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02 Oct 2016

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



The collection is actually “a spot entrusted aided by the purchase, organization, preservation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of data in whatever format it may look like” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, ix). Western Africa Theological Seminary Library is at the crossroad. The traditional collection practices and modern-day technical improvements needs to be created and embraced if it is to be appropriate inside information age. It’s a rather high price which needs to be paid usually the collection at some point be like the legendary character who slept for 20 years at Gasgill Mountain in Gulliver’s moves and finally woke as much as discover globe completely altered.


A brief history of above seminary could be realistically tracked on historical visitation by two United states 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 initially worked creditably in spiritual knowledge in Port Harcourt for seven years). The organization of seminary in 1989 was a practical demonstration of need certainly to definitely participate in working out of pastors, evangelists, missionaries and teachers not just in Nigeria but also various other components of the continent in addition to west. Presently, the seminary is the biggest non-denominational evangelical holiness seminary in Nigeria that has drawn pupils from a diverse spectrum of Nigerian Christian denominations, (and) ethnic groups. During a recently completed semester, WATS features pupils from thirty of Nigeria’s states, from over forty language groups, from (a few) various other African countries, and from above eighty different church groups (West Africa Theological Seminary Prospectus 2004, 5).

Title of seminary was altered from Wesley International Theological Seminary to West Africa Theological Seminary on 1 Summer 2001, exactly the same year it relocated to 35/37 MM airport terminal path, Lagos, Nigeria. The establishment is affiliated on University of Nsukka, Nigeria and currently provides a few programs of study including : Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Diploma in Theology, Certificate 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 started publishing the West Africa Theological Seminary Journal in 2002.

Among immediate programs of seminary is always to automate its library collection. A crucial aspect is always to recognize pc software which is in a position to meet up with the needs of seminary. In identifying pc software, the seminary must believe regarding networking and bear in mind that automation programmes normally need annual assistance costs.


It’s a truism that “the collection is the nerve center of academic organizations” (Olanlokun and Salisu 1993, vii) and West Africa Theological Seminary Library isn’t any exclusion. This collection utilizes the next version of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2) in addition to 20th version of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC 20). The card catalog is split, “a file of authors and games kept in a single alphabetical purchase and a file of topic cards in alphabetical purchase” (Newhall 1970, 38) in addition to filing system is letter by letter, something where “entries tend to be submitted without considering the rooms between terms” (Nwosu 2000, 61). There was a novel catalog, which contains the tasks (undergraduate and graduate) posted by pupils of seminary plus some members of staff who learned various other organizations.

In 2003 the collection benefited from a subscription paid by Asbury Theological Seminary to utilize the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Database on CD Rom. This is an extensive device built to support spiritual knowledge and professors analysis. The collection acts pupils, scholastic and administrative staff of seminary and exterior users (scholastic staff and pupils from other theological organizations).

Various other appropriate information consist of:


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 games: 98



THE BOOK CATALOG: tasks (both card and book catalog)



Using the exclusion of presenter, WATS collection is currently manned by seventeen members of staff, nine of whom tend to be pupil workers. These pupil workers mostly operate in the evenings, manning the protection and blood circulation desks (although no exterior borrowing from the bank is done in those times). Besides, they wash they library.


1. Instruction and recruiting expert librarians

Nine out from the seventeen members of staff tend to be pupil workers who use this opportunity to raise an important percentage of their particular costs and, in some instances, some extra resources to steadfastly keep up on their own as they pursue their particular theological scientific studies. The presenter is unacquainted with any who may have expressed interest in the collection profession. Services rendered can not be classified as expert. Unfortunately, only two of regular members of staff have actually completed some type of library training during the senior promoting degree. The implication is that the collection is seriously looking for expert librarians usually it could continue steadily to operate sub-standard solutions. An irksome dimension is in most cases, junior members of staff who’re within the vast majority “are allowed to do expert tasks within the absence of just the right cadre who should do them” (Nwosu 2000, 103).

The card catalog by way of example is going to be familiar with demonstrate the end result the paucity or not enough expert librarians is having on the library collection.

The most typical form of library catalog in West Africa is the card catalog and “there is dependence on (one) to learn the design of system to put it to use effortlessly” (Nwosu 2000, 57). A challenge the collection is always to maintain a consistent filing rule. Although WATS collection runs the machine known as the “letter-by-letter” or “all-through” strategy, you will find evidences of various other strategy, that’s the “word-by-word” or “nothing before something”. The previous is the typical way of alphabetization, where B should come before C. into the latter, the room between terms is considered since the focus is on each term. With regards to gets to the turn of term within the alphabetic sequence, all its associates are considered along.

