FUNDING OF NIGERIAN MEDICAL LIBRARIES (A Case Study Of Federal Medical Centre (Fmc) Library, Owerri)
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Library in a medical institution by definition is a special library. It serves a particular interest group or population who are involved in the field of Medicare.
A special library can be seen as one that include references and research libraries assembled and maintained by and for the use of the organization and societies representing among others, the historical, legal, medical and numerous specialized scientific and technological profession. All such special libraries are essential service centers organized for prompt service and usually issue information bulletins.
Therefore, medical library is a type of library that is affiliated to a medical institution. It collects, preserves, organizes and disseminates books, journals medical and health information. The materials are arranged in such a way that they are easily accessible to medical students and officers.
Furthermore, library services can be viewed as activities or programmes undertaken in addition or in place of ordinary library services with the intention of reaching a certain category of the population. Progress in medical science is dependent on continuous experimentation and research. A medical library plays a comparable role with the laboratory. It is necessary to acquire, organizes and make available medical literature in every medical institution through the medical library. Because the quantity and quality of information at the doctor’s disposal lies on how often he used the available materials in the medical library. And of course, materials in the medical library are functionally structured and arranged to render service aimed at accomplishing the institutions development and educational objectives of the users. Implies in this structure is the concept of the library as system with several sub systems. And the sub systems are named by a staff (Librarian) who performs one duty or the other. Such duties range from acquisition, processing, provision of medical related literatures to medical personnel in the institution in the right format and at the right time.
Thus, there are some obvious factors that may hinder the promotion of medical library, Ajayi (2004) advocate that the low rating of library may be attributed to non availability of library facilities and services. In the state or local government area. Creating documentation centers within the medical centre would enhance successful and good information channels and referral services, encouraging medical institution to work together.
Moreover, libraries as information centers require regular and adequate funding in order to yields good result. Where there is inadequate staffing or personnel, no matter the amount of allocation given to that library, it will still not function very well.
The factor is often intensified by other factors such as absence of complete bibliographic control, communication gap between library staff and users, inadequacy of available staff, out datedness of available materials etc.
The Federal Medical Centre Owerri is a territory Health institution structured mainly into two broad arms of clinical and non-clinical division. Its responsibility is primarily the provision of advance surgical and medical care to patients, as well as port grade waste and internship training programmes.
The evolution and development of the institution began 1903 by the colonial masters. At the period, the hospital has three wards; maternity, male and female wards which also admitted children, other available facilities at the hospital in 1903 include a theater, and a general out-patient department. Then the medical staffs of the hospital were one doctor (general practitioner) and a few nurses.
The hospital known as shell-daily hospital was handed over to the government of Eastern Nigeria in late fifties and renamed Okpara nursing Home after the premiership of D.M.I Okpara following the handover, further development took place. These include provision of gynecological/obstetric ward, while the old shell-Daily hospital complex became the Anti-natal clinic and Administration block.
In 1976, the hospital was transformed into a Divisional hospital and later in to a general hospital following the creation of Imo State.
During this period, a modern out patience department with six new wards and pharmacy department, infant welfare clinic, a mortuary and chest unit. This further expansion brought the bed complement of the general hospital to four hundred and one beds in eleven wards.
Then, on the 1st January 1995, the status and functions of the general hospital, Owerri changed with it’s take over by the federal government as a special hospital and renamed it the federal medical centre, Owerri. The responsibility of the centre includes the provision of advanced and specialized medical and surgical services to patients. It also provides for research and training, diagnose disease, treat and rehabilitate the patients. They recognize the patient’s needs for independence privacy and awareness in relationship to his or her illness and in intelligent application of the diagnostic and preventive measure to individual patient needs.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
(i) To establish what the present situation is in medical libraries in terms of funding in the period under view,
(ii) To make recommendations on how to overcome inadequate funding and the problem associated with running of medical libraries with special attention given to Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.
(iii) To suggest alternative source of funding for medical libraries.
(iv) To recommend alternative to trained the staff in full exploitation of the resources of the library.
(v) To identify the types of services provided by medical libraries to health workers.
1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY
This research is restricted to the funding of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri. The major emphasis is on identifying the funding problem associated with medical libraries.
The researcher limited his work to this institution as a result of time constraint.
Another reason for selecting this institution is to carryout a through work that will stand the test of time.
1.4 AIMS AND PURPOSE
This study is aimed at fulfilling the requirement for the award of Higher National Diploma in Library and information science. It is also intended to provide useful information for any body carrying out research on this area of study.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(i) Does inadequate funding of medical libraries, limit the scope of services provided to the clientele?
(ii) Does the inability of an organization to review of its library polices affect the funding of such library?
(iii) Does the inability of the institution (Federal Medical Centre Owerri to secure funds as at when due, minimize its acquisition of materials?
(iv) Does the ability of the manage of medical libraries to exploit other sources of reveal limit-their available funds.
1.6 ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
The researcher was carrying out this research work made the following assumptions. The funding of medical libraries is very essential because it is the major element in the library’s capacity.
That there is inadequate financial provision to satisfy the needs of the medical library.
In carrying a research work, one concerns himself or herself about the methods of data collection. This includes the various way or means by which the research data are collected.
In carrying out research work of this nature, the researcher has to conduct an intensive investigation into definable problems.
In the process of my data collection the following data collection instrument were used. They are questionnaire and observation.
1.8 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Medical libraries process and make information accessible to user. But it was unfortunate that medical libraries over the years suffers major set back due to some obvious constraints such as poor funding, non availability of current books and journals and facilities. Adequate service like selective dissemination of information document delivery services are not provided in medical libraries
1.9 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
Medical Library: Medical Library is a type of library that is affiliated to medical institution. They collect, preserve, organize and disseminate books, journals, conference papers and other material containing medical information.
FUNDNG: According to Oxford Advanced Learned Dictionary, funding is money for a particular purpose, the act of providing money for such a purpose.
LIBRARIES: According to UNESCO, a library is an organized collection of published books and audio-visual materials, and the services of a staff able to provide and interpret such materials as are required to meet the informational, education or recreational needs of the users.
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Mandel, S.H. (1995): Telemetric in Health care in developing countries. Journals of medical systems: Vol.19.
Oti I.A. (2002) A practical guide to the use of library: Library resources and services Owerri: spring field publishers.