TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of appendices
List of tables
List of figures
List of abbreviations
List of acronyms
1.1 Background information
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Aim of the study
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.5 Research questions
1.6 Assumptions of the Study
1.7 Justification of the study
1.8 Scope and limitations of the study
22.214.171.124 Essentials of Library networking
126.96.36.199 Other networking models
188.8.131.52 Government Common Core Network (GCCN)
2.2.4 Conceptual framework
2.2.5 Definition and scope
2.2.6 Development of Government libraries in Kenya
2.2.7 Administration of Government libraries in Kenya
2.2.9 Accommodation and physical facilities
2.3.1 General definitions
2.3.2 Types of resource-sharing
184.108.40.206 Shared acquisition
220.127.116.11 Exchange of personnel
18.104.22.168 Exchange of information resources
22.214.171.124 Use of Information technology
2.3.3 Resource-sharing in Kenya
2.4 Benefits of resource-sharing
2.5 Requirements of resource-sharing
2.5.1 Resources to be shared
2.5.2 Willingness to share resources
2.5.3 Resource sharing agreements
2.5.4 Locational tools
2.6 Probable problems
3.2 Research design
3.3 Target population for the study
3.4 Sample and sampling methods
3.4.1 Sampling procedures
3.4.2 Purposive sampling
3.5 Data collection methods
3.5.1 Interview Schedules
126.96.36.199 Pre-testing of interview schedules
3.6 Data presentation, analysis and interpretation
3.7 Ethical Considerations
DATA PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS
4.2 General Information
4.3 Library administration
4.3.2 Staff recruitment and turn-over
4.4.1 Library budgets
4.5 Library accommodation
4.6 Services to library users
4.7 Interlibrary resource sharing activities
4.7.1 Interlibrary resource-sharing problems
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION & RECCOMMENDATIONS
5.2 Summary of major research findings
5.2.1 Library administrative systems
5.2.2 Staffing, recruitment and turn-over
5.2.3 Objectives of Government libraries
5.2.4 Library stock
5.2.5 Library budgets
5.2.6 Library accommodation
5.2.7 Services to library users
5.2.8 Resource-sharing activities
5.2.9 Interlibrary resource-sharing problems
5.3 Conclusions arising from the findings
5.3.1 Library administrative systems
5.3.2. Library staffing: recruitment and turnover
5.3.3 Objectives of government libraries
5.3.4 Staff recruitment and turnover
5.3.5 Library budgets
5.4.1 Recommendations for librarians
188.8.131.52 Objectives of government libraries
184.108.40.206 Resource sharing activities
5.4.2 Recommendations for policy/administrators
220.127.116.11 Library staffing: recruitment and turnover
18.104.22.168 Library budgets
22.214.171.124 Library accommodation
126.96.36.199 Services to readers
188.8.131.52 Proposed Model for resource sharing
184.108.40.206 Proposed framework for managing resource sharing
5.4.3 Suggestions for further research
DECLARATION BY CANDIDATE
This thesis is my original work and has not been presented for a degree or examination in any study programme of any institution or University. No part of this thesis may be reproduced without the permission of the author/or Moi University.
Joash S. Aminga
Signature: ____________________________ Date: _______________ ________
DECLARATION BY SUPERVISORS
This thesis has been submitted with our approval as university supervisors.
Prof. J. Otike
Department of Library, Records Management and Information Studies,
School of Information Sciences
Signature: ____________________________ Date: _______________ ________
Prof. H. N. Kemoni
School of Social and Technology Studies,
The Kenya Polytechnic University College
Signature: ____________________________ Date: _______________ ________
This work is dedicated to Mothers of my children; Jeliah Dianah, Samson Aminga, Brian, and Adams Wendo who stood with me throughout the period of study.
To my late parents who encouraged knowledge seeking early in life.
“Knowledge should be available to all as universally as the air we breathe, the water that quenches thirst and the sun’s energy
that sustains the cycle of life”
Networking is more effective if you know why you are going there
and who you hope to meet.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank the entire Staff of Moi University who made every effort to see me through their guidance and encouragement throughout the study. Specifically my sincere thanks and appreciation goes to my two supervisors, Prof. Japhet Otike and Prof. H. N. Kemoni.
