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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Assessment of Institutional Initiative in Generating Alternative Funds to Sustain Library Services in Academic Libraries in Nigeria: The Cross River State Experience

Godwin B. Afebende
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(9), 952-958. DOI: 10.12691/education-5-9-4
Published online: September 28, 2017

Abstract

The study investigated the role of the parent institution and library in generating funds to facilitate library services in public academic libraries in Cross River State, Nigeria using survey research design. A questionnaire was built on a modified six-point Likert scale designed to measure sources of library funds variables through government/parent institution and internally generated sources. The instrument was administered on 30 senior management library staff from 5 academic institutions in the state. The internal consistency of the instrument lied in the range of (729 ≤ rxx ≤ .893) with across time stability in the range (729 ≤ ree .796) measured via Cronbach alpha and test-retest reliability. The study found that over reliance on government and parent institution for funding and a lack of initiative from libraries in generating added or alternative funds to sustain services. Requisite recommendations especially urging libraries to be proactive in looking onwards to generate funding.

1. Introduction

Adequate funding is critical in the management of all organizations including academic libraries. Public academic libraries are libraries established, owned and are funded by the states or federal government in the country as against private and other corporate bodies’ institutions. The content, quality and adequacy of library resources and services are dependent on the funds they receive from their proprietary authorities. Ubogu & Okey 1 underscored the need for adequate funding of libraries to cater for buildings, physical facilities, books, equipment and services.

Libraries are at the heart of educational institutions because of the fundamental roles they play in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. It is important to note that to achieve goals and objectives which are set, adequate investment, in terms of funds, must be provided to cater for the provision of services and running operational costs. Traditionally, libraries, especially public academic libraries, have been considered a social and obligatory service provided by government and there has been a tendency to depend solely on funds provided for them by government or their proprietors for their survival.

However, today times are changing. Government alone is no longer in the position to play the role of a sole financier of public academic libraries. The downturn in global economics and the fall in oil revenue, which government depend on as a major source of revenue, have obviously affected the allocation of funds to all sectors of government. The effect of the above is that library budgets have not only been increasingly cut but have become unpredictable. Reduced funding means that libraries can no longer afford to purchase basic books, journals and other resources to build standard collections. It further makes them unable to acquire and adopt new information technologies nor hire and train appropriate personnel needed to deliver requisite services. The result is also poor, unmaintained and declining infrastructure and facilities. It is becoming clear that libraries must look inwards or do something to help themselves if they must survive.

This survey is therefore intended to assess the sources of funding libraries and especially what libraries are doing within the circumstance to generate alternative funds to sustain services to their clientele. There is a need for libraries on their own to do something about generating added funds to supplement dwindling allocations to them through internal sources.

2. Objectives of the Study

This study was carried out to assess efforts that libraries were making at generating additional funds to sustain services in the face of dwindling budgetary allocation to them; to determine the adequacy of this source of funding and to make recommendation for improvement.

2.1. Research questions

• Are funds from parent institutions adequate to sustain library services?

• Are libraries engaged in any activities to generate additional funds to sustain library services?

• What sources of funds do libraries rely on to sustain their services?

2.2. Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to public academic libraries in Cross River State, Nigeria. Out of expediency five academic libraries were chosen to carry out the study. Of these, two are federal government owned institutions (the University of Calabar, Calabar Library and the Federal College of Education, Obudu library); while three are state government owned (Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Calabar Library, the College of Health Technology, Calabar and Cross River State College of Education Akamkpa Libraries).

These institutions’ background, nature of establishment, management and socio-political and economic climates in which they operate is similar to other states in the country. Also, both government policies and regulatory agencies governing the institutions are the same, thus making generalization from a given state to another or geopolitical regions in the country inevitable or justifiable. Librarians in charge and heads of libraries comprising library management staff considered competent to provide relevant information were used to complete the questionnaire designed for this study.

3. Literature Review

3.1. Government Funding/Parent Institution

The main source of funding for public academic libraries in Nigeria is from government funds and grants. The funding model, formula or level is greatly dependent on whether the institution is private, state or federal government owned. Generally, both state and federal government budgetary provisions, policies and funding allocations to higher education have overall influence on library financing and development.

