Evaluation of the Practicum Trainee Librarians at Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
Special Collections Librarian
Technical Services Division
The Nigerian National Universities Commission (NUC) designed the students' Industrial Work Experiences Scheme (SIWES) as a skills training programme, which forms part of the approved minimum Academic Standard in the various degree programmes for all Nigerian Universities. It is an effort to bridge the gap between theory and practice in engineering and technology, sciences, agriculture, medicine, management, and other professional educational programmes in Nigerian tertiary institutions. It teaches students about machines and equipment, professional methods, and ways of safeguarding work areas and workers in industries and organizations (NUC Handbook 2001). Adomi (2000) discusses library practica as a course of practical work that enables students to apply the theory they have studied.
Objectives of the Programme
During the training period, the students work in all the major divisions of the library:
Duration of Practice
The National Universities Commission has specified a training period of 3 months (12 weeks) at the end of 300 level, immediately after second semester examinations (during the long vacation). The programme is supervised by a unit under the Vice Chancellor's Office. This office reports its activities to the Area office of the SIWES in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Objectives of the Study
Study Area: Delta State University Library was used for this study. The university has three campuses: the main campus at Abraka, and the campuses in Asaba (the State Capital) and Oleh, all in Delta State, Nigeria.
Population: The population is made up of the practising librarians and undergraduate 300-level students (trainee librarians for the 2004/2005 academic session) of Delta State University, Abraka.
Sample: A random sample was chosen. 12 out of 19 professional librarians, and all the 17 trainee librarians were used for this study.
Instrument: A structured questionnaire with 15 items was developed, and observation was used as a data collection method as well.
Analysis and Data Discussion
Table I: Time Allotment
The time spent for students' practicum is:
Table II: Supervision
Table III: Basis for Assessment of Practicum Students
To do well in the practicum, student librarians should:
Table IV: Experience Gained
Exposure to different library units gave students:
Table I: Supervision
Would you agree that time spent on the students is:
Table II: Attitude
Would you say that the student librarians' attitude to work and authority was:
N = 12
Table III: Workload for Supervisors
Would you disagree that the burden of supervision placed on you was:
N = 12
Table V: Experience
Based on your experience, would you advise that the programme be:
N = 12
Ninety-four percent of the students (16 out of 17) found the time spent on the practicum worthwhile. Both staff and trainee-librarians agreed that time spent on the programme exposed students to the rudiments of the profession. They also agreed that rotating through various sections of the library has a great advantage for students.
Observations of the Trainee Librarians
Suggestions for Improvement
Respondents were asked to make suggestion on ways to improve the programme.
Adomi, E.E. (2000). Practical Work Experience of Library Science Students at Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. Education Libraries Journal, Vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 13-14.
Adomi, E.E. and Nwalo, K.I.N. (2003). Prospects for continuing Professional Education for Library and Information Science Professionals in Nigeria.New Library World, Vol. 104 No. 119/1195, pp. 499-507.
NUC (Handbook). Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme: Job Specification for Library Science for all Nigerian Universities.