Marrying both types of filing or alphabetization may cost one the knowledge which needed.
Another issue is misapplication of filing principles. The American Library Association Code (Rule 6) stipulates that “abbreviated terms must be submitted like they were spelled in full, with one exclusion, which, the abbreviation Mrs. St. is therefore submitted like it were spelled Saint, and Mc… as Mac” (Harrison and Beenham 1985, 82). The aforementioned rule is sadly misapplied in WATS collection. If the rule is certainly not considered, the word scan is going to be submitted before St. with regards to ought to be the various other means round. In much the same, the Dr. (medical practitioner) can also be submitted before down rather than the other means round.

A 3rd problem in filing (Rule 5) states that initials must be submitted before terms. (However, acronyms tend to be addressed as terms, like UNICEF, UNESCO, ECOWAS etc.) You will find cases within the WATS catalog this rule is certainly not considered. A word like Aaron erroneously comes before A.G.M and A.L.A.

It’s frightening there is no clear area for ascending flexibility of library staff. Within the absence of a professional system of solution or advertising directions, members of staff been employed by in a single position because they got their particular appointment letters.

2. Computerizing the collection

Some libraries in Nigeria have actually computerized their particular solutions. Examples include the Institute of Tropical Agriculture Library at Ibadan in addition to Federal Institute of Industrial analysis Library, Oshodi, Lagos. Other people, including WATS Library, take the brink of putting their particular automation plan into action.
Automation can benefit the Acquisition, Cataloging and Serial divisions within the after ways :
Acquisition : Automation enables in investment control along with generation and dissemination of reports. List of things, including the accession record can also be printed.

3. Acquisition

Acquisition is generally defined as “the process of obtaining books and other papers for a library, documents center or archive” (Prytherch 1986, 61). Incontrovertibly, it is “one quite essential functions of any collection system” (Ali 1989, 66). Some ways purchase of collection materials consist of purchase, contribution, trade, Legal Deposit Legislation and membership of expert organizations. In most libraries in West Africa, it is observed that
acquisition prices tend to be grossly inadequate to support both training and analysis even when evaluated by minimal criteria acknowledged in created countries. Tries to alleviate the circumstance with various kinds of help though intrinsically meritorious provide little expect longterm enhancement (Allen 1993, 232).

Donated materials extensively stock West Africa Theological Seminary Library. Since beggars are not choosers, there is an important proportion of dated magazines. There are numerous reading materials that are not also relevant to the typical curriculum of seminary. Weeding ‘unwanted’ stock is a huge issue on collection since there aren’t any appropriate replacements.
An often-overlooked ways purchase is membership of expert organizations. If the collection consistently distance itself from the expert register of collection organizations, it will not be conscious of present styles within the pro which will negatively think about the nature and top-notch solutions rendered.

4. Web connectivity

The WATS management released a page on 2nd January 2005 announcing an important reduction (about 75%) of websites supplied on campus. This was related to the reduction in the bandwidth which managed to make it impossible to support all the previous work programs. A technological blow was dealt from the collection cyber café as it dropped victim to the choice. Students were encouraged to utilize the cyber café on a lawn flooring. The seminary management must offer the collection with its embryonic phase to judiciously embrace this new technology. Alternatively, the theological librarians have actually a rather crucial part “to ensure that the resulting usage of computers and telecommunication and just about every other appropriate technology contributes in price effective methods to the needs of scholarship and analysis since (they) have the expertise in getting materials in many different formats and then make them obtainable for many different reasons” (Simpson 1984, 38).

5. Online language resources

An on-line resource that has been used at West Africa Theological Seminary (and which is recommended for any other theological libraries in Africa) is the United states Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Index, helpful for opening articles, reviews, essays, dissertations and monographs. The employment of databases, which overlap topic industries, which, interdisciplinary database searching, is an often over-looked aspect of on line searching.Users of West Africa Theological Seminary Library don’t have usage of an unbelievable amount of online language resources because it is perhaps not subscribing to utilize these materials. A typical example of a critical online resource is the on line Computer Library Centre (OCLC). This center, a bibliographic energy based in Dublin, Ohio is a worldwide electronic information co-operative offering about 39,517 libraries in seventy-six countries. It runs an on-line Union Catalog. You will find around 28 million cataloguing records in addition to database (using MARC tapes and other on line feedback data for users) provides reference solutions and interlibrary loan, qualifying it most likely while the world’s many extensive database of bibliographic information that produces the First Research program whereby a library can donate to large number of scholastic and expert games from about seventy writers available electronically.

