SERIALS MANAGEMENT IN THREE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN BENUE STATE
This study examined serials management in three university libraries in Benue state. Seven (7) research questions guided the study. The study sought to identify criteria for selection of serials and acquisition of serials, examine how serial collections are organized and the extent of computerization of serials management. It also sought to determine methods of preservation of serial titles, the problem encountered in serials management as well as strategies for improving serials management in the university libraries. Descriptive survey design was employed for the study and total population of 180 library staff were all used. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaire, interview and observation checklist. The questionnaire had sixty (60) items while observation checklist forty-one (41) items, and face validation of the instruments were done by two lecturers in the Department of Library and Information science, University of Nigeria Nsukka, including the research supervisor. The researcher employed two trained assistants who assisted him in the collection of data. About 136 questionnaires were returned out of the 180 questionnaires distributed. Descriptive statistics including frequency tables, percentages, and mean (x) were used to answer the research questions. It was revealed from the study that, the university libraries consider relevance to the curricula of the university, currency, readability, quality of their production and authority in selecting their serials. It also revealed that, they acquired their serials by purchase, gifts/donations and exchange with other libraries and organizations. It also revealed that, they organized their serials through proper cataloguing in line with AACR2 and classified using standard classification scheme. They also computerized their serials processes to some extent and make their serials accessible to users to a certain level. The university libraries preserved their serials accordingly for future use. Problems like funding, erratic power supply, escalating prices of serials, failure of serials subscribed to arrive, introduction of ‘M’ form by the government and foreign exchange, etc are some of the problems affecting serials management in the university libraries in Benue state Provision of a stand-by generator to alleviate the problem of erratic power supply, computerization of all serials processes, formulation of serials acquisition policy, weeding of serials over a given period to enhance effective serials management among others were suggested as strategies for improving serials management in the university libraries.