the library has become “a place responsible for the acquisition, organization, preservation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information in any format may appear” (Olanlokun and Salisu, 1993, ix). Library of seminar theological of Africa Western is at the crossroads. The practices of the traditional library and modern technological advances developed and adopted to be relevant in this era of information. It is priced very high which must be paid otherwise the library will become eventually as the legendary character who slept for twenty years in the mountain Gasgill on Gulliver travels and finally woke up to find the world changed completely.
BRIEF HISTORY OF AFRICA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY WEST
the history of the previous seminar could be traced back realistic historical visit of two American missionaries (Rev. Dr. and Reverend Mrs. Gary Maxey) who led a group of Nigerian and expatriate Christians in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria in April 1989. (The Maxeys had initially worked creditably in religious education in Port Harcourt for seven years). The establishment of the seminary in 1989 was a practical demonstration of the need to actively participate in the training of pastors, evangelists, missionaries and teachers not only in Nigeria, but also in other parts of the continent and the West. Currently, the seminar is the Seminary of the Evangelical Holiness non-denominational in Nigeria which has attracted students from a broad spectrum of Nigerian Christian denominations (and) ethnic groups. During a recently completed semester WATS teaches students from thirty States of Nigeria, over forty groups of language, () other African countries from over eighty church groups (West Africa Theological Seminary brochure 2004, 5).
the name of the seminary was shifted Wesley International Theological Seminary theological Seminario of West Africa in June 01, 2001, the same year that moved to 35/37 MM International Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria. The institution is affiliated to the University of Nigeria Nsukka and currently offers several programs of study, including: Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, Bachelor of theology, diploma in theology, computer studies certificate, diploma in computer science, master’s degree in biblical studies, master of divinity, master of Christian leadership and master’s degree in intercultural studies. The seminar began to publish the Theological Seminary of West Africa magazine in 2002.
one of the immediate plans of the seminar is to automate the collection of the library. A crucial aspect is to identify software that will be able to meet the needs of the seminar. In software selection, the seminar should be thinking in terms of networks and take into account automation programs normally requires annual support fee. WEST AFRICA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY LIBRARY
is a truism that “the library is the hub of educational institutions” (Olanlokun and Salisu, 1993, vii) and West Africa Theological Seminary library is no exception. This library uses the second edition of the Anglo American cataloging (AACR2) and rules the twentieth Edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC 20). Divides the card catalog, “an authors and titles stored in a single alphabetical file and a file of cards of the topic in alphabetical order” (Newhall 1970, 38) and the file system is letter-by-letter basis, a system in which “entries are presented without taking into account the spaces between the words” (Nwosu 2000: 61). There is a catalogue of books, containing (undergraduate and postgraduate) projects presented by the seminary students and some staff members who studied in other institutions.
in 2003 the library benefited from a subscription paid by Asbury Theological Seminary for the ATLANTIC (American Theological Library Association) database on CD-ROM. This is a comprehensive tool designed to support religious education and faculty research. The library serves students, academic and administrative staff of the seminar and external users (teachers and students from other theological institutions).
other relevant information include:
a. during the term: Monday to Saturday: 9:00? 10:30 p.m.
B. holiday: Monday to Friday: 9:00? 9:00 p.m.
NO OF BOOKS: 36.500
NOT OF journal titles: 98
NOT. VIDEO AND AUDIO CASSETTES: 114
PHOTOCOPY MACHINE: 1
THE BOOK CATALOG: projects (card and book catalog)
NOT. REFERENCE MATERIALS: 1722
with the exclusion of the presenter, WATTS library is currently served by seventeen staff members, nine of which are student workers. These workers students work mostly in the evenings, serving tables of safety and circulation (although external indebtedness is not performed during this period). In addition, clean library. CHALLENGES
1. Training and recruitment of professional librarians
nine of the seventeen members of the staff are student workers who used this opportunity to raise a significant portion of their fees and, in some cases, some extra funds to keep it same as pursue his theological studies. The presenter is aware of who has expressed interest in the library profession. Services provided may not be classified as professionals. Unfortunately, only two of the regular members of staff have completed training of library at the highest level of support. The implication is that the library is seriously be in need of professional librarians in otherwise would continue to run the level of services. A troublesome dimension is that in the majority of cases, young members of staff who are most “are allowed to make professional tasks in the absence of the appropriate box which should make them” (Nwosu 2000: 103).
