handling of the collection and answering reference concerns. Moreover, they need to obtain training in looking the web, utilizing Boolean providers to seek advice from full-text journals, accessing reference materials on CD Roms, utilizing MARC, and compiling lists of essential internet sites and reference CDs.
Seminary, collection, education, recruiting, librarians,
2. Scheme of solution
So as to not ever make a continued mockery of collection occupation, it is suggested that professional guidelines the appointment and advertising of collection staff after all levels be drafted and implemented. The seminary management could compare the plan of solution of a few establishments in Nigeria additionally the sub-region as helpful information to sensibly retain the standard.
Roles that ought to be used into account in the different groups feature:
a. Junior staff
ii. Library attendant III
iii. Library attendant II
iv. Library attendant I
v. Library associate I
vi. Library associate II
vii. Library associate 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 requirements for scoring senior collection staff should always be taken into account. A few of these areas feature :
Academic and professional skills
Research and publications
3. Revamping of net services in the collection
The collection cyber café must be resurrected if the collection will be appropriate in this technological age. The library staff should obtain education that allow all of them to creditably deal with databases within their collection.
4. User training
The collection should always be much more proactive in user knowledge methods. More current understanding or selective dissemination of information should be done to entice students and staff. A course regarding the use of the collection could possibly be introduced as a compulsory subject for many kinds of students. It really is evident even in West Africa Theological Seminary that “librarians can’t assume exactly the same amount of interest in and help the collection from a faculty that increasingly trust their own search methods and abilities in an electronic globe they are able to access from their offices” (Norlin 2004, 56). Theological librarians have to be very carefully attuned towards the concerns of students and professors. If librarians at WATS release reliability in pinpointing the problem of researcher, trying to find particular bits of information effortlessly and expeditiously and transmits caused by the search by any convenient methods to both professors and student people (telephone, email, individual telephone call, quick page to say a couple of), the attention in the collection as information intermediary would slowly be revamped.
The collection of West Africa Theological Seminary should invest several weeks supplying “faculty only” and “students only” workout sessions regarding the usage of United states Theological Library Association database (right after paying the present registration). An incontrovertible simple truth is that “unless theological librarians consciously look at the professors (and students) given that primary target for (their) activities, (they) would be unimportant to…students, professors, directors and establishments” (Norlin 2004, 55).
5. The part of seminary management
Control at WATS must observe that the collection isn’t an optional additional and therefore the impending doctoral programme in the seminary will only be a real possibility once the collection attains a particular professional standard. Seminary authorities must support its progress by building current choices (as an example, subscribing to scholarly journals the serials collection) and by helping in the starting of an exciting Digital Library Collection that ought to be manned by an expert librarian. Offering host upgrades and disk space for storage must be really considered. There should be regular in-service education to assist collection staff gain appropriate abilities in I . t.
The matter of capital can’t be overemphasized. The WATS Library is only able to be appropriate in this information age if the seminary management would recognize “the centrality of their academic nerve center (the collection) and make certain the sustainability of collection programmes and services” (Harding 2002, 9). Introduction of user fees, even more fund raising activities in the collection (such as guide sales), escalation in the help from donor agencies could produce an increase in income had a need to buy and continue maintaining essential gear.
Whenever collection is properly financed, it will be capable of subscribe to relevant record brands, buy standard theological texts, build an exciting audio visual collection, offer air cooling services to regulate heat, exchange the photocopier and offer various other essential services as and when essential.
Professionally trained staff, plan of solution, revamping of net services in the Computerize, cataloging, purchase, net, user training, audio visual, serial, bindery, funding, plan of solution,
6. Account of professional organizations
WATS collection should register as an institutional person in professional collection organizations such as Nigeria Theological Library Association, Christian Librarians’ Association for Africa, United states Theological Library Association and Christian Librarians’ Fellowship. (The presenter is a part of all of the but the previous). It was through United states Theological Library Association that author was informed that twenty second edition of Dewey Decimal Library (DDC) category happens to be posted. (WATS is using the 20th edition). The DDC figures feature all headings newly mapped towards the 200 Religion Plan, plus others regarded as being of interest to theological libraries.
Under is an example:
Topic 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
Social capital (Sociology) ? Religious aspects 201.7
Venus (Roman deity ) in art 704.9489221
(Osmanski 2003, 2-1)
It really is indubitable that part of collection as information intermediary would not change. But the methods to fulfill this invaluable part keeps switching additionally the collection must conform to manage its relevance. WATS collection is a unit of a self-supporting institution with a few challenges. Conventional collection methods must be totally developed additionally the best of modern tools must be accepted. This high price must be paid given that collection trips to ‘Cape Coast’. The seminary librarians have a significant challenge to maneuver from becoming mere keepers of guide to guides through a universe of knowledge, thus playing an excellent part as information intermediary (Kargbo 2002). Because the objective of collection to facilitate the free flow of information endures even in the midst of technological changes, the librarians throughout forms of libraries, including WATS, “must discover an extremely of use stability between your conventional/traditional collection functions additionally the types of the newest challenges so that you can keep their leadership part in (the) information age” (Harding 2002, 10). Librarians in West Africa Theological Seminary could simply be appropriate in this age if they gear as much as contain the essential abilities allow people to creditably use materials for reading, research and consultation in whatever structure they could appear. This can’t be understood without invaluable help of seminary management. With this particular understanding, “the students should be taught the art of digital information retrieval, that they may use to write their project work and thesis” (Asamoah 2003, 17).
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