The objective of this study is to examine the challenges of acquisition of library materials and services to the users in law library in Ekiti State University. Survey research design was employed for the study and with aid of convenient sampling selected forty-one(41) participant who are Law library librarian, dean faculty of law, law lecturers and other library staff in Ekiti State University as the sample size for this study. The sources of data collection was both primary and secondary with the application of questionnaires as an instrument to gather the necessary data. Textbooks, journals, articles, law reports, newspapers publications, were collected as secondary data, and also limitations to the study were indicated. The questionnaires were administered to the 41 participant of which 35 responses were retrieved validated and this was a basis by which the primary data were collected. Data was analyzed using mean and standard deviation as presented in frequencies and tables. Findings of the study problems militating against effective selection and acquisition of legal materials of Ekiti University Faculty of Law library such as, lack of funds, absence/poor implementation of collection development policy, lack of capacity building for library staff, lack of technical capabilities in the areas of online databases and electronic resources, high cost of legal materials and lack of bibliographic control of published legal sources. The study therefore concludes that The law library should develop acquisitions policy, in other words collection development policy, to guide them in the selection and acquisition of legal materials. More, so, the government and parent institutions should provide enough funds to the law library to enable it carryout the acquisition process effectively.
Background of the study
Acquisition of information resources otherwise known as Collection Development is a core activity of libraries the world over. In the academic library, the acquisition section performs the variety of function and it is the chief link to the other section of the library. The acquisition section of the academic library is one of the vital sections which deal with the collection development in a significant away that controls all the activities of the library. It is referred to as the heart bite of every library be it E- Library or the traditional library. The notion that innovation in information technology (e-library) in information palace will affect traditional methods of acquisitions has not come to play. Libraries still acquire and maintain massive book collections while managing other information formats (Adesanya & Agyen, 2015).
Despite prophecies of vanishing print collections and the emergence of the digital format, printed resources (books, etc ) still have a central role in library acquisition ( Carr, 2011). The term acquisition is commonly used to denote several processes of acquisition that focus on the techniques of acquiring library materials. Acquisition of library materials operates within the constraints of certain conditions that vary from one place to other.
Prytherch (2011) says that the process of planning a stock acquisition programme is not simply to cater for immediate needs but to build a coherent and reliable collection over a number of years to meet the objectives and the services of a library.Acquisition is a very important aspect of librarianship since the strength of a library’s collection solely depends on the information resources acquired. The acquisition librarians therefore have a tremendous role to play in maintaining a good collection as well as achieving organizational goals through acquisition of relevant information resources. If a library acquires good and relevant materials the benefits are enormous to both the library and the users, the library will have credibility and authority while the users will always find answers to their questions from such a library.The major source of acquisition is purchase, though information resources are also acquired through gifts and exchanges and legal deposit.
Importantly, because the legal researcher usually need to have the most up-to-date version of the law, as well as to be certain that an approved applicable case has not been overused by a higher court, or that a status has not been amended, repealed or found to be unconstitutional. Selection and acquisition of legal materials or publications becomes a necessity and rely on a variety of means for regular supplementation and up-dating.
In selecting and acquiring legal materials, problems like poor communication service, poor management of the library vote, poor quality of locally published books, inarticulate collection development policy etc are encountered. Both primary source materials such as Acts of parliament, Gazettes, Report of cases, Digest, volumes of statutes etc and secondary sources such as textbooks, casebooks, supplements, loose-leaf publications, encyclopedia, etc needs to be effectively and efficiently selected and acquired by qualified law librarians (Ali, Owoeye, & Anasi 2010) .
Statement of the problem
The present economic dislocation that is ravaging the entire world is also affecting the academic libraries in developing countries, According to Anunobi, (2012) the key challenges affecting the acquisitions of materials in academic libraries include: inadequate funding, economic dislocations, dearth of current books, due process, lack of current acquisition tools. Agyen-Gyasi et al. (2010) further indicate that special libraries in Nigeria Universities face several challenges including increasing costs of materials and limited budget (that reduces the amount of materials to be acquired). As the law collection began to grow and expand, the need to house the materials in a separate apartment that would be contiguous with the faculty of law became highly desirable if the law library was to justify its establishment and fulfill its major objective of serving the academic needs of the students and teachers of the law faculty. Obviously, Law is a specialized and highly technical subject and this attribute has made it the preserve of professional body of practitioners which makes it different from other disciplines in the social science group or other subject categories, hence the need for a balanced and up-to-date law library collection. However, selection and acquisition of resources into law libraries is bedeviled with problems. Therefore is it against this backdrop that this study seeks to the challenges of acquisition of library materials and services to the users in law library in Ekiti State University.
Objective of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the challenges of acquisition of library materials and services to the users in law library in Ekiti State University. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- To find out the types of legal materials acquired and selected at the faculty of law library.
- To ascertain those involved in the selection and acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library.
- To identify the tools used in the acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library.
- To find out the problems encountered in selection and acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library.
The research is guided by the following question:
- What types of legal materials are been selected and acquired at the faculty of law library?
- Who are the people involved in the selection and acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library?
- What kind of tools is used in selection and acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library?
- What are the problems encountered in selection and acquisition of legal materials?
Significance of the study
The findings of this study are expected to be of benefit to management and staff of national library of Nigeria, the Federal government, researchers, students, authors, lawyers, civil servants, publishers and students of library and information science. The findings of this work, if adopted may be of great benefit to the management of national library of Nigeria if the causes of the lapses in acquisition and utilization are revealed by correcting the errors especially in the area of legal deposit .Publishers will be pursued more vigorously to comply .Authors will be more enlightened about the benefits of depositing their publications with the National library.If they deposit their titles will be listed in the National Bibliography of Nigeria which is a good selection tool ,their works will be standard because it will have standard numbers for publications and so many other benefits For lawyers ,getting copies for evidence in court will no longer be an issue. It is only National library that gives certified true copies of documents and when they are not available it becomes a problem for the lawyers For students and researchers they will always have available resources which are readily available for their educational pursuits
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study borders on the challenges of acquisition of library materials and services to the users in law library in Ekiti State University. The study find out the types of legal materials acquired and selected at the faculty of law library it ascertained those involved in the selection and acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library. It will identify the tools used in the acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library and present the problems encountered in selection and acquisition of legal materials at the faculty of law library. The study is however delimited to Law Library, Law library librarian, dean faculty of law, law lecturers and other library staff in Ekiti State University.
Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited to Librarians and Law Library Users in in Ekiti State University as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence findings of the study cannot be generalize to other product. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.