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The study explains preservation and conservation of library materials. In order to achieve this, causes of deterioration of library materials such as poor paper manufacture, improper storage, rough handling, pests and knowledge of disaster occurrence, electronic means of preservation, challenges and strategies for digital materials preservation have been examined. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Imo state public library Owerri. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up librarians, library cafe assistant managers, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
1.1 Background of the study
To understand the meaning and scope of preservation and conservation of library materials in public library, the definition of public library in digital age becomes relevant. That is for discussion to be intelligible; it must start with definition of terms. Therefore, library has defined by many writers and many Authors have attempted to define a library without success. Elmer D. Johnson (1970) defines a library as a collection of graphic materials arranged for relatively easy use, carded for an individual familiar with that arrangement and available for use by at least a limited number of persons. Here is another satisfactory definition of the library by UNESCO, that a library is an organized collection of published books and periodical and of other reading and audio-visual materials, and the service of staff able to prove and interpreter such materials as are required to meet the informational research, educational or recreational needs of the user’s.
Aguolu (1989) still go further to say that library can be described as a place where the dead may be said to be alive a place where the ideal of the knowledge of great men and women are fully documented and preserved, conducive to move the world at though those people may be no more. In order words, it is a place where the information seeker or knowledge seeker communicates with authors both living and dead.
The world library is derived from the term “LIBER” a representation of ‘book’ this public library is major meant to serve the public there by increasing the literacy level of the people in that community by carrying out extension services. Furthermore the key term of this work are: preservation, conservation, library materials and to appreciate and understand this work better, the definition of the following terms becomes necessary. According to the world bank encyclopedia (1990) conservation means management, protection and wise use of the resources as library is noted as organized information resources through experts, store manage the resources, preserve, conserve them for effective use and easy access to use and easy access to users all kinds of level. World book dictionary (1996) still put conservation in a simplest term as an act of conserving, protecting from loss or being used up, avoidance of waste.
Vol. 2 of World Bank Dictionary 91996) still go further to say that preservation is the act of preserving keeping safe. Still on preservation, is the restoration of the original nature of the materials that is keeping it in it’s original nature. Alegbeleye (1985) define conservation as a term that embraces several related idea such as (i) restoration which is the action taken to correct deterioration of all kind and also maintain the items in as near as possible in their original form (ii) substitution which has to do with the replacement of the original by microfilm digitalization for regular use.
Mean while, restoring materials to its original nature is what we know as conservation and a way of using a materials by making an effort to see that materials are not made home use rather you make photocopy and return back for preservation. A distinction between preservation and conservation is a method of applying the physical or chemical treatment of library materials to sustain them in their original state.
Considering preservation and conservation in a digital age, we consider about digital repository service to support not only day to day access to digital age challenge a libraries and archivist to create an appropriate organizational context for action. Digital technologist is erasing many of the distinction between custodians of articles libraries and other repository that traditionally have assumed responsibilities for preserving information face technical, legal and organizational challenges in responding to new demands of digital preservation. According to the Russell (1999) digital preservation in a simplest term means a process by which digital data is preserved in digital form in order to ensure the usability, durability and intellectual integrity of the information contained therein on that note, we have the following as a library services obligation towards preservation. To keep technical development in the conservation field under review to utilize those which are suitable and incorporate them into the strategy to provide added benefit and more effective operations? To do everything possible to minimize damage from use, promoting good practice in handling.
To promote best practice amongst staff and readers in seeking to ensure the security of materials which has been selected for permanent preservation to maintain agreed standard of preservation through library services? Therefore it is highly imperative that materials acquired in the library should be taken care of.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the course of preservation and conservation of library materials in the digital age a good number of problems are been encourage like fragile storage media. Technology obsolesces, and we also have legal questions surrounding copying and access as one of the problems that militate against preservation and conservation of library materials. Under the fragile storage media:- most of digital materials are especially vulnerable to loss because they are stored on fragile magnetic media that deteriorate rapidly and can fail suddenly from exposure of heat, humidity etc. then under technology obsolesce. Digital materials becomes unreadable and unnecessary to retrieve information from the media becomes obsolete the information from machine to human readable from is no longer available above are the few problem encountered at course of preserving and conserving library materials.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
• To determine if there is need for preservation and conservation of library materials.
• To find out whether the equipment for preserving and conserving library materials.
• To find out problems that militates against the preservation and conservation of library materials.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no need for preservation and conservation of library materials.
H1: there is need for preservation and conservation of library materials.
H02: there is no need for preservation and conservation of library materials.
H2: there are problems that militates against the preservation and conservation of library materials
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance or preservation and conservation of library materials cannot be overemphasis because it enhance in keeping those materials for future purpose. Closely related to the above significance is that preservation and conservation of library materials ensure the lifelong span of those materials in the library
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This work covers preservation and conservation of library materials. The study is on Imo state public library, Board Owerri Imo state. And it equally focuses in the facilities and techniques involved in the conservation and preservation of library materials in public library. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
PRESERVATION: Preservation definition, to keep alive or in existence; make lasting: to preserve our liberties as free citizens.
CONSERVATION: The principle by which the total value of a physical quantity or parameter (such as energy, mass, linear or angular momentum) remains constant in a system which is not subject to external influence.
LIBRARY: A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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