6. Functional photocopier

Even though collection features a photocopier, the device is frequently out-of-order. This second hand device should be changed to allow the collection to realistically take advantage of its solutions. The seminary management also took a determination recently to hand over photocopying solutions to students that is currently operating a significantly better company.

7. Audio-visual collection

Sound visuals tend to be non-paper based information companies. They’ve been introduced to the collection through improvements in technology. These are generally called audio-visuals simply because they need auditory and visual admiration. One of their particular chief benefits is keeping a lot of information in a little room. Sound visuals consist of audio tapes, microforms, filmstrips, charts, slides, video clip tapes, tv an such like. A few of these charm only to the feeling of hearing (audios), some only to the picture (visuals) as well as others to both the auditory and visual senses (audio visuals). Although WATS collection has gotten a number of audio visual materials, there is need certainly to purchase the required encouraging machines to help make the audio visual collection a reality.

The seminary has-been obtaining a few analysis resources in the shape of CD ROMS for a large period. The collection is however in order to make these open to users by setting up them in a practical computer.

8. Bindery

It is true that “once any item is selected the collection, the collection guarantees to protect it” (Goodrum and Dalrymple 1985, 65). The absence of a bindery collection in the collection is adversely influencing the physical condition of books. It should be borne in mind that since an important percentage of library materials tend to be contributed, many are received in a really bad physical condition.

The bindery could also be really instrumental in binding straight back problems of newspapers and journals to facilitate a relatively much easier storage, retrieval and dissemination of data.

9. User instruction

A major weakness of collection rehearse is the failure to instruct users within the use of the collection on most readily useful advantage. From experience, “surveys show that public usage of these types of resources as magazines tend to be minimal, mainly simply because they haven’t demonstrated an ability the way they run” (Jackaman 1989, 3). Many pupils in WATS feel the seminary without an acceptable grasp of fundamental collection principles. Which means the one hour orientation conducted at the start of every semester is insufficient.

10. Serial collection

Numerous journals subscribed to by the collection tend to be selected, bought and received, prepared and shelved by this collection. It’s continuously inspected to find out if you will find any missing problems already due but have not been received so as to make these types of statements. This area additionally stocks newspaper. The relevance of these a great collection within the collection can not be overemphasized. It’s unfortunate that WATS collection is certainly not subscribing to journals and this explains just why there are many distinct spaces in periodical literature. The collection is at the mercy of donors who normally send journals randomly.

Magazines tend to be directly purchased by the WATS management and these tend to be later sent to the collection in most cases not on the day of purchase. This beats the purpose of newspapers because they come late on collection. Providing current information should be the primary issue the collection or information worker. Consequently, “currency should therefore be a necessity rather than an alternative” (Wilson 1993, 636).

11. Temperature within the collection

Today’s temperature within the collection is detrimental on books since humidity is a threat with their success. Or even sprayed sporadically, fungi effortlessly develop in the pages and harm the writing. Many scientists cannot stay for a large period mainly because of the disquiet caused by a rather hot environment.

12. Web looking around

When the collection cyber café was working, individual statistics of users indicated that ninety percent of those who utilized the Internet performed so to send mails and talk to buddies. The remaining ten percent put it to use to carry out analysis and perform various other functions. The insignificant percentage that utilizes it for analysis needs heavily count on Google. A student and a library staff opined they follow the ‘google only’ method as they are uninformed of any various other cite.
It’s observed that “most users locate (information) through subscription-free search-engines including Google” (Harding 2004). This over-reliance is a critical restriction. The potency of Google is examined hence:

A recent explore Google of ‘Ancient Near East’ led to over 150,000 outcomes. Even though many of the are probably exemplary internet sites, additional are probably perhaps not. The ETANA site, interestingly, cannot appear in initial 100 directories. Hence, the specialist who does take advantage of usage of ETANA but would you perhaps not understand of its presence will likely not stumble across it making use of Google (Limpitlaw 2003, p.5).