Hisle 2 observed that academic libraries in developing countries depend mainly on government funding and do not show any interest or experience in well organised fund raising programmes to generate the funds they require to sustain their services. He maintains that most institutions’ libraries lack flexible administrative systems and neither do they have clear responsibility for organising fundraising assigned for libraries or university (institutions) administrators. So, most often, they rely on whatever is appropriated to the libraries from their managements.

Commenting on the underfunding of the educational sector, Inoyo 3 in his convocation lecture titled “Challenges and opportunities for university graduates in a season of economic and moral decay” decried the poor level of funding education in Nigeria. As a country he noted we are still far off the UNESCO recommendation that 26% of a country’s total budget must be dedicated to education. He informed that in 2012, N400.15bn or 8.43%, 2013, N426.5bn or 8.7% and in 2014, N495.2bn or 9.9% out of the nation’s total budgets respectively was allocated to the education sector despite a quantum growth in our GDP over the period (67.7billion in 2003 to 522.6 in 2013) representing 672% growth by World Bank statistics.

Ibok 4 noted that the concern for an effective and efficient management of academic libraries has in the past years been expressed in many countries, including Nigeria. Most of the issues raised border on inadequate funding, the effect of inflation on library finances, poor accountability, unsatisfactory investment decisions which fail to consider new developments in the approach to academic instruction, and/or take advantage of development in information technologies and apparent lack of concern for the plight of the libraries by government and university authorities which fail to allocate adequate funds to their libraries among others.

According to Ogundipe 5, on recommendation of the National Universities Commission (NUC), ten percent (10%) of each university’s recurrent budget is supposed to be allocated to the library. Ironically, he laments that this recommendation is never complied with for two obvious reasons. Firstly, that it is difficult to predict what grants eventually come from government to universities through NUC and secondly whatever comes from the institutions’ budget is dependent on, not what the libraries request, but on what is allocated to them after other competing demands for scarce resources in the institution. In practice, libraries tend to receive less than their budgetary provision due to irregular grants from government or arbitrary cuts or withholding of funds.

As a consequence of the above, Edoka 6 pointed out that budgets of university libraries are negotiated with its parent institutions not based on operational cost, required information resources and services but on whatever the library is made to do with. Lawal 7 remarked and rightly pointed out that the freedom of universities to allocate financial resources on the bases of internally established priorities does not augur well for libraries. He further maintains that due to competitive demands on limited budgets from faculties and departments, there is the temptation to lose sight of the library’s role and arbitrarily cut her budget. The tendency to undermine the critical role libraries play in institutions through budgetary cuts, borrowing or vive of library funds/allocations when the funds have not been accessed is not uncommon in academic libraries.

Hiscock 8 suggests that in order to justify its existence, public academic libraries needs to demonstrate a positive link between its use and the educational performance of undergraduates. Powell 9 argued that public academic libraries need to account for their costs because of keen competition from various departments for limited financial resources; libraries need to be able to demonstrate that their resources and services are making a significant contribution to the education and research of their clientele. Thus, in evaluating and assessing libraries, Pritchard 10 advises that the library should move beyond inputs (e.g. budgets, number of volumes in the collection) and instead focus on the performance measures associated with impact on undergraduates’ educational outcomes. To attract and sustain funding libraries must therefore strive to show and demonstrate their relevance to their institutions.

Kebede 11 further note that performance evaluation is meant for justification of purposes because institutions require proof that activities of library and information systems and expenses incurred by the institution are worth the investment in contributing towards organizational objectives. This evidence is the main weapon used by departments when it comes to fighting for organizational budgets and attracting funding, Mackenzie 12.

Studies and surveys by researchers such as Aguolu and Aguolu 13, Ajibero 14, Madu 15 and Ojedokun 16 have revealed that libraries in Nigeria are operating in a resource constrained environment. According to Aguolu and Aguolu 13, libraries in Nigeria do not only lack adequate funds to purchase books and required journals but that they cannot afford huge amount needed to purchase and maintain computer hardware, build and sustain infrastructure nor hire and keep requisite personnel. Ajibero 14, Madu 15 and Ojedokun 16 have all decried poor funding by government as a major hindrance to not only virtual/electronic library services but the entire academic library development in Nigeria. Further commenting, Aguolu 17 outlined the following additional challenges for resources/collection development in Nigeria university libraries:-

i. Inadequate budgetary allocation to libraries which limit their effort to acquire necessary materials.

ii. The ever increasing cost of books and journals worldwide due to general inflation and

iii. Delays in payment for materials ordered due to procedures involved in processing invoices for payment since most materials are imported and required sourcing for scarce foreign exchange/currency.

