This study assessed staff training and development for non-professional staff in university libraries in North East Nigeria. The study was guided by seven (7) research questions. Descriptive survey was adopted for the study. The population for the study comprised all non-professional staff from the thirteen (13) university libraries in North East Nigeria totaling two hundred and seventy four (274) but due to security challenges in some part of the zone, the study covered only one hundred and ninety-four (194) in ten (10) university libraries. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire and interview. Data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The findings from the study revealed that majority of the staff training programmes were provided to high extent in the university libraries especially orientation programmes. The data also indicated that computer training/internet literacy is highly relevant in the university libraries. Beside, the study revealed that favouristism is the basis for selection processes of staff for training programmes. The finding pointed out that personal financial constraint and poor knowledge of ICT facilities are the main problems facing staff training and development programmes. The study brought to light that funding and adequate provision of training facilities (mostly current) should be provided by the management. The study made some recommendations among which are: The management of university libraries should induce their non-professional staff with finance to encourage them engage more in training programmes, develop training policies and guidelines for non-professional staff, selection of staff for training programmes should be based on merit, problems of poor funding and lack of computer training/internet literacy should be properly addressed by the management.

Background of the Study 1
Statement of the Problem 11
Purpose of the Study 12
Research Questions 13
Significance of the Study 14
Scope of the Study 15
Conceptual Framework 16
Concept of University Library 16
Concept of Staffing 22
Concept of Non-Professional Staff 25
Concept of Staff Training and Development 28
Concept of Assessment 40
Types of Staff Training and Development programmes in University Libraries 44
Relevance of Training Programme for Non-Professionals in University Libraries 57
Attitude of Staff towards Training Programmes 59
Challenges of staff Training and Development 60
Strategies for Enhancing Staff Training and Development in University Libraries 66
Theoretical Framework 68
Kirkpatrick evaluation model (Kirkpatrick, 1975) 68
Outcome Based Evaluation Model (Schalock, 2001) 70

Review of Empirical Studies 71
Summary of the Literature Review 77
Design of the Study 80
Area of the Study 80
Population of the Study 81
Sample and Sampling Technique 81
Instrument for Data Collection 82
Validation of the Instrument 84
Method of Data Collection 84
Method of Data Analysis 85
Discussion of Findings 98
Implication of the Study 103
Recommendation 103
Limitation of the Study 104
Conclusion 104
APENDIX A: Population and Distribution of Non-Professional Staff in University
Libraries in North-East 114
APPENDIX B: Sample and Sampling Techniques 115
APPENDIX C: Interview Schedule 116
APPENDIX D: Assessment of Staff Training and Development Questionnaire 117




Background to the Study

University libraries are established in the universities to meet the information needs of the members of the community. This indicates that students, lecturers, and other users within the parent institution should be able to get the required information resources from these libraries. According to Ogunsola (2004), university libraries have long been recognized as the ‘Hearts’ of their universities. To fulfill their mission of supporting the educational objectives of their parent body, which include teaching, learning, research and cultural development, the libraries have to develop and maintain standard books, journals and audio-visual collections and services. The extent, to which the institution is able to carry out its laudable objectives, portrays how well the institution’s library has been supportive to it in the provision of all the essential information resources.



Aiyegunle and Moneme (2006) stated that university libraries are places where collection of materials are organized to provide physical, bibliographical and intellectual accesses to a target group by trained staff, who provide services and programmes related to the information needs of the users. The physical facilities necessary to support such a collection, staff and student (Tabs 2003). The staff required in university libraries need to have different competences. Edoka (2004) acknowledged this by stating that university libraries like any other establishments are designed and managed by  special groups of people whose job are to combine and utilize the organizational resources of men, money, information items and other resources to achieve organizational objectives. These individuals are regarded as ‘staff’ of the organization.

