COMPETENCIES POSSESSED BY LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE STUDENTS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THREE NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
The study examined the entrepreneurship competencies possessed by Library and Information Science (LIS) students in three Nigerian Universities. The overcrowded job market in Nigeria is forcing thousands of graduates into unemployment and its associated consequences of kidnapping, drug addiction, youth restiveness and general poor standard of living. Thus, in this era of high information generation and usage, there has become the need for LIS students to acquire the competencies required to shift from the traditional models of librarianship to the digital models in order to remain at the vanguard of information generation and management as information professionals and be able to secure the many self- employment opportunities available in libraries, content management organizations, NGOs, knowledge resource centers and corporate organizations. Specifically examined in this paper were an overview of entrepreneurship, the need for entrepreneurship education in tertiary institutions, the roles of entrepreneurship in economic development, LIS entrepreneurship competencies and opportunities created by ICT, challenges associated with the acquisition of competencies for entrepreneurship in LIS and the appropriate strategies for enhancing the acquisition of entrepreneurship competencies in LIS. Descriptive survey design and Oral interview was adopted in which one hundred and ninety (190) final year and masters students of the Department of Library and Information Science in the three Universities were purposively sampled using a researcher-structured questionnaire. Frequency tables mean and percentages were used to analyze data. Findings showed that up to 70% of the students have not possessed entrepreneurship and ICT competencies crucial for the entrepreneurship opportunities in LIS. Moreover these students are yet to develop the culture and mindset toward entrepreneurship, because of some major challenges which have been identified as inadequate education and training resulting from lack of entrepreneurship and ICT courses in their curriculum, absence of qualified and suitable educators in entrepreneurship courses, unavailability of ICT facilities, lack of self-confidence and fear of failure among students and high interest of graduates in paid employment. The paper recommended that entrepreneurship courses and practical training in various aspects of ICT be included in the LIS curriculum and educators trained to teach the courses. Similarly, technology-based teaching should be adopted and workshop cum information processing laboratory be provided where students should carry out practical assignments and projects based on real life problems that graduates face so as to inculcate in their mindset the culture and build their interest towards entrepreneurship.