Strategies for Combating Deterioration of Library Materials

STRATEGIES FOR COMBATING DETERIORATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS BY USERS IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES (A CASE OF NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, AWKA)

This literature review on the strategies for combating deterioration by users in academic library is discussed under the following headings:

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  1. Deterioration
  2. Library theft
  • Security and protection system
  1. Physical security
  2. Entrances
  3. Causes of deterioration

 

  • DETERIORATION

Joan M. Reitz (2004) defines deterioration as a damage that occurs to an item by physical, chemical or biological means after it has been produced, usually over a period of time. Deterioration implies that things are falling apart, something once in good condition is now weakened, worn out or otherwise in decline. Things often undergo deterioration because of neglect.

Time also has a lot to do with deterioration, museum curators are always worried about stopping the deterioration of their prized antiquities like the ancient Egyptian mummies that should not be exposed to air.

 

  • BOOK THEFT

From the earliest time to the present, book theft has been the greatest problem facing libraries. Library book is as old as libraries themselves because even in ancient Egypt, writing on papyrus and leather were restricted to tombs and temple, archive rooms were under lock and key to prevent them from theft, so this problem is not new to librarians.

Nwalor (2003) says that book theft in libraries is a universal problem and is very common to all types of libraries, it persist inspite of orientation talks at the beginning of every academic session and despite carefully spelt out library rules and regulations.

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Though there is little, a library can do to stop a determined theft; it must do its best to reduce to the barest minimum the rate at which its books are stolen.

 

  • SECURITY AND PROTECTION SYSTEM

The use of locks and barred windows are techniques for protecting the household. The areas in library that suppose to safeguard is books.

In relatively under developed countries, security technology generally is in rudimentary forms such as barred windows, locks and elementary personnel security measures. We have different types of security systems:

  1. Residential security: House can employ security such as monitoring of elevators, house properties and the use of trained guards.
  2. Security functions are protection against book theft, mutilation etc.

 

  • PHYSICAL SECURITY

Fayose (2009) says for any academic library to run an efficient service, sufficient and qualified personnel are required. It can be through location of entrances, buildings, limiting the number and a through careful attention to exist. Physical security could also be lock to prevent or control access lighting system to an surveillance and to deter illegal entry and the erection of fences.

  • ENTRANCES

Entrances and exits happen to be traffic pattern in library, it supposed to have two entrances one entrance for entry while the other one will be for exit so that it can help the library security to monitor the library materials.

Lincoyn (2000) believes that combination locks help to reduce unauthorized entry by staff, that is, if the combination is not contributed freely. Door construction should be strong enough to resist any kind of damage.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe University Library, Awka has big entrance that there is no way library users can go out with their materials unassigned without the security seeing them.

 

 

  • CAUSES OF PAPER DETERIORATION

There are factors responsible for deterioration in the library:

  1. The inherent factors
  2. Environmental factors
  • The biological factors

 

  • PROTECTION OF LIBRARY RESOURCES

The protection can be controlled through library administrative:

  1. Policies and security control
  2. Maintaining of the library resources by the professional librarian like computer, non-book materials etc.
  • Weeding their materials at the appropriate time.

Okoye view that duties of the guard will be to check illegally taken, library materials, recovery overdue books and turn away unregistered readers among others. This helps the security men to concentrate attention on the place.

 

  • SUMMARY OF REVIEW

The library services as a social and intellectual process should rely on awareness of people regarding the utility of service. If the library security is poor, no matter how fully other functions are satisfied certain people will steal. This may increase the demand for materials; students may become frustrated away at the end resort to vandalizing materials.

It could increase a spiral effect in books and lack of the materials in the library. Deterioration is bad to library materials or resources.

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