It is extremely unfortunate that also lecturers tend to be incredibly proliferating dependence upon one site (Google). The problem is that “if professors scientists on their own tend to be relying virtually solely upon Google, however, what number of of those will likely encourage pupils to grow their particular online searches beyond Google, to at least explore the resources and materials their particular libraries maintain?” (Norlin 2004, 56). The collection staff needs to be really instrumental in directing users to many various other appropriate internet sites and online libraries, by way of example Africa Digital Library in South Africa. Continuing knowledge the collection staff needs to be encouraged for them to be abreast of technical modifications. It’s opined that “a successful training program normally influenced by the commitment that top administration shows the training procedure” (Martey 2002, 14). An incontrovertible reality is that “librarians need to know how to accessibility and filter what’s from the web” (Rosenberg 1997, 15). Among a few suggestions to shake the obvious frost from the African church with its theological goal, Tienou (1990) proffers the enhancement of theological libraries, and (by implication), the theological librarians who intersperse amongst the information in addition to individual. Working out of collection staff and information specialists is quite crucial in handling the astronomically quick development which obvious within the information age. It is extremely unfortunate the theological librarians have never typically accompanied the development of online sites at West Africa Theological Seminary Library with an extensive training on its use.

Indubitably, unless … librarians get this staff training, there is a danger the potential of the technology for sourcing and repackaging for information transfer will continue to be insufficiently exploited hence it will not be incorporated with an increase of conventional print-based collection solutions” (Asamoah 2003, 17).

13. Funding

It’s incontrovertible that “every great collection is a manifestation of adequate and sound economic backing, and no collection development can perform this objective if it is economically handicapped” (Alemna 1994, 47). Within their discourse from the challenge in neuro-scientific librarianship, it is observed that “library money is going to be the problem which uses the power of collection supervisors on end of the century (in addition to next)” (Moore and Shander 1993, 19). WATS collection needs to be realistically budgeted for if it is to carry on to be the scholastic nerve center of seminary.


Like Ato Yawson in Ama Ata Aidoois the problem of a Ghost, issue is, shall WATS collection visit Cape Coast (representing the standard) or Elmina (representing the modern’)? In neuro-scientific librarianship, an authentic reaction lies “in keeping conventional solutions and adopting the technical improvements” (Harding 2002, 9).

Listed here are proffered for consideration to aid WATS collection to face the inescapable difficulties:

1. Skillfully trained staff

The collection profession is in crises. It’s observed that “the requirement to discover and keep quality management for libraries is a core problem money for hard times” (Hisle 2002, 211). Library staff at WATS needs to be professionally trained. Acquisition of appropriate collection qualifications can not be overemphasized. Appropriate training must feature usage of software applications. The modern theological librarian is standing on a crossroad and must maintain a rather helpful stability between conventional and modern-day analysis processes to be appropriate inside information age. Substandard solutions will still be supplied if staff are employed because they’re Christians with little increased exposure of expert training. Theological librarians need the types of training conducted by ACTEA (Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa) East Africa Library workforce Training Institute in Daystar University in Kenya in July 2004. Untrained librarians require programs in cataloguing and classification, handling of the collection and responding to reference questions. In addition, they must get trained in looking around the world wide web, making use of Boolean providers to consult full-text journals, opening reference materials on CD Roms, making use of MARC, and compiling listings of essential web sites and reference CDs.

Seminary, collection, training, recruiting, librarians,

2. Scheme of solution

In order not to make a continued mockery of the library profession, it is recommended that the professional guidelines for the appointment and promotion of library staff at all levels be drafted and implemented. The seminary management could compare the system of solution of a few organizations in Nigeria in addition to sub-region as helpful tips to sensibly take care of the standard.

Positions that should be taken into account in the various categories consist of:

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 We / Admin.

c. Senior staff

i. Library Officer

ii. Librarian II

iii. Librarian I

iv. Senior Librarian

v. Deputy Librarian

vi. Head Librarian

The criteria for scoring senior collection staff must be considered. A few of these places consist of :

Educational and expert qualifications

Professional/working experience

Professional activities

Analysis and magazines

Administrative experience

3. Revamping of internet solutions within the collection

The collection cyber café needs to be resurrected if collection will be appropriate inside technical age. The library staff should get training that’ll allow them to creditably deal with databases inside their collection.