My kind regards to all those who contributed in one way or the other to the successful completion of this study especially my fellow Mphil Students in the School of Information Sciences, Nairobi Campus.
Finally, I pay glory to the Almighty GOD.
Government libraries in Nairobi, Kenya face many problems, which include inadequate funding, inadequate space, increasing cost of library resources, and high proliferation of information literature, challenges in acquisition of modern equipment and facilities, increased demand for information by users, poor remuneration and lack of adequate qualified personnel. This calls for resource sharing as a means of overcoming some of these problems. The aim of this study was to investigate the prospects of resource sharing in the provision of library services in Government ministries in Nairobi and ascertain the extent to which resource-sharing can assist to alleviate some of the problems they are facing. The specific objectives of this study were to establish factors affecting the performance of Government libraries in Nairobi; examine Government policies within which these libraries operate and how these relate to the problems of inadequate funding; establish the information resources and facilities available in Government libraries in Nairobi that can be shared among themselves; find out whether resource-sharing can assist to alleviate the problems they are facing and propose recommendations to enhance resource-sharing among government libraries in Nairobi. This study is informed on the resource-sharing model as proposed by Sahoo (2009). The study used qualitative research method. Data was collected using face-to-face interviews, observations during the interviews as well as documentary evidence. Data was analyzed using qualitative and quantitative approaches. This study established that most government libraries in Nairobi do not share their resources effectively, they have inadequate information resources which are little used, limited accommodation space as well as lack of equipment and other facilities and, that no formalized library resource-sharing exists within government ministry libraries in Nairobi. The study recommends and shows how resource-sharing can be used to harness and/or improve the provision of information services in Government Ministry libraries in Nairobi; it also presents a proposed sectoral coordinated network model for their library resource-sharing among government ministry libraries.
LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix A: Time framework
Appendix B: Budget plan
Appendix C: Introductory letter to respondents
Appendix D: Interview schedule for people in-charge of Government Libraries in Nairobi
Appendix E: Interview schedule for users of Government Libraries in Nairobi
Appendix F: Observations schedule for the researcher
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Government Ministries in Kenya
Table 2: General information about government libraries
Table 3: Ministries without functional libraries
Table 4: Availability of library objectives
Table 5: Library that provide services to outside users
Table 6: Classification schemes used
Table 7: Information collections held by government ministry libraries
Table 8: Staffing levels in government ministry libraries
Table 9: Positions of people in-charge of government ministry libraries
Table 10: Possible reasons for lack of adequate funding for ministry libraries
Table 11: Different services offered by ministry libraries
Table 12: Resource-sharing activities
Table 13: Resource sharing problems
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Network structures (Decentralized, Centralized & mixed networks)
Figure 2: Model of the National Resource-Sharing Network
Figure 3: Proposed sectoral coordinated network model for resource-sharing among government ministry libraries in Nairobi1
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background information
Government libraries are special libraries attached to government ministries, departments and institutions in Kenya. They are maintained and supported by the Central Government and funded by the exchequer. Their main objective is to provide information to support the programmes running in their respective parent ministries. The majority of the users of these libraries are specialized staff engaged in activities that constitute part of the functions and mandate of their ministries.
Government libraries broadly fall into two main categories: special and public libraries. The majority of them are found in and around Nairobi. A number of them have branches in provincial and district headquarters where their services are needed. The Ministry of Agriculture library in Nairobi, for instance, has a number of branch libraries outside Nairobi, which include provincial, district and divisional offices in the countryside. Also found within and outside Nairobi are libraries of Government research centres; and a variety of training institutions. These include among others, Government training institutions located in Mombasa, Kabarnet, Embu, and Matuga; Kenya Industrial Training Institute, Kenya Institute of Highways and Buildings, Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, the National Youth Service, the Kenya Water Institute, Kenya Medical Training Centres, technical and primary teacher training institutions and other field station libraries.
Government library services are generally restricted to users who are essentially Government officers. Accredited members of staff from government parastatals and other statutory bodies can also use these libraries subject to the existing rules and regulations and an approval from appropriate decision makers. Some Government libraries provide reference services to bona fide members of the general public particularly those whose professions qualify them to benefit from their services. A model example of a Government library is that of the Ministry of Industrialization in Nairobi with its training institution, Kenya Industrial Training Institute, zonal offices and affiliated parastatals. Their service orientation covers a wide scope of information resources.
