AN ASSESSMENT OF POLICIES AND SERVICES PROVISION TO THE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED USERS OF SOME SELECTED ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN EKITI STATE

 

AN ASSESSMENT OF POLICIES AND SERVICES PROVISION TO THE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED USERS OF SOME SELECTED ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN EKITI STATE

ABSTRACT

This study was on policies and services provision to the physically challenged users of some selected academic libraries in Ekiti State The study covered the following areas: Disability policy Standard, Policy Guideline for the visually impaired, Example of academic libraries with disability policy, Common features in disabilities Policy around the world, The Physically Challenged (Differently Able) and their information need, Effect of Library building and facilities on the physically challenged, Adaptive Technology for the physically challenged, Library services for the physically challenged and Essential features in developing library services for the physically challenged. The study consist of three research questions. The study adopted case study methodology to assess the opinion of five heads of academic libraries under study which constituted the research population. However, the research question were subjected to descriptive analysis involving tables and percentages. The findings revealed that were no disability policy in most (80%) academic libraries in Ekiti and there were no special resources for the physically challenged users as well. The study also revealed that some library buildings were of multiple story without adequate facilitates for the physically challenge to navigate through the libraries. This finding differs from ALA Disability Policy Principle and Standard for all libraries in the world. The researcher recommended among others that Academic library policy must be redesign to include disability resources and services in conformity with ALA standard, Library management should create a disability liaison office on the ground floor of their multiple story buildings and affiliate such office with any library for the disable across the country for resource sharing and Specially trained library staff to be employed to assist and monitor physically challenged users in the library.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE …………………………………………….………………..………DECLARATION…………..………………………………………………………CERTIFICATION………………………………….…………………………….

DEDICATION…………………………………………………………………….

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………….………………………..……

TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………………

LIST OF TABLES…………………………………..…………………………

ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………….

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study ………………………………………………………………………

1.2 Statement of the Problem ……………………………………………………………………….

1.3 Objectives of the Study ………………………………………………………………………….

1.4 Research Questions…. ………………………………………………………………………….

1.5 Assumption of the Study ……………………………………………………………………….

1.6 Research Hypotheses …………………………………………………………………………….

1.7 Significance of the Study ……………………………………………………………………..

1.8 research Methodology………………………………………………………….

1.9 Scope of the Study……………………………………………………………..

11.0 Limitation of the Study……………………………………………………….

11.1 Definition of Term……………………………………………………………

11.2 Organization of the Chapter………………………………………………….

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………..

2.2. Disability Policy Standard ………………………………………………………………..

2.3 Policy Guidelines for the Visually Impaired ………………………………………..

2.4 Example of academic libraries with disabilities policies ………………………..

2.5 Common Features in Disability policy around the world ……………………….

2.6 The Physically Challenged (Differently Able) and their information needs …

2.7 Effect of Library Building and Facilities on the Physically Challenged …….

2.8 Adaptive Technology (Ideal Facilities) for the Physically Challenged ……

2.9 Library Services for the Physically Challenged ……………………………………..

3.0 Essential Features in Developing Library Services for the Physically Challenged

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………….

3.2 Research Method Adopted for the Study ……………………………………….

3.3 Population of the Study ……………………………………………………………….

3.4 Sampling Size and Sampling Procedure ………………………………………..

3.5 Instruments for Data Collection ……………………………………………………

3.5.1 Questionnaire ………………………………………………………………………….

3.5.2 Observation …………………………………………………………………………….

3.6 Validity of the Instrument ……………………………………………………………

3.7 Procedure for Data Collection ……………………………………………………..

3.8 Procedure for Data Analysis ………………………………………………………..

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

4.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………….

4.2 Response Rate ……………………………………………………………………………

4.3 Categories of Physically Challenged Users of some selected Academic Libraries in Ekiti State

4.4 Availability of Disability Policy and its Level of Implementation in some selected Academic Library in Ekiti State

4.5 Types of Special Resources/Devices Available for the Physically Challenged Users of some selected Academic Libraries in Ekiti State

4.6 Types of Special Services Provided for the Physically Challenged Users of some selected Academic Libraries in Ekiti State

4.7 Types of Library Building

4.8 Challenges faced in rendering services to the physically challenged users with the Available Facilities of the Library in Ekiti State. …

4.9 Factors Needed to Enhance Effective and Efficient Library Service for the Physically Challenged Users of some selected Academic Libraries in Ekiti State  ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 50

CHAPTER FIVE:SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction. …………………………………………………………………………..

5.2 Summary of the study. ……………………………………………………………..

5.2 Summary of the findings …………………………………………………………..

5.3 Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………..

5.4 Recommendations ……………………………………………………………………..

5.4 Suggestions for further study……………………………………………………….

References ……………………………………………………………………………………

APPENDIX I ………………………………………………………………………………….