Given this scenario, alternative or supplementary sources must be sought rather than depending on government alone.

3.2. Internally Generated/Miscellaneous Source of Funds

These sources involve any other avenue through which the library can generate money internally to sustain her services. One of such sources which Lawal 7 describes as “partial recovery of academic cost” is the process whereby the sources of funding education is shared between government and the parent/sponsors of the students. The idea is justified from government’s inability to completely fund and maintain dilapidated infrastructure/facilities essential for teaching and research. Each institution is therefore left to rationally charge such fees as library services fee, library development fee and in recent times internet/ICT regardless of the nomenclature given to the charges. All such monies/revenues are expected to be paid into library accounts and used purely to provide library services. Unfortunately, as observed by Lawal 7 such monies are regarded as substitutes for, instead of additions to, the regular book subvention.

Other charges related to the above sources include bindery charges, library consultancy services and photocopying charges among other commercial ventures the library can carry out and leverage on her finances. It has become necessary for public academic libraries to look for innovative alternative and additional sources of income.

Two major reasons maybe advanced for this:

(i) Given the continued fall in crude oil price and instability in the nation’s economic fortunes, the era of stable and sustainable institutional funding of libraries and other facilities cannot be guaranteed.

(ii) That almost always, funds granted to institutional libraries are never enough to sustain effective services as required in these institutions.

The demand and call for libraries to find innovative ways of generating additional income to augment its finances has dominated literature in the field. Further researches in this area in Nigeria are on-going (Ifidon, 18 and Ifidon, 19). While Lawal 7 stressed the need for the additional income generated to be treated as additional library fund and not substitute for library allocations, earlier Edoka 6 called for target setting and charging of appropriate or profitable fees to cover maintenance, overhead cost, and eventual replacement of equipment as well as inject commensurate funds for library use. As has been rightly observed, the drive to earn substantial funds from internally generated sources for improved library services has not yet been instituted as a library culture. To contend with recession and shrinking budgets which has assumed global dimension Swaydan 23 observed that citizen’s efforts in U.S. libraries and even Europe used fundraising activities to obtain financial support from both public and private sectors. This option deserves keen consideration and focus. There is a need therefore for more attention to be given to what the library can do to generate income internally as part of her efforts to overcome her poor economic situation.

4. Methodology

A 21-item questionnaire called “Funding Nigeria Public Academic Libraries through Parent and Internally Generated Sources (IGR)” was developed for this study. The mailed questionnaire was used to guarantee anonymity and unbiased responses and also structured to facilitate the collection of data needed from the institution across the state.

The questionnaire was divided into two (2) sections (A & B). Section A was designed to collect demographic data of respondents while section B built on a six-point Likert scale and divided into two parts was designed to measure sources of library funds variables of the parent institutions and internally generated revenue respectively. Each section of part B of the questionnaire consisted of seven (7) items. The items were vetted by two measurement experts from University of Calabar and Cross River University of Technology, Calabar. The vetted instrument was pilot tested a sample of twenty (20) senior library staff. The internal consistency of the two parts in the range (729 < rtt < .893) with across time stability in the range (.706 < rtt .796) measured via Cronbach alpha and test-retest reliability respectively.

The demographic description of the study sample is given in Table 1.

From Table 1, it can be seen that there were five (5) institutions involved, with six (6) respondents from each academic library. Of this number twenty-one (21) representing 70% were males while nine (9) representing 30% of the sample were females. In terms of rank, there were five (5) University/College librarians, three (3) Deputy/Chief librarians, eight (8) Senior/Assistant Chief Librarians, seven (7) each of Librarian I and II of principal and senior librarian. Five (16.7%) each came from acquisition/resource development unit, five (16.7%) from processing, six (20.0%) from reader services/circulation, five (16.7%) from reference, five (16.7%) from serials/periodicals and four (13.3%) from Bindery/Reprography units.

