The Classification and Knowledge Development by Technical Librarians in Academic Libraries

THE CLASSIFICATION AND KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT BY TECHNICAL LIBRARIANS  IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN ANAMBRA STATE.

Literature review serves as a theoretical frame work or base for understanding the concept and the subject matter of any research work of this nature. However, Nigeria has been described as a failed state by many academicians due to other educational backwardness and other academic pundits on the ground that as a state it has failed to mitigate the excruciating educational sector in shamble including lack of effective academic libraries, lack of motivation for readers (scholars).

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To research, lack of knowledge acquisition, lack of professional libraries as staffs of the academic library which has been recycling ignorants and leaving the library with arm chair librarians who are not vibrant to attained to the library users which has result in celebrating mediocrities, illiteracy culminating to poverty, brain drain in Anambra State precisely.

The light of the above, the researcher choose to discourse the classification and knowledge development by technical librarians in academic libraries in Anambra State with the following subheading:-

  • The concept/meaning of classification and knowledge development by technical librarians in academic libraries.
  • Knowledge management in libraries
  • Importance of library classification
  • Types of library classification
  • Library and information education and training
  • The technical section of the library
  • The economic value of information and knowledge.
  • Other initiative that facilitate access to knowledge and information in African.
  • The role of academic libraries
  • The role of innovative libraries and information services in the industrial development.

 

2.1  THE CONCEPT/MEANING OF CLASSIFICATION AND KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES

While the business world is changing in the new knowledge economy and digital age, libraries of all types are undergoing drastic changes also the new role of the libraries in 21st century need to be as a learning and knowledge centre for their users as well as do intellectual commons for their respective communities where to borrow the phase from the KEYSTONE.

PRINCIPLE “People and ideas interact in both the real and virtual environment to expand learning and facilitate the creation of new knowledge.

As a learning organization, libraries should provide strong leadership in knowledge management unlike those business organization and information centres whose goals for kno3wledge management is for competitive advantage most pubic academic and research libraries, with the exception of company libraries which may be known or called corporate libraries.

The literature shows that most libraries in Africa are still in the first phase of implementing innovative library services which focuses on the provision of information about the library some classification system are more suitable for aiding subject access rather than shelf location.

For example; Universal Decimal Classification which uses a complicated notation of pluses and colon, is more difficult to use for the purpose of shelf arrangement but is more expressive compared to DDC in terms of showing relationship between subjects. Similarly faceted classification schemes are more difficult to use for shelf arrangement unless the user has knowledge of the citation order.

 

2.2  KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN LIBRARIES

       As a learning organization, libraries should provide a strong leadership in knowledge management. Because they are the information scientist unlike those business organization’s whose goal for knowledge management is for competitive advantage, most public academic and research libraries the exception of company libraries which may be known or called corporate libraries, special libraries or knowledge centre have a competition, internal use only and little sharing of knowledge with others outsider. The most important mission of public, academic, research libraries is to expand the access of knowledge for their user charged by the mission libraries should aim their knowledge management goal high. Below are examples of what libraries do to improve their management in all of the key areas of the library.

Because of the exponential growth in information or human knowledge in a variety of formats, libraries need to develop their resources to electronic and digital resources in concepts with their objectives and goals. Restricted by limited funding, technology, staff and space, libraries must carefully analyze the needs of their users and seek to develop cooperative acquisition plan to meet these needs.

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2.3  IMPORTANT OF LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION

       Classification is applicable to everything we do in life. Either purposely, or unknowing we engage ourselves in classification, that is we arrange things in a specific order. Every successful business activity of things, or ideas in order to achieve result.

In our various homes, we arrange things such as way that we can easily have access to them, for instance, we arrange out cloths, shoes, books and other belongings in such a way that we can have access to them as soon as they are needed.