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The importance of information to the success of any academic institution cannot be over-emphasized. In an academic community, information is used for learning, teaching, research and leisure. Ajiboye and Tella(2007) pointed out that information is used primarily for academic purpose hence, valuable information to students determine to a very large extent their success and future development. Academic libraries which are attached to tertiary institutions to support the Teaching, Learning and Research processes in such institution must be capable of supporting research activities among students and faculty members. Library services is an embodiment of policy and facilities which will ensure a conducive environment. This signifies that for the library to be effective, it requires a well documented and easily articulated guide called information policy. The essence of a policy remains very pertinent because it is seen to constitute a working directive, embedded documents and yardstick for future improvement, modification and review.

Therefore policy is a set of rules written to govern the activities of an organization, to maintain standard and avoid inconsistencies. The policy is used to measure the extent to which an organization performs its functions, meet its objectives in its systems and services (Gorman and Howes 1989) Policy helps to protect and guide resource managers in selection, acquisition, preservation, weeding, gift and exchange and resource sharing.

Library policies are laid down rules and guideline for the operation and management of information centre‟s or Libraries. The policy is a written statement which guides the information resources manager in acquiring information resources in the library. It promotes collection and enhances the acquisition of relevance information resources. Htwe (2007) opined that a policy is a set of principles which guide decision making. Policy in broadest sense is seen as a set of rules and strategies‟ that guide a course of action for the achievement of a given goal and such can be developed by an organization or an institution. A policy statement is a kind of framework and set of parameters within which staff and users work. Library policy is a guideline on how to provide answers to what, how, when, where libraries should acquire, select and manage their human and material resources, it is an important step towards having an effective library. The policy serves as a reference point for the staff to consult when deciding on what to acquire or discard, the policy can help assure continuity and ease transition from one librarian to another .It also helps provide a means of staff self evaluation or for evaluation by outsiders. It can serve as a shield against complaints with regard to inclusion or exclusions of service delivery. According to International Federation of Library Association (IFLA,2001) policy serves many functions which include; aiding selection of relevance materials, forcing the staff involved to consider the aims and objectives of the organization both long and short term, and the priorities to be attached to different activities, assists with budgeting, serves as communication channel within a library and between the library and outside constituents. It also supports cooperative collection development, prevents censorship and also assists in overall collection management activities including the handling of gifts, de-selection of materials and serial cancellation.

Disability Policy on the hand is a Library policy for the physically challenged which serves as a guideline on how best to serve the physically challenged users of the library in terms of building, collections and services provision. The purpose of disability policy in any library is to enable them function effectively in providing adequate information resources and services for the physically challenged to develop the ability left in them and to encourage the individual to accept disability and make the best of the situation.

There are physically challenged or differently able (disable) persons in Nigeria. World Health Organization (WHO 2012) estimates put the number of people with disability in Nigeria at 19 million of the country‟s population. This figure is too large to be excluded from the policy framework of the country and that of its academic institutions. There is no form of social protection for the physically challenged or differently able (disabled) persons in Nigeria which exacerbates the level of poverty that they encounter. The Ministry of Education and other ministries in Nigeria only treat disability issues on a charity/welfare approach even though the society is aware that malnutrition, disease, environmental hazards, traffic and industrial accidents, civil conflict and war are the major causes of disabilities, and the number of people with disabilities continues to increase.

Academic institutions and its libraries on the other hand as agent of socialization and civic responsibilities, are not supposed to discriminate against individuals with disabilities, but this is not visible in Nigeria where the physically challenged students and staff in various institution of learning have to struggle to move around the campus with the help of their peers as there is no standard operating procedure at the institutions, nor has there been any disability-friendly policy been formulated by their governing bodies like National University Commission (NUC) for academic institution and its library. It might be understandable if this was the case in a handful of academic institutions.

Lawal (2012) stressed that academic libraries fail to display vital information resources and accessible building with interior layout for users with wheelchair and the blind to navigate through the library. Physically challenged students do not desire top-notch special facilities for themselves, but only the basics for getting educated. Yet many academic libraries fail to provide such assistive resources, proper ramps, exclusive or public space for them. It seems that most library buildings in Nigeria institutions have been constructed to virtually prevent persons with disabilities from entering them. Moreover, where they can actually get inside, the interior layouts are often done in ways that barely offer them any freedom to move. Going from one floor to another is a distant dream. Due to this gross, a large portion of students in every institution are deprived of proper library accessibility (Leadership Newspaper, 2012). And library is supposed to serve as instruments for education, research and information that are essential for the development of the nation as a whole and the individual in particular without any discrimination.

