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A CRITICAL STUDY ON THE MARKETING OF LIBRARY SERVICES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN NIGERIA

  • Project Research
  • 1-5 Chapters
  • Quantitative
  • Mean and Standard Deviation
  • Abstract : Available
  • Table of Content: Available
  • Reference Style: APA
  • Recommended for : Student Researchers
  • NGN 3000

Background to the Study

Libraries are a country's knowledge and information basis. A library gathers, organizes, and makes information resources available to people of various ages, backgrounds, and interests. According to Islam (2004), a library is a learned institution with treasures of knowledge that is maintained, organized, and managed by trained personnel in order to continuously educate children, men, and women and assist in their self-improvement through effective and prompt dissemination of information. There are several types of libraries, each with its own set of services to satisfy the specific requirements and goals of the people they serve (Ode and Omokaro 2007). Academic libraries, public libraries, special libraries, school libraries, and private libraries are among these libraries.

Academic libraries, according to Uwaifo (2010), are those founded and maintained by higher education institutions such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, nursing schools, petroleum training institutes, and schools of health technology. He also mentioned that the goal of building an academic library is for it to serve the curriculum of the tertiary schools that founded it. They are an important element of the educational community. He went on to say that the academic library is the parent body's information nerve center. According to Aina (2004), the primary goal of an academic library is to assist the academic environment's goals in the areas of learning, teaching, and research service. Academic libraries, according to Jubb and Green (2007), have played a key role in promoting research in all areas and disciplines inside their host universities and colleges for centuries. An academic library can provide the following services: Circulation of materials, shelf management, user education programs, information services provision, and operation of the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), exhibitions and displays, reader's inquiry services, Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), trainings and internet services, bibliographic services, indexing services, abstracting services, access to electronic resources, and document delivery services

The usefulness and efficiency of an academic library's services are mostly decided by library customers. When Aina (2004) remarked that the user is highly important in the practice of librarianship, he was recognizing this truth. Without clients, no library can exist. A library's full human and material resources are put in place at a significant cost with the goal of offering excellent services to library patrons. The library, for its part, is responsible for ensuring that its materials and services are utilized (Edoka, 2000). The user is seen as the most reasonable source for determining whether or not the library is fulfilling its mission. The provision of exceptional service to its users should be the mission statement of each academic library. There are several types of library users at higher education libraries. They include students, postgraduates, lecturers, researchers, and external users from a variety of backgrounds and occupations.

Academic libraries, on the other hand, must sell their services to users. Libraries are no longer the only source of information. They must now compete for clients with the internet, bookstores, and online book dealers, as well as the desire for more efficient services and user demands. Client requirements must be understood, service supply must be planned, available services must be promoted, and services must be delivered efficiently and effectively. Marketing is the most important instrument for doing this.

Marketing is defined in a variety of ways. According to Sharma and Bhardwaj (2009), marketing is a system of interconnected commercial operations that is used to design, advertise, and distribute want-satisfying products and services to current and future clients. Marketing, according to Kolter (1994), is a social and management process through which individuals receive what they want and desire by generating, providing, and trading products and services. A library is worthless if no one uses it. To succeed, users must be made aware of the library's benefits in terms of providing information resources and services. Marketing is all about staying in contact with customers and keeping them informed about resources and services that are relevant to their needs. The effectiveness of academic library marketing depends mostly on persuading clients that the tools or databases are useful; they must comprehend the services and be passionate about how they will be beneficial (Noel & Waugh, 2002). To raise awareness of the academic library's worth, librarians must sell their services and resources to students and potential consumers. Major segments of the library's prospective clientele are likely unaware of all of the services available or have little comprehension of what is available.

As a result, marketing is critical to the academic library's success and survival. Every library's major focus should be on providing excellent customer service. Another reason why marketing is crucial for libraries is that good service may equal a successful marketing effort. Effective marketing allows customers to become aware of the library's services and the value they bring.

Marketing in a library setting has been viewed from various angles. For example, Ravichandran and Babu (2008) define marketing of library services as the process of planning, pricing, promoting, and distributing library products in order to create exchanges that benefit both the library and the patrons.

