This study takes a look at shelving, shelf reading and the challenges faced by shelving staff in four (4) academic libraries in the government owned tertiary institutions in Ekiti State, Nigeria. These institutions are the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti and the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti. A questionnaire was developed and used to elicit data from the various respondents in the institutions covered by the study. Sixty (60) copies of questionnaire, that is fifteen (15) copies per institution, were distributed to the identified shelving staff in each case. Federal University, Oye-Ekiti turned-in fourteen (14) copies of filled and useable questionnaire, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti turned-in ten(10) copies, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti fourteen(14) copies and College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti twelve (12) copies. The total response rate was 50 out of 60, representing 83.3%. The results show that majority 49(98%) of the respondents see shelving as inevitable in library practice and 27 respondents (54%) claimed that shelving was neither tasking nor rigorous. However, 29 respondents (58%) saw the need for the employment of additional shelvers, 26 respondents (52%) frowned at users’ arbitrary retrieval of books from the shelves, coupled with the frequent disorganization of shelves as opined by 45 respondents (90%); while 30 respondents (60%) hammered on users’ boycott of library catalogue in retrieving materials among other challenges identified. Recommendations were made for improvement as appropriate.
Key words: Shelving, shelf reading, academic libraries, Nigeria.
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