RECRUITMENT VARIABLES INTHE EMPLOYMENT OF LIBRARYAND INFORMATIONPROFESSIONALS INACADEMIC AND RESEARCHLIBRARIES IN NIGERIAChimezie P. Uzuegbu (CLN, ACIA, MNIM)&Uche AruaMaiden conference of the Nigerian Library Association, Abia State Chapter @ National Root CropsResearch Institute, Umudike. Dec.11-13, 2012
INTRODUCTIONIt is common knowledge that staffis the very important element ofevery organisation.The success of any kind of libraryin her provision of maximumsatisfaction to its clientele isindisputably dependent oncompetent and trained personnel.
Consequent to this, internal andexternal job recruitmentadvertisements for librarianspositions in academic and researchinstitutions in Nigeria lay emphasis oncertain variables as requirements foremployment of applicants.Some of the requirements includequalification, experience, age, etcetera.But, there is a problem -
PROBLEMThe problem is that:No one knows the extent to which therecruitment variables are employed to weighthe suitability of librarian applicants inacademic and research libraries.Besides, the view of practicing library andinformation professionals in the context ofwhat or to what extent some of these variablesshould be considered in recruitment exercisefor librarians in Nigeria is scarcely available inthe literature.Thus, these necessitated the study -
As a PURPOSE therefore,the researchers sought:To find out from practicing librarianswhat employers should consider asrequirements for the employment oflibrariansTo find out the level of importance tobe attached to each recruitment variableTo make suggestions that will aid theconsideration and recruitment of libraryand information professionals in Nigeria.
To get answers to the purpose ofthe study, the researchersemployed – METHODOLOGY:A survey research design Librarians (professionals) working inacademic and research institutions librariesin Abia State consisted the population. By a purposive sampling, 27 librariansfrom 5 libraries were surveyed.24 librarians completed the four-point-scale (modified Likert) instrument and the24 copies was found valid for analysis.
FINDINGSBased on the purpose of the study,the list below shows the recruitmentvariables as given by respondents,exactly in the order of their priority:1. Educational qualifications:respondents say that librarianapplicants must possess degrees inlibrarianship.
2. Nationality/locality:Employment of applicants mustessential be after an equalopportunity test for applicantsregardless of nationality/locality3. Referee report: referencesmust definitely be in favor ofthe applicant
4. Work experience: only to beconsidered in the recruitment ofapplicants to higher grades.5. Age: mandatory for all gradesof applicants6. ICT skills: a practical knowledgeof it must be demonstrated byapplicants.
7. Membership to LIS professionalbodies: applicants must belong toprofessional bodies in the LISprofession.8. Evidence of research andpublications: applicants, more for thehigher grades, should be published inreputable Journals more than inother scholarly publications
9. Sex of applicant: it should notmatter.10. Marital status: notnecessarily important forapplicants.
RECOMMENDATIONSLibrarians have swept the need forresearch and publication as acrucial requirement for theiremployment under the carpet. Itshould not be so. After all, theyare academics. (See Conferencebook pg 46 for morerecommendations).
CONCLUSIONManpower is the most vital and powerful of allthe resources of any organization. A librarycan have an excellent collection of documents,plenty of online resources and a beautiful andcomfortable building, but if it does not have awell-trained, competent staff, it will lose itsvalue, given the fact that the users using thelibrary will not be served properly. Thisresearch has identified ten recruitmentvariables which are recurrently listed inNigerian job advertisements for librarians askey areas of consideration for employment.