02 Oct 2016

Challenges Facing The Library At West Africa Theological Seminary, Internet Of University Of Nigeri



The library has grown to become “a spot entrusted using the acquisition, business, conservation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information in whatever format it might appear” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, ix). West Africa Theological Seminary Library has reached the crossroad. The standard library methods and contemporary technical advances must be created and accepted if it is becoming appropriate in this information age. It is a really large cost which must be paid otherwise the library at some point come to be like the popular personality who slept for twenty years at Gasgill hill in Gulliver’s journeys and eventually woke up to discover globe totally altered.


A brief history associated with preceding seminary could possibly be realistically traced on historic visitation by two US missionaries (Rev. Dr. and Rev. Mrs. Gary Maxey) who led a group of Nigerian and expatriate Christians to Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria in April 1989. (The Maxeys had in the beginning worked creditably in spiritual training in Port Harcourt for seven many years). The establishment associated with seminary in 1989 ended up being a practical demonstration associated with need certainly to earnestly participate in it of pastors, evangelists, missionaries and educators not only in Nigeria and in other parts of the continent as well as the west. Currently, the seminary may be the biggest non-denominational evangelical holiness seminary in Nigeria which has had attracted pupils from a diverse spectral range of Nigerian Christian denominations, (and) cultural groups. During a recently completed semester, WATS features pupils from thirty of Nigeria’s says, from over forty language groups, from (a number of) various other African nations, and from well over eighty various chapel groups (western Africa Theological Seminary Prospectus 2004, 5).

Title associated with seminary ended up being altered from Wesley International Theological Seminary to western Africa Theological Seminary on 1 Summer 2001, similar year it relocated to 35/37 MM International Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria. The organization is affiliated on University of Nsukka, Nigeria and presently offers a number of programs of research including : Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Diploma in Theology, certification in Computer Studies, Diploma in Computer Studies, M.A. in Biblical Studies, Master of Divinity, M.A. in Christian Leadership and M.A. in Intercultural Studies. The seminary began publishing the western Africa Theological Seminary Journal in 2002.

One of several immediate plans associated with seminary will be automate its library collection. A crucial aspect will be recognize pc software which is capable meet the needs associated with seminary. In identifying pc software, the seminary must think in terms of networking and keep in mind automation programs usually need annual help charges.


It is a truism that “the library may be the neurological center of academic institutions” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, vii) and western Africa Theological Seminary Library is no exclusion. This library uses the next edition associated with Anglo-American Cataloguing procedures (AACR2) as well as the 20th edition of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC 20). The card catalog is divided, “a file of writers and brands kept in one alphabetical purchase and a file of topic cards in alphabetical purchase” (Newhall 1970, 38) as well as the filing system is letter by page, a method in which “entries tend to be submitted without taking into consideration the areas between terms” (Nwosu 2000, 61). There was a novel catalog, containing the projects (undergraduate and graduate) submitted by pupils associated with seminary and some members of staff who studied in other institutions.

In 2003 the library benefited from a registration paid by Asbury Theological Seminary to utilize the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Database on CD Rom. This will be an extensive device built to help spiritual training and professors research. The library serves pupils, scholastic and administrative staff associated with seminary and outside people (scholastic staff and pupils from other theological institutions).

Various other appropriate information include:


A. During term: Mondays to Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. ? 10:30 p.m.

B. Getaway: Mondays to Fridays: 9:00 a.m. ? 9:00 p.m.

NO OF BOOKS: 36,500

NO OF journal brands: 98



THE BOOK CATALOG: Projects (both card and guide catalog)



Utilizing the exclusion associated with presenter, WATS library is presently manned by seventeen members of staff, nine of who tend to be pupil employees. These pupil employees mostly operate in the nights, manning the security and blood circulation desks (although no outside borrowing is done in those times). In addition, they clean they library.


1. Instruction and recruiting expert librarians

Nine out from the seventeen members of staff tend to be pupil employees who utilize this chance to raise a significant part of their charges and, sometimes, some additional resources to maintain themselves while they pursue their theological studies. The presenter is unacquainted with any who may have expressed curiosity about the library profession. Providers rendered can’t be classified as expert. Unfortuitously, just two associated with regular members of staff have actually completed some type of library instruction in the senior promoting amount. The implication is the fact that the library is seriously in need of expert librarians otherwise it would continue steadily to operate sub-standard services. An irksome dimension is the fact that typically, junior members of staff that are into the bulk “are permitted to do expert responsibilities into the absence of suitable cadre who must do all of them” (Nwosu 2000, 103).