In library context classification is important in the following way: –

  1. Filling: Library classification makes filing of library materials possible. Some library materials are filed according to a classification scheme.
  2. Access to Library Materials: The essence of library classification is to help users to receive library materials with ease. The library materials are arranged according to an order that helps users to have access to library materials without wasting much time.
  • Withdrawal of stock: The class mark assigned through the use of classification scheme facilities withdrawal of library materials from the shelf especially those materials that are no longer relevant to the needs of the users.
  1. Proper Replacement of Books on the Shelf. The library materials are removed from the shelves of library by users. The class mark assigned to books enhance the replacement of such books to their proper position on the shelf are arranged according to a classification scheme. The number on the book (class mark) facilitates effective replacement of library materials at their appropriate position on shelf.
  2. Adding new library materials to the shelf: Classification helps the library staff to add new library materials to the shelf. In a situation whereby new subject are as arise, there are gaps in every classification scheme where the subject are kept.
  3. Compilation of bibliographic and catalogues: The library classification helps in compilation of bibliographies (list of books) and in the production of union catalogue by library. This is possible because subject are alike are brought together during classification.
  • Compilation of library statistic: The classification of library materials helps the library in compiling statistics of both the materials in the library and use of library materials. It helps the library to know books that are in the library and the ones stolen.
  • It facilitates display of library materials: The arrangement of library materials on the shelves according to a classification is a way of advertising the library materials to their users.

 

  • TYPES OF LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION SCHEME

The two main library classification schemes are the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) scheme and the Library of Congress scheme (LC). Both are expandable tools for sorting books into categories, but they differ in how they categories books and in the sorts of libraries that use them. They also differ in their organization scheme.

The library of congress scheme has 21 broad classes each represented by one letter of the alphabet. For example, book on philosophy, psychology and religion all have codes starting with the letter B. Books on education start with the letter L. history of American gets two letters e.g. books on the history of education start with LA. Other classes begin with a single letter and then numbers (classes E and F, eg) subsequent numbers further divide the class.

The Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme (LC) first classifies book into nine broad classes, each identified by a number in the hundreds. e.g. books on religion starts are in the 200s, books on social sciences are in the 300s. Numbers are assigned within those classes e.g. 201 is for books on the philosophy of Christianity some topics use the 10s column for subdivision e.g., books on law are in the 340s books on criminal law start with 345. Further division of categories is done by adding decimal numbers.

The Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme is used by more libraries, but the library of congress scheme is used by some of the biggest libraries most obviously the library congress itself. Many academic libraries use the library of congress scheme, but public libraries mostly use the Dewey Decimal Classification.

  • LIBRARY AND INFORMATION EDUCATION AND TRAINING

In the context of library and information science education and training, studies have shown that there has been a significant growth of library and information science (LIS) in Africa which are estimated to be SS (Ocholla, 2008). Ocholla and Bothina 2009, these studies have also revealed that there have been revision of curriculum, greater application of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Increasing and decreasing number of students depending on market forces: combination and reorientation of library and information programmes for validity rearrangement of the academic administration of LIS schools expansion and closure of LIS schools (Ocholla 2008, Ocholla & Bothina 2007) and the improvement in research productivity (Onyencha & Minishi-Majansa 2008) in spite of this good progress. The IFLA/ALA sponsored workshops on how to integrate ICTS in LIS curriculum in Africa found out that African library and information science programmes are at different stager of integrating ICTs into their curriculum.

  • THE TECHNICAL SECTION OF THE LIBRARY
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The technical services division of the library comprises the cataloguing and classification unit and the serials unit and is headed by principal librarian. This division is responsible for this descriptive cataloguing and classification of all library resources which include print and non-print materials. Classified materials are given call marks according to the area of human knowledge to which they belong.

The cataloguing and classification unit organize the library collections using the library of congress classification scheme. The schedules, subject headings as well as the Anglo American Cataloguing Rules. The library utilizes the SLMA (Strategic Library Automation Management) software package to manage its operations including the catalogue database – the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC). The OPAC is the automated version of this card catalogue, the two catalogues are located on the ground floor for users convenience.

Usually, cataloguing and classification process referred to as “behind the scene” activities primarily aimed at creating access and easy retrieval of information resources available in this library. The unit achieve this goal through;

  • Prescriptive cataloguing
  • Classification by allocating class-mark according to the subject (determination of suitable class mark to identify and indicate subject content of materials).
  • Creating multiple access point to library holdings through subject, author, title and series entries.
  • Maintaining the catalogue database (OPAC) and catalogue cabinet.
  • Ensuring bibliographic control of publication maintaining the authority list.
  • Spine labeling and physical preparation of books of the shelves.
  • Displaying of newly acquired materials that have been proceed.