The role of library in the life of person with disability cannot be overemphasized because with accurate qualitative information, proper motivation and special attention, people with severe disabilities can lead productive and fulfilling lives. Many famous people have overcome physical impairments to make major contributions to humanity through the aid of adequate and relevance information from libraries in their respective countries.

The American inventor, Thomas Edison perhaps one of the greatest inventors in history was deaf in his life time. Franklin D. Roosevelt paralyzed in both legs by polio at the age of 39 years he still became President of the United State, Helen Keller became blind, deaf and mute before the age of 2years but learned to read write and speak , devoted her life to helping the deaf and blind. Thus freedom, prosperity and development of society can only be attained if the citizen is well informed irrespective of his or her physical statues. Disability Policy ensures that all buildings intended for use by the physically challenged are accessible, and that other facilities to assist them are available where required.Although, the policy requires a periodic assessment of its premises to evaluate the effectiveness of the steps taken to achieve access to its buildings and services. These assessments will include consultation with disabled people and will result in a timed action plan where required. Therefore absence of a disability policy in a library will negatively affect the library service provision to the physically challenged users. This is because the acquisition of resources and services of such library will be influenced by the available documents (Policy) guiding its operation, which will cause marginalization of these special persons in the library. In view of these, it is therefore necessary to carry out a research which will help in assessing the policies, facilities and services provision to the physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The American Library Association (ALA) (2001) recognizes that “people with disabilities are many. According to ALA (2001), „library must not discriminate against any of its users‟ therefore since academic institutions is still enrolling new students irrespective of their physical challenges, the information needs of all should be well attended to in our various library services,  although this is not visible in Ekiti State which is one of the state with high number of academic institutions. In the preliminary study conducted, it was observed that the policies of academic libraries in Ekiti State did not include facilities and services for the physically challenged persons, no special resources/devices (disability materials) such as Braille materials, talking books, wheelchairs, reading glasses and other reading aids for the visually impaired.

Another problem is the issue of library buildings. Some of academic libraries in Ekiti State are of multiple floors which lack necessary facilities such as ramps, railings, special washrooms and other necessities to assist persons with various disabilities. The interior layouts of these building are often done in ways that barely offer them any freedom to move round the library yet the library slogan in the world is “library for all‟. If truly the library is for all, how can a library with multiple story building are accessed by the physically challenged persons in our various institutions? It seems that most academic library buildings have been constructed to virtually prevent the physically challenged persons from entering them. It is on this note, that the researcher is conducting a research to assess the policies and services provision for the Physically Challenged users of these selected Academic Libraries in Ekiti State. (Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State University Ado Ekiti, College Of Education Ikere Ekiti, AfeBabalola University Ado-Ekiti  and Crown Polytechnic Ado Ekiti).

 

The general objective of this study is to assess the policies guiding the provision of facilities and services to the physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State.

 

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study include:

  1. To assess the policies guiding the provision of facilities and services to

physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State.

  1. To identify types of library building, facilities and services available for the

physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State.

  1. To evaluate the challenges faced in rendering the available facilities and

services for physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State

1.4 Research Questions

This study sought answers to the following research questions:

  1. What are the policies guiding the provision of library facilities and services to physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State?
  2. What types of building, facilities and services are available for the physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State?
  3. What are the challenges faced in rendering the available facilities and services for physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State?

 

1.5Assumptionsof the Study

  1. The outcome of this study will help the Nigerian tertiary institution (Ekiti State inparticular) libraries to assess the available policies and services provided for physicallychallenged users and to adopt the practices that are most effective and efficient particularly to the physically challenged users of the library.
  2. It will provide an insight of possible solution to the problem or challenges encountered bythe physically challenged user in accessing library facilities and services.
  3. The study will serve as a reference material for library authorities in Ekiti State inestablishing suitable policies and services that will not discriminate against any user regardless of his or her physical or mental status

1.6 ResearchHypotheses

  1. There is no significant policies guiding the provision of library facilities and services to physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State?
  2. There is no significant building, facilities and services are available for the physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State?
  3. There are no significant challenges faced in rendering the available facilities and services for physically challenged users of academic libraries in Ekiti-State

 

 

 

1.7 Significance of the Study

The outcome of this study will help the Nigerian tertiary institution libraries to assess the available policies and services provided for physically challenged users and to adopt the practices that are most effective and efficient particularly to the physically challenged users of the library. It will provide an insight of possible solution to the problem or challenges encountered by the physically challenged user in accessing library facilities and services. It will also enlighten the librarians to know how best to assist the physically challenged users in meeting their information needs. Also it will help the tertiary institution to know the importance of funding the library collection especially those materials that are needed by the physically challenged members of the institutions. The study will serve as a reference material for library authorities in Nigeria in establishing suitable policies and services that will not discriminate against any user regardless of his or her physical or mental status.

