Every educated person study and learn something new almost during the whole life. And it is not surprising, because the world is changing very quickly, early every minute. Thus, more and more people are tending to have more than one diploma, they are not afraid of learning, changing and become flexible to all the innovations. And the best place of doing so is the academic libraries. So, let’s discuss what it is, as well as what are the functions of academic libraries a part of the educational system.
What is the main function of the academic library
The academic library is usually established in any higher education, such as a college, a university, or an institution, and somehow can be called the knowledge powerhouse by the students. And there is no wonder since it possesses various collections of books for any university’s faculty or department aimed to help both students and professors carrying out researches, assignments, and even some leisure activities.
However, some of you may not fully understand the whole purposes of it and want to discuss the major functions of the academic library in correspondence to the public or local ones. Thus, the main difference between them lies in the books collection presented in the libraries.
Hence, the first and the main function of the academic library among all others is to support all the students, professors, and other academic staff in their educational pursuit. That is why it offers not only local nonfiction, historical, and archival volumes but also any selection of nonfiction, classics, modern fiction, and scientific literature as well.
What are the other functions of the academic library in teaching and learning
Having already stated the difference between the types of knowledge houses, now let’s highlight all the functions and services of the academic library.
The functions of the academic library in teaching and learning are the following:
- to ensure the necessary quiet environment for reading, studying and researching;
- to provide all the students with the essential research and reference materials like bibliographies, biographies, glossaries, abstracts, dictionaries, encyclopedias, manuals, atlases, gazetteers, monographs, etc.;
- to inform the university community of the latest scientific and technological developments;
- to help new students to orientate in how to source and find the necessary materials quickly and correctly;
- to maintain all the handbooks, including textbooks and fiction, which are specific to this or that one educational institution, especially those written by its founders and professors, and relating to its history, educational program, and so on;
- to ensure the students and faculty with the bibliographic instruction, Interlibrary Loan services, and research assistance as well;
- to help the professors writing research papers, dissertations and scientific publications;
- and last but not least is to maintain those books that are thousands of years old to be possible to use and study.
But what about its services? Let’s see.
Services of the academic library in teaching and learning are the following:
- the various-sized study rooms for groups of student to study together;
- the presented simple or electronic tool for collaborative work, such as a dry erase board, smart board or any other electronic resource sharing device;
- any needed computer resources with a wide variety of various specialized software;
- the most up-to-date technological tools;
- different printing, scanning, and copying resources also;
- a systemic system of educational materials needed to support the curricula offered at the institution;
- available field specialists (librarians) who can help students and faculty to carry out the research.
Librarians – as the most important human service at the academic libraries
Librarians are a core of every academic library. All the hard work of maintaining and supporting the whole library alongside the students and educational stuff depends on them. They are to process acquisitions, support electronic resources, as well as assist students and professors while studying and doing research work by looking for the information needed in the books and online resources also.
However, not every person can become a librarian. It is usually well-educated men or women with a double PhDs even, who specializes in specific types of books. And it is rather hard and demanding work, so they often visit and study various courses, instructions and sources to do all the best at work.
So, now you see how important the academic libraries are to all the students, researchers, scientists, and teachers. And how many efforts the librarians make every day to maintain all the functions and services of the library, so people can easily achieve new pieces of knowledge without obstacles.
Legit.ng posted an article of the list of top 20 best Nigerian universities. Webometrics has released the July 2021 edition of its ranking of the universities and other higher education institutions across the world. A look at the ranking indicates that the University of Ibadan, Covenant University, and Obafemi Awolowo University occupied the top three spots respectively. Read more in the article.