for example the card catalog will be used to demonstrate the effect that the shortage or lack of professional librarians is having in the library’s collection.
the most common form of catalogue of the library in West Africa is the card catalog and “there is a need (a) to know the design of the system in order to use effectively” (Nwosu 2000, 57). A challenge for the library is to maintain a consistent presentation rule. Although WATTS Library operates the system known as the “letter by letter” or “all” method, there is evidence of another method, which is the “Word by word” or “nothing to something”. The first is the common approach to literacy, where B must always come before C. At last, the space between words is takes into account since the focus is on each word. When it gets to the return of the word in the alphabetical sequence, considered all his associates along.
marry the two methods of presentation or literacy can cost one information that is needed.
another problem is misapplication of the rules of presentation. American Association of library (rule 6) Code stipulates that “abbreviated words should be presented as if they were designated in its entirety, with one exception, i.e., the abbreviation St. Ms. is therefore presented as if written Saint and Mc… like Mac” (Harrison and Malaga 1985, 82). The former rule unfortunately is misapplied in the WATT library. If the rule is not taken into account, the analysis of the Word will be filed before St when it should be the other way around. Similarly, Dr. (doctor) also will be archived before down and not the other way around.
a third question in the presentation (rule 5) says that the initials must be submitted before words. (However, abbreviations are treated as words, for example, UNICEF, UNESCO, ECOWAS etc..) There are instances in the catalogue of WATS that this rule is not taken into consideration. A word like Aaron erroneously before A.G.M and A.L.A.
It is frightening that there is no room for rise of the library staff. The absence of a professional scheme of service or promotion of the guidelines, the members of the staff have worked in a position already received their letters of appointment.
2. computerization of the library
some libraries in Nigeria have automated services. Examples include the Institute of Tropical Agriculture library in Ibadan and the Federal Institute for library research Industrial, Oshodi, Lagos. Others, including the library of WATTS, are punto’s put his plan of automation in action.
automation can benefit the acquisition, the cataloging and the series departments of them following ways: acquisition
: Automation can help in the control of the Fund, as well as in the generation and dissemination of reports. Also you can print list of elements, including the list of accession.
purchase acquisition is generally defined as “the process of obtaining books and other documents to a library, documentation centre or file” (Prytherch 1986, 61). Irrefutable, is “one of the most important in any system library functions” (Ali, 1989, 66). Some means of acquisition of library materials include the purchase, donation, exchange of Legal deposit legislation and members of professional organizations. Most of the libraries in West Africa, shows that rates of acquisition
are grossly inadequate to support both research and teaching although judged by minimum standards accepted in developed countries. Attempts to alleviate the situation with various forms of aid, although intrinsically meritorious offer little hope of improvement in the long run (Allen 1993, 232).
materials donated widely common West Africa Theological Seminary library. Given that the beggars are not selectors, a significant proportien there are publications date. There are many reading materials which are not even relevant to the general curriculum of the seminar. Wedding bag ‘unwanted’ is a great problem to the library because there is no adequate replacement.
a medium often overlooked acquisition is member of professional associations. If the library continues to distance himself from the professional register of library institutions, it will not be aware of the current trends in the professional who are negatively reflected in the type and quality of the services provided.
4. Internet connectivity
the WATS the Administration published a letter on January 02, 2005 announcing a significant reduction (approximately 75%) the campus internet service. This was attributed to the reduction in the bandwidth that made it impossible to support all previous work stations. A technological blow was dealt with in the library Internet cafe since fell prey to this decision. Students were advised them use the Internet Café on the ground floor. Administration of the seminar should support the library in its embryonic phase judiciously embrace the new technology. On the other hand, the theological librarians have a very crucial role “to ensure that the resulting use of computers and telecommunications and any other appropriate technology contributes effectively to the needs of research and scholarship (that) already have experience in the acquisition of materials in a variety of formats and make them accessible for a variety of purposes” (Simpson 1984 38).
