Library is a custodian of knowledge in any tertiary institution, a place to visit regularly to update gap in knowledge, however the issues of lack of staff reference competent have been a serious impediment to library patronage among academics in South-West, Nigeria. On this basis, this study investigated the influence of library staff reference competence on library patronage by academic staff in South-West Universities in Nigeria. 390 structured and validated Likert-scale type copies of questionnaire were administered to respondents, out of which three hundred and fifty were retrieved for data analysis. The questionnaire was based on library patronage and staff reference competence. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the respondents. Descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages, mean and standard deviation and regression analysis were used to analyse the data. The study found that there was low level of library patronage by academic staff in university libraries (mean=2.26), most resources in the library were sparingly used by academic staff in university libraries (mean=102.4). Further analysis revealed that staff reference competence had a significant positive influence on patronage (R2= 0. 086, ? = 0.293, t(324) = 5,5210, p < 0.05).It is concluded from this study that administrators and library management to encourage their staff to embark on regular professional training and development to ensure competency. Academic staff in Nigerian universities were also advice to cultivate and sustain the habit of regular and effective use of library resources and services provided by their university libraries.
Keywords: Library Staff, Reference Competence, Patronage, Library Patronage, Academic Staff, University Library