Library and Information services have been recognized as having an important role to play in the Government for a long time and have been responsible for providing information for purposes of research and development. The performance of these libraries is threatened by inadequate funding. Their existence is also being challenged by developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Government libraries in Nairobi and Kenya as a whole generally face a number of problems. These include lack of adequate funding, increasing costs of information resources, high proliferation of information literature, and challenges in acquisition of modern equipment, increased demand for information, limited space, poor remuneration and lack of adequate and qualified personnel. Though not an end in itself, resource-sharing is viewed as a partial solution to some of the problems these libraries are facing.
In order to help solve some of these problems, this study sought to establish how some of these problems can be solved through resource-sharing. In its widest sense, resource-sharing means the sharing of resources and the adherence to agreed standards, which make such an activity possible. In this context, resources include information materials, equipment and manpower, among others. Resource-sharing can be viewed as the co-operation between libraries of all kinds with the purpose of maximizing the use of its resources. This includes shared acquisition, processing and, inter-lending of information materials.
An implication for resource sharing is the need for library professionals to consider working on a closer basis than before. Government libraries can benefit from such an arrangement since they cannot afford to develop or overcome their problems in isolation. There is therefore need to pool their resources together to improve their services to users in particular and the nation in general.
There are currently forty-one (41) Government Ministries in Kenya with various Departments under them. However, not all have libraries since some were established or split under the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, 2008.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Libraries in government ministries face many problems among them being inadequate funding, lack of adequate space, increasing costs of information resources, high proliferation of information literature, challenges in acquisition of modern equipment, increased demand from users’ needs, poor remuneration and lack of adequate and qualified personnel (Njuguna, 1991; Otike, 1985; Ng’ang’a J. M, 1980; Harrison, 1979; Scrivens, 1975; Njuguna J. R, 1969). These libraries are charged with the responsibility of satisfying their user’s needs through provision of relevant information services. This being the case, they should be well funded.
The budget is an important instrument that every Government uses to define the direction of its national policy, and the cost implications of its programmes. The basic functions of the budget therefore entail: collection and allocation of scarce resources to priority sectors; provision of public goods and services by the Government; and re-distribution of incomes. In addition, the budget strives to ensure economic stabilization, social order and harmony, as well as acting as a measure of Government performance and accountability. Although the concept of the budget as an indicator of performance is relatively new, it is steadily gaining ground.
In Kenya, the budgetary process proceeds through, drafting, legislation, implementation and audit stage. The contents of the budget include a policy statement and, inventory of programme priorities, distribution/allocation of the corresponding resources as well as budget implementation/evaluation reports for the previous budget cycle. In spite of the past attempts by the Government at reforming its budgetary process, the budget for Government libraries remains an unsatisfactory instrument for achieving its objectives.
The ability to avail relevant resources to users is extremely important in today’s society and normally requires the support of an ideal budget. This is because we are living in the era of information explosion. There is so much information today and people need to keep themselves updated on what is going on around the world. There is need for Government libraries to share resources through co-operation in a variety of ways in order to satisfy their users’ needs. This is because of a wide disparity between resources available to individuals, increased user needs and lack of adequate and relevant information. There is therefore a dire need for resource-sharing.
Resource-sharing becomes a matter of paramount importance in the utilization of library resources. Effective and efficient resource-sharing encompasses all activities that help patrons in sharing available resources. Resource-sharing should therefore be effectively carried out by Government libraries and help sort out some of the underlying problems that they face. Experience has revealed that most Government libraries do not share their resources effectively. They tend to use whatever is available in their own libraries with little attention that resource-sharing is a natural component of a library’s services.
In view of the foregoing, it was felt that these libraries be investigated.
1.3 Aim of the Study
The aim of this study was to investigate the prospects of resource-sharing among Government ministry libraries in Nairobi, and ascertain the extent to which it can assist to alleviate some of the problems they are facing and come up with proposals for future improvement.
1.4 Objectives of the study
The objectives of this study were to:
1. Establish factors affecting the performance of Government libraries in Nairobi.
2. Examine Government policies within which these libraries operate and how these relate to the problems of inadequate funding.