Nwegbu (2005) describes marketing in a library context as developing and presenting library books and non-book resources in terms of the wants and desires of library users, as well as employing successful ways to encourage, inform, and serve current and new library clients. Weigard (1995) sees library marketing as a process of exchange and a strategy to strengthen the library-community collaboration. User objectives, expectations, individuality, responsiveness, connection, service quality, professional abilities, competences, and value added services are all factors to consider while marketing library and information services. According to Basanta&Sanjah (2008), marketing's ultimate goal is to offer the appropriate information to the right user at the right moment. The success and efficiency of a library are determined by the services offered, not by the size of the library or the number of personnel and information items accessible.

Libraries and information centers have acknowledged the need of promoting information services. This is due to the fact that knowledge has become an extremely valuable resource. Marketing ideas should be instilled in the administration of libraries and information centers. As a result, librarians and libraries must shift their focus from information supplier to information user (Iwhiwho, 2008). They would be able to realize their purpose and provide higher quality services to their consumers as a result of this. Librarians must now behave like businessmen, delivering high-quality services and advertising them to their consumers at the appropriate time and place. Libraries are under danger as worthy information providers as a result of increasing technical problems and societal shifts. As a result of these problems, librarians must now demonstrate why they are critical to their organizations' long-term existence and viability. This may be accomplished most effectively by actively selling their services. The marketing mix must be used in order to properly advertise library services. The marketing mix is a collection of factors used to promote a product or service. Product, pricing, location, and promotion are all part of the marketing mix. In library content, a product is described as a service provided to consumers to meet their information needs. Information professionals' main services include providing user assistance, acting as a liaison between users and library resources, such as information skills programs, selective information dissemination, user education services, photocopy services, bibliographical services, cataloguing services, reference services, photocopy services, current awareness services, and internet/computer services.

The quality of services and goods provided to patrons determines the library's success. Bushing (1995) backed up this claim by stating that the library's success is determined by the quality and perfection of its products. She goes on to say that goods encompass all of the library's resources and services. The cost of making the thing is the price. Price refers to the amount of time it takes for a consumer to receive a goods. Libraries are not for profit businesses. Users of libraries indirectly pay for the services they utilize. They fund their education through tuition, taxes, grants, and contributions. These are sufficient grounds to meet consumers' information demands. In most cases, the advancement of information communication technology has demonstrated that location is a critical aspect in a library context. Any library may provide services to people from anywhere in the globe and at any time of day thanks to the internet. Every academic library should include internet access in their collections. The library's atmosphere and personnel must be user-friendly. Simply said, promotion is the process of alerting people about the advantages of using library resources and services. Advertising, public relations, incentive, and environment are the five aspects of promotion.

Nolan (1998) recommended librarians to start their own businesses. Librarians must not wait for individuals who have no knowledge how libraries are run and who are uninterested in their work to intervene on their behalf. She believes that libraries should be administered like businesses and that professional librarians should be managers. However, librarians and information workers must be highly skilled in marketing library services in order to achieve these goals. This is because competence is the key to overcoming developmental obstacles in the corporate sector in any work environment. Chandra (Chandra, 2011). The degree of competence among the librarians at a library has a significant impact on the success of the library. Many librarians, according to Mailese (1995), lack professional comprehension of the marketing idea and its application to their industry. This might be due to a lack of proper marketing training and instruction for librarians in library schools. It is now very vital to include marketing in the library school curriculum. Librarians should also be given periodic lectures, trainings, and workshops on marketing and information and communication technologies.

Due to a lack of funds, most university libraries do not place a high priority on marketing library and information services. The problem of inadequate finance is exacerbated by the fact that academic library administration does not always have a timely and constant budget for library management, much alone a budget for library marketing. There is also inconsistent and insufficient internet connectivity. Furthermore, most library administrators do not fully get the notion of marketing; they believe that marketing is only applicable to for-profit businesses and not to libraries. In light of these obstacles, university libraries must employ various marketing tactics to promote their services. Creating a library web page, sending e-mails to users, exhibits and displays of new arrivals, the use of pamphlets and posters, user education, providing electronic access to information, and arranging library week are examples of such strategies. Additionally, funding should be set aside for the promotion of library services.