5. online resources
online resource used in West Africa Theological Seminary (and which is highly recommended for other theological libraries in Africa) is the American Association of theological library (ATLA) religion index, useful to access articles, reviews, essays, monographs and dissertations. The use of databases, overlapping subject fields, i.e., interdisciplinary database search, is an aspect often high in searches online. West Africa Theological Seminary library users do not have access to an incredible amount of resources online since it does not subscribe to use these materials. An example of a very important online resource is the Online Library Center (OCLC) computer. This Centre, a Dublin, Ohio-based bibliographic utility is a cooperative that serves approximately 39.517 libraries in seventy-six countries electronic global information. Operates an online Union Catalog. There are approximately 28 million cataloging records and the database (using MARC tapes and other data entry online for users) provides reference and interlibrary loan, probably as the database more complete the world of bibliographic information that produces the first search system through which the library can subscribe to thousands of academic and professional titles of some seventy editors available electronically.
6. functional Copier
the library has a photocopier, the machine is frequently out of order. This machine of second hand has to be replaced to allow that it library really benefit is of their services. The administration of the seminar even took a decision recently to deliver services of photocopying to a student that currently it is running a business best.
7. images of Audio
collection audio visual
are carriers of information based on paper no. You have introduced in the library through advances in it technology. Is called audiovisual because require appreciation auditory and visual. One of its main advantages is storing a large amount of information in a space small. Audio Visual include tapes of audio, microforms, strips of film, graphics, slides, tapes of video, television etc. Some of these appeal only to the sense of the hearing (audio), some only to the view (Visual) and others to both the senses auditory and Visual (audio visual). Although WATTS library has received enough audio visual materials, there is need to buy the necessary support equipment for the collection of visual audio a reality.
the seminar has been receiving several research tools in the form of CD-ROM for a considerable period. The library is to offer to the users through the installation in a functional computer.
it is true that “once you select any element in the collection, the library promises to preserve it” (Goodrum and Dalrymple 1985, 65). The absence of a link within the library collection is negatively affecting the physical condition of the books. It should take into account that since a significant portion of the library materials are donated, many are received in a very poor physical condition.
the link can also be very decisive in Union of newspaper and magazine issues to facilitate a relatively easy storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.
to further weakness of the practice of the library is the failure to instruct users on use of the library in the best way. Experience, “studies have shown that the public use of such tools as catalogues are minimal, mainly because never has been shown how to operate” (Jackaman, 1989, 3). Many students in WATTS through the seminary without a reasonable understanding of the basic principles of the library. This means that the orientation of a time held at the beginning of each semester is insufficient.
10. Series collection
selected to several journals, subscribed by the library, requested and received, processed and shelved by this collection. It is constantly checked to determine if there are problems already due but have not received to make such claims. This section also newspaper stocks. The importance of a collection of invaluable library cannot be overstated. It is unfortunate that WATS library does not subscribe to magazines and this explains why there are many different holes in periodical literature. The library is at the mercy of the donors who normally send magazines randomly.
newspapers are purchased directly by the administration of WATS and these are subsequently sent to the library, in the majority of cases not on the day of purchase. This defeats the purpose of the newspapers since they arrive late at the library. Recent information should be the main concern for the worker of library or information. Therefore, “currency should therefore be a requirement and not a choice” (Wilson 1993, 636).
11. Heat in the library
the heat present in the library is harmful to books since moisture is a threat to their survival. If not regularly sprayed, fungi developed within the pages easily and damage the writing. Many researchers are unable to remain for a considerable period due to the discomfort caused by a very hot environment.
12. Internet search
when running the library, cyber café, users user statistics indicate that 90% of those who use Internet did for sending emails and chat with friends. The remaining ten percent is used to investigate and perform other functions. Insignificant percentage that uses it for research purposes depend largely on Google. A student and a library staff opinion adopting the approach of ‘ google only ‘ because they are not aware of any others cite.
is observed that “the majority of users located (information) through subscription search engines such as Google” (Harding 2004). This overconfidence is a serious limitation. Evaluates the effectiveness of Google as well:
a recent ‘Ancient Near East’ Google search resulted in results over 150,000. While many of these are probably excellent sites, many more probably aren’t. The website ETANA, curiously, does not appear in the list of the first hundred. As well, the researcher who will benefit from access to ETANA but who does not know her existencia it is likely that you will not stumble through it using Google (Limpitlaw 2003, p.5).