In terms of their educational qualification, 17 (56.7%) had Bachelor’s degrees, six (20.0%) Master’s degrees and seven (23.3%) Doctorate degrees. None of the respondents was single and none was separated. There were 28 (93.3%) married persons, one (3.3%) divorced and one (3.3%) widowed.

In terms of their years of working experience, none had worked for less than 5yrs, one (3.3%) between 5 and 9yrs, 7 (23.3%) between 10 and 14yrs, 11 (36.7%) between 15 and 19yrs, 10 (33.3%) between 20 and 24 yrs and one (3.3%) between 25 and 29yrs. None had worked for more than 30 yrs.

Thus the sample was considered heterogeneous enough for an inferential study of this nature.

5. Presentation of Results

For each variable built on the six-point Likert scale, frequency of responses and their percentage were weighted such that a response of Strongly Agree (SA) was awarded 6 points, Agreed (A), 5 points, Tend to Agree (TA) 4 points, Tend to Disagree (TD) 3 points, Disagree (d) 3 points and Strongly Disagree (SD) one (1) point. The scoring was reversed if the item was negatively worded. The scores were then added for each section. The resulting data were analysed using SPSS version 18.0. Simple frequency counts, percentages, descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation etc.)

The frequency analysis of response to items on parent institution was done using frequency counts and simple percentages. The result is presented in Table 2.

From Table 2, none (-) 0% strongly agreed with the statement that funds from the institution in a main source of financing library services, 2(6.7%) agreed, 2(6.7%) tend to agree, 11(36.7%) tend to disagree, 12(40.0%) disagreed and 3(10%) strongly disagreed. On the position that funds from the institution are not satisfactory to render library services 15(50%) strongly agreed, 15(50%) agreed while none (0%) tended to agree, tended to disagree, disagreed or strongly disagreed.

On the item that funds from the institution are not regular, none (-) strongly agreed, 2(6.7%) agreed, none (0%) tended to agree, 7 (23.7%) tended to disagree, 13 (43.3%) disagreed and 8(26.7%) strongly disagreed. From the statement that funds from the institution are inadequate, 16 (53.3%) strongly agreed, 12 (40%) agreed, 2(6.7%) tend to agree while none (0%) to disagree, disagreed nor strongly disagreed.

Responding to the statement that we can rely on funds from the institution to acquire relevant materials and services, none (0%) strongly agreed, agreed or tend to agree while 5 (16.7%) tend to disagree, 15 (50%) disagreed and 10 (33.3%) strongly disagreed. On the level of consistency of allocations of funds from the library, none (0%) strongly agreed, agreed or tend to agree while 4 (13.3%) tend to disagree, 15 (50%) disagreed and 11 (36.7%) strongly disagreed. Finally, on the statement that there are hardly any provision for library acquisition and services from their institutions, 1(3.3%) strongly agreed, 13 (43.3%) agreed, 10 (33.3%) tend to agree, 3(10%) tend to disagree, 3(10%) disagreed and none (0%) strongly disagreed.

Responses to items on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as a source of library funds were analysed. A summary of the result is presented in Table 3.

From Table 3, none the respondents (0.0%) strongly agreed, agreed or tend to agree with the statement that we can rely on internally generated revenue while 2 (6.7%), tend to disagree, 9 (30%) disagree and 19 (63.3%) strongly disagreed. Also on the statement that there is no means of IGR for our library, 5 (16.7%) strongly agree, 13 (43.3%) agreed, 6 (20%) tend to agree while 6 (20%) tend to agree and none (0.0%) neither disagreed nor strongly disagreed. To the statement that IGR is nonexistence in our library, 6 (20%) strongly agreed, 18 (60%) agreed, 4 (13.3%) tend to agree, 2 (6.7%) tend to disagree while none (0.0%) disagreed nor strongly disagreed. On the statement that we can generate revenue that can sustain our services, none (0.0%) strongly agreed, agreed, tend to agree nor tend to disagree while 11 (36.7%) disagreed and 19 (63.3%) strongly disagreed. The implication here is that the library does generate any income to support their service. This is critical as resources from parent institution are likely to improve given the indices of continued declining allocation to libraries.