 

1.8 Research Methodology

The primary data and secondary source of data would be appropriate means of eliciting information from the respondent in the area of study through the help of the questionnaires. Case Study method was adopted for this study. According to Osuala (2001), Case Study in qualitative research focused on providing a detailed account of one or more cases. According to Creswell (2003), Case Study in qualitative research takes place in the natural setting. The qualitative researcher often goes to the site of participants to conduct the research in order to enables the researcher to be more detailed about the individual or place and be highly involved in the actual experiences of the participants. Stake (1995) opined that Case Studies are bound by time and activity and thus, its helps the researcher to collect detailed information using a validity of data collection procedures over a sustained period of time.

Therefore Case Study method enabled the researcher to obtain data from the selected libraries which is used to represent the entire population in Ekiti-State.

 

1.9 Scope of the Study

The study is on the Assessment of Policy and Services Provision to Physically Challenged users of some selected academic libraries in Ekiti-State. This study was limited to Ekiti-State and to six selected academic libraries of the state such as Ekiti State Library,Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State University Ado Ekiti, College Of Education Ikere Ekiti, AfeBabalola University and Crown Polytechnic Ado Ekiti.

 

1.10Limitation of the Study

In carrying out this study, the limitation that is imminent and obvious is the non-disclosure of the official secret usually refers as government gazette by the public institutions. Meeting was going on with the library staffs in some of the library rooms when the researcher got to some of the school library and the researcher had to wait and be patient for the Liberian to be through with the staffs in order to take permission and administer the questionnaire. And after the meeting, the researcher was asked to come back the next day. Also the researcher had laptop but no printer; Because of some certain constraints such as inadequate timeframe, delay attitude of the respondents in terms of releasing information.The researcher had to find means of typing and printing out the research work. However, the researcher was able to bring the study to a reasonable conclusion.

 

1.11 Definition of Term

Library:Library according to oxford dictionary: is a collection of books in a room or building where books are kept. Or a similar collection of films, records, computer routines, etc. in tertiary institution to support teaching, learning and research. Adaptive Technology: information resources specially designed to assist/aid reading for person with physical challenges disable: A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movement, sense or activities.

 Disability policy: Guild on how to render services to person with physical challenges.Physically Challenged: Someone who has a problem with their body that makes it difficult for them to do thing that other people do easily.

1.12 Organization of the Chapter

The study comprises of five chapters. Chapter one focuses on background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions, assumption of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, research methodology, scope of the study,  limitations to the study, definition of terms and organization of chapters, Chapter two examines, literature review and theoretical framework. Chapter three discusses on the research methodology, Chapter four looks at data presentation and interpretation. Lastly, chapter five deals with summary, recommendation and conclusion

 

References

 

Aina, L.O (2004). Library and Information Science: Text for Africa; Ibadan Third

America Library Association ALA, (2001).Why an ALA Disability Policy? Why

An Effective library.Retrivedfrom :htt://sites google.com/site/charity

Bedi, M.K (2011) ‘Library and Information resources and

CILIP, (2006).Library and Information Services for the Disabled People: Charled

Conspectus Model: National Library of Canada.

Federal Republic of Nigeria, (1999).Constitution of the Federal Republic of

from :htt://www.unesco.org/new/en/. Handicap: A manual of classification relation to the consequences of disease; Genevahtt://www.cilip. org.uk/professional guidance/equal opportunities/brief.

Htwe, M. (2007).Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation of Health

IFLA, (2001) Guidelines for a collection Development Policy Using the

Institute of brary and Information Professionals. Available on line

Kar, C. (2006). Exceptional children. India: Sterling pub ltd

Lawal-Solarin, E. O (2012).A Survey of Library and Information Services to

Leadership Newspaper, (2012).Articled ‘Enabling the Disable.Lagos Nigeria.

Library Philosophy and Practice 2012 Retrived online http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/

Neave, C.(2006). The collection Development Policy as a Means of Constructing

neavejonson/education/webflovo/coll.Management/collection development policy. Nigeria, Federal Government Press: Lagos Nigeria

Nigeria.now America. Available on line ://www.ala.org

Oxford Dictionary: 7th Edition

Physically-Challenged Students in Academic Libraries.Ogun State, Nigeria.

Rao, S.O (2004). special Education; New Delhi A.P.H pub India

      Research: Retrieve d from http:www//searo. Who.Int/en/section 1234

Services Provision to the Physically Challenged.Kebbi State: Public

Switzerland.

UNESCO, (2012) .Access for people with disabilities, UNESCO publication Paris Retrieved

World Health Organization, (1980).International classification of impairment, Disability, and

World Information Services Limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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