The purpose of this paper is to measure the competencies of libraries in Nigerian universities, identify constraints to their performance and recommend infrastructures and competencies required. Institutional accreditation has compelled academic libraries in Nigerian to improve their quality, competencies and performances for accountability.
A questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. The population of the study was all the university librarians in the 89 universities in Nigeria that the author selected from federal, state and private universities. Of the 81 sets of questionnaires emailed, 49 were returned, which represents a 60.5 per cent response rate and provides the working population of the study. Data were analysed using frequency tables, simple percentages and bar charts.
The results indicate that academic libraries and librarians in Nigeria are competent in three key areas – educational roles, professional development and research. However, they are not very effective in the provision and use of library resources in cyberspace, adequate funding, collection development and information technology skills. The main constraints are: poor Internet penetration, low bandwidth, unreliable power supply and weak Internet proficiency. This paper suggests that adequate funding, benchmark performance and multi-skilling can serve as strategies against these constraints in developing regions.
This study contributes to library staff assessment because it links strategic objectives to performance measures and associated long-term targets. It broadens issues which affect sustainable performance in academic libraries in Nigeria, as well as in Africa and other developing countries.
While performance measurement is well established in developed countries, it is less or not so well established in Nigeria and other developing countries. The current research seeks to develop a performance measurement framework for academic libraries that is testable and expandable to Nigeria and the whole African context.
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