This study was designed to look at the preservation and conservation of library Resources in University of Calabar library. The objectives were: to determine the preservation and conservation practices; ascertain the extent such practices are applied; examine the prevailing factor necessitating the libraries; examine the library resources where these preservation and conservation practices are applied; Highlight on the problem associated with the preservation and conservation practices; suggest ways of enhancing the preservation and conservation practices in University of Calabar. A descriptive survey research design was used for the study, and academic libraries comprised of the four University of Calabar libraries were sampled. There was no need for sampling since the entire populations which are the 93 academic libraries in the four University of Calabar were used. Observation checklist, Questionnaire and Oral interview were used for data collection. 93 copies of questionnaire was distributed and collected, representing the 100% in analyzing the data obtained, frequency counts, simple percentages, and mean (X) were used as statistical methods. The results obtained from the findings, revealed that various types of preservation and observation practices exist in University Libraries; that the academic librarians are merely satisfied with the extent under which preservation and conservation are applied to materials in the libraries; that there are some problems associated with preservation and conservation of library resources in the libraries; that many strategies were suggested by the academic librarians to enhance the preservation and conservation polices in the libraries. Based on the finding, it was recommended that the libraries should put into practice all the available preservation and conservation polices in their libraries; that regular power supply should be improved upon; sanctions among the librarians should be encouraged.

1.1 Background of the Study
Preservation and conservation are essential library activities which when well implemented has the capability of sustaining and promoting library activities for a very long time. However, preservation is often used interchangeably with conservation, besides, there is a subtle difference between the two. Preservation suggests that natural resources will be left undisturbed, while conservation usually indicates some resource management.

The process of preservation and conservation are applied to safeguard the library materials from further decay and deterioration. Preservation is the process in which all actions are taken to check and retard deterioration where as conservation includes proper diagnosis of the decayed materials, timely curative treatment and appropriate prevention from further decay. In effect, these two terms could be used inter-changeably. In other words, ‘Preservation’ and ‘Conservation’ depicts the activities which libraries use for the maintenance and sustenance of library resources and facilities which could be human or material. However, Anjaiah (2008) stresses that “the words” preservation and conservation” are often used interchangeably to mean: the process of keeping an object safe from harm or loss, damage, destruction or delay, and maintaining it in a reasonably sound condition for present and future use. He maintained that these two words are different, though interrelated and overlapping connotations. As a result of this, Harvey (1993) also explained that the terms “Preservation and “Conservation” have been used interchangeably in library literature until the last few years. He maintained that currently, conservation is the more specific term and is particularly used in relation to specific objectives while “preservation” is a broader concept covering conservation as well as actions relating to protection between “Preservation and “Conservation”. He explained that preservation applies to various strategies for preserving the intellectual content” while “Conservation” is primarily concerned with ensuring that the original artifact is maintained and secure”. Similarly, the New International Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary (1996) also stressed that to conserve, defend, guard, keep, maintain, sustain among others are synonyms for preservation”.

By definition therefore, preservation of library activities has been defined as the totality of the steps necessary to ensure the permanent accessibility of a particular material forever. Suman (2008) defined preservation as the transfer of information to another medium, such as microfilm and electronic materials. However, the new international Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary (1996) defined “preservation” as “a noun for the word preserve which means to keep in safety or to keep from destruction. Similarly, Wikipedia (2009) defined “preservation” as the branch of library and information science concerned with maintaining or restoring access to artifacts documents, different from conservation which refers to the treatment and repair of individual items to show decay or restore them to useable state. In the same view, Harrods librarian glossary also defined “preservation” as the managerial and financial considerations including storage, techniques and methods involved in preserving library and achieve materials and the information contained in them”. Ogbodo (2004) also stressed that “preservation” involves all the measures taken to guarantee the safety of prints and nonprint materials in the libraries. Similar, Ania (2007) explain that “preservation is a means of taking care of library materials to avoid deterioration. Okonkwo (2009) was not left out as he also defined “preservation” as “the totality of measures for maintaining the integrity of document and the information contained in them which includes all the managerial and financial considerations, storage and accommodation provisions, staffing level policies, techniques and methods involved in safe guarding documentary materials.

On the other hand, “conservation is also seen as an occurrence of improvement by virtue of preventing loss or injury or other change. Similarly, Popoola (2003) defined conservation as policies and operations embarked upon by the managers of libraries and with the aim of increasing the life span of their information resources by preventing damage or remedying deterioration. He further explained that it may also be seen as direct physical intervention arresting or showing down deterioration of library resources. However, Harrison (1992) stressed that conservation is about good house-keeping, learning how to handle and store resources to do the least damage, not subjecting it to unnecessarily heavy use and ensuring that back-up or safety copies exist. Therefore, conservation is a preventive but active measure, for doing something to the material, not putting it in the wrong environment, not handling or touching the surface or running material through faulty equipment which will scratch and damage it.

Generally, available literature has shown that libraries and their resources are essential tools for education and these resources are generally ephemeral (short life span) and as such because of the constant use they undergo every day in libraries especially in university libraries, they are bound to tear and wear. But despite these facts, they are bound to be used.

In view of the above, one of the main problem facing University of Calabar libraries of Nigeria as a whole is lack of funds. Robert (2003) explained funding as the process of raising money or capital for any kind of expenditure. University libraries in developing countries such as Nigeria are facing major funding problems due to non-growing or even decreasing appropriations from the university administration and other funding agencies. As a result of this Carole Dyal (2008) explained that subject specialists, bibliographers, and departmental/subject divisional librarians are directly responsible for the intellectual composition of the collection that these staff members are in the best position to know an items intrinsic value to the collection as a whole, and its expected use. Unfortunately, she said that these professionals are often unaware of preservation and conservation options that can protect materials and prolong their use despite that the preservation and conservation treatment of the collection should be their direct concern since physical access is as critical to patron satisfaction as bibliographic access. She went ahead to explain that the emphasis on preservation and conservation practices does not extend beyond “rare” books, even though irreplaceable items and materials of permanent research value are found on the open shelves of most libraries.

