«A Comparative Analysis of the Availability of Information Resources on Ibibio Culture in the University Of Uyo And Akwa Ibom State Public Library ...»
Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol.6, No.5, 2015
A Comparative Analysis of the Availability of Information
Resources on Ibibio Culture in the University Of Uyo And Akwa
Ibom State Public Library
HENRY ITOHOWO OKON (Ph.D.), JEHU S. SIMON
Department of Educational Technology & Library Science,
Faculty of Education, University of Uyo, Uyo
INIOBONG AKAIThe Library Department, Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa Campus, Akwa Ibom State.
Keywords: Availability, Ibibio Funeral, Fattening (Mbobo), Taboo, Myths Introduction Information resources in libraries are strategic and a pivot around which the growth and development of individuals, organizations and nations revolve. The importance of information resources in the last decade has been further underscored with the increasing convergence of information and communication technology.
Libraries have been referred to as the reserve of, and cradle for human civilization and culture (Hyun, 2006).
This is why libraries preserve information on a more permanent basis and in most case is the supplier of background information resources, which is described as a social instrumentality created by the society to transmit knowledge about culture. Accordingly, Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) recognized the primary responsibility of any library as to conserve knowledge by its exhaustive and encyclopedic collection of all published materials relevant to the reason for which the library was set up.
Different kind of libraries provide different type of information resources geared toward particular needs of individuals, especially for the eclectic and heterogeneous clientele found in the public and the University library.
The basic responsibility of the library is to identify the needs of their clientele and acquire, organize (catalogue, shelve etc.), then make available these information resources for effective dissemination to those who need them.
The cultural motivation of libraries should be the promotion of wisdom in the individual and the community as a whole. Today’s librarians are expected to uphold the principles of intellectual freedom by ensuring that information resources representing all points of view on any given issue are made available, not succumbing to any political, ideological, religious or moralistic persuasions. Individuals, students, lecturers and indeed organizations and governments often find themselves in situations where they must make decisions, answer questions, locate facts, solve problems or understand something’s. Hence, availability of information resources means ensuring their presence in libraries for immediate use (Aguolu and Aguolu, 2002).
However, in the hunt for information resources from records of human culture, the user is usually confronted with the problems of inaccessibility, which could prevent the information resources from being of any use to him, even if they were available to him. Learning materials might be available, i.e., the library has acquired them, but inaccessible to those who need those for whatever reason (uncatalogued, miscataloged, misshelved, etc.). Dike (2008) concludes that both variables have a relationship with the use of library resources.
Consequently, the availability of various formats of information resources on Ibibio culture within the library Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol.6, No.5, 2015 should be dependable on the information needs of the society. Especially, where the populace are either literate or non-literate dwellers. The richness and quality in their cultural expression are subsumed in the complexity and staggered diversity of the people’s tradition. The assumption is that Ibibio people have over the year’s packaged different dimensional cultural rendition to contribute to the awakening of interest on Ibibio culture through diverse resources by means of books, journals, video cassettes/disc, thesis/projects etc. The knowledge carried by these information resources in the society should not be beyond the reach of libraries, which is the backbone or bedrock of all information resources. The anticipation is that cultural information content on Ibibio culture be collated in the formats of ideas, believes, values and skills which are interdependent by the library and made available for proper dissemination to users.
Statement of the Problem Akwa Ibom State is endowed with abundant information resources on Ibibio culture in the form of primary literature: journal articles, research reports, conference papers, grey literature, and thesis, market surveys, feasibility studies and so on. These are however scattered and uncoordinated, and not accessible to a great majority of the user groups. Libraries in Akwa Ibom State are deficient in Ibibio cultural resources, a problem that greatly affects our research efforts, quality of academic products, and continuity in the transmission of our cultural heritage, decision-making, and our overall national development plans. The effort of individual libraries and information centers in the state with regards information management is laudable bearing in mind the constraints in which they operate.
Unfortunately, these efforts however do not satisfy the information needs and demands of their immediate user groups let alone the demand from outside. Experience has shown that despite the enviable importance of information resources on Ibibio culture, their availability in teaching and research is not encouraging as most libraries in Akwa Ibom State are unable to meet the required standard in the provision of these resources.
Information resources on Ibibio traditional ceremonies appear as a neglected theme in libraries. Some of the ones available are very old and gradually dying out making our society to be on the verge of losing part of its heritage.
It is these considerations that deemed this research which attempts to investigate the different holdings of information resources on Ibibio culture in the University of Uyo library and Akwa Ibom State library, Uyo.
The following hypotheses formed the basis of this research:
(1) There is no significant difference in the size of information resources on Ibibio funeral ceremony in the University of Uyo Library and Akwa Ibom State Public Library, Uyo.
(2) There is no significant difference in the size of information resources on Ibibio fattening (Mbobo) ceremony in the University of Uyo Library and Akwa Ibom State Library, Uyo.