is something regrettable that even professors incredibly proliferate dependence on a web site (Google). The issue is that “If the researchers of the Faculty you are relying almost exclusively to Google, however, how many of them are able to motivate students to broaden their search beyond Google, at least to explore resources and materials that their libraries keep?” (Norlin 2004, 56). The library staff must be very instrumental in the direction of the user to other sites of interest and free libraries online, Digital Library of Africa for example in South Africa. Continuing education for library staff should be encouraged so that they can be aware of changes in technology. It said that “a program of training successful depends on also the commitment that shows high address for the process of training” (Martey 2002, 14). An undeniable reality is that “librarians should know how to access and filter out what is on the web” (Rosenberg, 1997, 15). Among several suggestions to clear frost of the African Church in his theological mission, Tienou (1990) provides improvement of theological libraries and (by implication), theological librarians that collate between the information and the user. Training of information professionals and library staff is very important to deal with the apparent rapid astronomical development in the information age. It is quite unfortunate that theological librarians have not generally accompanied the introduction of Internet service in library of Theological Seminary of West Africa with a careful use training.
no doubt, unless… librarians receive this training, there is a danger that the potential of this technology for the supply and repackaging for information transfer will remain insufficiently exploited and that it will not integrate with more servicespeople of library based on the traditional printing “(Asamoah 2003, 17).”
is incontrovertible “every good collection is an expression of healthy and appropriate financial support, and not the collection development can reach this goal if it is economically disadvantaged” (Alemna 1994, 47). In his commentary on the challenge in the field of library science, it is observed that “library funding probably” be what consumes the energy of the administrators of the library at the end of this century (and the next) (Moore and Shander 1993, 19). WATS library must be realistic budget if it is to remain the academic hub of the seminar.
are THE WAY FORWARD
as Ato Yawson in the dilemma of a ghost Ama Ata Aidoo, the question is, will WATTS library go to Cape Coast (representing the traditional) or Elmina (representing the modern ‘)? In the field of library science, a realistic answer lies “in the preservation of traditional services and adopt technological advances” (Harding, 2002, 9).
the following are published for consideration to WATTS library for the unavoidable challenges:
1. Professionally trained personal
the library profession is in crisis. “The need to find and maintain leadership in the quality of the libraries is a fundamental issue for the future” (Hisle 2002, 211). In WATTS library staff must be trained professionally. Acquisition of relevant skills of the library not cannot be overemphasized. Relevant training should include the use of software applications. The modern theological Librarian is at a crossroads and must keep a very useful balance between traditional and modern research techniques to be relevant in this era of information. Poor services which will continue if personal only hired because they are Christians with little emphasis on vocational training. Theological librarians need the type of training carried out by ACTEA (Council of accreditation for theological education in Africa) Africa Eastern personal library Training Institute at Daystar University in Kenya in July 2004. Librarians need courses of cataloging and classification, library management, and answer reference questions. In addition, should receive training in the search of the internet, using the Boolean operators to consult journals in full-text access to reference materials on CD-ROM, with MARC and compile lists of important sites and reference CDs.
seminar, library, training, recruitment, librarians,
2. Scheme of service
to do a continuous mockery of the library profession, it is recommended that professional guidelines for the appointment and promotion of staff in the library at all levels be elaborated and applied. Administration of the seminar could compare the scheme of service of several institutions in Nigeria and the region as a guide to reasonably maintain the standard.
positions which should be taken into account in the different categories are:
a. personal junior
ii. Library Assistant III
iii. Library Assistant II
iv. Assistant library I
Assistant library I v.
vi. Assistant library II
vii. Assistant III Library
support Senior personal b.
i. apprentice librarian/Senior Library Assistant II / admin. Assistant II
ii. I Senior Library Assistant / admin. c. personal
i. official library
ii. Librarian II
iii. Librarian to
iv. Top librarian
v. librarian Assistant
vi. Librarian head
the personal qualification of senior library criteria should be taken into account. Some of these areas include:
academic qualifications and professional
work professional experience professional activity
research and publications administrative experience
3. Internet in the library
service the library Internet cafe should be resurrected if the library is going to be relevant in this technological age. The library staff should receive training that will allow them creditably manage databases in your library.