On whether the library has done anything to earn internally generated revenue, 6 (20%) strongly agreed, 15 (50%) agreed, 6(20%) tend to agree, 2 (6.7%) tend to disagree, 1 (3.3%) disagreed while non-strongly disagreed. To the item that we cannot rely on Internally Generated Revenue to sustain our library services 12 (40%) strongly agreed, 18 (60%) agreed while none tend to agree or disagree at all. Finally, when the question that prospects of IGR in the library was high none strongly agreed or agreed while 6 (20%) tend to agree, 5(16.7%) tend to disagreed, 14 (46.7%) disagreed and 5 (16.7%) strongly disagreed.

6. Summary of Findings

• There is a general agreement from the respondents that grants from the government are the major source of financing academic libraries in these public institutions.

• From the study, despite the heavy reliance on government grants as a major source of financing libraries, a whooping majority of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the level of government funding of their libraries.

• Most, if not all, the institutions do not have any policy on generating internal revenue nor are they making any significant effort in finding alternative means through internally generated sources.

• Equally revealing from the study is the fact that parent institutions are not doing enough by allocating or making adequate budgetary provision for library services. Form the study, it is obvious that funds from parent institutions are inadequate and irregular. Thirty (30), one hundred percent (100%) of respondents agreed that they cannot rely on institutional funding to finance and acquire library resources. This is critical and worrisome.

7. Discussion of Findings

Sources of funding and maintenance of basic infrastructure and resources have always remained grave areas of concern in the organization and management of library and information services. It has been observed that libraries over time have been engaged in unequal competition with other sectors of their institutions for resource allocations. Equally disturbing, is the fact that while funds allocations to the libraries continue to dwindle, the cost of materials and information resources continue to rise. Data from Table 2 reveals that libraries depend on their institutions for as a major source of finding, all the respondents agreed that’s finds from the institution are not satisfactory to render required services. This is in line with the submissions of Aguolu & Aguolu 13, Madu 15 and Ojedokun 16 whose studies reveal that libraries in Nigeria are operating in a resource constrained environment. On his part, Hisle 2 had descried overdependence of libraries on government funding. The demand for libraries to find alternative ways of generating added funds as a means of self-help has not yielded any meaningful results. From the study, analysis of responses on internally generated revenue revealed that all the respondents disagreed with the statement that they could rely on internally generated revenue to fund their services. What we found most critical and disturbing from the work is the revelation that 90% of the respondents agreed that these libraries had not done anything to earn internally generated revenue while 80% disagreed with the statement that there were prospects of generating revenue from their internal sources.

The result of this findings are not unexpected. As earlier observed by Hisle 2, Ifidon and Ifidon 19 who are concerned about the overdependence of libraries in Nigeria on government for financial support. They observed that government support was not only low but was predicated on unpredictable national income. Modest sources of generating revenue which Lawal 7 describe as “partial recovery of academic cost” is justified because of governments inability to completely fund and maintain infrastructure, equipment and resources essential for teaching, learning and research. Institutions are at liberty to rationally charge such fees as “library services fee”, “library development fees”, “ICT fees”, “photocopy fees”, “bindery fees” and “consultancy fee” among others.

There is still a raging contention as to the status of income generated by the library and source allocated to the library from the institutions’ budgetary allocation. while Lawal 7 argued that all extra monies generated should be treated and regarded as additional income instead of substitute to regular book votes or subventions, Edoka 6 earlier called for target setting and charging of appropriate or profitable fees to cover maintenance, overhead cost, eventual replacement of equipment as well as inject commensurate funds for library use. As has been observed, the strive to earn substantial resources from internally generated sources for library services has not yet been instituted as a culture in our libraries. Some attention needs to be given to this option in order to foster and sustain other alternative avenues, means of achieving better funding.

8. Conclusion and recommendations

The study has brought to the fore the increasing need to mobilize adequate resources to finance library acquisitions and services. It is evidently clear that over reliance on parent institution and government cannot guarantee funds to cater for library services. For their part, libraries are not making proactive efforts to generate additional income for the funding of their services. They strive to generate additional income from internal library services has not yet been imbibed in our library practice and services.