4. User instruction

The collection must be much more proactive in individual knowledge methods. More present awareness or selective dissemination of data ought to be done to entice pupils and staff. A training course from the use of the collection could be introduced as a compulsory topic for several categories of pupils. It’s obvious even yet in West Africa Theological Seminary that “librarians can’t believe exactly the same standard of interest in and assistance the collection from a faculty that increasingly trust their very own search methods and capabilities in an electric globe they are able to access from their particular offices” (Norlin 2004, 56). Theological librarians need to be carefully attuned on concerns of pupils and professors. If librarians at WATS discharge professionalism in identifying the issue of specialist, seeking certain items of information effortlessly and expeditiously and transmits caused by the search by any convenient way to both professors and pupil users (telephone, mail, individual telephone call, brief letter to mention various), the interest within the collection as information intermediary would slowly be revamped.

The collection of West Africa Theological Seminary should invest several weeks providing “faculty only” and “pupils only” services from the usage of American Theological Library Association database (after paying the present membership). An incontrovertible fact is that “unless theological librarians consciously look at the professors (and pupils) while the primary target for (their particular) activities, (they) would be irrelevant to…students, professors, administrators and organizations” (Norlin 2004, 55).

5. The part of seminary management

Control at WATS must notice that the collection is certainly not a recommended extra hence the impending doctoral programme within the seminary will simply be a reality whenever collection attains a specific expert standard. Seminary authorities must support its progress by developing existing selections (by way of example, subscribing to scholarly journals the serials collection) and by helping within the starting of a captivating Digital Library Collection that should be manned by a professional librarian. Providing server improvements and disk space for storage needs to be seriously considered. There must be regular in-service training to aid collection staff gain appropriate skills in information technology.

The problem of money can not be overemphasized. The WATS Library can simply be appropriate inside information age if seminary management would recognize “the centrality of its scholastic nerve centre (the collection) and make certain the sustainability of collection programmes and solutions” (Harding 2002, 9). Introduction of individual charges, more fund raising activities within the collection (including book product sales), boost in the assistance from donor agencies could yield a rise in earnings needed to buy and keep maintaining required gear.

When the collection is acceptably funded, it will be in a position to donate to relevant diary games, buy standard theological texts, build a captivating audio visual collection, provide ac services to regulate the warmth, exchange the photocopier and provide various other required solutions when required.

Skillfully trained staff, system of solution, revamping of internet solutions within the Computerize, cataloging, purchase, internet, individual instruction, audio visual, serial, bindery, financing, system of solution,

6. Account of expert organizations

WATS collection should register as an institutional person in expert collection organizations including Nigeria Theological Library Association, Christian Librarians’ Association for Africa, American Theological Library Association and Christian Librarians’ Fellowship. (The presenter is a part of nevertheless the previous). It was through the American Theological Library Association the writer was informed the twenty second version of Dewey Decimal Library (DDC) classification has-been posted. (WATS is using the 20th version). The DDC numbers consist of all headings recently mapped on 200 Religion Plan, along with other people regarded as being interesting to theological libraries.

Here is an example:

Topic heading Call number

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 money (Sociology) ? Spiritual aspects 201.7

Venus (Roman deity ) in art 704.9489221

(Osmanski 2003, 2-1)

7. Computerization


It’s indubitable the part of collection as information intermediary would not alter. However, the way to fulfill this indispensable part keeps altering in addition to collection must conform to maintain steadily its relevance. WATS collection is a unit of a self-supporting establishment with a few difficulties. Traditional collection practices needs to be totally created in addition to most readily useful of modern technology needs to be embraced. This high price needs to be paid while the collection journeys to ‘Cape Coast’. The seminary librarians have actually a major challenge to maneuver from becoming simple keepers of book to guides through a universe of knowledge, thus playing a great part as information intermediary (Kargbo 2002). Since the goal of collection to facilitate the no-cost flow of data endures even yet in the midst of technical modifications, the librarians throughout types of libraries, including WATS, “must discover a rather helpful stability amongst the conventional/traditional collection functions in addition to types of this new difficulties so that you can maintain their particular management part in (the) information age” (Harding 2002, 10). Librarians in West Africa Theological Seminary could only be appropriate inside age if they gear as much as contain the required skills to allow users to creditably use materials for reading, study and consultation in whatever format they might appear. This can not be understood minus the indispensable assistance of seminary management. With this specific understanding, “the pupils is going to be taught the skill of electronic information retrieval, which they can use to publish their particular task work and thesis” (Asamoah 2003, 17).


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