Libraries must provide user-oriented services in order to properly identify, fulfill, enlighten, educate, and market the genuine value of library services to users. Users should be informed about the library's numerous services and how they may use them to become lifelong learners. Librarians must use the marketing mix, which includes venue, product, pricing, and promotion, to achieve these goals.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is impossible to overstate the importance of marketing library and information services. The existence of libraries, on the other hand, is being questioned. This is due to the fact that information access is now extremely fast and heavily reliant on technology (Chandra, 2011). Users nowadays choose to get their information on the internet rather than going to the library. Libraries must rethink their offerings in order to keep up with the information age. Libraries must transition from a paper-based to a digital-based means of giving information to its patrons (Iwhiwho, 2008).

The various services accessible at libraries are not well known by users. Libraries have failed to provide users with the necessary information. The services offered are not user-friendly.

As a result, the library's services are either not used or are used inefficiently (Chandra, 2011). These have far-reaching repercussions. Users are unable to identify, access, or realize their information needs as a result of this. This can also lead to poor quality teaching, learning, and research in our higher education institutions. As a result, they are unable to keep up with the pace of globalization. When these services are used, they will be able to advance in their occupations while also being life-long learners (Iwhiwho, 2008). Currently, it appears that no study has been conducted to establish the most efficient and successful strategy to promote library services in Imo State University's academic libraries. Because marketing isn't emphasized in most library school curricula, librarians may struggle to promote their services.

As a result, research into the most effective and efficient strategies to sell library services in university libraries is required.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate marketing of Academic libraries services in Imo state University, Imo state.

The specific purposes of this study are:

  1. To determine the need for marketing library services in academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state.
  2. To determine library services for marketing in Academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state.
  3. To examine the extent of marketing library services in Imo state University, Imo state.
  4. To determine current techniques employed by academic libraries in marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state.
  5. To inquire into the competencies required of librarians in marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state.
  6. To determine problems militating against marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state.
  7. To examine strategies for enhancing marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state.

1.4 Research Questions

This following research questions guided this study:

  1. What are the needs for marketing academic library services in Imo state University, Imo state?
  2. What library services are available for marketing in academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state?
  3. To what extent are library services marketed in academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state?
  4. What current techniques are employed in marketing of library services in academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state?
  5. What competencies are required of librarians in marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state?
  6. What problems are militating against marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state?
  7. What are the strategies to be adopted for the enhancement of marketing of library services in Imo state University, Imo state?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be significant to the following: all academic institutions, administration, library committees, librarians, users and researchers. In specific terms the findings will be significant to academic institutions administration in the area of policy formulation by providing a road map on the information resources and services to be provided to users in order to satisfy their information needs. It is hoped that that it will create awareness to the library committee as regards the strategies to enhance effective marketing of library services to users.

This work will also educate librarians on how to effectively and efficiently market library products and services.  It will also assist them in identifying their lapses and hence improve on their services by attracting, satisfying, and retaining users in the library. The findings will also be useful to users by creating awareness on the various services available in the library. The users will get an improvement in the services offered as a result of the recommendations of this study. The research will also contribute to the existing body knowledge in marketing library services and build on the knowledge of the problems in academic libraries in Nigeria. The findings of this study will provide background information for other researchers researching on various marketing techniques in Nigeria libraries.

1.6 Scope of the Study

In terms of geographical scope, the study will be restricted to academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state.  In terms of content, it will investigate marketing library and information services in academic libraries in Imo state University, Imo state.  It will cover the need for marketing library services, services rendered in academic libraries, current techniques employed in marketing of library services, competencies required by librarians in marketing of library services, problems encountered in marketing of library services and strategies for enhancement of marketing library services.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.





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