According to Hawkins (1995), staff can mean the people employed by an organization especially those doing administrative work. Staff in an organization as the case maybe ae not only for administrative work but cuts across other technical services that an organization may provide for its client. Gill (2001) viewed staff as an important resource in the operation of a library. In order to provide the best possible service to the community that houses library, it is necessary to maintain well trained and highly motivated staff to facilitate effective use of the resources of the library and to meet the demands of the community. A library staff should have such qualities and skills like the ability to communicate positively with people, understand the needs of users, co-operate with individuals, knowledge of library materials and how best to access it, reassess to change methods of working to meet new situations, among others. Akpokurerie (2006) agreed that competent library staff in various aspects of library operations ensure that achievement of library operations and library objectives, which have to do with learning, teaching, research and services. To achieve all these, there is need for staff training programmes for all the staff working in the university libraries especially, the non-professional staff.

The non-professional staff are the assistant library officers, senior library assistants, library assistants and library attendants. They do not possess any qualifications in library and information science. Oberg (2004) stated that non-professional or support staff constitute the largest force of library tasks and perform tasks that might not be directly related to library activities, such as clerical work but complementary to library tasks. They are also involved in library tasks such as bibliographic searching, charging and discharging of library materials, filing of cards, and shelving. Ibrahim (2001) stated that the non-professional staff  in university libraries do the routine activities and they help immensely in the running of the affairs of the library. In view of their level of education and method of recruitment, they require some training to make them perform their duties reasonably well. Internal training programmes, according to Ocheibi and Lawal (2002) help non-professional staff working in university libraries to understand library procedures and help them provide improved and quality services. Integrated with these is instruction in language development so that staff can express themselves clearly and correctly and can easily interpret instructions.

Training is a crucial element in ensuring positive users’ experiences within libraries.  According to Banjoko (2002), training is an organized procedure by which people acquire knowledge or skill for a definite purpose; it is a process of equipping the employees particularly the non-managerial employees with specific skills. Abikoye (2002) added that training is a systematic process of altering the behaviour, knowledge and/or motivation of employees in a direction to increase the trainer’s effectiveness and organizational goal achievement. Paradise (2007) also noted that training is an organized method of learning and development which expand the efficiency of individual, group and organization. According to the Economic and Social Commission (2003), training is a means to impart knowledge, and develop skills, and change attitudes and behaviour. Training involves the improvement of three basic characteristics knowledge, skills and attitudes. Azino (2014) stated that training in librarianship can be regarded as organized planning process to staff of the library to learn useful skills technically. In the context of this study, training is the process through which librarians learn new skills or techniques thereby achieving a change in behaviour and attitude.

Training and development in the most simplistic definition, is an activity that changes people’s behaviour. Increased productivity is often said to be the most important reason for training and development. Training and development are essential not only to increase productivity but to also motivate and inspire workers by letting them know how important their jobs are and giving them all the information they need to perform those jobs of which librarian and library staff are not exempted. Olaniyan and Ojo (2008) added that training and development of library staff can solve a variety of manpower problems, which militate against optimal productivity in institutions. These can be summarized as increasing productivity, increasing the quality of work and raising morale of personnel; helping to develop new skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes for work; using rightly new tools and machines, processes and methods; reducing waste, accidents, turnover, lateness, absenteeism, and other overhead costs in organizations; implementing new or changed policies or regulations, fighting obsolescence in skills and technologies; increasing performance which meets the standard of performance for the job; developing replacements schedules; preparing people for advancement, improving manpower deployment; and ensuring the survival and growth of the institutions in all times.

Staff development is a veritable tool available  to institutions to enable them make the best of their staff potentials. According to The National Staff Development Council (2001), staff development provides direction for designing a professional development experience that ensures educators acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. According to Treep (2012), staff development is a program which guides and encourages employees to acquire knowledge, increase their skills, and develop their abilities on a continuing basis, coordinated effort to help employees learn to do their job better and  continuous improvement of the organization through the growth and development of the individual to increase the effectiveness of all staff.

Effective staff development program tries to create recognizable link between the personal and professional growth of staff. According to Khan, Idress and Khan (2013), library staff development is the process directed towards the personal and professional growth of employees and other personnel. Every institution seeks to attain optimum productivity using the available human and material resources. Optimum productivity can scarcely be achieved without a well-planned and implemented staff training and development programmes geared towards improving the status and capabilities of employees.

The selection process is designed to find people who have the skills and abilities necessary to carry out required job duties. But to become an asset to an organization, new employees generally need some additional training. They need to learn about their work environment and about their specific job responsibilities. Also, they need to become familiar with the organization’s policies and procedures, and learn how they themselves fit into the work group.

