What are your roles in the system as librarian?
As the university librarian, my roles are very dynamic, in the sense that as a custodian of information in the university, I strived to support the teaching, learning and research output of Skyline University Nigeria. This is done by supporting the quest for new knowledge through scholarship and dissemination of knowledge through teaching and research.
I collaborate and work closely with the university management and other faculty members to prioritize and focus on future library developments. Also, I developed a vision to ensure that the library embodies a model of modern librarianship so as to achieve the mission and vision of SUN.
Similarly, I serve as an ambassador for our library by developing partnerships with other academic libraries for further collaboration because no single library can stand on its own.
In a layman’s language, I oversee collection, acquisition and development, budgeting, staffing, the maintenance and formation of state, regional, national, and international partnerships, library services, physical space, information technology adoption and development and strategic planning.
Lastly, you have to know that Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan, the father of librarianship, advocated that library users have no barrier to their information needs, as such, we must serve as a link between library patrons and their needs at all cost.
How would you help students conduct research?
Our library is a modern library with state-of-the-art facilities. It has a conducive study environment with spacious desks and natural light. It houses an extensive collection of information resources that cut across all the Programmemes offered in the university. The library provides access to quality resources and innovative services to stimulate creativity and intellectual curiosity.
Like I told you earlier, the aim of any academic library, is to serve its patrons through all the necessary means. The library users are our treasures, and we do give them a special orientation on how to use our library effectively. We give them a tailored-made services through Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), Current Awareness Services (CAS), Research Support Information Service (RSIS) and Query Based Service (QBS). Similarly, we have subscribed to a number of reputable database like Ebscohost, ProQuest, Ebrary and IGI among others and do train the users on how to access these database. We even linked video contents to our portal so that they will be able to master the art of searching for information via database.
Additionally, apart from the privilege of borrowing library resources given to our users, we also give out core textbooks to our students for all the individual courses they will offer in a semester. The core textbooks normally contains 70-80 per cent of their curriculum per semester. And we allowed them to use the core textbooks for the entire semester. This allowed the students to study ahead of their faculties. Lastly, members of our library team are friendly and always ready to help and guide users accordingly.
How can the librarian and teacher work together to enhance students’ learning?
Teachers use classroom instruction and presentation to help students learn and apply concepts taught in the class while librarians are saddled with the task of taking care of teachers’ and students’ needs. Both the teachers and librarians reshape and enhances student learning ability in many ways.
Do you think the physical attributes of the library make a difference to the students?
Of course, let me tell you something, the entire university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. The library serves as a hub and citadel of learning in any academic institution. The physical structure of the library is the first thing to consider followed by the content and services rendered to its users.
Here we have a very conducive atmosphere couple with rich content which are in hard and soft copies.
Finally, what technology/skills are required for library support staff presently?
You have to understand that emergence of technological infrastructures has drastically changed the way our students presently sought, accessed and used information. Today we actually have users who are “digital natives” or “millennial” which means they are conversant and sophisticated when using ICT facilities in accessing information resources. Using ICTs for educational purposes is becoming a common expectation of the 21st century students.
Since our users have changed, we as librarians must change and if not, we will definitely become irrelevant. That is why, we must go with current trend of librarianship in order to be on the same page with our users. Our library have state-of-the-art facilities like RFID and the issue of checking-out and checking-in are all automated.
Additionally, our staff are well-equipped and sophisticated in terms of the current trend of librarianship. This has significantly reshaped and boosted our services as expected.