EVALUATION OF TECHNICAL SERVICES IN ABIA STATE CENTRAL LIBRARY BOARD, UMUAHIA.
Generally, technical services department is concerned with selecting, acquisition, organization and also repairing of the total library resources with suitable bibliographic control. It is usually referred to as the behind the screen department because most of their activities are carried out of the sight of regular user or clientele of the library.
Literature on the technical services therefore falls under the following sub-units which makes up the technical areas of the library. They includes;
- Acquisition policy
Selection is one of the aspect of technical services as state by Okpara, (2002: 2) according to him: selection of library materials as an aspect of technical services is the first and most important aspect of collection. It is also a very difficult process since it involves taking necessary decision which could rise or make the library services. To avoid the possibility of omitting some useful sources of information on published work, it is useful for the librarian to compile a literature on material to be scanned including abstract, index, journals, current content of journals, primary journals, newspaper, review of books and bibliographies.
According to Broadus, (2002):
Selection is not made in a vacuum, it is practiced by an expert who wrest with the question of what books are mostly needed by a definite group of readers with different interest, capabilities and requirements of the readers who consume or use books for many or different reasons.
American Library Association, states that;
Materials should be selected to support the cultural, informational educational and rehabilitation functions of a library also materials should be selected to meet the needs of wide variety of targeted group users.
If there is no acquisition of these materials that has been selected after their selection, than it means that nothing has been done.
According to Ford (2000: 98) states:
It is a technical activity which involves all the process required to make relevant resources outsides the library available for users.
We talk of acquisition, but after that another thing that remains is how this material are acquired.
In view of this question, Kumar, (2003: 23) states:
In the developing countries, the traditions of building up library collection are done through gifts especially such materials that cannot be bought. Library materials are also acquired through purchase, donations.
Harris (2001: 40) states that:
Almost all the library materials are acquired through purchase. This might be done by placing of orders directly to the publishers or ordering through agencies. No library can acquire all the materials that are needed by its users that is the users that is the reason.
Danton (2003: 10) points out that:
To meet the demand of the modern society for great access to great number of book and periodicals, libraries have to work together in a variety of may and have to establish many forms of inter-library activities.
Without acquisition, no library can boast of stock because the materials cannot never came into the library on its own without the help of somebody that is way Tanber (2001: 22) views that:
Acquisition may be responsible for a number of closely related library operations that is handling of serials and government publications. For the above statement, it can conclude that acquisition involves all presses that are involved in providing those materials that have been selected. One of the library major responsibilities has always been development collection with books and other information materials which will be potentially useful to the communities it services.
- ACQUISITION POLICY
Acquisition policy is the plan or rules that guide the selection of library materials. One of the library major responsibility has always been the development of its collection and also make sure that every material selected us worth of useful information for the community it serves. The purpose of acquisition policy is to ensure that the best materials are acquired uniformity in the development of library collection.
According to Danion, (2003: 98):
A successful acquisition policy depends on three main components knowledgeable, selection, budgeting control and space to put the items when they are received. Also in considering the essentials of acquisition programme.
Matcale, (2000) observes that:
The library attempting to collect research materials should have a guide on such matters as whether to concentrate on new or old materials, the extent to cover whether to collect manuscripts and rare books and how it plan to tegrated its collection with other in the same region.
A written acquisition policy helps one to know when to replace items which are very old, worn-out title in the collection. Policy statement provides a framework with in which individual can exercise their own judgement.
Anyakoha (2002) says that:
Acquisition policy will go a long way in serving as guideline to relate research needs.
Whatever materials a library acquire shows the quality of that library. Therefore, it is necessary for any library to consult a well prepared acquisition policy which will help the library to be filled with if not with the best materials but with an acceptable ones.
Library materials are of no use if they are not processed it is only when they are well processed that the readers can have access to the materials.
Processing the materials involves different stages and cataloging is one of the stage. An authority in cataloging Cutter (2001) states that:
The purpose of cataloguing is to enable the library clientele to be able to locates books of which either the author, the little, the subjects as know, to show what the library has by a given kind of literature to assist in the choice of a books for a library user to enjoy the library and to locate items easily a well maintenance should be taken to avoid misfiling since a misfiled card can lead to a misself books and misielf book is as good as a lost mishelf in the library with this point.
Gates (2001: 27) laments that:
Cataloguing is a multiple process which needs great care and knowledge, a cataloguer should be acquaint with all sound and suitable technical activities through a well recognized library school to acquire and gain import and experience.
Kummar (2000: 3) according to him:
Cataloguing maybe regarded as a work in which contents are arranged in a reasonable way according to a set plan or merely word by word. Cataloguing denote the various process involves in the preparation of entire and maintenance of a catalogue. Without a cataloguing, library classification along will fall to meet effectively and prompt the readers approach to document through author, subject or little that is why it is very important to catalogue all library materials. In other words, cataloguing is sine qua non to library services.
Classification is another aspect of technical services that is very important. Just like cataloging it needs concentration and carefulness.
According to Sayers (2001: 18):
Classification is the intellectual process by which own mental concepts or pictures of things are recognized the likeness or unity set in relation to one another and arrangement of things in classes are made in sort of a classification.
Just like cataloguing, classification is also done by somebody who has a good know knowledge of classification scheme with this point.
Kelly (2001: 18) observed that:
The classification of books in libraries is mainly utilitarian in nature, being done by a group person for the purpose of aiding others in the subject approach to books. its meaning and purpose cannot be determined by prior assumptions as to its worth but can actually be arrived at, only in terms of rising usefulness for those who use of books being classified.
In his own perspective Bliss (2001: 48)
Views that classification is a series or system of classes arranged in a manner according to some principle or conception purpose or interest or some combination.
Carveth (2000) states that:
Classification is a mental grouping of facts or phenomena according to their resemblance and differences in order to reach that best purpose. If one is not careful, he might get confused while classifying a books.
Bliss (2001: 48) indicates that:
The confusion of close classification without proper subordinate and collection should not mislead us to discredit specific classification in science and history, where proper subordination and collection any serve with maximum efficiency.
According to Jevons (2001: 98) classification is the putting together of simplest things or morefully described things, it is the arrangement of things according to likeness and unlikeness. It is the sorting and grouping of things, but in addition classifying with adjustments made necessary by the physical form of books.
Not minding different views hold by different people on what classification is all about, it is very important to classify all library materials so as to help readers to know which class a particular materials fall in to. So as to be able to locate and retrieve then from the shelf.