Corroborating the above point, Azino (2014) asserted that training and development is an important means of changing the lifestyle of humans. When one refuses to be updated, one becomes outdated. For this reason, the following have been summarized as the reward of training and development:  Increased knowledge, skills, and the development of positive behaviour and attitude to work, increased organizational productivity and quantity products, improved workers moral, reduced turnover rate among workers, brings about sense of belonging among employee and reduces the rate of absenteeism, brings about better coordination of both human and non-human resources within the organization as it helps to save supervisor’s time and enhances employee’s chance for promotion.

It can be seen that there are various needs for training programmes especially for non-professional staff. Through the training scheme, it is possible to maintain a library that is of high standard, to keep the library alive, living and very effective despite the changing time. For staff to perform their task effectively, libraries usually assist their staff to equip themselves with skills they think they might require to enable them perform their tasks better. This could be in the form of training course, workshops, conferences and professional attachments. Some libraries provide staff development in which staff members are assisted to obtain higher qualifications in library and information work.

The importance of staff training and development have since been realized by most Nigerian libraries, particularly, university libraries. This led most of the libraries to establish in-house training and development programmes to train and ensure the development of their staff particularly the non-professionals. While the professionals and para-professionals obtain their degrees and diplomas respectively before joining the library and are made to attend seminars, conferences and workshops outside the library as continuing education, the non-professionals are left with no option. Therefore, the in-house training programme is essentially created to cater for this category of staff. The professional and para-professional staff have little time for training staff in the variety of skills needed in a particular area and then reluctant to rotate their staff to give them wider experience. Change persists as one of the major concerns and motivators to professional development in librarianship. With the increasing variety of formats in which information is available, the expanding dependence on automated systems, the shifting nature of library clientele and the demand for librarians with the skills to cope with the growing size and complexities of libraries, the profession has begun to assume a greater responsibility for the provision of adequate programmes of training and development for its staff members. Staff training and development have gained prominence because employees need to learn how to work with new equipment and processes, especially non-professional staff. This limits the usefulness and the awareness of the non-professional staff. They feel there is no interest in their future so they often move to other jobs.

The only standards available for promotion are formal education and the supervisor’s assessment. Studying privately for the General Certificate of Education may just not be possible for some junior staff but an internal training programme gives another means of evaluation for promotion and encourages staff to learn about the total operation of the library.

Assessment is part of a planning process focusing on identifying and solving performance problems. These performance problems may be related to knowledge, skills, and attitudes. According to Miller and Osinski, (2002), there are three levels of needs assessment: organizational analysis, task analysis and individual analysis. Assessment according to Umenwa (2010), is a judgment about something based on an understanding of the situation. Assessment is an essential aspect of the library operation. With that, it seeks to know how effective the library is serving the needs of its users. The library needs to evaluate services’ delivery and incorporate new knowledge, skills and approaches into future service delivery. To make improvement of future services, assessment in the library provides insight into the perceptions and needs of the information users and reveals trends in the service delivery and instruction. No library will operate well without the support of non-professional or supportive staff but yet, the users kept complaining on the services of libraries. This raises the question that led to the need for assessment of non-professional staff. Therefore, it becomes necessary to assess the level of non-professional staff of the university libraries in North East Nigeria.

Globally, different institutions provide training and development programmes to their employees for the improvement of their skills and abilities. These programmes were developed for employees in order to line up their skills with changing jobs and to also ensure that these programmes were adding value for the growth of their institutions. According to McClelland (2002), the significance and value of training and development have long been recognized. The exponential growth in technology with its effect on the economy and society at large, the need for training and development are more pronounced than ever especially in social institutions like the university libraries. Peretomode and Paretomode (2001) emphasized that training and development are geared towards improving upon works performance with the ultimate aim of achieving set organizational goals. Connor (2009) observed that library staff training and development are crucial elements in ensuring positive users’ experiences within libraries and new employees greatly need additional training about work environment and specific job responsibilities to become familiar with the organization policies and procedures, and to also learn how to fit into the work group. Staff training and development programmes are veritable tools, which an organization employs to keep its staff abreast of a new change in job roles. Azino (2014) categorized types of training and development programmes into three forms namely: on-the-job training method (OJM1), off-the-job training method (OJM2) and simulation techniques (SM). Zakari and Obi (2005) pointed out multitude of training and programmes that are available to all cadres of employee (on-the-job and off-the-job) such as in-service training, in-house routine orientation, job rotation, personalized training, continuing education, refresher course, seminars and symposia, vestibule training and apprenticeship applicable to non-professional staff and also necessary for staff development.