The card catalog for-instance will likely be regularly show the effect the paucity or not enough expert librarians is having on the library collection.

The most typical kind of library catalog in western Africa may be the card catalog and “there is certainly importance of (one) to learn the look associated with system to be able to put it to use successfully” (Nwosu 2000, 57). Difficult for the library will be keep a consistent filing rule. Although WATS library works the machine referred to as “letter-by-letter” or “all-through” technique, you will find evidences associated with various other technique, that is the “word-by-word” or “nothing before something”. The former may be the typical way of alphabetization, where B should always come before C. inside latter, the room between terms is taken into account considering that the focus is on each term. When it reaches the change associated with term into the alphabetic sequence, all its associates are thought along.

Marrying the two ways of filing or alphabetization could cost one the details this is certainly needed.
Another problem is misapplication associated with filing principles. The American Library Association Code (Rule 6) stipulates that “abbreviated terms must be submitted as though they certainly were spelled in full, with one exclusion, this is certainly, the abbreviation Mrs. St. is consequently submitted as though it had been spelled Saint, and Mc… as Mac” (Harrison and Beenham 1985, 82). The above rule is unfortuitously misapplied in WATS library. In the event that rule isn’t taken into consideration, the term scan will likely be submitted before St. when it should be the various other method round. Very much the same, the Dr. (physician) may also be submitted before down and not others method round.

A 3rd issue in filing (Rule 5) states that initials must be submitted before terms. (However, acronyms tend to be addressed as terms, including UNICEF, UNESCO, ECOWAS etc.) There are cases into the WATS catalog that this rule isn’t taken into consideration. A word like Aaron mistakenly comes before A.G.M and A.L.A.

It is frightening that there surely is no obvious area for ascending transportation of library staff. When you look at the absence of a professional plan of solution or marketing instructions, members of staff have worked in a single place because they obtained their appointment letters.

2. Computerizing the library

Some libraries in Nigeria have actually computerized their services. These include the Institute of Tropical Agriculture Library at Ibadan as well as the Federal Institute of Industrial analysis Library, Oshodi, Lagos. Other individuals, including WATS Library, take the verge of placing their automation plan into activity.
Automation can benefit the Acquisition, Cataloging and Serial Departments into the following techniques :
Acquisition : Automation can really help in investment control as well as in generation and dissemination of reports. Range of items, like the accession listing can also be imprinted.

3. Purchase

Purchase is normally thought as “the entire process of acquiring publications as well as other papers for a library, paperwork center or archive” (Prytherch 1986, 61). Incontrovertibly, it’s “one quite important features of any library system” (Ali 1989, 66). Some means of acquisition of library materials include buy, contribution, exchange, Legal Deposit Legislation and membership of expert businesses. Generally in most libraries in western Africa, it’s observed that
acquisition prices tend to be grossly inadequate to guide both teaching and research even when evaluated by minimal criteria acknowledged in created nations. Tries to alleviate the scenario with various types of help though intrinsically meritorious offer little a cure for long term improvement (Allen 1993, 232).

Contributed materials thoroughly stock western Africa Theological Seminary Library. Since beggars are not choosers, there is certainly a significant percentage of dated publications. There are lots of reading materials that aren’t also highly relevant to the general curriculum associated with seminary. Weeding ‘unwanted’ stock is a huge issue on library since there aren’t any suitable replacements.
An often-overlooked means of acquisition is membership of expert associations. In the event that library continues to distance itself from the expert sign-up of library institutions, it will not be aware of current styles into the pro that may adversely think on the sort and quality of services rendered.

4. Web connectivity

The WATS management circulated a page on 2nd January 2005 announcing a significant decrease (about 75%) associated with websites supplied on university. This is related to the reduction in the data transfer which caused it to be impractical to help all the former work stations. A technological blow ended up being dealt on library cyber café since it dropped prey to the choice. Pupils had been advised to utilize the cyber café on the ground flooring. The seminary management must offer the library with its embryonic phase to judiciously accept the brand new technology. Having said that, the theological librarians have actually a really important part “to ensure that the resulting using computers and telecommunication and any other proper technology contributes in cost efficient techniques to the requirements of grant and research since (they) possess expertise in obtaining materials in many different formats making all of them available for a variety of functions” (Simpson 1984, 38).