(3) There is no significant difference in the size of information resources on Ibibio taboos in the University of Uyo Library and Akwa Ibom State Library, Uyo.
(4) There is no significant difference in the size of information resources on Ibibio myths in the University of Uyo Library and Akwa Ibom State Library, Uyo.
Background to the study The University of Uyo library, popularly known as Nyong Essien library has an active collection of 46,745 volumes of material and handles about 409,979 lending and reference queries annually. Its current journal stands at 271 representing all disciplines. It has reading space of 970.51 matters with seating capacity for 698 students.
Currently, there are four main divisions namely; acquisitions, lending, processing and research. The public divisions deals directly with readers and regulates the use of library materials. It also handles references questions both on academic and cultural issues.
On the other hand, Akwa Ibom state public library, Uyo is one of the six types of libraries that are established to encourage members of the public, both young and old to cultivate the habit of reading in order to improve their standard of life by reducing illiteracy. Located at number three Brown street, off Udotung Ubo way, this library provides access to materials of general interest as it takes care of the needs of its heterogeneous clientele who fall under the following categories; pre-school children, young people, adults and special groups such as; the blind, the physically handicapped and the elderly.
The Ibibio are found in Akwa Ibom State in the South- South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. More specifically, “the area lies between latitudes 4º25' and 5º45' and longitudes 7º16' and 8º55'E (Inyang, 1991). With a population of about 4,000,000 (4 million) speakers living in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and in other states of the Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol.6, No.5, 2015 Federation, they are described as the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria (Essien, 1990). Ibibio identifies a people and their language. Ibibio belongs to the Benue-Congo family. A further sub-classification shows Ibibio as belonging to the Lower Cross. Ibibio and other genetically related languages have been classed under what Essien (1990) refers to as Ibibiod, a term which in essence, captures the common origin/ history, culture of the language and the people (Urua, 2007). Ibibio people are very religious and largely moral, living in small villages connected together by language and kinship loyalties. These people pursue modernization through education. An average family takes provide in education from the primary to the tertiary levels. This satisfying educational needs and years of this great people prompted the government policy which cares on bound that public libraries be established in Uyo, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Etinan and Abak.
Previous Study According to Okon & Ansa (2012), availability survey is a cross sectional snapshot in time to sample the ability of the collection to satisfy demands, so in managing a collection for maximum dissemination, there is need to note that they are more concerned with estimating the availability of particular titles or groups of little a whole period of academic aridity. The culture into which one is born generally influences one’s worldview. Udo (1993) notes that culture means the sum total of those elements by which man adopts himself to his immediate environment. These elements may be intellectual, economic, social, or demographic in nature: they embody a definite system of beliefs, custom, behaviors to a particular society.
For Omekwu (2003), the cataclysmic impact of the current changing information world on libraries and cultural values systems must be understood in the context of availability of cultural resources in libraries. Studies on availability of information resources on culture by Arne (2000), Henrica (2000), and Marian (2000) reveal that the library is assumed to be that garage where that vehicle (Information resources) with its luggage (Culture) is safely in custody. Similarly, Marian (2000) contend that it is obligatory for libraries to make available these information resources, because it is closely linked with quality and there is no other way of judging the significance of the works on culture than by making it available to the public. In the same vain, Gillette and Wright (2005) submit that the mission statement of the public library should be to provide divers cultural opportunities for learning, entertainment and reaching to all citizens of the community.
Webb (1996), Mabawonku (1992), Ugwuanyi (1998) and Ukpe (1998), identified size, nature, and content of the library collection to depend upon the objectives of the library and the needs of the clientele. The authors maintain that this social responsibility has always defined their service orientations, culminating in their nomenclature e.g. University library (for an academic community), public library (for community use and researcher) etc. With these factors in mind, the librarian selects and acquires materials required to carry on the library programme in keeping with established policies and procedures of making information available. Aguolu and Aguolu (2002) and Kayoma (2005) mention that libraries have natural responsibility to their environment, which is to provide services to the people in their immediate community.
For the future, modern life has become sacred, central to our learning process. Udo (1993) is of the notion that one of the most interesting ways in which Ibibio traditional belief and taboo blends in this modern life is the complex ways in which they are all interwoven into the secular needs of Ibibio communities and geared towards the solution of practical problems of day to day life in Ibibio land. Ezomo (2002), Shoki and Oyelude (2006) conclude that culture and language are factors that come into play in the information resource storage, information dissemination and information use cycle. Massman (1996) and Gray (2002) perceive that it is quite interesting to note that the volume of information on culture continues to grow, more so the human population multiples as a result of marriage and birth, thus the problem of information resources availability and dissemination increases, especially as its concerns Ibibio beliefs and taboos. So, libraries must recognize the importance of oral and visual tradition.