Third world university libraries are not ‘islands’ in the information world. There is the need for them to move with the rest of the world, in the provision of quality information. As stated by an Australian born voluntary librarian, “we have to come into the world of technology sometime, otherwise we shall be left behind by the big countries” (Partridge, 1998:12).

According to Nabuyanda (2006), nowadays librarians and library staff task have broadened with added responsibilities placed on them by the demands of the diverse research needs of the clients. They are challenged to be open minded and approachable to queries while knowing how to satisfy the information needs of the clients. A lot of current issues including information on HIV/AIDs, terrorism, environmental matters, politics and sports will be brought to their attention. Much as each individual library surveyed has their own unique features of information provided to the users depending on the type of courses provided, there are a lot of similarities in the challenges being faced. From the assertions above, it is obvious that training and development, no matter the level of the staff, in an institution or organization are important tools to enhance the performance level and increase productivity as well as coping with new challenges of which staff of university libraries are key stakeholders. The absence of training and development activities usually tend to affect the quality of service, professional career development and seemingly affecting productivity in the libraries including the university libraries.

In order to provide users with excellent services, the university libraries in Nigeria need staff well versed in all facets of their work. This is because librarians perform unique role in the society which no one else can exactly do. This is why Kenerson (1997) stated that all categories of library personnel in all types of library have needs to learn; often for a number of reasons. The daily task and major issues that confront individuals require them to apply their knowledge and skill appropriately to each situation. He further stated that universities are experiencing a profound change as a result of automation of its holdings as well as its networking capabilities to the world of information resources. Indeed, technology is the primary driving force behind this rapid rate of transformation. The catch phrase of  Zhang (2004) which is ‘do more with less’ has forced university libraries to place a high priority on the continual growth and development of their staff. Notwithstanding the importance of collections and services, the staff members remain the library’s most important and expensive resource. In support of this, Meggison (2001) stated that the success or failure of library’s activities depends largely on human resources at its disposal. University libraries have been significantly influenced by these transformations.  Abifarin (1997) opined that staff training programme is an important factor in motivation. If we are able to engage people through training, its impact on them and the library is immeasurable.

The National Universities Commission NUC (1996) in its draft manual on university libraries stressed that:

The Librarian should ensure regular training and development of all his staff, He should encourage illiterate staff, if any, to go for adult literacy classes to ensure their retention and progress in a ‘book’ institution such as the university library. The librarian should encourage all staff, when appropriate, to go for higher education. Library assistant for diploma in library science, graduates for master’s and doctorate degrees, short courses for administrative and secretarial staff. Sponsorship for any training should be based on hard work. The librarian should encourage staff to participate in continuing education programmes. The staff should be sponsored to conferences, seminars and workshops; they should be encouraged to participate actively by presenting papers. The library staff seminar papers usually help the staff in these external seminar/workshop and conferences. (p. 51-52)



The manual also notes that:

There is so much professional expertise available locally and internationally that the librarian should tap these sources for training his staff. Through staff exchange between his staff and those of other institution, his staff should be able to gain additional experience and knowledge form experienced hands in other library situation. (p. 52)


Whether it is university, public or special library, the need for proper training and development cannot be over-emphasized. There is no doubt that training and development in its entirety are beneficial to both the employee and the organization. The organization can better meet its goals by providing employees with new knowledge necessary for performing the job satisfactorily when an employee also performs poorly, the reason may not be that he or she does not want to do the job well. What he/she needs is training