5. Online resources

An on-line resource that has been utilized at western Africa Theological Seminary (and which will be strongly suggested for other theological libraries in Africa) may be the US Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Index, helpful for accessing articles, reviews, essays, dissertations and monographs. Using databases, which overlap topic industries, this is certainly, interdisciplinary database researching, is an often over-looked element of online searching.Users of western Africa Theological Seminary Library would not have accessibility an incredible number of online learning resources because it is not subscribing to utilize these materials. An example of an essential online resource may be the Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC). This center, a bibliographic energy based in Dublin, Ohio is an international digital information co-operative serving about 39,517 libraries in seventy-six nations. It works an on-line Union Catalog. There are approximately twenty eight million cataloguing records as well as the database (using MARC tapes as well as other online feedback information for people) provides research services and interlibrary loan, qualifying it probably because the planet’s many comprehensive database of bibliographic information that creates the initial Search System whereby a library can sign up to thousands of scholastic and expert brands from about seventy publishers offered electronically.

6. Functional photocopier

Even though library features a photocopier, the equipment is often out-of-order. This second hand machine has to be replaced to allow the library to realistically reap the benefits of its services. The seminary management also took a decision recently at hand over photocopying services to students who’s presently operating a significantly better business.

7. Audio-visual collection

Audio visuals tend to be non-paper based information carriers. They are introduced into the library through advances in technology. They have been called audio-visuals simply because they need auditory and aesthetic admiration. Certainly one of their main benefits is saving a lot of information in a little area. Audio visuals include sound tapes, microforms, filmstrips, charts, slides, video clip tapes, tv an such like. Some of these attraction and then the sense of hearing (audios), some and then the picture (visuals) as well as others to both the auditory and aesthetic sensory faculties (sound visuals). Although WATS library has received many audio-visual materials, there is certainly need certainly to purchase the necessary supporting tools to help make the audio-visual collection a reality.

The seminary is getting a number of research tools in the form of CD ROMS for a large period. The library is yet to make these open to people by installing all of them in a practical computer system.

8. Bindery

It is a fact that “once almost everything is selected for the collection, the library promises to preserve it” (Goodrum and Dalrymple 1985, 65). The absence of a bindery collection within the library is adversely impacting the health of publications. It should be borne at heart that since a significant part of library materials tend to be donated, most are gotten in an exceedingly poor health.

The bindery may be really instrumental in binding straight back issues of newspapers and journals to facilitate a somewhat much easier storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.

9. User training

A significant weakness of library training may be the failure to teach people into the utilization of the library on most useful benefit. From experience, “surveys have shown that community using these types of tools as magazines tend to be minimal, mostly simply because they have never demonstrated an ability the way they work” (Jackaman 1989, 3). Many pupils in WATS have the seminary without an acceptable grasp of fundamental library concepts. This means that usually the one time orientation conducted at the beginning of every semester is inadequate.

10. Serial collection

Different journals subscribed to by the library tend to be selected, bought and gotten, prepared and shelved by this collection. It is constantly examined to find out if you will find any missing issues already due but haven’t been gotten in order to make these types of claims. This part additionally stocks magazine. The relevance of these an excellent collection into the library can’t be overemphasized. It is regrettable that WATS library isn’t subscribing to journals which explains exactly why there are many distinct spaces in periodical literary works. The library has reached the mercy of donors who usually send journals randomly.

Newspapers tend to be straight purchased by the WATS management that tend to be subsequently delivered to the library typically instead of your day of buy. This defeats the goal of newspapers because they come late on library. Offering present information ought to be the primary issue for the library or information worker. Consequently, “money should consequently be a necessity and not an option” (Wilson 1993, 636).

11. Heat into the library

Today’s temperature into the library is damaging on publications since humidity is a hazard for their success. If not dispersed periodically, fungi easily develop within the pages and damage the writing. Many scientists are unable to remain for a large period due to the vexation brought on by a really hot environment.

12. Web searching

If the library cyber café ended up being functioning, individual data of people indicated that ninety per cent of those who used the Internet did therefore to send mails and speak to buddies. The rest of the 10 percent put it to use to carry out research and do various other features. The insignificant portion that uses it for research needs heavily count on Google. Students and a library staff opined which they adopt the ‘google just’ approach because they are unaware of any various other cite.
It is observed that “most people find (information) through subscription-free the search engines such as for example Google” (Harding 2004). This over-reliance is a significant limitation. The effectiveness of Google is assessed thus:

A recently available explore Google of ‘Ancient Near East’ led to over 150,000 results. While many of these are likely excellent web sites, a lot more are likely not. The ETANA website, interestingly, cannot appear in the very first one hundred listings. Hence, the researcher who does reap the benefits of accessibility ETANA but who does not know of their existence will likely not stumble across it utilizing Google (Limpitlaw 2003, p.5).

