Liberians in the country have been asked to make libraries more visible to the academic and research populations.
The Committee of University Librarians and their Deputies CULD, at its 39th Annual Seminar and Meeting held in Ho, called for a restructuring of the academic library infrastructure to meet the ever evolving demands of academia and research.
Professor Anankyela Anaba Alemna, a consultant in librarianship, delivering a talk on academic library management at the seminar, appealed to librarians to take up advocacy and other activities towards making the library more attractive.
“We must go beyond work in libraries and take to advocacy. We have to stop hiding behind our desks and come out. We must polish our library skills to get things going,” he said.
He asked librarians to reorient themselves to their roles as in the academic system, saying “every library must have a mission and a vision” that mirrored that of its mother institution.
Prof. Alemna called on librarians to undertake fundraising and marketing initiatives to develop and sell their products and services, saying, lots of efforts were being invested in acquiring the resources, and must be put to use.
He implored librarians to be proactive especially with customer relations, strive to acquire and organise library materials to meet the needs of its users.
The professor called for knowledge sharing among libraries across institutions for development, and said they must come together to provide information in more diverse ways to suit the times.
“Digitization helps to enhance the visual presence of libraries and resources. Increase use of e-materials and services in academic libraries gives image, visibility and status to institutions”, he said, rooting for partnerships with other departments like ICT, and Institutional Technology Units.
Prof. Alemna asked librarians to consider content management and recycling, blended information promotion, and also engage library-faculty liaison officers to help provide updates on faculty activities for libraries to be better positioned.
Dr Olive Akpebu Adjah, Principal Librarian, University of Ghana, said librarians must take advantage of students’ events such as hall weeks and other celebrations to advertise their services.
“We could make use of hall weeks and other campus celebrations, take stands and advertise our services”, she said.
Mr Adolph Agbeh, Librarian for GIMPA said despite the costs in acquiring electronic library resources, their usage was “very low”, and also called for them to be advertised to boost usage.
The two-day meeting is an annual convergence of librarians, and information professionals from universities, research, and tertiary institutions from across the country, and was on the theme, “The Role of Academic Librarians in Higher Education”.
Mr Christian Yao Kofi, Librarian of UHAS, and Chairman of CULD, said librarians must be innovative and creative to enable them develop the library as an efficient and effective information infrastructure.