Moreso, the current situation in these university libraries is that they cannot order for new materials because of lack of funds and the materials they have within are out-dated, detoriated, as a result of over handling and lack of maintenance. However, these made universities materials in these University of Calabar libraries to be mainly by donation and strict purchase. Therefore, there is need for us to preserve and conserve what we have by providing a cover or jacket to the material immediately it arrived, by laminating some of these materials, by binding the materials, by ensuring a regular dusting and clearing of the materials, by ensuring proper handling and maintenance of library resources, by ensuring reformatting–photocopying, micro-films and digitization and so on because the past is the foundation of the future.

Preservation and conservation of library materials are done to safeguard the library materials from further decay and disfiguration. Sule and Ademu (2005) observed that preservation and conservation practices of library materials leads to the security of man’s recorded knowledge. Through the process of preservation and conservation, man has been able to keep intact the records of the past, the present into safe places. These ensure the continued and effective exploitation of resources in any given library. Moreso, preservation and conservation practices ensure the continued supply of information for the research purposes and for posterity. When there is a good preservation and conservation practices on library materials, efforts will not be a waste on replacement. Materials which should have been expanded on replacement are channeled to the acquisition of new resources to enrich the existing collection. The life span of the collections, books, journals, monographs, audio-visuals etc are safeguarded through the instrument of preservation and conservation.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
The library materials which are unique in nature because of the information they contain deserve to have the maximum preservation and conservation practice in order to retain the information they contain for a very long period of time.

University libraries in developing countries such as Nigeria, there is a dearth of valuable publication because most of these library materials are not properly protected in the libraries. Despite that the libraries struggled and suffered to acquire these library resources which are not easy to be replaced when they are lost are not properly preserved and conserved yet, the information contained in these library resources can serve library users for decades of years.

Besides, these resources are the major sources of reference and consultation to all who are in need of one information or the other yet, these resources lack proper preservation and conservation polices in the libraries.

It has been observed that in these university libraries, that these library resources are always very dirt and dusty. Some of these library resources have lost their back cover and as a result of this, they are just floating in the shelves as they can no longer be identified with their area of specialization. The spine of some of these resources has been pulled out as a result of rough handling of these resources. It has also been observed that some of these resources have no hard-cover, they are not laminated and there is know provision for duplicate copies for these resource. Sometimes, the pages of these resources will be incomplete as a result of constant and frequently used by the users and as a result of this, the information contained in them will also be lost. In support of this Olumsola (1987) and Onadiran (1988) reported that books in university libraries are preferred at an alarming rate.

However, in spite of many benefits derived from effective preservation and conservation in University of Calabar, the tendency is that the libraries will face the risk of losing the intellectual contents as well as cultural heritage and other sources of information available with the libraries. This is because there is a little or no preservation and conservation policy in these University of Calabar libraries in Nigeria. As a result of this, the conditions of these library materials in these university libraries in University of Calabar are nothing to write home about. Presently, the current situation of library resources in University of Calabar as with regard to preservation and conservation of library resources is not known and this is why this study is important and needs to be investigated.

1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to investigate the preservation and conservation of library materials in University of Calabar library. However, the specific objectives of the study are:

1. To determine the preservation and conservation practices existing in University of Calabar in Nigeria.

2. To ascertain the extent such practices are applied in the libraries.

3. To examine the prevailing factors necessitating the libraries in adopting preservation and conservation in these universities.

4. To examine the library resources where these preservation and conservation practices are applied in University of Calabar library in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions
The following research question were formulated to guide the study:

1. What are the library preservation and conservation practices existing in University of Calabar in Nigeria?

2. To what extent are these practice used in the libraries?

3. What are the preveling factors necessitating the libraries in adopting preservation and conservation practices in the libraries?

4. To what extent do preservation and conservation practices applied to library materials in the libraries?

1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study are of immense benefit to the following: Library administrators, the staff in Binding section as well as other researchers.

The findings of the study is expected to be of interest to the university or college librarian by ensuring that they understand the true state of the library materials as they will see that they share duties properly to each sections of the library and see that they monitor and punish the defaulters accordingly. The findings of this study are expected to be beneficial to the heads of different units in the library as it will help to reveal to the state of preservation and conservation methods that will enable them to improve on saving the library materials from destruction.

Moreover, the information generated by the study will be of help to the binding section as they will enable them to understand the need to bind library materials as soon as they arrive to the library before sending them to their various shelves in order to give longevity to the materials. Moreso, the information generated by the study will be of help to institutions and organizations as it will provide a framework for the preservation and conservation programme in their libraries.

In addition, other researchers will benefit from the findings of this study as it will highlight them to the strategies of preservation and conservation practices in the University of Calabar in Nigeria.

1.6 Scope of the Study
The research work covered the University of Calabar library.

The respondents include all the library staff members that are involved in the project. The study is limited to the preservation and conservation of library resources in the libraries of this institute.

1.7 Limitations of the Study
The study was constrained by a number of problems among them are:
1. The study was limited to only four University of Calabar libraries, Nigeria. It should have been so nice that a study of this type should include all the University of Calabar in Nigeria as this would have given room for a wider and better analysis and conclusion.
2. However, the study was also affected by dishonesty and nonchalant attitude of some academic librarians as they were ticking the questionnaire any how because of time.

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