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Research Summary: Trends in Collection Growth in Nigerian University Libraries

From time to time TWL will publish condensed versions of certain articles submitted to the Editor. In this way a greater number of discussions and investigations will be presented to readers of the journal than would otherwise be possible.

Research Summary: 1. Trends in Collection Growth in Nigerian University Libraries

In 1990 a questionnaire was mailed to the 30 university libraries in Nigeria, to discover facts about their collection sizes and rates of growth. The 24 responses were checked against the “Guidelines for Librarians, No. 1” issued in 1984 by the Committee of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities (CULNU). Those guidelines call for a basic stock of 20,000 volumes in a university library, with annual additions of 8,000 volumes. Thus the foundation date of each library needs to be considered in determining whether it has met the criteria of the CULNU guidelines.

It was found that the libraries established before 1970—with one exception—have in fact maintained a growth record that satisfies the guidelines. The five libraries in that group, with foundation years, 1990 stock, and stock that would meet the CULNU guidelines are: University of Ibadan, 1948 (370,000; 332,000); University of Nigeria, 1960 (562,409; 236,000); Ahmadu Bello University, 1962 (311,488; 220,000); University of Lagos, 1962 (250,000; 220,000); and Bayero University,1964 (160,000; 204,000). As a group, those early libraries hold 1m653,897 volumes, against the guidelines criterion of 1,212,000 volumes.

Of the six university libraries that date from the 1970s, only one—Usman Danfodiyo University—has been able to meet the guideline criteria. And of the 13 libraries that opened in the 1980s, just one met the criteria: Federal University Ekpoma (formerly Bendel State University).

As a group, the libraries of the 1970s have collections of 598,905 volumes, while the guidelines call for 752,000 volumes. The 1980s group has a total of 349,627 volumes, against a guideline number of 748,000.

Analysis of these figures using the chi‑square X2 formula reveals that a statistically significant difference exists between present stocks and what should be in the collections according to the CULNU guidelines. This result applies to all the libraries, and to each group of libraries cited above. While certain libraries have been able to measure up to the guidelines, collectively the libraries have not been successful in collection growth.

floral device About the Author

Benki S. H. Womboh is now a Collection Development Librarian, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria. For biographical information see TWL 2‑2.

© 1993 Dominican University


Womboh, Benki S. H., “Research Summary: Trends in Collection Growth in Nigerian University Libraries” Third World Libraries, Volume 3, Number 2 (Spring 1993).

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