3. Establish the library resources and facilities found in Government libraries in Nairobi that can be shared among them.
4. Establish the challenges facing Government libraries.
5. Find out whether resource-sharing can assist to alleviate the problems facing Government libraries.
1.5 Research questions
In order to achieve the above objectives, the following research questions were formulated:
1. What factors are responsible for the inadequacy of services rendered by Government libraries?
2. Why are Government libraries poorly funded?
3. What is the perception of policy or decision makers towards resource-sharing?
4. What types of resource-sharing exist in Government libraries in Nairobi?
5. What are the requirements for resource-sharing?
6. What are the priority areas in Government libraries for resource-sharing?
7. What benefits do Government libraries stand to benefit from resource-sharing?
8. What steps should be taken to improve resource-sharing activities in Government libraries in Nairobi?
1.6 Assumptions of the study
Assumptions are guesses, expectations, or suppositions that a researcher makes as a prelude to the study (Mugenda and Mugenda, 1999). They are facts that a researcher takes to be true without actually verifying them. They help in shaping the direction the research takes and are usually required for data analysis and conclusions. Although resource-sharing is often accepted as a very useful activity, this study was based on the following assumptions:
- Resource-sharing activities in Government libraries are not adequately undertaken,
- Government libraries lack awareness on the potential of resource-sharing in improving their services to users, and
- Lack of appropriate information on the importance of resource-sharing hinders information professionals from establishing formal co-operative ventures.
1.7 Justification of the study
To the best knowledge of the researcher, the literature available on Government libraries in Kenya can best be described as not sufficient enough. Unlike university and public libraries in Kenya that appear to have been adequately covered, very few studies have been undertaken on Government libraries in the country. Literature on Government libraries in Kenya includes studies carried out by Njuguna (1991); Otike (1985); Ng'ang'a (1980); and Scrivens (1975). This study attempts to fill this lacuna by providing detailed information on the situation pertaining to Government libraries in Kenya and particularly in Nairobi.
Of even more significance is the fact that the recommendations that arises from this study will be used to enhance resource-sharing among Government libraries in Nairobi, and propose a decentralized network model for resource-sharing in Government libraries in Kenya as a whole. Government libraries play an important role in Kenya. They provide specialized information in support of the programmes running in various respective Ministries. The majority users of these libraries are specialized staff engaged in various activities that constitute part of the functions and mandate of their ministries. This study highlights the important role played by Government libraries, which appears not to have been realized by policy or decision makers.
Due to their specialized nature, Government libraries hold special collections and provide unique services that other libraries do not offer. This study indicates how resource-sharing can be used to harness and/or improve the provision of these services to people in need.
The increased need for information by ministries and independent users has created pressure on the services provided by Government libraries in Kenya. This study hopes to provide guidelines on how resource-sharing activities may be used to overcome this problem through networking.
The Government of Kenya has in the past pledged in its Development Plan (1989-1993) to engage in an expansion programme of libraries in the light of the important role they play in national development. The implication of the Government's development Programme for its libraries is the need to evolve a system for maximum utilization of available resources through a programme designed to achieve sharing of resources while at the same time eliminating duplication of efforts. This study emphasizes the need for planning as an ultimate prerequisite for effective service from Government libraries.
To the best knowledge of the researcher, formalized library resource-sharing does not exist in Kenya and within Government ministry libraries. It follows, therefore, that the present resource-sharing activities, if they are to provide solutions to the problems facing Government libraries in Nairobi, need to be critically examined in order to determine how resource-sharing activities are done. This study presents proposals necessary to establish a framework for library resource-sharing within Government Ministries.
1.8 Scope and limitations of the study
This study was limited to special libraries mainly found in Government Ministries in Nairobi. Although there are a number of other Government libraries within and outside Nairobi, and probably with different Departments and institutions these were not included in the study.
Current literature on resource-sharing in Government ministry libraries in Kenya as a whole is scarce. Recently published literature is not adequate. Much of the available literature was published in or before 1990’s. In addition to this literature the study relied on literature existing in other countries.