The establishment and development of university libraries in North East Nigeria is very necessary for the development of their parent institution – universities.  According to the National University Commission (2013), that there are 13 approved universities in North East; among them , 6 are federal, 5 are states and 2 are private universities, namely: Modibo Adama University of Technology, Yola (MAUTECH); American University of Nigeria, Yola (AUN); Adamawa State University, Mubi (ASU); Abubukar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi (ATBU); Bauchi State University, Gadau (BSU); Federal University, Kashera (FUK); Gombe State University, Gombe (GSU); University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Taraba State University, Jalingo (TSU); Federal University, Wukari (FUW); Kwararafa University, Wukari (KUW); Federal University, Gashua (FUG) and Yobe State University, Damaturu (YSU). By this, it means that there are not less than 13 university libraries. It must be realized that university library being an integral academic part of the university generally, emerged naturally with its parent institution.

Statement of the Problem

Despite the importance of staff training and development programmes in libraries with regards to service delivery and personal professional growth, it is doubtful if staff training and development programmes for non-professional staff are effective in Nigerian institution of higher learning, especially in university libraries.  This might have led to the deterioration in the services such as binding services, circulation services, current awareness services, and application of modern information seeking techniques.

In view of the above there is need to assess the non-professional staff training and development in university libraries in North East Nigeria. There is also need to ascertain the problems that affect the programmes and determine ways of improving them. These problems can greatly affect the development of staff potentials and the library in general if not adequately discovered and tackled in the libraries. It is also noted that no study has been conducted on assessment of staff training and development for non-professional staff in North East university libraries. Therefore, the problem of this study put in question form is: What is the status of staff training and development for non-professional staff in North East university libraries?

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess staff training and development for non-professional staff in university libraries in North East Nigeria.  The specific objectives of the study are:

  • to identify the extent of staff training and development programmes provided in these university libraries.
  • to ascertain the relevance of staff training and development provided for non-professional staff in university libraries
  • to determine the factors that determine the selection of non-professional staff for training and development programmes.
  • to investigate the attitude of the non-professional staff to the existing training and development programmes.
  • to determine the effectiveness of staff training and development programmes of non-professional staff in the libraries.
  • to determine the problems affecting staff training and development of non-professional staff in the university libraries.
  • to determine the strategies for enhancing staff training and development in the university libraries.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide this study,

  1. to what extent are staff training and development programmes provided in university library?
  2. What is the relevance of staff training and development programmes for non-professional staff in the university libraries?
  3. What are the factors that determine the selection of non-professional staff for training and development programme?
  4. What is the attitude of non-professional staff to the existing training and development programmes?
  5. How effective are the staff training and development programmes of non-professional staff in the libraries?
  6. What are the problems affecting staff training and development for non-professional staff in the libraries?
  7. What are the strategies for enhancing staff training and development in the libraries?

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study are expected to be of benefit to library staff, library management, university management and other researchers.

The library staffs as information providers are expected to benefit from the result as they will be well informed and acquainted with the types of training and development programmes available to them, and increase their zeal to engage in staff training and development programmes to obtain skills for perfecting in their job for better output. It will also show them that participation in staff training programmes will help them become transformed as individuals for increased output.

The study is also expected to x-ray library management on their area of strength and weaknesses with regard to staff training and development.  It will therefore enable them to make significant improvement in this direction, through organizing staff training programmes that will help boost the staff ability to carry the academic library along as a result of the change in behaviour (increased output and personal development) on staff of the library through their constant participation in organized staff training and development programmes.

For the university management, this work will help them design or review the policy on staff training and development programmes in their libraries and also increase their interest in ensuring for more training programmes in other sections within the university community having realized the relationship between staff training and increased output generally.

The study will guide researchers to conduct similar research on similar topics as well as add to the existing literature in the field of librarianship especially in the area of staff training and development in university libraries, because there will be quality service delivery to them especially when library staff are trained effectively for information materials will be retrieved easily for researchers’ optimal satisfaction. This work will also serve as a reference source of data for researchers on aspects of staff training and development programmes.


Scope of the Study

The study covered only the assessment of staff training and development for non-professional staff in university libraries are treated in its full ramifications. And such areas of assessment are: extent of provision, relevance, selection process, attitude, effectiveness, problems and strategies for enhancing staff training and development programmes. The study is limited to university libraries in the study area.

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