It is extremely regrettable that also lecturers tend to be extremely proliferating dependence upon one webpage (Google). The issue is that “if professors scientists themselves tend to be relying practically exclusively upon Google, but what number of of those are going to encourage pupils to grow their searches beyond Google, to at the least explore the resources and materials their libraries keep?” (Norlin 2004, 56). The library staff must be very instrumental in directing users to many other relevant sites and free online libraries, for-instance Africa Digital Library in South Africa. Continuing training for the library staff must be encouraged in order to be up to date with technical modifications. It is opined that “a fruitful training program can also be dependent on the commitment that top administration shows for the instruction process” (Martey 2002, 14). An incontrovertible reality is that “librarians need to know how-to access and filter what exactly is on web” (Rosenberg 1997, 15). Among a number of suggestions to shake the evident frost from the African chapel with its theological objective, Tienou (1990) proffers the improvement of theological libraries, and (by implication), the theological librarians who intersperse involving the information as well as the individual. The training of library staff and information professionals is quite important in dealing with the astronomically quick development this is certainly evident into the information age. It is extremely regrettable the theological librarians haven’t usually accompanied the introduction of websites at western Africa Theological Seminary Library with an intensive instruction on its use.

Indubitably, unless … librarians obtain this staff instruction, there is certainly a danger the potential for this technology for sourcing and repackaging for information transfer will stay insufficiently exploited hence it will not come to be incorporated with additional conventional print-based library services” (Asamoah 2003, 17).

13. Funding

It is incontrovertible that “every good collection is an expression of adequate and sound economic backing, with no collection development can achieve this goal if it is economically handicapped” (Alemna 1994, 47). In their discourse on challenge in the area of librarianship, it’s observed that “library money will likely be the problem which uses the vitality of library managers on end for this century (as well as the next)” (Moore and Shander 1993, 19). WATS library must be realistically budgeted for if it is to carry on is the scholastic neurological center associated with seminary.


Like Ato Yawson in Ama Ata Aidoo’s The Dilemma of a Ghost, the question is, shall WATS library go to Cape Coast (representing the traditional) or Elmina (representing the modern’)? In the field of librarianship, a realistic reaction lies “in keeping conventional services and embracing the technical advances” (Harding 2002, 9).

Listed here are proffered for consideration to aid WATS library to handle the inescapable difficulties:

1. Professionally trained staff

The library profession is in crises. It is observed that “the need to discover and keep high quality management for libraries is a core issue money for hard times” (Hisle 2002, 211). Library staff at WATS must be professionally trained. Purchase of appropriate library skills can’t be overemphasized. Relevant instruction must integrate using applications. The present day theological librarian is sitting on a crossroad and must keep a really of use balance between conventional and contemporary research processes to be appropriate in this information age. Substandard services will still be supplied if staff are employed because they’re Christians with little emphasis on expert instruction. Theological librarians require the sorts of instruction conducted by ACTEA (Accrediting Council for Theological knowledge in Africa) East Africa Library Staff Training Institute in Daystar University in Kenya in July 2004. Untrained librarians require programs in cataloguing and category, handling of the library and answering research questions. Additionally, they must obtain learning searching the net, utilizing Boolean operators to consult full-text journals, accessing research materials on CD Roms, utilizing MARC, and compiling listings of important web pages and research CDs.

Seminary, library, instruction, recruiting, librarians,

2. Scheme of solution

To be able to not make a continued mockery associated with library profession, it is recommended the expert instructions for the appointment and marketing of library staff anyway levels be drafted and implemented. The seminary management could compare the plan of solution of a number of institutions in Nigeria as well as the sub-region as helpful information to sensibly keep up with the standard.

Opportunities which should be taken under consideration within the different groups include:

a. Junior staff

i. Messenger/cleaner

ii. Library attendant III

iii. Library attendant II

iv. Library attendant I

v. Library assistant I

vi. Library assistant II

vii. Library assistant III

b. Senior promoting staff

i. Trainee Librarian/Senior Library Assistant II / Admin. Assistant II

ii. Senior Library Assistant I / Admin.

c. Senior staff

i. Library Officer

ii. Librarian II

iii. Librarian I

iv. Senior Librarian

v. Deputy Librarian

vi. Mind Librarian

The criteria for scoring senior library staff must be taken into consideration. Some of these places include :

Educational and expert skills

Professional/working experience

Pro tasks

Research and publications

Administrative experience

3. Revamping of net services into the library

The library cyber café must be resurrected if library is usually to be appropriate in this technical age. The library staff should obtain instruction that’ll allow all of them to creditably deal with databases inside their library.

