Strengthening Health Science Libraries and Information Centres in Nigeria through Library Collaboration: The Role of Librarians
Ahiaoma Ibegwam Ph.D, Elameyi Susan Unobe, Chioma Uzohue

Objectives: There is an urgent need for the collaboration between health science libraries and medical research institute in various regions of Nigeria, so as not dissipating their meager resources by trying to specialize in every aspect of medicine at the same time. This need is the after effect of years of economic challenges, insufficient manpower development, dilapidated infrastructure, poor information record keeping, inadequate financial support for research , among many others have resulted in the inability of health sciences libraries and medical research institute to meet up, in a timely manner with the information needs of healthcare providers in Nigeria. Methods: Thirty–four librarians of academic and officer cadre of three first generation university medical colleges and on medical research institute were surveyed. Results: Findings from the investigation revealed that Increase in depth of collection development, Increase in service to clients, Cost saving and Sharing of resources were the major reasons for library collaborations. Resources in the form of financial, human and leadership were the greatest facilitators to successful collaboration among medical libraries. The collaborators Need and knowledge of the accruable benefits and ability to was the highest factors that facilitated collaboration among medical libraries in Nigeria. Several resources of the libraries are already used for collaboration among medical libraries. These include coping and duplicating, Professional Issues, Inter library lending/loan services, and computerized searches of online data bases are the highest in ranking. The major barriers to library cooperation were Funding and Financial Issues. Poor power supply, lack of vision, fear of loss of control and Lack of telecommunication facilities also constituted barriers. Conclusion: Collaboration among medical libraries in Nigeria is already in existence and could get better if Library leaders understand their library’s areas of strength, identified their Library resources and services that will promote effective collaboration between their health institutes and other medical libraries in support of free access to health information. It is recommended that Library leaders must take advantage of their library’s area of strength, New Information and communication Technology, the internet and the world wide web in the inter library collaboration in this digital age

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlis.v7n1a4