CONSULTANCY SERVICES AMONG ACADEMIC LIBRARIANS IN THREE NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
The main purpose of this study is to determine the consultancy services offered by academic librarians in three Nigerian Universities namely; University of Abuja, Abuja, Benue State University, Makurdi and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The study was conceived against the backdrop of the rich variety of information resources available to academic librarians. The concern was how librarians by virtue of their training are maximally exploring these peculiar resources and applying same beyond the confines of the immediate university community to improve the society at large. In pursuance to above, six research objectives were drawn which include; to determine the extent of consultancy services offered by academic librarians in the three universities, identify facilities/resources for consultancy services by academic librarians; identify patrons served; determine the benefits of consultancy services to the librarians; identify the constraints to effective consultancy services as well as proffer strategies for enhancing the practice among academic librarians. The study used the survey research design. The entire population of 82 academic librarians constituted the sample for the study due to the small number. The questionnaire, made up of 109 items and oral interview were instruments used to collect data which were presented in tables and analyzed using frequency, simple percentage and the mean. Findings revealed an extremely low and thus unacceptable level of involvement in consultancy services by academic librarians in the universities studied. Indeed, indexing, abstracting and internet services which were the major services engaged in attracted the meager overall mean of 1.96, 1.77 and 1.73 respectively. The major patrons of consultancy services were lecturers, students and non-academic staff. The study concluded that the abysmally low involvement in consultancy services by academic librarians in spite of the resources available to them constitute a major draw-back to national development. However, a painstaking implementation of the recommendations would reverse the ugly trend. Some of the recommendations are made to the effect that academic librarians should commence an immediate and active consultancy services to the public, and should create sufficient awareness of their services through a well articulated and aggressive marketing strategy.