The following recommendations have therefore become imperative:

For Nigerian academic libraries to develop and attain the kind of standard services required of them, the following recommendations are made:

• A clarion call is being made on government to place the financing of education and the funding and recognition of libraries as critical infrastructure in teaching, learning and research especially in academic institutions.

• Direct payment of government grants to libraries has been advocated in the literature to stem bureaucracy and discretion by library management Edoka, 6.

• Institutional administrators and management must recognise the link between academic library services and the educational performance of their students and its contribution to scholarship and research by making library budget first-line charges in their budgetary provisions and releases.

• Edoka 6, Ifidon 21 and Ogundipe 5 have all suggested that a new approach must be adopted through alternative sources of funding by libraries to stem the legion of library funding problems. It is recommended that academic libraries must also set targets to generate a certain percentage of their own income since income from parent institutions also are expected to be generated from internal sources. A permanent committee should be set up in the library charged with the sole responsibility of raising funds, in innovative ways.

• The need to promote and publicise library services and as well as mobilize and seek support from the interested public, development agencies and donor support groups is highly advocated. Libraries need to take advantage of NGO’s and international organisations interested in library development in third countries to attract funds.

• In order to justify and attract additional finances and support, academic libraries must strive to measure their services and performance against their institutional objectives. They must justify their existence while ensuring that they are making a difference and adding value to their systems.

• It is further suggested that libraries should:

○ Build strong structures that encourage and enhance fundraising from both public and private sectors.

○ Engage in proposal writing to attract grants from donor agencies.

○ Established network and library cooperation at local, national and international levels to leverage on benefits of network cooperation.

References

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Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2017 Godwin B. Afebende

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Godwin B. Afebende. Assessment of Institutional Initiative in Generating Alternative Funds to Sustain Library Services in Academic Libraries in Nigeria: The Cross River State Experience. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 5, No. 9, 2017, pp 952-958. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/5/9/4
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Afebende, Godwin B.. "Assessment of Institutional Initiative in Generating Alternative Funds to Sustain Library Services in Academic Libraries in Nigeria: The Cross River State Experience." American Journal of Educational Research 5.9 (2017): 952-958.
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Afebende, G. B. (2017). Assessment of Institutional Initiative in Generating Alternative Funds to Sustain Library Services in Academic Libraries in Nigeria: The Cross River State Experience. American Journal of Educational Research, 5(9), 952-958.
Chicago Style
Afebende, Godwin B.. "Assessment of Institutional Initiative in Generating Alternative Funds to Sustain Library Services in Academic Libraries in Nigeria: The Cross River State Experience." American Journal of Educational Research 5, no. 9 (2017): 952-958.
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[1]  Ubogu, J. U. and Okiy, R. B. Sources of funds in academic libraries in Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. Library and Philosophy Practice (e-journal)676. 2011. Available: http://digital commons. edu/lib[hilprad676. Accessed July 3, 2017.
In article      View Article
 
[2]  Hisle, W. L. “Top issues facing academic libraries: A report of focus on the future task force”. College & Research Libraries 63(10), 2002. [Online] Available: http://www.ala.organisation /acrl/pubs/cr/news//beckissues2002/acins.htm. Accessed June 18, 2015.
In article      View Article
 
[3]  Inoyo, U. “Challenges and opportunities for university graduates in a season of economic and moral decay” 19th/20th Convocation Lecture of University of Uyo, Nigeria, November 21, 2014.
In article      
 
[4]  Ibok, K. U. “Management Strategies of academic library finances in the 21st century” Workshop in Strategic Management of University Libraries in the 21st Century. University of Abuja, Nigeria, March 21-22, 1996.
In article      
 
[5]  Ogundipe, O. O. The Librarianship of Developing Countries: The Librarianship of diminished resources. Ikofa Press Ltd., Lagos, Nigeria, 2008.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  Edoka, B. E. “Framework for sustainable university funding”. Nigerian Libraries: Journal of Nigeria Library Association 35(2), 9-16, 2001.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Lawal, O. O. The Library Profession in Nigeria. University of Calabar Press, Calabar, Nigeria.
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