PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION OF INFORMATION MATERIALS IN RIVERS STATE UNIVERSITY CENTRAL LIBRARY
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.
Further more 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 (1996) 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 it’s 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 from in order to ensure the usability, durability and intellectual integrity of the information contained there in 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 PROBLEM
In the course of preservation and conservation of information 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 information materials. Under the fragile storage media:- most of digital materials are specially 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 information materials.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
1. To determine if there is need for preservation and conservation of information materials.
2. To find out whether the equipment for preserving and conserving information materials are available.
3. To find out problems that militates against the preservation and conservation of information materials.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Are there needs for preservation and conservation of information materials? What are the techniques and methods for preserving and conserving of information materials?
2. Are there equipments for preserving and conserving information materials? what are the personnel need for preserving and conserving information materials? what are the challenges confronting the preservation and conservation of information materials?
3. Are there panacea to solve the problem of preservation and conservation of information materials?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The significance or preservation and conservation of information 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 information materials ensure the life long span of those materials in the library. This study will further add to existing literature on this topic and as well serve as a reference material for students, researchers and scholars who may want to carry out further research on this topic or related area in the future.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This work covers preservation and conservation of information materials. The study is on Rivers state University Central Library. And it equally focuses in the facilities and techniques involved in the conservation and preservation of information materials in public library.
1.7 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF IMO STATE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Rivers State University Central Library System grew out of the College of Science and Technology Library (RSUST), which was established in 1971 and metamorphosed into a University Library in 1980.
The Library Complex is made up of the central Library consisting of a basement and two storey apartments. Our satellite Library system includes seven faculty libraries and the Onne Campus Library.
The vision for its establishment is to provide a world class University Library Service in a conducive learning environment. Also, to support purposeful and positive teaching, research and learning to all members of the University community in particular, and all who may need our Library services.
The mission of the library is to provide in an equitable and cost effective manner, enhanced access to National and International Library and information resources. Building and sharing locally available resources as well as serving as a gateway to global information resources, using digital technology was also part of its mission, and to acquire, process, preserve and disseminate information resources, irrespective of the format in which they appear.
1.8 DEFINITION OF BASIC OPERATIONS
CONSSERVATION: As a term that embraces several related idea such as restoration, which is the action taken to correct deterioration of all kind and also maintain items in as near as possible original form. (Alegbeleye, 1985).
PRESERVATION: Preservation definition, to keep alive or in existence; make lasting: to preserve our liberties as free citizens.
LIBRARY: A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing