THE ROLE OF PROFESSIONALS IN MARKETING LIBRARY PRODUCTS IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN RIVERS STATE
Background of the study
Product marketing is critical for increasing sales and thus profit for the industry.However, in academic environments such as universities and colleges, the marketing of libraries and information is done through professional librarians who must envision that the reading public will become aware of their library services. Libraries are regarded as intellectual repositories. It is also known as a storehouse of knowledge. It is true that all libraries around the world are brimming with reading materials such as books, journals, films, images, manuscripts, audio-visual materials, and so on, all of which contain knowledge recorded by people, eminent writers, and eminent personalities.Because libraries are no longer the only information providers, the preservation of this knowledge is a primary task of all libraries and information centers. This necessitates the need for professional librarians to market the resources that libraries possess.They now have to compete for customers with the internet, bookshops, online book dealers and the demand for more efficient services and the needs of users.
Professional academic librarians must understand clients’ needs, plan service provision, promote the available services and deliver them efficiently and effectively. To achieve this, marketing is an essential tool. Marketing is about keeping clients in touch and informed about resources and services that match their interests. Marketing is about keeping clients in touch and informed about resources and services that match their interests. The success of academic library marketing lies mainly in convincing the clients that the tools or databases are worthwhile. They must understand what the services are, and be enthusiastic about how they will be helpful (Noel & Waugh, 2002). Therefore, librarians must now act like business men by providing quality services and promoting their services at the right time and place for their users. Although emerging technological challenges and societal changes pose a threat to libraries as worthy information providers, it is now time for librarians to prove that they are invaluable to the continued survival and sustenance of their organizations through applying all the techniques of marketing, such as the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion).
1.2 Statement of the problem
The advent of new technology and its application in libraries have opened new vistas for the marketing of library resources, products and services and where library professionals lay hold on the opportunities that will be grabbed by vendors and technology specialists. Users now prefer to search the internet for information rather than visit libraries, and the majority of students and researchers in the university community are unaware of the various services available in libraries.Libraries have failed to provide their users with the necessary information.provided are not user-oriented. As a result, the library’s services are not being used or are being used inefficiently.The consequences of this are enormous. It results in users not being able to locate, access and recognize their own information needs. This can also result in the low quality of teaching, learning and research activities in our higher institutions. As a result, they are unable to keep up with global society’s developments.Thus, the need for academic librarians and public librarians to plan for marketing and promoting resources, which requires professionalism in meeting the requirements of current trends, respecting and identifying the changing demands of more challenging users. Currently, there are knowledge gaps in the role of professionals in marketing library products in academic libraries. Thus it is upon this premise that the researcher embarked on the study to examine the role of professionals in marketing library products in academic libraries.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of this study is to examine the role of professionals in marketing library products in academic libraries. Specifically, the study will be:
To determine the need for marketing library services in academic libraries in Rivers state.
To determine current techniques employed by academic librarians in the marketing of library services in the Rivers State.
To investigate the competencies required of professional librarians in the marketing of Rivers state library services.
1.4 Research Question
What are the roles of marketing library services in academic libraries in River state.
What are techniques employed by academic librarians in the marketing of library services in the River State
Are there any competencies required of professional librarians in the marketing of riverside library services.
What is the extent which professional market library product in academic libraries in River State.
1.5 Research hypotheses
The following hypotheses are formulated to be tested in this study:
HO: There is no significant importance professional librarians in the marketing of academic libraries in Rivers State.
HA: There is a significant importance professional librarians in the marketing of academic libraries in Rivers State.
1.6 Significance of the study
The findings of this study will be significant for the following: all academic institutions, administrators, library committees, librarians, users and researchers. In specific terms, the findings will be significant to academic institutions’ administration in the area of policy formulation by providing a road map for the information resources and services to be provided to users in order to satisfy their information needs. It is hoped that it will create awareness for the library committee as regards the strategies to enhance the effective marketing of library services to users. This work will also educate librarians on how to effectively and efficiently market library products and services. It will also assist them in identifying their lapses and hence improving their services by attracting, satisfying, and retaining users in the library. The findings will also be useful to users by creating awareness of the various services available in the library. Users will get an improvement in the services offered as a result of the recommendations of this study. The research will also contribute to the existing body of knowledge about marketing library services and build on the knowledge of the problems in academic libraries in Nigeria. The findings of this study will provide background information for other researchers researching various marketing techniques in Nigeria’s libraries.
1.7 Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on the role of professionals in marketing library product in academic libraries. The study is however delimited to University Libraries in Rivers State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 Definition of terms
Librarian: A librarian categorizes, prepares, and catalogs these materials. Librarians also recommend material and help individuals find the information that they need. They analyze and organize collections by subject. They educate individuals on how to use the library systems to find the information they need.
Product: In marketing, a product is an object or system made available for consumer use; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer
Marketing: In marketing, a product is an object or system made available for consumer use; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer
Marketing in Library: marketing in library and information services is the process of planning, pricing, promoting and distributing library products to create exchanges that satisfy the library and the customers or users.
S. K. Patil & Pranita P.(2014) Library promotion practices and marketing of Library services: A role of Library professionals retrieved from Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 133 ( 2014 ) 249 – 254 at www.sciencedirect.com
RITA O. (2011) Marketing Library And Information Services In Academic Libraries retrieved from https://www.unn.edu.ng/publications/files/images/Rita%20Project%20(2).pdf