The serial unit manages the periodical materials acquired by the library for easy access and maximum use by library user. The periodical materials include journals, newsletters and newspapers most of which are subscribed to by the library. The activities performed by the serials unit include the following:-

  • Processing of journals and periodicals in the library through cataloguing and classification of received journals.
  • Managing journals and newspaper subscription.
  • Attending to queries by researchers using the serials collection.
  • Regular updating of records of journals in he kardex;
  • Ensuring proper record-keeping/statistics for the unit;
  • Shelving the journals,
  • Preparation of journal and other periodicals for binding;
  • Display of recent journal acquisitions
  • Stamping and recording of newspaper received by the unit.
  • Monitory the newspaper services of the library.
    • THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE

Information and knowledge are keys to economic development. The economic value of information or knowledge can be realized, where a much larger proportion of economic activities and workforce concerned with service rather than agriculture on industrial production (Col and Britz 2010). Information and knowledge are viewed as sources of pointer and productivity replacing land and capital, with an associated commodification of information or knowledge (Webster 2012) information and the ability to convert it into knowledge has become single most important factor and ability to convert it into knowledge has become single most important factor and ability needed to contribute to economic growth in this 21st century. The world has consequently moved from the age of hunter gather agrian and industrialization to information (knowledge society) economy. This shifting emphasis from manipulating materials, goods to manipulating knowledge economic society.

The terms, information society become a synonym of societal development since the 1980s, information society uses digital revolution in ICTs for face flow of information ideas and knowledge through the internet wireless technologies and libraries in other to build people centered inclusive development oriented information society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge society concept (Steh, 1994).

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  • OTHER INITIATIVE THAT FACILITATE ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION IN AFRICAN.

There are several international efforts that provides the poor developing world academic libraries including those in Africa, with a subsidized force access to the selected journals.

Negalation with publishers has resulted in journals database being made available for or at low cost through programme like research for life programmes which includes HINAR, and Dare coordinated by World Health Organization (WHO) Health International access to Research Initiative (HINAR) offers 7,500 health information resources in thirty (30) different languages are now available to health institutions in 105 countries (WHO, 2011) DARE (Online Access to research on the environment is coordinated by the United Nations environment programme (UNEP) and provide over 2990 per reviewed title (as of 4/2009) in more than 100 low income countries (UNEP, 2011) led by the food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), access to Global Outline Research in Agriculture provide a collection of 1900 journals to institution in 107 countries (FAO, 2011).

Another initiative is the programme for the environment of research information (PER) through international network for this available scientific publications (INASP). The PER programme offers access to over 14,000 journal tittles from 11 publishers plus approximately 20 database with country licenses available in Nine (9) countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe (NASP, 2011).

 

  • THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIES

A well established library is essential for any academic institution. As a focal point for teaching learning and research, it is expected to provide standard information resources. Today, academic libraries are struggling to keep their place as the major sources of inquiry in the face of emerging digital technology. Digital technology has revolutionized not only the way information is packed, processed, stored, and disseminated, but also how users seek and access information.

Academic libraries no longer restrict themselves to print services such a collection development, cataloging and classification, circulation and reference services, current awareness selective dissemination, and other bibliographic services, but have extended their efforts to interdisciplinary concept and computer software and hardware and telecommunication engineering and technology.

Academic libraries provide the information needs of students, researchers, lecturers, and users that may find it useful.

2.10   THE ROLE OF INNOVATIVE LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION SERVICES IN THE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

       Management libraries are facing a piquant situation and unforeseen challenges in this age of information technology. They are reeling under pressure to fulfill their obligation of meeting the diverse information needs of clienteles. ICT has brought in sweeping changes in the traditional way libraries are functioning. Libraries need to evaluate, measure the impact of information technology. This will equip them with the knowledge of turning this information.

There is change in all ramifications, from information society to knowledge society. And of all, more immediate impact than the globalization and commodification of mass media.

With innovation in library services there is direct application to libraries, management libraries are becoming lean and agile libraries that streamline information supply. The pervasive nature of internet, coupled with platform independent database connectivity, is making library portals more and more effective

Online Resources: Knowledge Management and the Role of Libraries

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