1.9 Definition of terms
Government libraries: These are special libraries usually found in various Government ministries. These have been developed mainly to serve the needs of the decision makers, administrators, and other employees of their respective Ministries/ Departments. They collect Government and other information relevant to the needs of their parent body, (Kamar, N., 2006).
Libraries of Government Ministries are libraries that are established and fully supported by Government. While their primary audience is Government, the actual audience served is normally broader. Under this definition a public or university library, though it might have been created by Government or provide services to Government employees or the public, would be defined as a “ Government library” because the primary audience would not be defined as a Government Department but the general public or the student and faculty population (Kamar N., 2006).
Information network: Two or more libraries engaging formally in a common pattern of information exchange through communication for some functionally independent purpose (International Encyclopaedia of Information and library science, 1997).
Multi-type co-operation: A multi-type library co-operation is a means of mobilizing total library resources to meet the needs of the user without regard to the type of library involved and without classifying the user as a public, school, academic, or special library patron (Jalloh, 1999).
Information technology: Information technology or IT refers to the “acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by means of computers and telecommunications” (Keenan & Johnston, 2000).
Interlending: This is the process of lending an item by one library to another (Keenan & Johnston, 2000)
Interlibrary loan: Inter-library loan refers to the transaction in which, upon request, one library lends an item from its collection or furnishes a copy of an item to another library not under the same administration or the same campus. (Fong, 1996)
Library Co-operation: This combination of two or more types of libraries (academic, public, special or school) works together to achieve maximum provision of library and information services to their users, (Spies, 2001).
Library co-operation refers to a group of inter-dependent and autonomous libraries branded together by formal agreements or contracts which stipulate the common services to be planned and co-coordinated by the policy making body of the co-operative, (Jalloh, 1999).
Library Network: A network is a set of interconnected systems with something to share. Networking is the concept of sharing resources and services. A library network therefore is a group of libraries linked together and can exchange information and share resources (International Encyclopaedia of Information and library science, 1997; Keenan, 1996)
Resource-sharing: Resource-sharing is about libraries working together to share resources with one another. One part of resource-sharing is the more familiar interlibrary loan service provided by libraries (Spies, 2001).
Resource-sharing as used in this study refers to the building of an infrastructure that permits bibliographic access and delivery of one library’s materials to another library in an agreement or consortium.
Muriuki (1991) defines resource-sharing as an activity that implies reciprocity and partnership in which each member has something useful to contribute to others and in which it is willing and able to make available when needed. Muriuki has also defined resource-sharing as ways of working together that involve the “sharing of resources, whether finance, staffing, services, accommodation and infrastructure support, or collections”.
Union catalogue: A union catalogue contains not only a listing of bibliographic records from more than one library, but also identifies the location and holdings of the different libraries (International Encyclopaedia of Information, 1997).
This chapter discusses the theoretical framework upon which the study is based as well as a review of the literature and empirical studies. It highlights the purpose of literature review in research and presents an overview of some of the existing resource sharing models. A literature review is an examination of the research that has been conducted in a particular field of study. Hart (1998) defines it as:
- The selection of available documents (both published and unpublished) on the topic, which contain information, ideas, data and evidence. This selection is written from a particular standpoint to fulfil certain aims or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how they were investigated, and
- The effective evaluation of these documents in relation to the research undertaken.
Mugenda and Mugenda (1999) argue that the purpose of literature review is to help the researcher gain considerable insights into the earlier studies related to the current study in order to avoid unnecessary and unintentional duplication, and to further understand the theories forming the study. In addition, it enables the researcher to compare and recognize contributions and/or shortcomings of various scholars who have done related studies before. Literature review is a summary of materials that have been published by accredited scholars and researchers on a certain topic. In addition, it is meant to convey what knowledge and ideas have already been established as well as the strengths and weaknesses of those ideas. According to Fink (1998), literature review is a systematic and responsible method of identifying, evaluating and interpreting the existing body of recorded work produced by researchers, scholars and practitioners. Literature review assists the researcher to identify the gaps and attempts to bridge them. In writing a literature review, the researcher’s purpose is to convey to the readers what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths are.
