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STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING RECORDS MANAGEMENT SKILLS OF LIBRARIAN IN ARCHIVES

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CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Background to the Study

 

Records Centres are transitory or semi-current records storage facilities that are responsible for the management of semi-current records until their final disposal.  Archives, on the other hand, are organizations that are responsible for the care and control of archival materials (Society for American Archivists, 2016).  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2017) defines libraries as collections of information sources and other resources, made available or accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. There are, however, some prominent differences that exist amongst these institutions. Records centres and archives manage information in the form of records while libraries manage all types of information for user access. Archives and records centres manage records in closed access stacks organized in a particular classification for easy identification and access (Da Graca Simoes, De Freita, Rodriguez-Bravo, 2016) and are accessed on special request (Marciniak, 2015); they may be searched online by using finding aids(Goss,2013). Libraries, on the other hand, organize materials in open stacks on shelves organized using a bibliographic classification system for easy access (Da Graca Simoes, De Freita, Rodriguez-Bravo, 2016; Ribeiro,2014).Materials in libraries are searched using an Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).  Archives, record centres, and libraries use technology as a modern way of digital information preservation (Asongwa and Ezema, 2012; Schroeder, 2013;Jain & Akakandelwa, 2016;Thompson, Robertson,& Greenberg, 2014). The functions of archives and libraries have, however, been similar: they all support lifelong learning, they manage information, they all collect and preserve community heritage, and they protect and make access to materials for research (Novia, 2012; Society for American Archivists, 2016). In their efforts to make their information products retrievable, archives and libraries use classification systems (Da Graca Simoes, De Freita, Rodriguez-Bravo, 2016; Ribeiro, 2014).  Both librarians and archivists require research, knowledge organization, information technology and interpersonal skills to deliver their services effectively (American Library Association, 2017). It is against this background that this paper investigates whether a university library can work as an archive and record centre. Imo state University generates various forms of records, which include students’ records, personnel records, administrative records, assessment records, projects records, financial records, communication records, and procurement records. The library produces accession records, circulation records, shelf-list/inventory records, and catalogue records.  Some of these records are in print form while some are in electronic form. Apart from these current records, the University houses several old records that date back to 1999 when the University was established. The University does not have a central records office where all institutional records are kept and an archive where old records are preserved for future use.  Each department is in custody of its own historic and new records, managed by secretaries and heads of department.  Imo state University registry and library are the only places where some records involving the whole institution are kept. The registry has a record office where students’ records on admission and assessment, staff personnel information, policies of the university, and external communication files are kept under one records manager with staff who have onthe-job training. The library keeps records of reading materials, users, and equipment that it uses to perform its duties. Its records are generated by trained staff in Library and Information Science.

 

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STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING RECORDS MANAGEMENT SKILLS OF LIBRARIAN IN ARCHIVES

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