IMPORTANCE OF LIBRARY STATISTICS AND RECORDS (A CASE STUDY OF OYO STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE & TECHNOLOGY, IGBOORA)

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CHAPTER ONE

        1.0.  INTRODUCTION

       1.1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The word ’’statistics’’ is coined from the Latin word ’’status’’. It refers to a method of dealing with quantitative information involving collection, analysis, presentation, and interpretation of data. It is a branch of Mathematics which appears to have originated in the 18th century.

Statistics is regarded as one of the important tools for making decisions, planning of libraries and development of ideas, as it provides the facts and figures which are presented in tabular or other forms.

Statistics is a fundamental and central concept in the development and planning of libraries. But many libraries take it for granted or are simply unaware of its importance in the development of their libraries while others see it as a non-significant activity that is not worth spending time on.

Nevertheless, statistics has been discovered to be an important aspect in the growth of the library. Statistics helps to preserve records and also to write the history and reports of a library. Proper statistics taking in the library will create an avenue for records management which will in turn promote and develop the library when properly utilized.

Record taking in the library cannot be over-emphasized, as it represents proof or existence of all the activities or routines performed in the various sections of the library, which can likewise be used to recreate or prove state of existence, regardless of medium or characteristics.

So effective is the use of statistics in libraries that it helps the librarian in the planning and controlling of the activities performed in the library.

These days, statistics are thrown as a cringing public from all sides and few people can escape them completely. Some pieces of statistical information are more interesting and more important than others. The library needs to develop a critical awareness and understanding of what is important and of what can be legitimately deduced from the deluge of statistical information.

Kayode Joseph (2003) defined the library as a repository for various kinds of recorded information (either printed or non-printed).

Wikipedia (2010) also defined the library as a collection of sources of information  and similar resources made accessible to a defined community for

reference or borrowing. The library provides physical or digital access to materials and may be a physical building or room or a virtual space or both.

Since the library collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers microform, e-books, audiobooks, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, videotapes and other formats, it is imperative and important that all the library collection and activities be statistically recorded for the development and growth of the library.

Library statistics and records are a vital component for the management and promotion of the library. For any meaningful investment to be made in information services provision there is need for a substantial body of statistical and economic data on existing library facilities and services to show where gaps exist and ways on how to invest in areas of greatest need.

Historically, professional planners have recognized data collection as one of the initial phases in any planning process and the growing quantitative character of planning activity has been noted by its practitioners, other services stress the need for appropriate adequate data inputs into the planning and implementation of the planning process.

          The collection of library statistics remains one of the most challenging      management areas in our libraries as there remains no easily available source of up to date statistical records.

        1.2 .  HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE OYO STATE                                     COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE & TECHNOLOGY, IGBOORA

The Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology uses the former ground of the technical college Igbo-ora which was moved to Iseyin in 2001. However, in their resolve to restore the lost glory of Oyo State, and tackle the various challenges confronting the agricultural sector and to increase youth participation in agriculture, the Oyo State Government in August 2006, established the Oyo State College of Agriculture which later had its name changed to Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora (OYSCATECH).

The Oyo State College of Agriculture and technology is saddled with the responsibility of giving excellent agricultural training to youth who will be able to create jobs for themselves and others and become agents of food sufficiency. Since inception, the College has been pursuing its vision through excellent

curricular, efficient and enduring physical infrastructure for effective training, relevant research and development oriented programmes coupled with entrepreneurship training. Within its six years of existence, the speedy development of the College has been described as highly impressive while it has turned out three sets of students as trained agricultural man power, equipped with technical knowledge and skills in agriculture for industrial, commerce and economic development of Oyo State in particular and the nation at large.

The Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology library started operation on February 2nd 2009. It is headed by the college librarian Mr. Olaojo P.O. The library is situated in the administrative building of the school and shared with the school registry.

        1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Over the years, it has been observed that many libraries have neglected the collection, compilation and use of library statistics and records. The researcher is therefore interested on how library statistics and records help in the development and planning of the library.

         1.4   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The aim for carrying out this research is:

  1. To access the need for collecting library statistics and records in the library
  2.  To determine the type of library statistics collected in the library
  3. To determine the method used in collecting library statistics and records                                   in the library.
  4. To access how library statistics and record taking helps in the development and planning of the library.
  5. To access the factors affecting effective library statistics and record taking in the library

       1.5   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

            The following research questions would be formulated to guide this study:

  1. What are the needs for collecting library statistics and records?
    1. What are the types of library statistics collected in the library?
    1. What methods are used in collecting library statistics and records in the library?
    1. What ways does library statistics and record taking helps in the development and planning of the library?
    1. What are factors affecting effective library statistics and record taking in the library?

1.7   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research work will be of great benefit to the library as it will help the library to be able to compare between previous and current library activities, evaluation of the staff performance, controlling all the activities in the library.

This research work will also assist in the development and growth of the library.

1.6  SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this research work is based on the effective use of library statistics and records. This research work will focus on the library staff of the

Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora. This study will also investigate ways on how to use the collected data and records for the development and planning of the library.

        1.8  DEFINITION OF TERMS

  Library: A library is a building that houses a collection of books and other       materials for reference or borrowing.

Statistics: Statistics is the art of keeping quantitative records of operations in the library.

Records: A set of data relating to an individual or items or it can be said to be any instance of a physical medium on which information was put for the purpose of preserving it and making it available for future reference.

Development: This is the act of improving by expanding, enlarging or refining.

Planning: This is the act of formulating a program for a definite course of action.

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