The rationale of incorporating literature review in a research undertaking is to assist the researcher articulately substantiate the authority of the relevant literature read in the course of the study especially that which has direct bearing on the problem investigated. The researcher undertook to describe what is known about the topic under study and show what others have done so far. By so doing, the researcher acknowledges their contribution and, shows the link between previous work in the area and the researcher’s work.
Birmigham (2003) points out the following benefits of conducting a literature review;
- Placing the research in a context related to the existing research and theory;
- Providing a framework for establishing the importance of the study as well as establishing tools for comparing the results of the study with other findings;
- Ensuring that one’s research would contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon under study;
- Identifying the main methodologies and research techniques that have been used;
- Providing an opportunity to discuss relevant research carried out on the same topic or similar topics and;
- Helps to avoid pitfalls and mistakes made by others.
According to Kaniki (1993) in Kemoni (2008), there are various types of literature review namely:
- Historical reviews which consider the chronological development of literature, and breaks the literature into stages or phrases;
- Thematic reviews which are structured around different themes or perspectives, and often focus on debates between different schools;
- Theoretical reviews which trace the theoretical development in a particular area, often showing how each theory is supported by empirical evidence and;
- Empirical reviews which attempt to summarize the empirical findings on different methodologies.
In this study, the literature review sought to describe, summarize, evaluate, clarify and integrate the content of relevant journal articles and books on resource-sharing in Government libraries. Others included: key professional text books, scholarly journals and conducted internet searches, among others. The literature was reviewed to establish information sources and content in relation to the research problem of the study. Under this study the literature reviewed was divided into sections that focused on themes and concepts that related to the objectives of the study and the research questions.
2.2 Theoretical framework
A framework is simply the structure of ideas or concepts and how they are put together. A theoretical framework therefore is an attempt to show the existence of self-formulated theories in so far as they relate to research objectives and questions in connection with variables and propositions. This study was modelled on the concept of resource-sharing, its benefits and importance in today’s life and changing role, the various initiatives taken at different levels and techniques used for resource-sharing. It also lays stress on new information technology, which has generally changed the scenario of resource-sharing among libraries worldwide. Models can be used to explain theories (Kemoni, 2008).
The role of theories in scientific research has been highlighted by various scholars (Mugenda and Mugenda 1999; Stacks and Hocking 1999; Cozby, 2001). Mugenda and Mugenda (1999), views a theory as a system of explaining phenomena by stating construction and the laws that inter-relate these constructions to one other.
The voluminous growth of published documents in the recent past, increasing cost of information resources, techniques, advancements that offer newer methods of information processing, retrieval and dissemination are some of the factors which have made resource-sharing a necessity. Library co-operation is an old concept and a form of resource-sharing (new concept). Library co-operation has many elements to it and varies from one place to another, even among libraries that participate in it. It is achieved not only among libraries of the same type but those with required resources not available among the co-operating libraries.
Libraries realized the need for effective and efficient resource-sharing as a long time goal. Besides entering into Inter-library practice, libraries also thought seriously of resource-sharing in many other areas, such as acquisition, technical processing and staff exchange. Inter-library lending is severely affected by barriers of information communication, such as apathy of the lending libraries, distance, time and cost among others. At the same time, traditional interlibrary lending has remained one of the strategic services. The social, economic, and technological complexities of both the new mechanisms and the traditional roles of libraries provide both opportunities for cooperation.
This study’s main interest was resource-sharing among Government ministry libraries in Nairobi, which has a specific group of users. In essence, resource-sharing entails the concept of networking. In view of the fact that the consequences of networking are far reaching, the government ministries will naturally adopt healthy and favourable attitudes towards networking and thinking of themselves as being part of a cooperative venture.
Since this study seeks to investigate the prospects of resource-sharing in Government libraries in Nairobi and ascertain the extent to which resource-sharing can assist to alleviate the problems they face, the study attaches a lot of importance to resource-sharing with a view to proposing a relevant model to ease the problem. For this reason, this study was based on a decentralized network model.
2.2.1 Networking Model for Resource-sharing
A model is a simplified representation of a real situation, including the main features of the real situation it represented. There are two main purposes of a model, namely: analysis and prediction (Koutsoyiannis, 1979). The validity of a model could be judged on several criteria, namely: its predictive power, the consistency and realism of its assumptions, the extent of information it provided, and its generality and simplicity.
