The study investigated effects of theft and mutilation of information resources in academic libraries in universities of Benue state, Nigeria as it has become a serious misconduct threatening academic libraries globally. The study covered the three universities in Benue state. The study was guided by four (4) objectives and four (4) research questions. Descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study and a sample size of three hundred (300) library users was drawn from the three universities as respondents. A structured questionnaire designed by the researchers titled â€œQuestionnaire on Effect of Theft and Mutilation of Information Resources in Academic Libraries in Universities of Benue State (QETMIRALUBS)â€ was used for data collection and data collected was analyzed using Table, Mean (X Ì…), Percentages (%) and Standard Deviation (SD). The study discovered that there are theft and mutilation of information resources in academic libraries in universities of Benue state. The finding revealed among others that; theft and mutilation causes frustration to librarians and library users (X Ì…=3.33 and SD=1.08), makes materials less useful (X Ì…=3.23 and SD=0.95), causes shortage of library materials (X Ì…=3.23 and SD=1.08), more money is often spent to repair and replace stolen and mutilated materials in academic libraries (X Ì…=3.12 and SD=1.26). It also causes dissatisfaction to library users (X Ì…=3.11 and SD=1.15), discourages and disappointing due to denial of access to critical information (X Ì…=3.09 and SD= 1.15). Result also revealed that all library materials in the three universities of Benue state are vulnerable to theft and mutilation except audio visual materials (X Ì…=2.44 and SD=1.24) and all the factors that are listed in this study are responsible for theft and mutilation except high demand of a particular book by users (X Ì…=2.32 and SD=1.29). The study also found out that the measures or strategies that could be used to combat theft and mutilation in academic libraries of Benue state are provision of enough security (=3.76 and SD=0.66), mount Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the libraries (X Ì…=3.73 and SD=0.69), periodic searching of hostels and staff offices (X Ì…=3.63 and SD=3.63), users should be given good orientation (X Ì…=3.62 and SD=0.83), better library services should be provided (X Ì…=3.57 and SD=0.90), reduction in the cost photocopying (X Ì…=3.32 and SD=0.93), provision of multiple copies of textbooks (X Ì…=3.06 and SD=1.07) and allowing all library materials to be borrowed (X Ì…=3.00 and SD=1.07). Based on these findings, it was concluded that the university administrations need to provide these strategies and measures in the libraries to combat theft and mutilation in academic libraries in universities of Benue state.
Keywords: Academic Library, Information Resources, Theft and Mutilation