the library should be more proactive in user education strategies. Most current knowledge or selective dissemination of information must be to attract students and staff. A course on the use of the library could be introduced as compulsory for all categories of students. It is evident even in West Africa Theological Seminary that “librarians already not to assume the same level of interest and support for the library of a faculty that increasingly depend on their own strategies of search and skills in an electronic world have access from their offices” (Norlin 2004, 56). Theological librarians should be carefully attuned to the concerns of students and faculty. Librarians in WATTS professionalism in identifying the problem of the investigator, search for specific pieces of information in a quick and efficient way the download and transmits the search result by any suitable means for users of the Faculty and students (phone, email, called staff, brief letter to name a few), gradually be renewed interest in the library as an information intermediary.
the library of Theological Seminary West Africa must pass several weeks offering “Power only” and “students” training in the use of the American Theological Library Association database (after paying the current subscription). An indisputable fact is that “unless theological librarians see consciously the Faculty (and students) as the main objective of (its) activities, (they) become irrelevant… for students, teachers, administrators and institutions” (Norlin 2004, 55).
5. the role of the administration of the Seminar
management in WATTS should recognize that the library is not an optional extra and that the impending Doctoral seminar program will only become reality when the library manages a particular professional standard. The authorities of the seminary should support their progress through the development of existing collections (for example, subscribing to scientific journals to the collection of serials) and assisting the creation of a vibrant collection of Digital Library that must be served by a professional librarian. Providing updates server and disk storage space should be seriously considered. You must have in-service training regularly attend the personal library increase of relevant skills in information technology.
the question of funding may not be over-emphasized too much. WATS library can only be relevant in this era of the information if the seminary Administration would recognize “the centrality of their academic nerve center (library) and ensure the sustainability of the programs of library and services” (Harding, 2002, 9). Introduction of rates to users, more activities of fundraising in the library (for example, sales of books), increase in the support of donor agencies could lead to an increase in the revenues needed to acquire and maintain the necessary equipment.
when the library is funded properly, will be in a position to subscribe to relevant journal titles, buy standard theological texts, build a vibrant collection of audio visual, offer air conditioning systems to control the heat, replace the photocopier and provide other necessary services as and when required.
professionally trained personnel, scheme of service, modernization of internet services in the cipher, cataloguing, acquisition, instructions, internet, audio/visual, series, link, funding, service plan,
6. Membership of the WATTS library
professional organizations must register as institutional member associations of professional librarians such as Association of theological libraries of Nigeria, Association of Christian librarians for Africa, American Association of Christian Fellowship and theological libraries librarians. (The presenter is a member of all but the first). It was through the American Association of theological library that the author was informed that the Edition has been published twenty second in the classification of the library Dewey Decimal (DDC). (WATTS using the twentieth Edition). The DDC numbers include all titles newly assigned to 200 of religion program, as well as others considered of interest for theological libraries.
below is an example:
subject heading call number
day all souls in the art 704.9493943
Islamic modernism 297.09
nymphs (Greek gods) in the art 704.9489221
206.1, preaching to outdoor 251
Social capital (sociology)? Religious aspects 201.7
Venus (Roman deity) in the art 704.9489221
(Osmanski 2003, 2 – 1)
7. Automation CONCLUSION
is no doubt that it was never going to change the role of the library as an information intermediary. However, the means to fulfill this invaluable role are still changing and library must adapt to maintain their relevance. Library of WATT is a unit of a self-sufficient institution with several challenges. The traditional practices of the library must be fully developed and the best of modern technology should be embraced. This high price will be charged as the library trips to ‘Coast’. Seminar librarians have a big challenge to go from being mere guardian of the book guides through a universe of knowledge, thereby playing a ro invaluablele as an intermediary for information (Kargbo 2002). Since the Mission of the library to facilitate the free flow of information exists even in the midst of technological changes, librarians in all types of libraries, including WATTS, “must find a useful balance between the conventional and traditional library functions and methods of the new challenges to maintain its leading role in (the) of the information age” (2002 10 Harding). Librarians in West Africa Theological Seminary could only be relevant in this age if they are prepared to possess the necessary skills to enable users in a commendable manner, use reading materials, study and consultation in any format may appear. This can not be done without the invaluable support of the administration of the seminary. With this realization, “students will be taught the electronic art of information retrieval, which can be used to write their thesis and project work” (Asamoah 2003, 17).
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