According to Stockburger (2004), a model is a representation containing the essential structure of some objects or events in the real world and the representation of models may take two major forms, namely: physical and symbolic. Furthermore, the construction and verification of models involves four steps, namely: simplification/idealization, representation/measurement, manipulation/transformation, and verification. A model is a description of phenomena that is abstracted from the details of reality (Katz and Harvey, 1994). "Abstracting" from details means ignoring those details, that are not directly essential to the understanding of the phenomenon at hand, hence enabling individuals to concentrate on important factors. Katz and Harvey (1994) established the link between theories and models by quoting the great theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, who noted that a theory was a good theory if it satisfied two requirements: accurately describing a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains a few arbitrary elements and making definite predictions about the results of future observation.
The relevance and applicability of models to the real world depends on three factors, namely: realism of the model assumptions, consistency of the assumptions with one another, and accuracy of the data to validate the assumptions (Dwivedi, 2001). Kebede (2002) posited that models are useful for specifying what constituted the phenomena of interest, identifying research focuses, and advancing theory in relation to the phenomena they modelled.
Models are sets of properly argued ideas intended to explain events. They are the principles upon which a subject is based and are useful as far as they serve to assist and to guide the development of further understanding of practical activities. Theories are normally developed through research.
Networking model for resource sharing forms the theoretical foundation of this study. In this regard, a library resource sharing network is essentially a means of linking a variety of resources to a variety of users. This definition starts from the concept that each source is based on a resource and that each resource, though perhaps created for a limited purpose, should be made available to all who can profit from it. It follows from this definition that networks are not new: they existed from the time that researchers began to assist one another by exchanging private communication.
Martin (1986) defines a network as a “group of individuals or organizations that are interconnected to form a system to accomplish some specified goal. This linkage must include a communication mechanism and many networks for the express purpose of facilitating certain types of communication among members.
Becker (1979) suggests that, “when two or more libraries engage formally in a common pattern of information exchange, through communication, for some functionally interdependent purpose, we have a library network.”
Employing the network concept to support library services is an old idea, of which two examples - inter-library lending and centralized cataloguing - are found throughout the world. What is new is a widespread growth of interest in improving operations by interconnecting information systems and services, as well as library operations.
Such a network generally means more than two libraries interrelated by continuing transactions, often in support of a common operation or service. The idea appeals because of its potential for improving services and reducing costs.
A library network is broadly described as a group of libraries coming together with a view to satisfying the information needs of its clientele. UNISIST II working document defines a network as a set of inter-related information systems associated with communication facilities, which are cooperating through more or a less formal agreement in order to implement information handling operations to offer better services to the users. The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science of India in its National Document (1975) defines a network as; two or more libraries engaged in a common pattern of information exchange, through communications for some functional purpose.
Planning and implementing networks are management problems. Diverse groups of library services must organize, arrive at common objectives, and then assemble and direct resources or men, money, machines, methods and management skills to do the work. Networks and network organizations make a series of new demands of persons who perform as systems negotiators, brokers, network managers or facilitators. There are no intrinsic rules determining who can initiate and who can operate library networks. The intrinsic pre-requisites are competence; involvement with, and the knowledge of, operations and users needs; and genuine dedication to the information community’s requirement for integrated network services, whether coming from local, regional, national or international levels.
Library networking as a means of resource-sharing had its beginning in the 1970s and developed during the 1980s. Libraries in most countries of the world have adopted some form of networking. In developed countries, resource-sharing networking was started a long way back. USA is the birthplace of library networking and by now libraries in each state are networked to local, regional and national network. OCLC was founded in 1967, and introduced an online-shared cataloguing system for libraries. The interlibrary lending service was introduced in 1979 and since then, has been used for more than 114 million loans among 6,700 libraries around the world. Over the past decades libraries have witnessed the impact of information technology that has been affecting the structure of services to a great extent. Moreover, the problems of space, standardization, professional development of staff, challenges posed by new technologies, drastic cuts in the library budgets have aggravated problems of the present day librarianship. However, the solution to the problems of information explosion, ever changing needs of users and shrinking library budgets can best be overcome upon establishment of networks for resource-sharing at different levels by use of computers and national and international databases and full text CD-based systems.