4. User training

The library must be much more proactive in individual training methods. Additional current awareness or selective dissemination of information should be done to attract students and staff. A course on utilization of the library could possibly be introduced as a compulsory topic for many kinds of pupils. It is evident even yet in western Africa Theological Seminary that “librarians can’t assume similar amount of curiosity about and help for the library from a faculty that more and more are based upon their particular search methods and abilities in an electronic globe they are able to access from their workplaces” (Norlin 2004, 56). Theological librarians should be very carefully attuned on concerns associated with pupils and professors. If librarians at WATS release reliability in identifying the problem associated with researcher, trying to find specific bits of information effortlessly and expeditiously and transmits the result of the search by any convenient way to both professors and pupil people (telephone, e-mail, personal call, quick page to say some), the attention into the library as information intermediary would slowly be revamped.

The library of western Africa Theological Seminary should invest several weeks supplying “faculty just” and “pupils just” workout sessions on using American Theological Library Association database (right after paying current subscription). An incontrovertible simple truth is that “unless theological librarians consciously see the professors (and pupils) because the primary target for (their) tasks, (they) would come to be irrelevant to…students, professors, administrators and institutions” (Norlin 2004, 55).

5. The part associated with seminary management

Control at WATS must observe that the library isn’t a recommended additional hence the impending doctoral programme into the seminary is only going to come to be a reality as soon as the library attains a specific expert standard. Seminary authorities must help its development by developing current selections (for-instance, subscribing to scholarly journals for the serials collection) and also by assisting into the creating of an exciting Digital Library range which should be manned by a professional librarian. Offering server upgrades and disk space for storage must be seriously considered. There must be regular in-service instruction to aid library staff gain appropriate skills in I . t.

The issue of money can’t be overemphasized. The WATS Library is only able to be appropriate in this information age if seminary management would recognize “the centrality of their scholastic neurological centre (the library) and make certain the sustainability associated with library programs and services” (Harding 2002, 9). Introduction of individual costs, even more fund raising tasks into the library (such as for example guide sales), upsurge in the help from donor companies could produce an increase in earnings necessary to buy and continue maintaining necessary gear.

If the library is adequately financed, it is in a position to sign up to relevant diary brands, buy standard theological texts, build an exciting audio-visual collection, provide air conditioning facilities to manage heat, exchange the photocopier and supply various other necessary services as and when necessary.

Professionally trained staff, plan of solution, revamping of net services into the Computerize, cataloging, acquisition, net, individual training, audio-visual, serial, bindery, financing, plan of solution,

6. Membership of expert businesses

WATS library should register as an institutional person in expert library associations such as for example Nigeria Theological Library Association, Christian Librarians’ Association for Africa, American Theological Library Association and Christian Librarians’ Fellowship. (The presenter is a member of all of the although former). It had been through American Theological Library Association the writer ended up being informed the twenty second edition associated with Dewey Decimal Library (DDC) category is published. (WATS is using the 20th edition). The DDC figures include all headings recently mapped on 200 Religion Plan, plus others regarded as interesting to theological libraries.

The following is an example:

Topic proceeding Call quantity

All Souls’ Day in art 704.9493943

Islamic modernism 297.09

Nymphs (Greek deities) in art 704.9489221

Open-air preaching 206.1, 251

Social capital (Sociology) ? Spiritual aspects 201.7

Venus (Roman deity ) in art 704.9489221

(Osmanski 2003, 2-1)

7. Computerization


It is indubitable the part associated with library as information intermediary would not change. However, the way to satisfy this indispensable part keeps changing as well as the library must conform to maintain its relevance. WATS library is a unit of a self-supporting organization with a number of difficulties. Old-fashioned library methods must be totally created as well as the most useful of modern technology must be accepted. This large cost must be paid because the library trips to ‘Cape Coast’. The seminary librarians have actually a significant challenge to go from being simple keepers associated with guide to guides through a universe of knowledge, thereby playing an excellent part as information intermediary (Kargbo 2002). Since the objective associated with library to facilitate the no-cost movement of information endures even yet in the midst of technical modifications, the librarians in all kinds of libraries, including WATS, “must discover a really of use balance involving the conventional/traditional library features as well as the ways of the brand new difficulties to keep their management part in (the) information age” (Harding 2002, 10). Librarians in western Africa Theological Seminary could only be appropriate in this age should they gear up to possess the necessary skills to allow people to creditably use materials for reading, research and assessment in whatever format they might appear. This can’t be recognized with no indispensable help associated with seminary management. Using this understanding, “the pupils will likely be taught the skill of digital information retrieval, which they may use to publish their task work and thesis” (Asamoah 2003, 17).


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