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1.1 Background Of The Study

Security of library resources is very paramount in the provision of efficient library service delivery. Where there is insecurity of library collections, the resources are exposed to dangers such as theft, mutilation, and vandalism among others. These can have adverse negative effect on library service delivery. Ani (2010) looks at “security” as the condition of being protected physically, emotionally, psychologically as well as from other harms, attacks, terror which could be considered as non-desirable. Edem (2010) defines security as assurance of the future wellbeing and freedom from threat. Security therefore refers to a process designed to protect something or somebody against danger. It is an act of preventing crime. In the case of library resources, it prevents un-authorized removal or loss of materials, usually as a result of intruders' or thieves' interference (Ajegbomogun, 2004). In reality, research, teaching and learning cannot take place in a university where library collections and resources are not only inadequate, but the limited ones are pilfered, stolen, destroyed, or mishandled by students, staff and other users.

There are research findings that show that libraries are being exposed to environmental disasters, careless handling of collections, absence of security programmes and policies for library management and administration, loss of library resources to theft and other criminal behaviours. Ajegbomogun, (2004) and Akinfolarin (1992) equally report that in Egypt a certain library collection had to be kept under lock and key to prevent theft. Similarly, Terfarra (1996) cited cases of Middle-Eastern and European countries that chain-locked their collected works to prevent theft and vandalism. Yet, most school authorities in Nigeria seem not to recognize the threat of security problems to the life of library collections. Although, this is no longer obtainable in some Nigerian libraries as several security measures such as detective barcode machines; close circuit television (CCTV), 3M electronic security systems, and a workable security policy for the university libraries are put in place to check theft and vandalism. This is more so that chaining or putting the materials under lock and key may likely prevent user’s easy access to these resources. Security is an important and complex challenge in contemporary societies. Not only do individuals require security and safety of their lives and properties, but also university libraries in particular, strive to provide information resources in both print and non-print materials to support the educational services of the university community and humanity at large. From documented evidences, every day there are reports of loss, theft, fraud and vandalism of library resources by users, hence the need for university libraries to provide, maintain and secure its collection in order to ensure the availability, accessibility of its collections, as well as to provide effective services to its users. This study, therefore, investigate security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu, State.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The importance of information resources cannot be overemphasized as users depend on library resources for knowledge and new ideas to enhance intellectual development  (Ajegbomogun, 2004). As a result, university libraries face varying degrees of delinquency in the use of their resources. The extent of this security problem varies from one university library to another. Mishandling, vandalism of the facilities such as CD ROM, DVD, and magnetic tape can easily crack when it's not handled with care or falls on the ground. The CD ROM, DVD, may damage and information on it can loss. Accessibility of the information services cannot be possible as a result of data loss by mishandling of CD ROM, DVD, magnetic tape among others. Theft of books, journals, CD ROM, microfilm, computers and other library collections, diminish materials in the library. These crimes, which are committed by some users, have deprived many users from fully achieving their information needs as it has led to loss of many valuable materials in university libraries (Ani, 2010). Hence the need for measures to be taken to protect and preserve them to avoid complete loss of materials in university libraries. This study therefore is aimed at investigating security challenges and coping strategies of university libraries for effective service delivery in Enugu.

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